Catholicism, LGBTQIA+

Ithaca Is Inclusive

Few things ignite a passionate fire of fury in me more than the liberal notion of inclusivity. Forgive me for my naiveté, but I thought “inclusive” was a word that meant “not excluding any part of society.” Apparently, I am wrong however, as “inclusive” has been  appropriated (see what I did there…this is liberal-ese) by the liberal mindset to refer solely to the LGBTQIA+ community.

And please forgive me for using the word “liberal”, as it only serves to continue to draw the imaginary line separating “us” from “them.” Unfortunately, there is no other clear language to use at this point. I don’t believe that all people who subscribe to the liberal mindset are horrible people. But I think the tenets of liberalism have been sold to them with such ferocity that those who believe in liberalism have a hard time challenging its ideas. I know this because I used to be one of them.

But the point of this post is not liberalism in general. It’s the liberal idea of inclusivity. In this absurd town I live in called Ithaca, inclusivity is held up as the ultimate ideal, perhaps even the “god” of this tiny town. And I have been beating my brains out trying to figure out why their notions of inclusivity pointedly exclude Christians.

It is because, much like everything in the liberal ideology, inclusivity has been whisked away to their workshop and painted with a shiny coat of SEX. Inclusivity does not simply mean “all people”, it means “LGBTQIA+ people.”

Ithaca is Inclusive

From the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce website:

“Local non-profit group, Ithaca is Love, will begin distributing “Inclusive Space” decals to local businesses this June in honor of Pride Month…for local businesses that wish to advertise that they are an inclusive space for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.”

The article goes on to say:

“Celebrating the diversity that makes Ithaca ‘Ithaca’ and Tompkins County so unique is something the Chamber takes very seriously,” said Jennifer Tavares, president of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce. “We are so happy to be part of a county-wide visible commitment to inclusivity for local businesses wishing to make the pledge.”

When did “inclusivity” come to refer entirely to sexuality? Why does “celebrating diversity” have to mean specifically celebrating LGBTQIA+ people?

I am so confused and I am so exhausted coming up against the liberal mindset everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way stating that the LGBTQIA+ community should be shunned. They should be loved and included like everyone else. This post is not about how to love and minister to the LGBTQIA+ community. That is a topic for another time. (For a loving and truly inclusive explanation of the Catholic Church’s stance on sexuality, feel free to watch this video from Ascension Presents.)

So maybe I’m getting upset because I thought inclusive meant to include all people, but it now simply means to specifically and “exclusively include” the LGBTQIA+ community. Well, now that their meaning is clear, I guess I can stop worrying.

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Catholicism, mental health, Spirituality

The Dark & Lonely New Age

I have always felt a pull toward Catholicism. As a young child attending Mass with my Grandma and also with my best friend and her family, I fell in love with the beauty, the reverence, the certainty, and the tradition. It would be nearly twenty more years though until I actually converted to Catholicism.

And so, I’m getting ahead of myself. Even though I attended Mass as a young child, I did not follow its path as I grew up. Instead, I looked to the New Age, Wicca, Buddhism, Confucianism, and finally existentialism and nihilism as I tried to make sense of the world. I felt certain that Christianity was so wrong, it wasn’t even worth looking at. I peered deep into the New Age and frantically searched for some semblance of truth and peace in my life.

I also grew up with a lot of anxiety, and with a mental illness called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The irony is that OCD urged me to look for certainty in everything, but the New Age philosophies I was cobbling together assured me that whatever I felt was true, and that each person has their own truth, and that my thoughts made up my reality. In essence – there is no certainty except for what you feel and believe.

These ideas only added to the chaos and despair I felt as I grew older. As a person with OCD, I was terrified that my thoughts and feelings were true. Someone with OCD believes that their thoughts and feelings have the power to influence the world around them, and always in catastrophic ways. It’s not a belief you acquire on purpose, it’s the direct result of mental illness.

So when I stumbled across the New Age philosophy of “The Law of Attraction” I nearly lost my sh**! Imagine, someone who is afraid that their aberrant thoughts would surely manifest into reality simply because they were floating (obsessively) around their brain. The terror was unimaginable. It wasn’t until I started cognitive behavioral therapy that I learned the very relieving truth that feelings are not facts.

Magical thinking and creating your own reality and all the other nonsensical ideas that are being peddled from the New Age are not only a bunch of baloney, they are inherently harmful.

Today I was reminded of this dark and hopeless world I had inhabited. Someone posted a comment to an article I wrote for bphope. They quoted Deepak Chopra, who stated something like, “If you feel something, you feel something, and that makes it true.”

I went in search of this quote and though I could not find it exactly, I did come across 116 Profound Deepak Chopra Quotes. As I read through them I could barely keep my head together. Suddenly I was reminded of the utter confusion and the mind games that the New Age had tried to play on me all those years earlier. I became quite upset but also very passionate about voicing my opposition.

I want to be very clear here: whatever you believe, whatever your religion or spirituality, this remains true: feelings are not facts.

You will find this to be true in all circumstances in this world. If I feel that the sky is green, it still doesn’t make it a fact. And the idea that feelings are facts is so incredibly harmful to those with mental illness, it blows my mind that anyone could promulgate such destructive nonsense. It shows either a profound ignorance or just a complete lack of understanding and empathy for the other.

Either way, I guess I just had to get this out there. I am tired of the New Age philosophies promoting chaos and darkness. The only true light and absolute truth comes from Christ.

I am the light of the world

 

writing

The Necessity of Writing

Hello all! As you may or may not have noticed, I have taken a sabbatical from this blog for several months. Life got wonderful, busy, and exhausting caring for our newborn daughter (who is now 11 months old!). But once again, the urge to write has reared its ugly head, and I can no longer keep silent.

A certain quote comes to mind, from W. Somerset Maugham. He said, “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.”

That quote pretty much sums it up for me. Sometimes writing feels like a chore, it feels like I “have to” in the sense that its just another obligation. So then I stop writing for awhile and it all comes bubbling up inside me – the thoughts, emotions, opinions, worries, and excitement – and then I have to write because I can’t not write. If I didn’t write I might explode.

Another favorite quote is from the esteemed Cormac McCarthy:

“I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else.”

Well, I certainly feel that way about myself. Not in a disparaging way, just an honest way. I couldn’t be a prima ballerina, so here I am, writing. In the end, it’s not a bad fate.

And so, let the blogging begin! I hope you will join me for the ride…

WSomersetMaugham