Time to talk genuine issues.
Maybe I’m off base, but I have a feeling that if you talk to most christians who are deconstructing, the number one, if not at least in the top three, issue would be the church’s stance on LGBTQ issues.
I’m sure most of you will have seen the news that dropped earlier in the month, that the Catholic church decreed that same-sex unions are a sin the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions. I’m going to quote an associated press article I read:
“Vatican doctrine holds that gays and lesbians should be treated with dignity and respect, but that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered” and that same-sex unions are sinful.
Natalia Imperatori-Lee, a professor of religious studies at Manhattan College, said those teachings, put together, are problematic.
“It boggles the mind that the hierarchy can affirm that LGBTQ+ persons are made in the image of God but that their unions are a sin,” she said via email. “Are they made in God’s image with the exception of their hearts? With the exception of their abilities and inclinations to love?”
It’s especially frustrating for me, because, one the Vatican has put out some positive signs of acceptance within the last few years, and I think many will affirm that Pope Francis is one of the most liberal/progressive popes we’ve seen in a very long time.
There are so many churches out there even outside of the realm of Catholicism that are at best times, shady about their stance on LGBTQ+ rights and at worst, outright antagonistic of LGBTQ+. There’s an entire website dedicated to providing clarity into churches’ policy toward LGBTQ+ and Women’s issues.
Scripture has been used to justify slavery, to exclude divorced people from full participation in the sacraments, to exclude women from ministry, and even to persecute left-handed people; if the church has been wrong in its treatment of LGBTQ issues, this would not be unprecedented.
If we don’t give into speculation and look specifically at the words of Christ,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-34
“As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” – Matthew 5:43-48
I think His stance is clear.
Like most things in the Bible, this will probably be debated for eons. But we can’t sit by and stand for that. LGBT youth lives are in danger.
- Sixty-seven percent report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people.
- 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered
- 2 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that someone tried to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, with youth who have undergone conversion therapy more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who did not
Christians love to talk about being “Pro-Life” well, let’s be pro- the lives of our LGBT friends and loved ones. I don’t want to support any church that isn’t outwardly LGBTQ+ affirming. The damage that has already been done is irreparable
This issue is certainly the biggest for me and what started me down my deconstruction path. If the church is to survive, it will not survive like this. In my opinion the church has a long way to go in order to undo damage done. Many individuals, women, LGBTQ+ people and BIPOC have been harmed my religious doctrine. If we want the church to continue into the oncoming generations we have to be the voice of change.
You cannot claim to love your neighbor while telling them that their love is a sin.