Having no difficulty discerning the rule of man versus the role of God I navigate these waters daily with no harm to my esteem or soul. Yet, as you know if you have read me in the past, I have been taking a break from THE CHURCH. This break has not gone well.
I have been a boat adrift.
Lacking a "home" it is too easy to push aside spirituality for the everyday minutia that threatens, as a vine in a Sunnyville summer, to crowd out everything in sight. And having promised myself I would have a definite plan before school begins again I tackled the church. Partly I wanted answers but mostly I wanted to say "HEY! I AM LEAVING BECAUSE YOUR RULES ARE ARCHAIC AND HATEFUL!" Shouldn't someone know/care that the intellectuals from their personal ivory tower are destroying my faith? I called a pastor.
Pastors, let it be known, are not removed. They are the social workers of their faith dealing with the humanity and all the conditions and issues that arise from such work. It was to such a man that I voiced my predicament. We talked for a good while. I made it as clear as possible that I have a moral crisis with a policy of discrimination against homosexuals (among other things). It is wrong. It is hurtful.
I can't reconcile how to be a loving, supportive mother while attending a church with a hurtful policy toward an entire population. The priest far from shunning asked how many people in the church probably take birth control? or live with significant others outside of marriage? These are rules too, he says, yet no one bats an eye or passes judgement. There is no choice to be homosexual he points out, it is decided at birth. It is not wrong, it simply is.
He counseled me to have no fear of the people who disapprove (which I take to mean "THE church" - as I have no problem with people in general but he can't very well talk against his boss can he?) he recounted a glib remark from a friend that "maybe the church should get out of the marriage business altogether", and he went as far as to laughingly say that if anyone says anything "you can always tell them to go to hell."
Having spent my own career in "the trenches" while my policy makers are far removed I choose to see this as hope not hypocrisy. But will my children see it the same? Am I tacitly condoning the proclamations of the red-robed and removed or teaching independent, critical, thinking?
I'm not sure. The spiritual faith of my church is the vehicle by which I most comfortably reach my destination of reflection and communion with the universe and God. I do not attend mass for the policy, nor do I pray to connect with the Pope.