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Is Being Gay and Catholic a Sin?

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Is Being Gay and Catholic a Sin?
© Vivek Chugh

"Bible texts do not address adult, loving homosexual relations as we understand them today,” says Daniel A. Helminiak, the author of What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality. Yet, many people of faith still hold true to the ideals that loving same-sex people and their relationships are something to be shamed—a sin.

Here is one reader’s struggle with being gay and Catholic:

Dear Ramon,

I think I'm gay. Nobody knows, just me. I'm really Catholic, too. I believe in God and I love him so much!

I don't know if being gay is a sin or something like that. I can't find direct answers to my big question. And I don't know what to do or think. I don't think I'm a bad person, I just like men, that's all. Is that bad?

I really need to know if being gay is really against God. This is stressful because I can't say this to anyone or ask it to anyone. Please help me.

There's another thing... I really love my best friend, but I don't know if he is gay. What should I do?


Dear Devout,

The other day I decided to take a break to watch Mythbusters, one of my most DVR'd shows. Each episode, hosts Adam and Jamie and their team turn physics into fun by proving or disproving common urban legends and household myths. Can an alligator really travel up a toilet? Can ninjas run on water? Will your stomach explode if you eat Mentos and Diet Coke? The myths are endless and so are the old wives tales to which we model our habits.

I watch with nerdy fascination as they blow things up and crush other things. I usually believe the scientific explanations given by Adam, Jamie and the other uber-geeks. But for some reason there was one myth-buster I had a difficult time believing. It was the legend that bullets that fly in the air can kill people on their way back down to Earth.

No matter how many times Adam and Jamie proved that the impact of a bullet coming back down to Earth after being shot straight in the air is not fatal, I shook my head in disbelief. I've never experienced a gun shot, neither have I met a person who has been injured by a descending bullet. Yet, I still found it hard to believe Adam and Jamie. I believed every other mythbuster they presented. Why not this one?

After probably too much thought, I realized that the reason why I refused to believe was because I fear gun and bullets. So no matter what proof was presented to me, my natural instinct was to gravitate towards what has always been ingrained in my head: Guns are bad and bullets kill. I had no proof, just fear. And that fear taught me to hold on to what I've always been told, without question.

I'm not advocating for guns or the fun of physics; I'm showing you how easily we can revert back to what we've always been taught when a topic becomes too sensitive or causes great pain. This often happens when one is dealing with being gay and religious.

I'm sure you've heard it all, especially being as devout as you are: Gay people are going to hell; homosexuality is an abomination; God hates gays... The list of sins and the interpretations are endless and so is your confusion.

As I learned, seeing is not always believing; and believing is definitely not always seeing.

I don't believe God would put you on this Earth to be an "abomination." Being gay is not bad; it's who you are—a loving creation of God. I won't lie, there are many people in your faith that will try and convince you otherwise. All I can urge is that you trust yourself, your own feelings and your own relationship with God.

Don't get caught in the religious hype that preaches of a hateful deity or a list of sins with no practical relevance. Bust the myth and trust in your own proof: Your love for God and his love for you.

There is an organization called Dignity, comprised of LGBT Catholics. They talk about what it means to be Catholic and gay and how you can live a life of celebration instead of shame.

Oh yes, and as far as your best friend in concerned: Read my response to another guy attracted to his best friend.

-Ramon
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