Thursday, August 13, 2009

Coming OUT Catholic

I enjoy your posts and often think how fun it'd be to hang out together and about all this stuff and more! Two of you got me giggling out loud: stuck me funny. Thanks all.

Thanks to J and Gary for these. . . :-)
J said...

How in the hell could someone named O'Shea from Massachusetts be anything but Catholic?
It must be a struggle, though, for you to stay with a church that condemns you for acting on your inate sexual impulses.

Gary Kelly said...

A catholic Mass-going Irish O'Shea. Well, there ya go... at your age I was a catholic Mass-going Irish Kelly. So there's a possibility you may end up like me! Poor thing.

Hmmm, end up like you, Gary? Well you told us you are a nice would that be so bad?
And O'Sheas from MA being Catholics. . . .I guess. lol A struggle. . .not so much. You know I hesr guys talk or write about the asweful sermons condemning gays, etc. I believe that happens. BUT I have nevere heard one of those sermons myself. .ever!

In our small group theraspy/discussions at school we've talked about all the religion bashing about gays and I have heard some really bad stuff. . .read some. .and we've really shred deep about our feelings as gay guys living or not our religious beliefs, etc, and about the mess this can and does often enough create in guys' heads and hearts.

From about 4yo on when I had my crush on Peter I and growing up I never thought the feelings I had and have for other guys was wrong, sinful, abnormal. [I didn't then have the vocabulary I have now] I talked about this with my parents and they never told me I was bad or I shouldn't feel that way, or "God doesn't love little boys like that".

Oh I heard some stuff from other kids and learned soon enough to keep some of my ideas to myself. In Provincetown there are laws against bashing, harrassing gays, etc. besides we are in the majority when you come right down to it. And people do get arrested for that. Doesn't happen often though. LOL

As far as churches condemning gays and sexual expressions, etc. . . well, they just don't get it . .yet. I'd say the Vatican [and they are only one small part of the church!] condemns sex. . period. . . . except if you are married -- one man, one woman, once! It doesn't condone sexual activity for anyone else! Everyone else is obligated to live a celibate life.

Helloooooooooooooooooooooooo! hahahaaa Well, let them pull it and haul it. . .I learned this. I am created in the image and likeness of God. I didn't choose my sexuality, gender, sexual orientation. Who I am is God's gift thru my parents to me. God made me gay and that is God's gift to me. Some people haven't caught on yet to reality.

I have never felt guilty about my love and lust feelings. They are that - feelings. Feelings are neither good nor bed, moral or immoral. They are just my feelings here and now and later, too.
I don't feel guilty holding hands with Peter as we walk along Commercial St. I don't feel guilty kissing him, making love with him. We are not evil, bad, destroying society.

I love this from the bible. Paul is writing to one of the churches and teaching them. He ends with this fantastic statement: "And if you don't see eye to eye with me on these matters I am sure God will make it clear to you!" Isn't that awesome! What a smartass St Paul was!

So yeah, I am gay, I am Catholic, I go to Mass and receive Communion. It is my church as much as the pope's: we're both members. And no one is gonna drive me out! ;-)0

These are some of my ideas about being a gay Catholic. I'd like to read some of your ideas.



Alastair said...

3 cheers for you, Justin!

You're perfectly correct - it is your church as much as the pope's. I wish he would realise just how out of touch with real Catholics he is.

I mean, how many Catholics really don't use birth control? And could the church last another week if every gay priest left? Or every gay member, for that matter?

Gary Kelly said...

Is there a God or isn't there a God? Everyone seems to have opinion except God.

If you want to know how God feels or what he thinks about an issue, ask a human because humans know more about God than God does. Yeah?

If religion blows your hair back, fine. But it doesn't blow mine back.

Shannon said...

It has been my own personal experience that some of the most loving, tolerant and compassionate people I have met have been catholic. It is also my experience that Catholicism at an organizational level is one of the most intolerant mens clubs that exists.

Where this disparity of beliefs comes from I do not quite understand but then it is my belief that organized religion is one of the great evils of the world today.

