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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 24, 2010

Church's position on gays not right

 •  Jewish culture, for kids


By Susie Roth

EXPRESS YOURSELF

What are your thoughts on faith? Share your ideas and stories with Advertiser readers as an Expressions of Faith guest columnist. For additional information, contact Maureen O'Connell at 535-2475 or moconnell@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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Our parents were Catholics, as were our grandparents and great-grandparents. We attended Catholic schools, including Jesuit colleges. Catholicism is as much our culture and heritage as it is our religion.

From the nuns in grade school to the Jesuits in college, we were taught to do what we knew to be "the right thing," no matter what others might say, and to work diligently for change if we perceived any institution, including the Catholic Church, not to be doing the right thing.

We view the Catholic Church's treatment of gays as seriously counter to the teaching of Jesus Christ. The church's admonition that we love the sinner but reject the sin infers that sexually active gays are morally inferior. That strikes us as patently wrong.

None of the many gays we know claim to have chosen that sexual orientation. Our gay son, for example, laughs at the suggestion that someone would consciously choose to be homosexual. Although he does not view himself as a victim, and we could not be prouder of him, he considers it ludicrous that anyone would think he actually chose to be the subject of rejection, ridicule, condemnation and worse.

Just like his race and the color of his skin, our son's homosexuality was God-given. He could pretend to be heterosexual or asexual, but that would be a lie. It would not be who he is.

When he was still in high school, someone used a sharp object to carve a derogatory word deep into the trunk of our family car. We remember our shock upon first seeing those three large capital letters FAG. It felt like those letters had been carved in our hearts. Of course it angered us, but mostly it made us fearful of what someone might someday do to our son.

Whoever carved those letters had somehow gotten the message that people like our son are inferior beings. Sadly, we view the church's position on homosexuality as one possible source for such a message.

Those who question that conclusion should ask themselves why so many gay Catholics feel abandoned by the church. We believe their feelings of rejection are real and well-founded.