Clergy wait to attend a mass in Fresno, Calif., in February.
What do you do when your religious beliefs conflict with your social and political beliefs?
I was raised in the Catholic faith and attended Catholic schools until graduating high school. My mother descends from a long line of women who pray the rosary every night and who light candles to La Virgen de Guadalupe at the first sign of trouble.
I’m Roman Catholic and proud.
Yet, when Melinda Gates pledged $560 million this week as part of a campaign to increase access to contraception for women in some of the poorest countries in the world, she was slammed by Catholic groups in the U.S.
I applauded her.
Gates, a fellow Catholic, knows the Church’s stance on contraception and chose to ignore it because the benefit far outweighed the condemnation.
“When I travel and talk to women around the world they tell me that access to contraceptives can often be the difference between life and death,” Gates said.
Gates is in handsome company — Brad Pitt is known for his unwavering support of legalizing gay marriage and President Obama’s platform. His mom…not so much.
Jane Pitt wrote a letter to a Missouri newspaper last week expressing her disdain for Obama, calling him a “liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.
“I think any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon,” Pitt wrote.
I’m betting Brad Pitt’s passionate dinner table discussions with his family resemble mine.
I’m personally against abortion but I support a woman’s right to choose.
Back alley abortions still occur and women are dying because the overwhelming shame caused by societal and religious disapproval prevents them from seeking legitimate care.
As a heterosexual, the gay marriage debate doesn’t directly affect me but I’m still a strong supporter of marriage equality.
Episcopalians approved a churchwide ceremony on Tuesday to bless same-sex couples. I pray the Catholic Church will one day head in that direction.
So perhaps I’ve found an answer to my earlier question — what do you do? You do what you can live with.
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