Am i lucky? Or privileged? Or simply middle-aged and therefore, as far as the church authorities are concerned, quite beyond posing provocation – or temptation – to the established moral order?
I ask because i am saddened, at this time of year, to see the various postings in my timeline from those who are LGBT and beyond, and still aspire to practise as members of the christian faith.
A common query: does anyone know of a church that is accepting/non-discriminatory in this respect?
That’s odd. For in my own experience, the greatest obstacle to participating in the catholic church both during and since transition has been my own fear of non-acceptance. The reality, on the ground, has been nothing less than near universal tolerance, both from the various congregations i have worshipped with, as well as from representatives of the church hierarchy, with whom i have discussed my decisions from time to time.
Of course, i am very aware that this can only ever describe my personal experience, which is, in turn, defined as UK and catholic. I can’t talk about other denominations…let alone other faiths within the Abrahamic tradition (Jujdaism and Islam). Others, elsewhere, may be having a much thinner time of it than i.
Still, i wonder. Certainly, i can see difficulties if one sets out to challenge doctrinal basics. Attempting to insist on a same sex marriage in almost any christian church is still going to be problematic: and i doubt i’ll be gracing the Westboro Baptist Church with my presence any time soon.
But are there real issues about simple participation – and if so, where?
I ask in open curiosity, hoping that those who have had good experiences will post as well as those who have had bad. Over time, we may even have the beginnings of a list of good and bad places of worship and, if nothing else, a few suggestions for places where people may, in future, go at this time of year.
A merry xmas…and a happy new year to one and all.