My faith was a lost cause over 40 years ago. In fact I wonder if I ever had any. Is belief in something or other faith? I suppose I believed in God but did that constitute a ‘faith’? A belief should manifest itself in something concrete, shouldn’t it? It should activate me into doing something, in performing some definitive act. Otherwise what would be the point of having it? Then again, what should I be activated into doing because of my beliefs? It’s here, I think, faith comes into it. My beliefs imply some sort of ethical codex for my behavior towards the belief object and towards the world around me. Thus my belief should be apparent to my surroundings, shouldn’t it?
Where does faith come into it? Faith is essentially a belief that our actions are founded on our beliefs. It is the ultimate belief, if you like, that if we follow the ethical code based on our beliefs, then our actions will turn out ‘correctly’. In other words, faith is the process by which we place our reliance on something or somebody other than ourselves. We may be unsure of what the ultimate results of our actions will be. By our faith we put our trust in something outside ourselves and delegate the ultimate responsibility for our acts. Faith implies the abrogation of our ego decision process in favor of a cooperative process involving both the object of our beliefs and ourselves and, very importantly, others who share our beliefs.
My childhood Christian faith was destroyed by my homosexuality at the age of 13. I remember considering how the world related to The Ten Commandments but these confrontations were very remote to me as a child. They didn’t rock my faith but; the sin of homosexuality did. Whilst, the Bible said that if I confessed my sins they would be forgiven, it seemed to indicate that if I repeatedly committed ‘that unspeakable sin’ I would end up in hell. I also learnt that God hated homosexuals and my sin was compulsive. At 17 my thoughts were definitely suicidal. I had no faith in the future or in God and my Christianity was dead. Neither did I believe in a loving God.
In the book ‘Maurice’ by E.M. Forster, Dr. Barry, on being confronted by Maurice’s homosexuality says that the cure for him is ‘to find the right girl’. Despite the fact that I have, today, a very successful 35 year marriage behind me it didn’t help return my faith. In fact I have had very little compassion for that group of individuals that I was formally a member of – the homosexuals. Then, at 59 years old I re-experienced a life crisis.
The second crisis of my life began with the re-surfacing of my homosexuality with all its former facets of hate of myself and the suicide wish. To overcome this crisis it was necessary to learn to accept and love myself and to achieve this I had learn that God created me the way I am and that he doesn’t love me less than anyone else. Thus, my faith had to be resurrected. I have asked myself often what this seemingly disastrous crisis has given besides a nearly wrecked marriage and a lot of stress and discomfort. The answer, I think, it is my faith and, with it, the ability and opportunity to try and help my fellow brothers and sisters. I have put my life in God’s hands. I have faith in that he will see me through in the future ahead.
It is important to realize how the faith of many homosexuals has been destroyed by the indoctrination of the Church and by society. The Church has been instrumental in stealing Jesus from us. Homosexuals are a minority group in both these institutions and as such are likely to continue to be persecuted and, although we have made great inroads into the heterosexual domain, time is, possibly, the only solution in the long run. If the homosexual cause is to prosper it is important that we nurture that very special and unique gift that God has given us – our love for each other.
Patience, faith and love of God and ourselves, are our salvation. We shall overcome. God Bless!