My partner and I watch a lot of television. And when I say “a lot” – I mean going two days without watching our shows means our DVR is filled to maximum capacity. Anyway, one of the shows we watch is called The New Normal on NBC. It’s a great show surrounding a gay couple who, through a surrogate, is going to have a baby. If you haven’t caught this show yet, try it out.
This past weeks episode really got me thinking. The couple decided they needed to find godparents for their child. They didn’t have the spiritual confidence in themselves, so they decided finding a godparent would be the best option. This, of course, brought up the matter of church and spirituality.
Church has been a hot topic for me recently, as my faith became more of questioning God and His “plan” for my life. I questioned why God would let everything in my life happen the way it did. I wondered why God would put me with two individuals as parents whose love is obviously completely conditional. And I wondered why God would let a people stand up in front of people every Sunday, professing to live a life like Christ, when outside of the church, their actions and demeanor showed anything but.
The following is an excerpt from the show, where one of the men went to a Catholic church and spoke with a priest. When he asked if the church would ever change (after being told by the priest that they accept gay people), the priest responded in this way:
“I’ve seen gay people battle discrimination and march for marriage equality. They demanded the right to fight for their country, but for their souls? Nope. They just give up and walk away. Jesus was a fighter, son. How about you?”
From that moment on, the show was not a comedy to me. It became a challenge. My life as a gay man has not changed my faith or my belief of who Jesus is. What it has changed, however, is my faith in other people – the so-called Christians – and my desire to be part of a congregation, in general. It’s not the spirituality that I’ve turned from – it’s the fellowship and the “cliques” in the church that have deterred me from wanting to become active again. Those, simply, are the parts that tear people down and cast the ungodly judgments on others who don’t fit their specific mold.
So, then, how can I accept this challenge of fighting when the battlefield is someplace I avoid? That’s a damn good question. I’ve toyed with the thought of going back to a church, though I haven’t decided where. I’ve also toyed with conjuring up my big gay group of friends and all going to my sperm donor’s church one morning, just to see how he’d react. But I haven’t – because I’m nice.
Regardless, this feeling of hope for change is not going to go away – and I don’t want it to. I want to see these changes take place in my lifetime. I want to see churches become accepting of everyone – not just those they deem appropriate. I want to see the true love of God displayed instead of the love others have made up and committed as biblical. How does this process start? I have no idea.
But at least I’m finally up for the challenge…