How has being gay affected your religious beliefs?

  • tj301

    Posts: 6

    Apr 27, 2012 2:45 AM GMT
    I was raised as a christian. After coming out, though, I've pretty much renounced religion altogether. I just can't believe in something that damns me to hell for just being the way I was made. (I've always known I was gay.)

    I was just wondering how you all have dealt with religion since coming out.
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    Apr 27, 2012 6:58 AM GMT
    None at all. I was raised non-religious, so when I started noticing my attraction towards men and questioning myself, I never really thought about the moral objectivity of it. What made me nervous initially about being gay was that maybe I'd make life harder on myself since not everyone is so accepting of gay people. I worried that would make my parents worry, too.

    For a few years in college I explored Wicca and other pagan spiritual paths. Pagan people tend to have a very liberal take on sexuality, so I never worried about my sexual orientation even during my pagan-exploration years. However, it certainly was a surprise to learn about a religion that overwhelmingly supports gay sexuality and relationships.

    Although I no longer identify myself as pagan or any other religion, I'm glad that I saved myself a lot of frustration and confusion from some of the dogma of the mainstream religions. I'm happy with myself as I am and can't begin to imagine how differently my life would turn out if I were straight.
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    Apr 27, 2012 11:26 AM GMT
    No: although I was raised in a non-practicing Catholic family, I never bothered to identify as a religious person and since the age of 11, I thought of myself as an atheist.

    You may be interested in this recent article from New Scientist concerning the relationship between rationality and religiosity:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21749-analytical-thinking-erodes-belief-in-god.html
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    Apr 27, 2012 11:35 AM GMT
    I was not raised religiously, but went to Catholic school.. so I did get the whole believing in Jesus thing.. once we got to high school and started learning about evolution, pretty much everybody in my class dropped it.. (everyone in the catholic school.. funny enough.. faith was simply not enforced on us either in favour of science, though we did learn to pray and stuff)
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Apr 27, 2012 12:24 PM GMT
    I was raised as a Catholic, but my dad was Southern Baptist, so potentially the worst combination. However, I began seriously questioning things pretty early on and began to write off religion before I was even a teenager. I don't think it negatively impacted my coming out or accepting who I was.

    As an adult I became fairly hostile toward religiosity of any stripe because of all the hypocrisy surrounding the gay issue in particular, but also because of how it can be used to manipulate and subjugate people.

    Now that I'm older, I'm able to delve into my own personal spirituality that doesn't subscribe to any set concepts. Just my own connection with the universe or whatever you want to call it.
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    Apr 27, 2012 12:34 PM GMT
    Not really. I was raised as a Christian and still feel that regardless of being bi that i will die being one if that means anything.
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    Apr 27, 2012 12:38 PM GMT
    No. I was skeptical since I was a 8 years old, and that's as early my I can go, before I became suddenly "self aware" at 13. I was born into a Baptist home, raised in a Roman Catholic one; and spent years finding what it is about religion I like, love and hate by going through as many as I possibly could. Of course, it was always with a touch of enlightenment and urging of friends/family that those changes happened. Being gay is one of my parts, not necessarily the complete sum of my parts.icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 27, 2012 2:14 PM GMT
    Ironic as it may sound, I think that in some ways, being gay affirms my religious beliefs and vice versa. I was raised in a Roman Catholic family and been through Catholic grammar school and high school, though in a pretty urban city; thus, pretty relaxed in comparison to the conventional image of nuns beating yo ass with the bible.

    My reason for saying this is because, for me, my religious beliefs conveys a strong sense of community. I feel utterly connected to other people despite differences. I.E. being gay/bi/however defined in a very "straight" driven society.

    I mean, I guess the "truth," if there is one, behind everything is that you have to believe in what you believe and have faith in that you believe. You just have to approach everything with an objective mind set at the same time.

    A lot of people against homosexuality justifies their beliefs with the bible. but you have to realized that the bible is subjected to the people who constructed it and the time it was constructed in. Words can be extremely manipulative. Like, I'm pretty sure I can compile a few words of MLK and make him sound racist, but is he really?
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    Apr 27, 2012 2:21 PM GMT
    I was raised in a mainstream Protestant church in Texas, which by local standards at the time made me a goddam hippie but by my standards today put me in snake handlin' territory.

    Our minister, who was a personal friend (at 16 I was on the committee that called him to our church), was one of the first people at home for whom I cracked open the closet door. I was home from college - having some personal issues and had no one to talk to - and it seemed like a good idea at the time. He had no idea what to do - told me I should just try to be straight - it was completely out of his wheelhouse.

    Anyway, from that beginning, questioning the church's positions on homosexuality got me to applying critical thinking skills to more and more religious issues, which over the years led to my characterizing myself first as agnostic and finally as an avowed atheist.

    Lesson: Being gay can make you smarter!
  • TheIStrat

    Posts: 777

    Apr 27, 2012 2:26 PM GMT
    Catholic school for 13 years nearly destroyed my gay soul. I still fantasize about nuking the Vatican or putting a bullet in a cardinal's head.

