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Exit, don’t enable the Roman Catholic Church

Friday, June 22, 2012

If there is one thing that irks me, it is having the Roman Catholic Church preach to me about sexual morality.

It is a religious sect led by a virulently homophobic Pope that goes out of its way to trash my family. Yet, my family hasn’t spent a cent defending itself against nonexistent charges of child rape, while the Vatican has spent $2.5 billion on legal fees, prevention programs, and settlements relating to the sexual abuse of minors.

Exactly why should I listen to what these “holy” men have to say?

I’ve been out of the closet for twenty-four years, during which time I worked in the center of the LGBT movement, but can’t think of a single friend or colleague arrested for child molestation. None of the people I associate with have shielded, shuffled, or offered severance packages to pedophiles to protect the institutions that they work for.

But such obscene behavior is precisely what the Vatican did, all the while turning my loved ones into scapegoats to obscure their criminality.

The latest preoccupation of the Catholic Church, as well as their brethren in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community, is fiercely lobbying state legislatures to not change the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.

“Even when you have the institution admitting they knew about the abuse, the perpetrator admitting that he did it, and corroborating evidence, if the statute of limitations has expired, there won’t be any justice,” Marci Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cordozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, explained to the New York Times.

It seems the hierarchy is only interested in saving its own skin, instead of paying a price for those whose skin it violated. For a church built on a human sacrifice, there is scant evidence of noble virtues as the church lies and litigates against its victims.

Which brings us to a burning question: Why do liberal Catholics continue to support an intolerant, homophobic, misogynistic institution capable of covering up heinous crimes against children?

Click image to expand.

I’m not the only one asking this pertinent question.

On June 1, the Freedom From Religion Foundation placed a full-page ad in USA Today headlined, “It’s Time to Quit The Catholic Church.”

According to the ad: “If you think you can change the church from within – get it to lighten up on birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research – you’re deluding yourself. By remaining a ‘good Catholic,’ you are doing ‘bad’ to women’s rights. You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.”

The New York Times columnist Bill Keller also urged moderate Catholics to find a new church: “Much as I wish I could encourage the discontented, the Catholics of open minds and open hearts, to stay put and fight the good fight, this is a lost cause…Summon your fortitude, and just go. If you are not getting the spiritual sustenance you need, if you are uneasy being part of an institution out of step with your conscience — then go.”

It does seem as if diehard liberal and moderate Catholics are not fighting so much as being beaten to a pulp by ideologues. If this were a boxing match, it would have been stopped many rounds ago.

Indeed, attacks from the right have become so extreme that the Church is even going after American nuns. If nuns aren’t Catholic enough for these fanatics, liberal Catholics sure aren’t going to be embraced any time soon.

This whole debate reminds me of when gay people from conservative backgrounds complain to me that they can’t come out because of the environment in which they were raised.

One says, “I grew up in a traditional Chinese household, so I can’t tell my parents.” While another person says, “I grew up in a Pentecostal family, so I can’t tell anyone.” And yet another proclaims, “You wouldn’t understand, it’s not that easy coming out because my parents are from a rural area.”

Everybody has an excuse or explanation, and, no, it’s never easy to come out – but at the same time, it really is a simple process. Saying “I’m gay” works like a charm every time and frees a person to be their authentic self.

Similarly, it may be incredibly difficult to leave the Catholic Church. But, it is also as easy as going to a computer search engine and typing “church” or speaking into your iPhone, “Siri, find me a church.”

Within moments dozens of alternatives will pop up – many of which are more concerned with spirituality than the statute of limitations.

Are you tired of being treated like an abused dog by the Catholic Church? Then drop the dogma and quit. After all, they quit you, your family, and your moderate belief system a long time ago. Exit, don’t enable.

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

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27 more reader comments:

  1. I fart in their general direction

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:21pm
  2. i don’t trust any of them.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:22pm
  3. They will protect their own when it comes to some priest diddling the butthole of a small boy, but god forbid two adults of the same sex in a loving, committed relationship existing. Catholics may have awesome tacky Virgin Mary statues, but their principals and views are disgusting.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:24pm
  4. I am a catholic and I’m gay. I choose to go to mass and sit in the front and will continue to do so until I am recognized by the church. Believe it or not we do have allies within the clergy. It will just be a matter of time.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:27pm
  5. I agree with you ^ 100%

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:27pm
  6. its amazing they’re interested in the way i live my life since im over the age of six and not kneeling in front of him…

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:27pm
  7. oh…

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:27pm
  8. Agreed. Try getting excommunicated. I’ve tried twice with no luck. It’s a sad religion that uses fear, hate, horror and fear (worth repeating) to motivated & brainwash it’s parishioners….

