“If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Pope Francis, in 2013
Adidas lovers were shocked on Valentine’s Day when the beloved shoe brand posted a controversial image on Instagram that suggested and supported female homosexuality. Some consumers praised the Adidas’s move on tackling the societal issue, but many consumers were outraged at this report, one saying, “Shame on you Adidas! I’m going to Nike now.”
A day or two later, Nike dropped international champion professional boxer Manny Pacquiao for making a remark about homosexuals being compared to animals. He later apologized for his comments via social media. Part of Pacquaio’s apology pointed to his faith and reading of the Bible.
I get it, the world’s changing all of a sudden and it’s been a constant struggle with following tradition versus accepting change.
Take it from me, a born and raised Catholic who never truly understood what it was like for a person to have romantic feelings for another of the same sex. Does that necessarily mean that I hate homosexuals and bisexuals and asexuals because my religion preaches against it? Does my religion preach against it?
These questions have been baffling me since I’ve entered high school, but what I did know was that one of my really close friends who I’ve known for more than a decade — was gay. I had a hunch he was for a while, long before he told me, but did that mean I loved him any less? NO. Honestly, it didn’t mean much to me at all — not even to my 11-year-old self. A guy liked boys. So what? Love’s love.
I’ve been taught that interpretation is key. How do I interpret my religion? I’m Catholic. “Catholic” means “universal.” To me, that always meant that God is willing to open up His arms to whomever wants to join, and that He in turn is always welcoming all to join. In my beliefs, God made all of us and therefore loves all of us. Simple as that!
And yes, the world is having a hard time adjusting to accept this matter. Why? Well, wasn’t it difficult for Americans during the 1960s (and way before that) to accept that black Americans were human beings too?
It’s funny when you think about it — if you told a 4-year-old that Drew hated Anthony because of the color of his skin , how do you think the 4-year-old would respond? Relate that to the LGBT issues of today. If a kid thinks something is wrong, that’s society’s fault for teaching him that.
Lastly, I wouldn’t consider myself a bad Catholic if I just so happened to still love my close friends who loved others of the same sex. I think God would smile down upon me for spreading Catholicism, for allowing others to be invited into this large union that God loves and protects.
And I also wouldn’t say Catholics are bad either. Like I said, I was a born and raised Catholic and I’m proud of it. I attend mass every Sunday and have done my share at contributing to the Church, whether it be through lectoring, altar serving, chorus.
So don’t go around saying that all Catholics and all Christians hate and don’t accept certain kinds of people. Don’t go around dissing others’ religions or beliefs period. Don’t hate Adidas and Nike for expressing their opinions, and don’t hate me for expressing mine.