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The forgotten

May 22, 2015
Tom Hehir
San Francisco

The brewing tensions between liberal and conservative Catholics clearly reflect a polarized community in San Francisco. Each side has stated their point of view and in the process many from both sides have been somewhat nasty. We as a faith community are mirroring some of the dynamics of our national political system.

As a gay Catholic, I am most concerned about the impact this political tug of war may have on some of our most vulnerable community members- the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning Catholic youth. According to the CDC, these youth are 3 to 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers. Additionally the tug-of-war impacts any young person struggling with personal issues of choices involving their bodies.

Directly and indirectly these youth are at the center of the tug-of-war and they are being talked about, judged and likely feeling as though they are something other than precious members of our faith community.

My suggestions are simple. Let’s take the cotton out of our ears and put it in our mouths and listen, understand, love and tend to our young people. Additionally for the liberal and conservative church tug-of-war, take a lesson from Homeboy Industries and find a way for opposing factions to work together in service to our young people. We are called to a higher standard than our political system and I believe we can figure out a way to be more like Christ.

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