My name is Medora. I’m a senior in college. I’m a fervent supporter of both Bernie and Hillary (and anyone who isn’t Trump). I’m very queer, as evidenced by my shaved head, multiple tattoos, and the rainbow friendship bracelet hanging on my backpack. I strongly believe that black lives matter more than white feelings and that being pro-choice isn’t equal to being anti-life; it’s just being pro-the-lives-that-already-exist. I want solar panels installed on the roof of every building to protect what’s left of this planet we’ve been given. I see very little reason for guns to be in the hands of civilians, and I think we should be doing a much better job at supporting our immigrants and refugees (or as I like to call them, humans). I have no doubt that implementing universal healthcare and free public college would be one of the best possible things we could do for this country. In short, I’m definitely on the more liberal side of America’s (very polarized) political spectrum.
I’m also deeply religious. So religious, in fact, that I want to be a nun. I want to wake up in the morning and devote every minute to doing God’s will. I want to live in a supportive community of people who think about how their religion applies to the world in a similar way to how I think about it. I want to find the love and mercy of God in every situation. I want to actively and visibly fight for social justice. I want to sing God’s praises day in and day out. I want to answer the what-would-Jesus-do question with how I live out my everyday life.
If you know me at all, though, you’re probably wondering why a genderqueer, polyromantic, demisexual person (you can go here to learn more about what those words mean) who is viewed by others as a woman and who has experienced sexual assault would want to commit their life to an organization that has spent a significant part of its history dehumanizing women and scandalizing queer people and covering up child sex abuse. Honestly, I don’t really have an answer for that, other than that I know God needs me. I think others see a disconnect between those two parts of me, but what they don’t understand is that my religion is the reason I’m so socially and politically liberal.
The Catholic Church – both lay people and the hierarchy – is made up of flawed people (not that I’m saying that excuses anything) and that means that maybe sometimes the Church as a whole just hasn’t gotten ‘it’ right, ‘it’ being God’s plan. If God sent Jesus to us as the ultimate example of how to live, we’ve been doing a terrible job of following that example, because I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t have supported a law against contraception when it so clearly reduces the number of abortions, or suggested a ban against people loving each other no matter their gender, or condoned blatantly covering for priests who were raping children. Jesus would have wanted everyone to be safe and healthy and loved, no matter what labels were attached to them.
Jesus was one of the most radically liberal people to ever walk the face of this planet, so it boggles my mind when people who perpetuate ideas consistent with homophobia, sexism, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, etc. call themselves Christian, because that is the exact opposite of how Christ interacted with the outcasts of his day. Even though Samaritans weren’t supposed to interact with Jews, and men weren’t supposed to interact with women, Jesus asked the Samaritan woman at the well for water. She was an outcast (even in her own social circle), and he made it a point to acknowledge her and treat her with respect. Jesus was the kind of person who went out of his way to include and listen to people, despite their “outcast” label. So maybe the next time you think of calling blasphemy on my views of abortion or climate change or gay marriage, consider how well it actually does align with Jesus’ teachings to be able to open your mind and understand the facts, the science, and the love.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28