J said...

I'm still waiting for the pope to come out. The Vatican's got to be the biggest closet on the planet.

JustinO'Shea said...

Thanks for your 'beginning-ideas'. . live, I suspect we'd be having some very animated discussion, a lot of good laughter. . . .

When religious people - clerics and non-clerics alike - anglicans,catholics, evangelicals, fundamentalists, and others - get rsaving about sin, evil, they usually hit on abortions, euthanasia, gays n lesbians,pre-marital sex, drugs, boooze and
rock n roll [LOL]

Rarely do you hear much about immoral pre-emptive war, capitol punishment, unjust labor practices,women and men kids sold as sex slaves,rampant starvation and disease, women and girls, men and boys routinely raped in Rwanda and Congo nitely by government troops. . . .

Leaderdship in the Catholic and other churches do speak about these as today's sins/evils. And many church members refuse to think of these as moral evils [can you believe that?!!]. . .it is much easier to pick homosexuals.

My education as a catholic kid talked about these issues as the evils. Moral responsibility for my actions and choices which affect others were stressed way far more than masturbation and the other "horrible sex sins" which usually make the Big Top 10 Charts.

Faced with what I see as distortions of christianity, charicatures really, I imagine Jesus shaking his head, washing his hands and saying
"Don't blame me. . .that was never any of my doing . !"


J said...

There's just one problem, Justin. In order to stay in the church you've had to ignore its principal structural precept, which is the paramountcy of church doctrine as issued by the pope in Rome. Like it or not, good Catholics are supposed to believe that there is only one ticket to ride, and the pope sells it. If you can't follow that, you'd be truer to yourself (and, sorry to say, less of a hypocrite)if you'd become an Episcopalian. Now there's a church that's kept all the mummery while sanctioning just about anything but what Tennessee Williams described as the only unforgivable sin, deliberate cruelty. (Blanche DuBois is my prophet!) To focus only on the other evils Rome condemns is a bit like taking orders from the Wizard of Oz when he insisted that Dorothy pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
I've ranted elsewhere on the Net about the logical paucity of religious doctrine, and the human presumptuousness that would seriously entertain the idea that some hairshirt two thousand years ago, or any human, for that matter, was or is capable of phantoming the mind of whatever made the Universe. So I'm with Gary and Shannon on this, and can't see how anyone can peruse the blogs of all those terrified gay teenagers out there who are being persecuted by their good christian peers and parents and not come away disgusted with the whole organized religion thing.
Don't get me wrong; the few people I've met in this life who adhered to Christ's ethic of kindness to all have my undying admiration. But they'd have it irrespective of their membership in a church. And I couldn't in good conscience condemn them to everlasting torment because they decided not to pay their union dues to Rome or swear undying allegiance to a Trinity.
Other than that, you're a delight, and I sure appreciate you're affording us the grace of being able to walk what's left of your wits on you're space.
Now if you're looking for another argument, we can go at it over whether or not it is less morally defensible to keep a dangerous human in a cage for the rest of his life or painlessly dispatch him, or whether or not a little preemptive war against a Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot or Kim Jong-Il is morally defensible. I'll leave that for another day, whenever you again decide to pull my chain. Until then, I'll go back to ogling the altar boys.

JustinO'Shea said...

THanks, J, for your ideas and observations. In my comments I am not looking for any arguments nor hoping to convince anyone of anything. I put down my plan/way of being ChristianCatholic, hoping you and others would feel free to do likewise.

If you think I am a hypocrite -- not sure you do but you use the word -- it doesn't matter. ;-)) This is my response to being a gay member of the Church. I take my key from St Paul in bible who says "render to God your reason-able service."

I guess it is real to say I havent't been a "lock-step" kid so I am not in religion..We were not created by God for the purpose of measuring up to or fulfilling laws, rules, regulations. These were made and set out to assist us live reasonable lives in responsible relationship in community. No other reason for law and rules.: just for just and peaceful lives.

My lawyer dad tells me an unjust law does not bind. . . . .hmmmmm.

