Pope Francis Is One To Judge

Pope Francis

Pope Francis speaks with journalists on board the flight from Baku to Rome, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (Luca Zennaro/Pool Photo via AP)

 

Yesterday I did a post on Facebook about Pope Francis. I have done many. The early ones were optimistic. You know, after he said things like “who am I to judge?” It’s been all downhill from there and he has since taken to comparing transgender people to nuclear weapons and calling us terrible. Sigh.

So anyway, the post from yesterday was also a link to an article in the Washington Post and the language in the headline and tagline kind of suggested that there was some kindness toward us from the Pope. It says that he urges pastoral care for transgender people and that Jesus would never turn away the transgender faithful.

Francis drew a firm distinction between the need for priests to minister to transgender Catholics and what he called the “nasty” tendency of schools to “indoctrinate” children with the idea that their gender is something that can be picked and chosen and changed.

“It’s one thing if a person has this tendency and also changes sex. It’s another thing to teach this in school to change mentalities. This is what I call ‘ideological colonization,’” Francis said.

Let me explain what ‘pastoral care’ is in the Catholic church. In my case, it took the form of being forced into getting ‘help’ at Catholic Charities by my parents at the age of 15. It’s a thing where adults steer you toward making them happy with you without regard for your own happiness.

It’s a cabal between parents and the church to keep you ‘right’ with God. It was the most traumatic episode of my youth and I didn’t realize how painful it was then until I fell apart under regressive therapy at 59 years old. My own experience with the Catholic church doesn’t rise to the level of sexual abuse, something they’re so famous for, but it was deeply harmful.

To me, Pope Francis and the Catholic church have no right to be in business anymore and I will advocate for its end for the rest of my life. The pervasiveness of the sexual abuse that was made shockingly plain by the movie Spotlight is where the real smoking gun is, but there are many other little dark corners to shine a light on, too. The thought of giving tax exemptions to organizations that have caused so much harm gives me a knot in my stomach.

I say that it is time to give serious consideration to the argument that any religious organization that seeks to deny an individual’s unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, at the very least, is not entitled to financial help from those they discriminate against. That is exactly what’s currently sanctioned and I say it’s wrong.

I say that if we, as a country, decide that it’s OK to discriminate based on religious beliefs that we should at least limit that to within the confines of the churches themselves and not extend that right to institutions that are meant to serve all while receiving receive a tax benefit that all contribute to. Well, you know, except for Trump.

Pope Francis Let Us BE

Mara Glubka is a transgender woman in Minneapolis, MN and a parent to three grown sons. She is one of the historic 28 transgender delegates to the DNC in Philadelphia this year.

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