There are plenty of issues in the news to dampen the optimism of even the most cheerful souls. There are countless stories that show how corrupt and hateful our church is, how inept and pervasive our government is and, all too often, an unsavory mixture of the two. Some days it's just too much for me. The news stories have been building in rapid succession upon one another these past few weeks. Nuns being challenged for their lack of hatred and a girl banned from her high school prom because she was ditched by her date. Yet another law that attacks women's reproductive rights. Politics in general is just depressing as all hell, let's not even go there right now.
When I saw this article come up in the news this morning about a woman who was fired from a Catholic school for undergoing IVF, it truly broke my heart. Not just as a mother, or a woman, but as a human being. When will we stop denying the human experience to those who don't fit the perfect mold of Catholicism? When will we stop reciting ancient laws that have no place in this world? I would love to hear some answers to the question, "What would Jesus do?" right about now.
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
-- Mahatma Gandhi
It was another stone on the wall building between myself and the leadership of the church. It made me question my motives all over again. It made me feel powerless, because the quiet voices of the reasonable majority are lost amidst the yelling. There are so many of us saying the same things, feeling the same alienation, crying out for love and acceptance to come the forefront where it belongs.
Our words fall on deaf ears.
Many of the church leaders seem to have lost touch with the beating heart of Christianity. They do not understand the love that we speak of. They do not recognize the Jesus we worship. They are too busy catcalling politicians and backpedaling towards ancient times to take a moment to listen to those of us who want to see the church create a kinder world.
People leave the church because their moral compass is pointing in a different direction. I am disappointed but not surprised. It's a hard road to follow; you need a lot of hope.
And hope? I can do hope.
It's hard not to feel hopeless when your voice is ignored, but I try not to let myself go to that place. Because hope is really all we have right now. I cannot change the hierarchy of the church, I cannot make them listen, but I can still see a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. I have abundant hope.
Because someday in my lifetime, my generation will be at the helm of Christianity.
Those of us who are sticking it out in hope will have our day. I believe in my generation. I believe we are kinder and braver than our predecessors. I believe we have come a long way. I believe, in time, we can change the church. I believe our collective voice will be heard. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday.
I have hope that when that day comes, I will see the world changed. I will see the love we have longed for our whole lives.
And in the meantime, hope will not be lost on me.