I don't read blogs from guys who are suffering from parents persecution and violence. I feel sorry for them and I pray for them. I hear quite enough of that in group sessions at uni in the psych program I am in .studying and working. I prefer face to face talking about the deep wounds they bring; as I listen i look into their face/eyes for often these say more than the painful words.

This is how I see my life and my being part of church.

Namaste! [the good in me respects and reverences the good in you] Namaste.

Gary Kelly said...

What it all boils down to is this: if you think Portuguese pastries taste yummy, no one is gonna convince you otherwise.

As to J's comments, I didn't know what the bloody hell he was talking about until he said he agrees with me. Now I think he's lovely.

JustinO'Shea said...

I am an American, citizen of these United States. For the most part I sm proud of who we are as a people. There are things which have occurred during my brief politically conscious years and things which have occurred in recent history which I do not like and could not approve of, and some I am ashamed of.No need to outline these. . "they are ever before us".

However, I am an American and I wouldn't choose to live elsewhere or become citizen of any other country.

As for my family of birth and blood, we have our family skeletons and " bad boys" like the distant Gypsy uncles hanged as horse thieves. tsk..tsk..tsk. .but I have no intention of disowning them or changing my name. LOL I like the Bouvier-O'Shea lineage quite well. We are fun! LOL

As for the Anglicans [ in US known as Episcopalians] well, no thanks. Very similar to RCs and very distant also. But, you see, they are not "home". The Catholic Church is. Why would I want to go anywhere else? This is my birthright. I plan on staying.

I think my explanatio of how I fit in the church is similar to many,many other catholics dealing with birth control, divorce remsrriage. ..for beginners.

We are all hypocrites? NOT! lol We are intelligent, committed followers of Jesus trying to "render to God our reasonable/rationsl service" in the Catholic Church.

At the time he became pope Benedict XVI said" There is room in the Church for everyone." He has said that several times. Just holding him to his word. . . ;-)


Gary Kelly said...

I wonder about things like religious and national pride. I suspect it adds to the "us and them" syndrome. John Lennon sang about it in his song "Imagine".

If we were all proud earthlings with a common purpose rather than proud Americans or Aussies or Brits or whatever, would that negate the need for war?

I find it ironic actually that even in a democracy we have two sides in opposition. It's as if humans are destined to be at odds with each other. Us and them.

It's a good thing that I'm the only person on the planet, and that the rest of you are all figments of my imagination.

Coop said...

I agree with Shannon; saying that "most loving, tolerant and compassionate people I have met have been catholic." Justin, you say the same thing, too.

I'm going to repeat myself here and say that I went to confession at 16 as I was approaching Confirmation (which is a Huge deal to Catholics). I revealed my bisexuality (it was at the time) & the priest told me that my feelings were not considered sinful.

There are a million rules and regulations that come along with being Catholic, Justin. Haven't you heard, as I have, that the only way to be a good Catholic is to follow church doctrine exactly as issued by Rome?

However, I wonder, how are we then supposed to build a personal relationship with God? I HATE the fact that I'm supposed to live by one interpretation of what God wants (as read from a book compiled by fallible humans with motives that may not have been Godly.

All the same, I wish religions would leave civil society alone and remember the first amendment. Why should a church (which does not have to sanction Gay marriage for better or worse) stand in the way of what can be a civil act.
Zac Efron and Vanessa (they are engaged I think) can get a valid marriage at City Hall in L.A. and I'm sure the Catholic church is not going to say 'They ain't married because they didn't come before a priest'
Why, then, is the Catholic church trying to prevent me and Josh Beckett from getting married by the town clerk in P-town? (hypothetically speaking... I WISH!!!).

My experience with other Christian faiths has led me to believe that Catholics (and Episcopalians,and a few other denominations do not judge other people as "SINNERS"). Nor do they condone it.

Shannon (and everyone else) you want to see a REAL organized religion pain in the @$$?

Having a priest tell me that my FEELINGS were not sinful was the best thing anyone would say to me about my homosexuality for years to come.