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    Raised Catholic, currently questioning

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  1. I believe in the power of family, but I also believe that there are deeper roots to this problem, as others have mentioned. I have met children of homosexual couples that turned out just fine, and heterosexual for that matter. I also know the difference of how important it is to have a father and mother figure. I grew up in a house where my father wasn't around that much, and my grandfather took over a lot before he died, and taught me all I needed to know about being a man in this world. Boys need their fathers to teach them how to be men, just as much as they need a mother to teach them how to respect women, or vice versa. This the ultimate root of the problem, but if there are so many orphans, and/or foster children that need homes, I don't think it would be an issue if a gay couple adopted if they provided a loving environment. It wouldn't be ideal, on the "role" side of things, but it would be more stable than having no one at all. How many of our family situations have truly been "ideal," and 1950s Nuclear? If you say yes, you are either a very lucky lad or lass, or lying to yourself. My mother has not been the best mother. My dad is a selfish man as well, but they did the best they could for the time. They loved me in their own way. I resent them from time to time, but it truly was never perfection. I still try to love my parents, because you don't choose who they are, and you only get one family. You can try to find a replacement, but there really is no place like home. The thing is, you just need someone to raise you, period. It won't be ideal, but we all need someone to be there and teach us what they have learned through life to help us get through it. The families that say they have no problems are the ones that have bigger rugs to push them under.
  2. Interesting thought. I had to read that double negative a few times to get what you're saying, but I do. I've accepted the fact (this is not involving a, or the church), that no matter where you go, even if you see someone else's opinion as their own opinion, instead of being offended at what they believe and feel it is persecution, there will always be fear of something that is different. This exists not just in one place, but in all places. Humans are humans, and might go about things differently, and live by a different creed, but it can be scary. I have a feeling that even if I led an absolute celibate life and still identified as a homosexual, there would still be people afraid of that word, even if I was the poster-child for righteousness. This isn't just a singular issue, there are people afraid of different races, cultures, etc. We all have irrational fears that don't really make sense, but we have to move past it. I wouldn't see it as persecution, quite frankly. As I believe in the separation of church and state, I believe a church or faith can exclude or include anyone they may please. I see churches as private organizations, no matter how widespread, that have the right to work with its members -- within the law of the land-- to shape their own community from within. People choose to join a religion (I hope at least), therefore subject themselves to the beliefs of that certain religion. Although I do believe in gay marriage and unions of the state level, I think it would be breaching rights to force every single church of every single faith whether they are okay with gay marriage or not, to force them to marry homosexuals. That is, if I joined a church that opposed homosexual acts, I can't blame the response I would get if I publicized it constantly. I find my ramblings on this forum a bit different, because I am exploring this religion and asking questions. If I lived in a state where all barefoot people can enter a storefront, you can't say I'm persecuting you if I clearly label MY private business with a sign outside that says "No shirts, no shoes, no service." That is the choice of my private place of business, and as a church would be, is under the private possession of its members in a way. Please note that I mean, within reason. A church that sacrifices other human beings would be under the jurisdiction of the law, but that is on the extremist level. We could go deeper into the legalities, but I'm no lawyer, and I believe I am getting my point across.
  3. I understand you are coming from. To Jimmi, I apologize for my grammar. It has never been my strong suit, and it is something I am striving to improve to get my message forward. You are correct, the point I have is not very strong, and I should have elaborated. The pen is a mighty tool, and I am still learning how to wield it properly. Also to Jimmi, I would choose not to argue this specific realm of homosexuality in sins on this thread. I don't personally believe I can change my orientation. I don't see my actions as sinful, but that is singular to my own belief and free will. I believe what I was trying to stress is that is what I believe in my own, singular mind. Although everyone has a guide of some kind of belief system, or anti-belief system, we all develop personal convictions on certain topics. I don't persecute others who believe the opposite of me. It's the greatest ability that God has given us to think for ourselves and make our own conscious decisions. I have so many layers and multitudes outside the trait of homosexuality that most of the time, I hardly acknowledge it. It is a fact of life for me, and one fact that I live with, and don't dwell on. I come here searching for answers of my path of faith, but I see my homosexuality as something I would not like to discuss. Not everything is set in stone, and I believe in fluidity. People change, things change, everything changes with the leaves for the most part. Maybe I don't see what my sin is, but I am content with who I am beyond that. I am still working on myself, as we all are. I choose not to discuss my sexuality, in depth, because we are so much more than one act, sin, or trait. If anyone happens to message me personally, or comment on this thread, I would rather not discuss the validity of my view on my homosexuality.
