Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Belizean SOLT LGBT Love, by Fr. Scott Guilinni pastor of Divine Mercy and San Pedro Catholic Churches and missions

Posted: 15th July, 2015



To my brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction:

Let us all love one another as compassionate human beings should!

As a member of the proudly diverse community of Belize I want to take this opportunity to reach out to all our brothers and sisters who have same-sex attraction. Whatever your sexuality or gender, I want to make clear that I love you and most importantly any God in whom you have faith, who claims to have created you in His image, loves you too. As we all know, there is a wonderful diversity in creation and surely God did not make a mistake with anyone. I understand the sufferings, confusion and loneliness that many of you experience in silence because of the hurtful words of religious extremists and I want you to know that the unconditional love provided by people who share your struggle will guide you through..Strengthened by those that serve instead of judge and those that promote inclusivity, thousands of men and women with same-sex attraction have experienced freedom and love. The established churches have struggled with radical factions within their ranks for some time, who prefer to create a God in their own image to justify their judgment and bigotry. Please know that if you are one of the thousands of gay, lesbian or transgender people who has been hurt, excluded or bullied, it does get better. Online support and resources for you can be found at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
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Unfortunately, as we all know too well, good information does not always make the headlines and the members and leaders of churches often fall short from the fullness of their chosen gospel. They sometimes even are bullied themselves by extremists and fundamentalists within and outside of their ranks, forcing them to isolate and exclude members of their own community rather than focus on service and humility as they know they should. Experience shows that human weakness, sin and selfishness can arise from anyone’s heart. As we all know, the Ten Commandments say nothing at all about who people can and cannot love; though you are urged not to covet your neighbor’s ass. The power of your chosen God’s grace and mercy in the face of human weakness only strengthens the unbroken teaching that your particular church is guided by and generally it focuses on being a kind person and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. In truth, in our weakness we are strong and we are tempted to think, sometimes obsessively, about the sexual activities of others. The spirit of truth continues to blow and it is this truth, which is that we are all equal on this earth, and that will set you free. A church, as a self proclaimed pillar and foundation of truth for those who rely upon it, is there to accompany you in experiencing the joy of the freedom of a child of your God! Do not be afraid and do not be misled to believe that freedom is only for some but not for others! You do not have to settle for labels that other countries put on you, no matter how hard their religious fundamentalists (some of whom, such as Scott Lively, are currently being prosecuted for ‘crimes against humanity’) throw money around trying to convince you to be unkind to your family, loved ones and neighbors. You do not need to settle for less. You are created for more! Your dignity does not come from your desires but it is rooted in your being created in your God’s image and likeness and as stated previously, no one could suggest that their God makes mistakes. Know your dignity as a child of your own personal God or of no god at all!

You do not have to live your life hidden in shame just because some religious bullies try to force you to. As a child of your personal God, do not be fooled to believe a foreign ideology that exploits cultural tensions as many human traffickers have done before on this island such as pedophiles among priests and missionaries; nor should you accept that participating in drag queen events are necessary for you to know your dignity; because as we all know, those are just great fun. (The well organized and enthusiastically attended event at a community complex demonstrates clearly that we, as a strong and unified community, love and celebrate all of our members. If freedom of expression is curtailed, how will be able to encourage the next generation of artists, musicians and leaders?) There is another way than living a promiscuous lifestyle to come to acceptance and freedom, which is something many religious people have yet to learn even though they attend church on Sundays and try to buy their forgiveness.

The wisdom found in the families of San Pedro is a source of hope and peace for you as brothers and sisters. Beware of empty promises of fulfillment from money making religious organizations that are not looking out for your benefit or respecting you as persons. Opportunists have always used the beauty of San Pedro island for their own benefit, demanding for tithes, but doing little to help the most vulnerable members of our community. A wise grandmother will support you in your weakness and correct you in your faults; however, she will never stop loving you and will only wish that you are truly happy and find true love in your life.

Churches teach that as a person you have an inestimable dignity as a child of your chosen God ; you also have just as much without one. The inclinations you have to judge those who are different to yourselves do not define your identity since you are more than your inclinations and feelings. One of the ways you can become a better person is to deny yourself the urge to think you are better and to judge others, but rather to focus on making yourself a kinder and more loving person. Some churches support you and pray for you in your noble pursuit of holiness and love, while others will condemn and judge you for it. They might even expect you to silently suffer detraction and slander from their children with patience. To do so, would not be love. To say that love is a sin is always a lie that leads to selfishness even if it is done in private. But, if you must say it, it’s definitely best done only in private. Do not impose it upon others.

For a family to remain together it must have the kind of love that is able to sacrifice for the other. Selfishness always leads to division and we should all work to bring unity. In our days, unity is not easy for anyone but it is worth the sacrifice. By persevering in a life of virtue and self control you can stop yourself from insulting, hurting or patronizing those who are different to yourself. You can have the grace to love and to appreciate love among others. You can be fulfilled and be accepted by your family and community. Some churches hope to accompany you on this pilgrimage of faith and love, while others do not.

Love always wins. With Holy water behind on the Island of San Pedro




A friend in humanity who understands,


Caution: This is satire, and not meant to be taken seriously, except for the priest who thinks holy water on the street is useful



http://www.ambergristoday.com/content/letters-editor/2015/july/15/catholic-church-welcomes-all-persons-same-sex-attraction#.VaaF1ISy9U0.facebook
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