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The Pope, Lingering Intolerance & Some Books I Wish He Would Read

The Catholic Church lead by Pope Benedict XVI continues to spew out homophobic teachings as he (a man disconnected by at least 5 generations) called me “unnatural.” As the Pope ironically celebrated his pagan holiday by lighting a Christmas tree, he also used the stage as an opportunity to tell women what they could and couldn’t do with their bodies, and to tell the LGBTQ community what the boundaries of love are.

The Pope said:

“There is…a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union. Such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society. These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity.”

I like to believe that most intolerance is rooted not in factually informed hate, but actually in ignorance; and I’ve discovered for myself that ignorance is best defeated by knowledge, not further intolerance. On that note, I won’t rebuke you for your views. I’ll merely direct you to some of the resources that have had the most profound impact on how I’ve grown to accept myself. Please take a moment to go to the websites and read through some of the information that I have used to better understand and accept myself.

(1) A thorough and intelligent collection of links, my favorite being to his book “What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage,” brought together by the brilliant David G. Myers,: http://www.davidmyers.org/Brix?pageID=16

(2)“For the Bible Tells Me So” is one of the most important films in my life, and I humbly request that any fellow Christ-follower who wishes to use the Bible against me would do their best to see it: http://www.forthebibletellsmeso.org.

(3)And finally, one of the most important aspects of destroying homophobia is recognizing that nothing about being gay is chosen (maybe if “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness ” {Exodus 20:16} weren’t actually one of the Ten Commandments, I would be able to see choosing to fake “straight” as more morally defensible than living as an honest gay man.) This short clip from “For the Bible Tells Me So” presents the current scientific understanding of homosexuality in a brief, humorous manner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKExZKfgx9s&feature=related