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:29pm
  9. To Greg, you can actually ask to leave the church, you have to write your bishop. They call it defecting, I told them they committed fraud when they said their religion was about love, therefore any contract I had with them is null and void. It will probably take a couple of letters to complete.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:34pm
  10. Monoliths like the Catholic Church & virtually all religions have used the tactics like Greg mentioned above to try & scare the shit out of people. I was raised Catholic and didn’t like it or believe what they said.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:36pm
  11. technically once you’re “in” you can’t get out. but you can “passively self-excommunicate” by simply not adhering to everything you’re supposed to believe/do. which i’d bet is most catholics anyway, and they don’t even know that Big Church considers them excommunicated.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:40pm
  12. THANK YOU!!

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:43pm
  13. Better to break your heart and leave now than to wait another decade or three for things to change. The church is up to its neck in politics. They have a crapton of cash from donations AND from all those government contracts for services. The only way to make an impact is to take away their money. No more donations from parishioners or businesses, and no more gvmt contracts for services. The sooner their money is gone the sooner they will go away.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:46pm
  14. I laugh at this attempt by the Catholic Church to lecture ANYONE on morals or sexuality. The Catholic Church is incapable of being a moral compass.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 3:48pm
  15. the church plays HIDE the sasauge with little boys THEN hide the pedophile and THEY preach morals!!!!

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 4:02pm
  16. It frightens me to think these ignorant people are so involved in the politics of our country. They say the gay community is destroying the sanctity of marriage… Shall we ask them how many divorces, abuses, child abandonment and pure careless maneuvers the straight community has done? Mind you, I have nothing against straights but for people like that, so close minded and judge mental of people who love one another even if they are of the same sex… What should they care? Stay out of our lives and give us the chance at happiness. Give us the same equality and security and freedom as they have. We are human one and the same, no different from one another. But the difference between us and them, we love ourselves and they are busy hating inside, ripping themselves apart.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 4:12pm
  17. I am a Transgendered Woman who identifies as a Lesbian. I have never even looked at child the wrong way. I never have and never will have to spend a dime on legal fees because of this problem. On the other hand, I was never a member of the Hitler Jugend, either. Are the Pope’s hands clean?

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 4:47pm
  18. The U.S. populsationi is hooked on these hypocrtes,

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 4:54pm
  19. The Catholic Church is not different than street thugs. If you are not with them or go against what they want of you they will do what ever to destroy you. What is sad it they don’t care how much they spend to do it and they don’t care who they hurt while in the process. They don’t want people sticking there nose in there business and they do everything the hide the truth form everyone else. They are a group of street thugs!!!! They also seem to have followers leaving in number and it is not slowing down. They just don’t want to take a hint to start a change.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 5:16pm
  20. Left the Catholic Church in 2009. It was one of the best things I ever did. Found a new home in the affirming and loving Episcopal Church. Have never been happier.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 6:19pm
  21. The Pope’s mother smells of elderberries.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 8:24pm
  22. he’s a old dirty bastard.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 8:51pm
  23. the Catholics are morbid

    Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 12:20pm
  24. This kind of blanket condemnation reveals little more than ignorance. You can’t criticize what you don’t understand. Disagree with Rome or the Church, but make some attempt to understand what it is.

    Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 12:30pm
  25. No less than 4 popes habr died committing some form of sexual activity. Hypocritical bastards. All of them.

    Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 1:48pm
  26. its not just catholics… but any of them that preach morality..then the married preach is boinkin the married secretary ,goin to a brothel, or just droppin trou ..gambling with church money or preachin god tells u to love one another then turns around and tells someone to turn their back on their gay child…

    Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 1:57pm
  27. They have no credbility how can a pedifile tell me what to do…….I. think not! !!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 3:57pm