I live in a world where being "liberal" is the name of the game, church-goers are few and far between, believers even more so. In short, I live in the world of the modern liberal arts college students. And I will confess, I haven't been to church a lot lately, because well, I'm a college student, and I'm just plain lazy sometimes, and I really do enjoy that day of sleeping late. (Although I get to start going to evening church soon, which will be lovely.) But being a college student allows for lots of interesting conversations about such topics as religion and morality, and of course one of the most popular topics is religion in conjunction with homosexuality.
Supposedly, God hates not only homosexuality, but homosexuals, or at least, according to Fred Phelps and many people who share his views to some extent. So why do I keep going to church if so many people seem to contend that God hates me?
(Fair warning - for all my grammatical training, I'm not going to use complete sentences.)
Because I don't feel like God hates me.
Because I can't bring myself to believe that someone who not only created me but has given me such an incredible life and blessed me in so many ways would hate me.
Because I've studied and continue to study the verses that seem to refer to homosexuality in the Bible, and the translations are so messed up that some of these things people claim the Bible says about homosexuality are ridiculous. (Of course, many things people claim the Bible says are ridiculous.)
Because generally most gay people I've ever met are wonderful combinations of love and compassion.
Because I don't claim to know what God thinks, or how he feels about anything. He's so much bigger than I am, and well, He's been around for a heck of a lot longer, so I don't think I should presume His opinions on anything.
Because I hope that I'm a fairly decent human being most of the time, and I feel like if God really hated me, I would've just fallen apart by now.
Because I at the end of the day, I just plain love God.
Honestly, most of my friends don't understand why I've stuck with the church when it seems as if it has rejected most of the things I believe in, and when at times it's members have been seemingly cruel to me personally.
Sometimes, I don't understand it myself. Sometimes I feel like I'm stupid to cling to an institution that seems to overwhelmingly believe that I'm headed straight to the great big crock-pot of sinners. Sometimes I feel like I'm too optimistic to hope that I'll ever be fully accepted by the modern church.
All I really do understand is that I do love the church, in a way that one might treasure a favorite childhood toy that is broken beyond repair but that one still can't help but find solace in and adore. And I'll stick with it. I'll stick with it for the reassuring words, for the hymns, for the people who really love God and show it through their immense love all others, for the insights you obtain in your quest for spiritual understanding, for those moments when you know everything will be okay.
Because it all will be okay. Eventually.