    For religious views I guess I'd be a nondenominational Christian who believes in very little doctrines
  • tommyboi

    Posts: 64

    Apr 27, 2012 2:30 PM GMT
    I was raised in a Catholic home. Both parents very Catholic, we went to church every Sunday. I was an alter server for 12 years and even went on an alter servers pilgrimage to the Vatican city and met the old pope (John Paul II).

    I had a strong faith for many years and when I realised I was gay I prayed for many years to be straight. When I realised no amount of praying would change me, I gradually started to loose my faith. For years I still identified as a Catholic but I realised as there is so much about Catholicism I disagree with (their issues with homosexuality, contraception, sex before marriage and more deep theological questions) that I couldn't really call myself a catholic anymore. I am not really sure what I believe in any more. I believe in something but disagree with most churches rules and doctrine.
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    Apr 27, 2012 2:34 PM GMT
    +1 to thetraveler92

    I was brought up in a practicing Roman Catholic family. I understand that there are unresolved issues with the religion and homosexuality. I don't have very many answers at all, but the way I see it: they can turn me away, but they can't stop me from worshipping the God I've come to admire. Like Yehoshua said, being gay is part of who I am, but it's not the only facet of my personhood.
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    Apr 27, 2012 2:41 PM GMT
    tj301 saidI was raised as a christian. After coming out, though, I've pretty much renounced religion altogether. I just can't believe in something that damns me to hell for just being the way I was made. (I've always known I was gay.)

    I was just wondering how you all have dealt with religion since coming out.


    I was raised Catholic. I was pretty screwed up until I rejected the "Bible" preached to me every Sunday and just read it for myself. It involved years of study to finally get to the main point of God has absolutely no qualms with same-sex attraction, it's people who do, but once I realized that I was able to reconcile my faith in God. And NOT the "God" that people think they're worshiping every Sunday as they spite hate with the intent of stealing lives away.

    Pretty much, the basic requirement for being a Christian, and maybe even just a good person, is by living by Romans 13:10. "Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law." The "Law" here being the law of God. You being attracted to other men doesn't cause or even potentially cause anyone harm the way stabbing someone or stealing from someone would so a preacher or "man of God" who says you're damned to hell for it is speaking/judging from his own misunderstanding.

    Romans 1:22 "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools:"

    And so you have the present full of so called religious experts who lack the basic ability to resolve the seeming contradiction between believing in a God of love while simultaneously preaching the practice of hatred. The punishment for their judgment, from the same Bible:

    Romans 2:1 "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. "

    In wrongly condemning the innocent to eternal fire and damnation, preachers(and people) as described above are only condemning themselves to that fate by their words. As long as you can lead your life with honest love for yourself and others, you should have no problem reconciling having same-sex attractions and believing in God. If you want, anyway. All I had to do, like I said, was ignore people talking about the Bible and just read it for myself.

    Barring the most "modern" Bibles for deleting and adding random "modern" terms and further corrupting the meaning.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Apr 27, 2012 2:44 PM GMT
    I was raised by two religious parents,especially my father, and in the Anglican Church. As puberty came on and I realized I was attracted to boys and men, it gradually grew harder to reconcile this with mainstream Christianity. I struggled but found no answer to prayers and questions. I dropped any belief in god and Christianity by university. I think the universe and life, etc, can be better explained by modern science, though the picture it paints is rather bleak and existential; any meaning there is we create ourselves, none is automatically given; and explored other religions, particularly Buddhism and the pagan religions that seem to make more sense generally, not just about sexuality. I just don`t have the necessary faith to make religion possible.

    I would call my self a 'sympathetic atheist' as I appreciate religion, and it`s teachings and importance for others, including friends, but I don`t believe in a divine, resurrected Jesus, god, or the other ideas. I read the Parable of the Good Samaritan on a human level, no more.

    Despite being made to feel bad about being gay in this society, ironically, it can be an peverse asset, as it tends to make you feel an outsider and stimulates all sorts of critical questions about life; leading to understanding and self awareness.
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    Apr 27, 2012 2:48 PM GMT
    I was raised Catholic and my mom's family was pretty devout. Religion was a consistent part of my life for many years, all I knew, and I enjoyed it. During my Sophomore year in High School I considered entering the Franciscan order as a monk. It seemed a perfect fit. I'm helpful, caring, concerned with social issues and I loved Jesus and my church (or at least my understanding of Him and the church, at that time).

    College rolled along and I was introduced to Jospeh Campbell which showed me how humanity has a need to create a spiritual system, touching on similar themes and codifying it, becoming a religion. I was introduced to Buddhism and Taoism at the time. John Dominic Crossan opened my eyes with a more historically accurate understanding of Jesus and his world.

    I learned more about the history of the church and their treatment of gay people and perceived homosexuals in a bookHomophobia by Byrne Fone. My feelings for my church were tinged with disgust. Torture, hangings, burnings of native American two spirit people really stood out to me. Of course, the entire history of the church reads that way, in different ways.