  4. something that makes me quite angry these days, is the constant gridlock of the GOP, and the Democratic party. As a History major who minors in Political Thought, this is nothing new since the days of our fathers' fathers. What angers me the most in this day and age, is the taking advantage of certain causes, and straying from classic morals to new trends that the parties are taking. I feel they are almost taking advantage of the American people by making them believe for ages that we can only go both ways, and watch them arguing like buffoons in Parliament. Here is how my frustration has broken down: -the core values of the Republican party are small government, personal liberty, and various libertarian views upon that it was based upon. Ironically enough, the Republican party has hosted sects of members that WANT to have a say on personal liberties, even though both parties should stay out of it. As a Libertarian, I believe the government should not even have a say, period, on marriage, and should be dictated by the people. Yes, I am gay, but I don't think its right that many of these states didn't vote on the topic of gay marriage. I am totally happy with getting married in Massachusetts. Why make those boring states down in the south conform? No fried-chicken honeymoon for me Joking aside, I find the Democratic party to blame as well. While the Republicans have been straying farther from their morals, Democrats stand strong on national government control, and are enforcing it now than ever. With the Democratic party of the past stressing socialist ideals, they now put on the face of "equality." Equality, privilege, and health are the brand they endorse, but are simply a mask hidden by lobbyists to gain the minority vote. The Democrats are constantly praised on how progressive they are, but it took them 100 years to even get to the point of where the Republicans and Libertarians stressed the original importance of personal liberty and freedom. The Democratic party is using this equality front to gain the votes of the blacks, gays, latinos, and repressed minorities to give them hope for a better future, but are continuing our gridlock by taking away the rights of other individuals. These minorities on the extremist side constantly preach that the minority cannot turn into the oppressor, but you can just look at the Bolshevik's influence on Russia's working class to know that is indeed very wrong. These two transgressions have created the gridlock that has spanned hundreds of years since the birth of the terms "Anti-Federalist," and "Federalist." Regardless of your political views, how do you feel about the American party system, and its current situation?
  5. As a naive, young, college student, one of my biggest things I want to accomplish is travel. Although I have been all around the world, my aunt inspired me with an offhand comment -- "instead of world travel, I'd like to take a cross-country trip, because there's so much to see in just America itself." One of the cities i've always wanted to put on my list is Salt Lake City, Utah. Although I have been all over the east coast, and consider myself a New England kid, the West Coast outside of my current state of Arizona is a huge mystery to me. Much of my friends, LDS and non-LDS, have encouraged me to get a few peeps and mob down to SLC. I've done a little bit of research through friends, and the internet, and it sounds like a really popping place. Although Utah is known for its large LDS majority, I have heard that SLC is a huge place of diversity, culture, and lots of things to do. I always identify myself as a city kid at heart, and I love cities with its own "thing" going for them. What are your opinions of Salt Lake City? All input from both non-Utahnians and SLC/Utah residents welcome.
  6. I guess you can say this is my dilemma in searching for my true faith. There are so many churches out there that want to "heal" me, to become better. Although there are many of my homosexual brothers and sisters that believe you are stuck the way you are stuck the way you are stuck, I believe in fluidity. Who knows, maybe I will fancy a woman someday, but at the moment, I can't see it happening. I try to keep my mind open to all theories. The point is, I want to feel comfortable in a faith where my homosexuality is not an issue. Whether it is a church that recognizes same-sex attraction and the action a sin, or just the acting upon a sin, I don't want a church where my partner and I will be judged. I can live going to church and not holding hands or acting upon it in public. I see that goes both ways for hetero and homosexual couples. You don't want to be immodest and just plain gross in public with others around. Even if I am comfortable with a church that deems the acts as a sin, I want to find a faith where my homosexuality will not be a constant touching-point. I am aware I am a sinner, for we are all sinners. Although homosexual acts are a sin, can I still be happy in a faith where I want to improve myself, without living a life of celibacy? Celibacy for me is not just restraining from sexual acts, but being happy with someone else. I want to know what lifelong love and family feels like. I want to raise children and send them off with everything I learned. These wants transcend perceived sexuality, for we all wish to be loved by another human being. I just wish I could include my want to love and be loved by another man, improve myself in faith and body, yet also not be looked on for what others see as that sin in their faith. Also on the topic of my username, that is pretty clever. Although I am a homosexual, I dress like any other guy, listen to some good old rock and roll, and don't exhibit perceived feminine traits (aside from looking up to strong female "divas" like Tina Turner, Kate Bush, and Madonna when I was younger, of course, but that was a while ago).
  7. I was raised predominantly by my grandparents in the TV shows I watched, and many of them were older programs, like The Jeffersons, the Carol Burnett Show, and other classic sitcoms. Although some of these shows might not be laugh-out-loud funny to my generation, I highly encourage you to show your kids them sometimes. While all of them have a certain level of cleanliness on terms of humor, and language, they will also provide your child with understanding different types of humor, and being able to laugh at different things than the ridiculously stupid stuff they show on television these days. Those things should not be discarded of course, but it's good to expose your kids to make them well-rounded, more sharp, and be able to look back and forward. This doesn't mean you should show your kid 100% old television, but including these into your routine will give your kid the opportunity to grow. The television, especially in realms of comedy, are in important tool in today's society, for the shows we watch somewhat influence what we laugh at, how we see the human race, and otherwise.
  8. Thank you everyone for the post. I do plan on staying on this forum longer than my two current posts, and hope to learn a lot. If I am inclined to eventually convert after soul searching, I understand some of my views are contradictory to the doctrine. That does not mean my views can change. Although I like to think of myself as someone who not only questions certain things, but everything, that does not mean my view cannot change. I am dedicated to my points of view, but I am always open to new ones, which is why I have been doing some soul searching. As mentioned above, there was a sense of urgency. Two reasons for that include that it was 4 AM, and, I do not know why I was up, but I was the other reason is that I am naturally impatient when it comes to improving myself, but I also understand that becoming a good person, or working on anything in general, takes time, and patience is something I am constantly working on. I am searching out the LDS faith simply because I am open to change my ideals, or discover new ones that go hand in hand. One clarification that I'd like to make, is that I do not plan on making my homosexuality a focal point in my search. Although I have mentioned it various times, and included it in my username, I mainly include it to expand your range of advice you folks have to give me, since sometimes being a homosexual in both popular culture, different religious culture, and otherwise are sometimes a contradictory. Whether you believe it is inherited or not, I believe my homosexuality is a part of me, and something I cannot change. Therefore, I want to work on my inner person, behind that label. You are correct, Paul, I did oversee that fact. I could have forgiven that priest, and I have. He is a human being such as I. As I stated, I wrote this post in the very early hours, and my grammar and consistency might have been a little off. My experience in the Catholic church is simply mine, and there are many who have found happiness within it, but the churches, schools, and things I have experienced are unique to my story, in certain ways of course. I think the fear that comes from losing myself isn't so much in the things like drinking coffee; I'd like to say that I can very easily quit coffee. I have done it before, and as my schedule gets busier, and though it is addicting, I go weeks without it, until I decide to treat myself. My fear of losing myself stems from what I saw the LDS culture, and other religions, as producing one singular type of person that differs from no other. This fear changed, as I realized that being a certain doctrine won't change your personality. Of course you will have to change your actions, which might be harder or easier depending on your personality, but many of your responses comfort me in knowing that I will still be the same human being. Albeit a better one, who makes better decisions, but I am who I am, and have the personality I was born with. Thank you everyone for your carefully crafted responses, I really enjoy reading them!
  9. Thank you guys for the welcome. I also appreciate your input, Paul. Quite frankly, I don't see my homosexuality itself as a sin, nor its actions of me loving someone else. You could argue many different religions' standpoints on the issue, but I go with my personal doctrine on that matter. I simply use the word sin, because many cultures do see it as such, and I use that language to create a bridge between my own beliefs, and someone else's.
  10. Hi there! I'm an ASU student currently looking for solace in a faith I can call my own. I posted in the advice section, but did not yet introduce myself. Although I am homosexual, unlike a lot of my brothers, I know that God loves me regardless of sin, and I want to find my place in this world. I have come to this site to investigate a little bit of the LDS faith, and see if it's the right path for me. I guess you can say my username is a little cheeky of sorts, most of you will notice I have a quick tongue. But fear not, it's all in good jest and I have no mal-intent toward anyone.
