The popular assumption is that one either inherits a religious institution or else joins because one is familiar with and agrees with its religious ideologies. Not necessarily
Time will tell whether the pope's recent statement on the topic of gay people will usher in a revolution, or whether the status quo will remain, but this pope has thus far demonstrated himself to be a true leader whom I and many others can and should respect.
I know I'm not going to go to a gay wedding in a Catholic church anytime soon, and I know I'm not always going to agree with what the leaders of the Catholic Church have to say, but my time at Loyola affirmed for me that people of faith have more things in common than differences.
My college has appointed James Tengatenga, the diocesan bishop of southern Malawi, to a leadership position as "the moral spokesperson of the College." However, it is clear that the welfare of LGBT people is not a view that he holds.
The recent comment by Pope Francis on not judging gay persons should not come as a surprise to any Christian. Even Fundamental Christians make it clear that sin is sin and this is certainly not a new concept to Catholicism
I cannot consider the pope's words a step forward for the LGBT community as long as loving the person whom God intended for each of us to love is still seen by the Catholic Church as "sinful."
If more Christians can speak out the way Pope Francis and Archbishop Tutu have this week and so many have been in recent memory -- it will change the way people view Jesus and the faith that he inspires in so many of us.
This was a day that I could never have imagined as an adolescent, when I struggled to reconcile my sexuality with religious teachings. This was a day to pause and appreciate how blessed I am now to be part of a church that affirms my full participation.
Jesus may not have spoken directly about homosexuality, but Paul did, we are assured. However, this passage is not about condemning homosexuality, but about condemning those who condemn others.
I'm looking to be a good person. In order to repair what has been done to me, I need to start within and look at where I'm going blind. That's been the hardest part of all of this -- because what I miss most about the religion I grew up in was the tenet to love thy neighbour as thyself.
What if the supposed biblical prohibition of gay sex in Leviticus were in reality an affirmation of honest and loving sexual relationships?
Rob and I know many Christian gay couples who are thriving both in their walks with God and in their relationships. We see the fruit of the spirit all over their lives! Really, it is between God and them... not our business. We don't secretly think they are in sin.
It is difficult to stereotype. Individual congregations, not denominations, ultimately decide how they will respond to gay and lesbian worshippers.
Thousands of dynamic, unsung heroes of the cause are stepping forward and challenging the status quo. They are straight men and women, gays and lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals alike, and while their message is unified, their methodology is innovative and unique.
Why does the religious community teach hate and prejudice to the homosexual and Muslim communities? I love the Jesus that hates religion. I love the Christian that loves Jesus and lives by his teachings. Religion has become manmade and has shoved God's purpose into the dark.
While it is important to support my own communities when they are discriminated against, it is important for all of us to address oppression itself. Violence and sexism in our culture are not just issues for women, and the experiences of racism are not just issues for people of color.