    Since the election of Pope Palpatine, I have had to put religion down like a closed book which lost it's relevance. The recent hysterical backlash the church made after the priest abuse scandal (denying homosexuals into seminaries, vocal and active stance against any gay rights advancements,etc.) showed me how the church I loved is strangling itself, keeping itself away from the realities of the world. It's like watching a member of the family descending into alcoholism, drug abuse, dementia. It's sad and tragic. I guess that means I still have some love for it, but I have to keep it at arms length.

    I was raised with the stories of Jesus and they made me into the person I am and I choose to keep his message in my heart. It's too bad the church has become the Sanhedrin. The church built itself around Jesus, and within the ruins of the Ancient Roman power structure. I put my beliefs in the words of Jesus (and other belief systems).

    TL;DR: Raised Catholic. wanted to become a monk. I learned more about the church and it's role in homophobia. After the priest abuse scandal, and how the church reacted to it, I distanced myself from the church. Pope Benedict disgusts me and I have distanced myself further. Now, I'm focused on what lessons I took away from Jesus' teachings (among other wisdom).

    Sorry for the Novel.


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    Apr 27, 2012 2:53 PM GMT
    I was raised in the liberal Catholic northeast so I never saw the need rebel against religion. I just stopped going to church and my parents stopped asking me to join them for mass on holidays. I don't know what I consider myself I just do my own thing and don't dwell on the matter.

    The last guy I dated has a Jewish lesbian mother so he proudly still keeps to the faith. Upbringing has an impact.
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    Apr 27, 2012 3:08 PM GMT
    I was raised as a Methodist but when I was a teen, I decided to find out what other churches were about. As a gay kid, I'd ride my bike to various churches and check them out. In my late teens I began hearing about the Episcopal church not just tolerating gays, but embracing and fully accepting them. (Not all Episcopal churches, but all of the enlightened congregations). I started studying and attending an Episcopal church. I was encouraged by gay clergy, bishops, deacons, and so many other parishioners. The Episcopal church has been my church for a long time. I sound like a commercial I guess - - - but seriously, I've met a lot of people in my church who came from other churches, or from no church background at all. It can't be for everyone, but it sure works for a lot of gay people.
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    Apr 27, 2012 3:20 PM GMT
    It's made my beliefs and search all the stronger. I attend a wonderful, affirming, and encouraging United Methodist denomination that has quite a few LGBT members as well as head ministers who are female. Our head minister has even performed a couple same-sex marriage ceremonies, although they are not recognized by the United Methodist Church as a whole, which is irrelevant since what's done in front of God is what matters.

    In addition, it's allowed me to see how hypocritical, insane, and utterly backwards some Christians and denominations can be.


    I fully believe that the United Methodist Church is trying it's best to an open, affirming, non-judgmental, loving, and Christ-focused denomination.
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    Apr 27, 2012 3:46 PM GMT
    Wow, so many recovering Catholics from what's supposed to be a Protestant-dominated United States icon_rolleyes.gif

    I guess the Catholic Church really fucks with your head after all icon_eek.gif
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    Apr 27, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
    not at all. im still going to have faith in my religion no matter what my sexuality is.
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    Apr 27, 2012 3:56 PM GMT
    My religion affirms GLBT people as part of G-d's creation and teaches equality should be extended to all.
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    Apr 27, 2012 3:56 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidAtheist cultural Jew here, raised by atheist cultural Jews. Never was an issue.


    You know what's funny? I've met far more atheist/non-religious Jews than those who actually practice Judaism.
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    Apr 27, 2012 9:55 PM GMT
    Nope. I always grew up "not really caring about religion" but over the past few years I have questioned it a lot and confirmed I was Atheist. Now that I know I'm gay my religious beliefs have not changed at all. My sexuality doesn't define who in any major way to be honest.
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    Apr 27, 2012 9:58 PM GMT
    Religion has given us some nice buildings and some catchy songs. That's about as positive as I can be about it.
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    Apr 28, 2012 3:21 AM GMT
    I was raised in the Church Of Christ. They still don't believe in instrumental music during worship services.

    After taking piano lessons from age 8-11, my piano teacher "fired" me because apparently I'm a "natural." Instead of reading the notes I'd just listen to her play a new piece, then pull a monkey-see-monkey-do and repeat what she played.

    That's when I started questioning god. My question was "why would this 'loving' god give someone a wonderful talent and tell that person not to use the talent to glorify him?"

    That was also when I started realizing I'm attracted to guys, not girls.

    Double-whammy.

    This doesn't mean I believe we have no creator. There's no evidence to prove either way.

    It does mean I believe we have no god, because the only evidence that can be found for a god is contained in written texts. 100's of 1000's of them. All with different gods and goddesses and trinities and groups of gods for different natural phenomenons and everything else you can imagine.

    BTW, my mom still thinks natural disasters are god speaking to people. icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif