Disclaimer: The following post is decidedly “uncensored.” It is not my intention to offend anyone, so please take it for what it is – my opinion.
Dogma: The Oxford Dictionary defines it as, “A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.” In my personal experience (fifty plus years of living on planet Earth and some truly heinous human experiences of my own), anything laid down by an authority tends to serve the best interests of said “authority.” As a Catholic, I have a love/hate relationship with it, and as a societal misfit, I have minimal tolerance for it at all…especially when it invades the daily lives of innocents…and devastates the lives of their parents, siblings, family, and friends. In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando, I feel compelled to express some of my thoughts about the role religious dogma plays in our society.
I am the proud parent of a member of the LBGT community. I tried to raise my child with the understanding that she was loved, unconditionally, well before she came to terms with her sexuality. In opposition to the dictates of my Catholic faith, I also raised her outside the church, believing that spirituality and faith are only meaningful when one finds them of their own accord. The Church, and most of my fellow Catholics, would consider this a grave sin and an act of terrible parental negligence. While I do not consider myself devout in any way, the fact that anyone could think that I might be negligent in my role as a parent wounds me deeply. My role as a parent means more to me than any other. In my heart, though, I know I did the right thing. I cannot even imagine the pain my daughter might’ve endured, had I raised her in the Church, with a two thousand year-old institution telling her that her sexual preference is a “choice” and that it is “sinful” and “wrong.” Dealing with it, in light of society’s views, was a difficult enough process for her. She certainly didn’t need to contend with the dogma of a religion.
Back in days of early Christianity, it served the Church’s best interest for people to marry and procreate. It created more Christians. So, it stands to reason that a lifestyle that didn’t advance that cause might be discouraged – perhaps quite strongly so. In fact, it’s in the best interest of most organized religions for us to marry and mate. Hell, it used to be in the best interest of humans as a part of the natural world! But, that was back when the continuation of our species depended on it. For Christ’s sake, there are 7.4 billion of us now! Barring some apocalyptic event (which, of course, could happen), we’re NOT going to go extinct, and we’ve simply outgrown that biological directive. Unfortunately, our society and our social institutions have yet to catch up with this fact. They are still operating with beliefs rooted in another time in human history. This is no big deal, right? We can say, “To each his own,” right? Well it’s no big deal…until it is. It’s no big deal until someone is motivated by these beliefs to harm others. It’s no big deal until our children, our brothers, our sisters, our partners, our family members, and our friends are murdered…because of the social construct that is religious dogma. Don’t try to tell me that the founders of any of the world’s major religions would condone this – not Muhammad, not Abraham, not Jesus – NONE of them. This is the result of man’s misinterpretation of a faith’s teachings.
Okay, so, with all that being said, I still consider myself a “believer,” a Christian, and a Catholic. So, I guess that means I, too, have “bought in,” to a degree, to some of that dogma. Look, all I know is that I love my kid. So does God, and I just happen to think a loving God probably places more importance on how we treat each other rather than with whom we choose to share our bed.