  11. To start off my story, I'd like to give myself a brief introduction of my background. Through birth, baptism, and up until today, I have been a member of the Catholic Church. As I was a baby, I did not get a choice in my baptism, and was forced to attend a Catholic school for 9 years, until I reached a public school. At the age of 15, I realized I was a homosexual. Regardless of what you believe is the source of homosexuality, I am not seeking solace in that, but simply my faith. All my life, I grew up in a small Connecticut town where Catholicism reigned, until I moved to the town of Gilbert, Arizona, which has a large LDS population. As I got older, and Pope Benedict's sermons and edicts became more archaic in its messages, my parents and I fell out of place with the church. At 14, all boys and girls are supposed to receive their confirmation into the church, but I did not, and as time went on, my ignoring of that Catholic sacrament meant something deeper. Our new church in Arizona was very different than the one I had experienced in Connecticut. While my church in my hometown was the center of all our activities, friends, colleagues, and culture, this new church was comprised of "Holiday Catholics," whom I didn't share a bond, and didn't feel I needed to. The congregation did not only seem disinterested, but my own clergy at this new church seemed very out of touch with reality as well. Fast forward to today: I am 19 years old, in college at Arizona State University, and at a dilemma. My parents have left the church, with the breaking point being my grandmother and I hearing a very hateful sermon about homosexuality, attacking the individual, not the sin. This really hurt me, since this was the church (as a whole) I had grown up all my life. My grandma and I, the last of our family hanging on to the church, finally left. As I sit here at my dark computer at 4 AM, one thing is true, I do not question my homosexuality, but I do question my faith. All throughout my life, my passion has been history, and I quickly became a history major when I enrolled at ASU, changing from the sciences. When I first discovered the atrocities of the Catholic Church throughout thousands of years up until today, I was horrified. These weren't just accusations that had no foundation, but written proof and receipts of "indulgences" (upper class people paying priests in the Middle Ages to reach salvation faster), to Popes and Saints having harems of live-in whores. This was my inner breaking point as I realized that the church I thought was infallible indeed was not. When I would question a priest on my findings, they would simply shoo me away, as if I had brought out a skeleton in the closet. With my loss of faith, I almost feel scared in a battle of my own culture, homosexual culture, and popular culture. While I do question many things, and want to see myself as an intellectual someday, there are a few things I believe in my heart that are true: -I believe in the holy trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit -I recognize the King James Bible, although containing certain historical inconsistencies, as the most factual, relevant, and correct version of the bible -God is infallible, but man and man's own creations have flaws -Although I am a firm believer in science, the power of man, and free will, I do know there is someone called God up there. I have studied religion, from religion, trying to find my niche, and I feel like I can't find a match for my beliefs. There are so many denominations calling themselves the "true" church, but I just don't buy it, to put it plainly. I want to reach the afterlife someday, but I want to make sure I'm joining the right side. Quite frankly, I do not believe being a Catholic is being on the right side. Looking back, my experience in Catholicism was full of hate, and a lot of brainwashing. You sit in a pew while you recite prayers you learn from birth, over and over again, almost to the point where you feel numb. The Catholic Church is based on the collective, not the individual relationship with God. In my religion, you are encouraged to use the priest as a medium, for you, as an individual, are not strong enough. I do not agree with this. This brings me to the point of how I stumbled into the LDS Church. As a homosexual living in an LDS town, most of my boyfriends have been both inactive and claimed-to-be-active members of your church. When I tell people this, this almost makes them gasp, because many LDS folk I have talked to in my area scratch their head at the fact of a homosexual active member -- but trust me -- they are out there. And to no surprise, with their fine morals and beliefs, happened to be some of the most clean gentlemen I have ever met. I guess I just happened to meet the right guys. One thing that has attracted me to the LDS church is the focus on family. Growing up, my family life slowly unthreaded itself as my mom found new hobbies, my dad, who was never around to begin with, found himself, and my brother and I were left to their own devices. I sometimes looked at my boyfriends' families and wish I had that bond with my own. Although some of their families had different reactions to them having a boyfriend, most of them gladly welcomed me into the fold, and accepted their son regardless of what they thought was his sin. Another attraction I had to the LDS church, was its focus on your personal relationship with God. Growing up, our church always emphasized how you must go through someone else to get to God. I always thought it was silly how God and Jesus needed their own earthly secretaries,and we couldn't properly be forgiven of our sins or have proper prayer without a priest. The LDS church has welcoming qualities and good morals that make me want to teach my child these lessons when I decide I want to settle down with a partner someday. I think what really made me start thinking about my "lost" feeling, is working at Iceberg Drive Inn. I work at the only out of state Iceberg Drive Inn, which is frequented by Utah transplants, and various LDS families. One thing that deterred me from the church, was the feeling that I wasn't right for them. To give you a few reasons: --I am a homosexual. Although I do not brag about it like many do, this sheer fact can scare people away. --If I was to join a church, I would not be closeted. If I had found a longterm partner, I would encourage him to come to services. --I am surrounded by friends and family that are very judgmental of the stereotypical LDS culture of what pop culture has formed its thoughts on --I swear like a sailor, and my dry humor is unparalled. All these reasons alone make me feel like I would not be welcome. I almost used to loathe the clean-cut, cookie-cutter families I would see at my work. Although I admired the foundations of the LDS culture, I loathed seeing how "perfect" my mind made them seem, and how I felt like it was all baloney. The entitlement as they would come into my store and treat fast food workers like dirt with impatience would make me so angry, since I was trying to give them the best product I possibly could. That's when I realized I was looking at it from the wrong perspective. These "perfect" families I was seeing were not just mormon families. These families built on a hill of suburban upper-class entitlement were not white, black, Catholic, Jewish, or anyone specific. Although Iceberg Drive Inn does have a large draw of LDS customers, I was wrong to single these people out as mormons, because not all of them are. I realized that undesirable people exist everywhere, and to judge a collective of people based on a regional community I had come to know and label, isn't fair to anyone of the LDS faith. That goes for my analyzation of the Catholic faith as well. Although I did not find comfort in my original faith, there are many people who have, and I am okay with that. That is when I met one of my co-workers. He was everything the mainstream hated; he had tattoos, he swore like a sailor, drank, and he dressed like a rock star. But, although he was not the poster-child of his LDS faith, he had one of the cleanest hearts I had ever met, and did not have a bad bone in his body. Like everyone else, he sinned, but in different ways. That made me realize that being mormon isn't just being a singular image. Being mormon is like that advertisement campaign of millions of different types of people, coming together in a similar belief. Yes, there are distinguishing differences from an Arizona LDS member, compared to a Utah one, or Northern California member, based on dress, lingo, and standards, but I believe that those differences are based on regions, social class, and upbringing, not just being "mormon." Although there are qualities that do attribute to someone "being mormon," I have come to realize that those are issues of faith, and heart. As I have stated above, I think what scares me the most about seeing if my heart fits with the LDS faith, is my flaws. --I love drinking coffee. --I want to get tattoos --I want to have a loving relationship with a partner and have a big family --I swear like a sailor I feel that these things will possibly intimidate other members, simply because my sins are different from theirs. I think what attracted me the most was also the church stance on homosexuality. I found a lot of repression within my Catholic community, but your message gives me hope. Even if you think homosexuality is a sin, it is okay. I loathe the gays that seem to bash on religious people because of their beliefs. I think it is wrong, because everyone has the right to free speech, and also free belief to not support gay marriage. When someone tells me they do not support gay marriage, or homosexuality, I am okay with that. I know in my heart that their beliefs do not believe they hate or fear me. They may not like the acts, but they do not hate me in the slightest on terms of personality, or me as a human being. Everyone is entitled to their own belief system, be it political, religious, or personal. Although that every member comes from a different background, I hope that as all these things about myself don't deter people in seeing that I want to be a good person, to have a good heart, and make good decisions. I want to go to a church someday with my partner, and be able to stand in there without people casting judgement on our persons -- not on our decisions. I want to go to a church where I can make lasting friends, bonds, and connections both spiritual, and personal. I think what i am truly afraid of, and this is not just singular to me being weary of going to an LDS service at a local ward, is losing who I am. I am afraid of losing what I know as the Irish, sarcastic, quick-witted, fast talking History major who questions everything and only accepts what he truly believes. I'm afraid of becoming like the "sheeple" in some sense, and I still want to be unique. I also want to be unique, but still have a shot of being included in some semblance of a community. If I converted to Mormonism, I wouldn't want to just be another convert, but the exact same person who I am, but with a better heart, better mind, and closer to God. A little help? I really can't pinpoint what I'm asking. I guess I'm just a little lost, and looking for answers and advice from you lovely folks of the internet.