Calling All HIV Negative Men- This Is Your Time

Damn! Mark King scooped me again. I was thinking about saying this for a while, but my friend did it beautifully, so why bother? I’ll just reprint it… :)

This is directed to HIV-negative gay men. Listen carefully. This is your time.

I’ve lived with HIV more than half of my life, and people often praise me far more than I deserve, simply for surviving. They use words like brave and courageous.

You know what takes courage? Getting an HIV test every few months. You, waiting nervously while your most personal sexual choices are literally being tested, waiting to find out if you’ve been good – or if you’re going to pay for a single lapse in judgment by testing positive, when the look on the faces of your friends will say you should have known better.

I have no idea what that must be like. I took the test over 25 years ago. The positive result was traumatic, no doubt about it, and I soldiered on during some awfully frightening times. But I have a significant psychological advantage over my HIV negative friends: I only took that damn test once.

Read the rest here. It’s excellent.

Catholics And Marriage Equality

There has always been a strong sense of social justice in the catholic tradition- especially in the minds of the people in the pews. The great advocates of social reform and justice more often come from the laity and monks and nuns- persons more in touch arguably, with the gospel and real life in general. Mother Theresa, Dorothy Day, Francis of Assisi, all railed against the marginalization of human beings- creating real social change in the world. Bishop Oscar Romero and Pope John XXIII were the exception more than the rule.

So, it was with a lot of hope that I read this:

Last month, the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit group, reported that 74 percent of American Catholics surveyed supported the rights of same-sex couples to marry or form civil unions (43 percent and 31 percent, respectively). The telephone survey asked more than 3,000 adults to choose among three options: whether gay couples should be allowed to marry, should be allowed to form civil unions or should receive no legal recognition. By comparison, 16 percent of white evangelical Christians approved of same-sex marriages; 24 percent approved of civil unions. Among the general public, those rates climb to 37 and 27 percent, respectively — still lower than among Catholics.

Catholics have always had a great sense of the social justice elements of issues- a strong sense of the suffering of humanity, I believe. They take the mandate of service very literally- the Sermon on the Mount and the Corporal Works of Mercy were always stressed in my own religious upbringing.

Evangelical Christians are more likely to struggle with fundamentalism on this and other issues, citing (often unclear or inconsistent) scripture passages, and tending to ignore social science or scientific evidence in favor of the bible.

I do know one thing: Last week, at my mother’s Catholic funeral, I introduced my partner to everyone I knew and grew up with in that little church and we were received with nothing but warmth.

Nothing but.

If only the leadership would get it- and all those gay clergy (and bishops!) would share their experience- we might have a shot at addressing reality….

No matter- the people in the pews have always been ahead of the curve. It’ll happen eventually.

Open Letter To Catholic Bishops by Hans Kung

In one of the most courageous, passionate and well-reasoned appeals in modern times, Hans Kung asks the Church to meet the challenges of its current reality with the better angels of its history- namely, with love, humility and collegiality.

Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and I were the youngest theologians at the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. Now we are the oldest and the only ones still fully active. I have always understood my theological work as a service to the Roman Catholic Church. For this reason, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI, I am making this appeal to you in an open letter. In doing so, I am motivated by my profound concern for our church, which now finds itself in the worst credibility crisis since the Reformation. Please excuse the form of an open letter; unfortunately, I have no other way of reaching you.

Continue reading full text here.

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