October 11th there was a panel of eight Religious/Spiritual leaders from the Anne Arundel County area who were brought together to speak at Anne Arundel Community College for “Coming Out Week.” This event was set up to offer healing information about how LGBTQ individuals are able to have a powerful relationship with a higher divine power in a world that sometimes believes that they are an abomination.
This was the first time the college openly celebrated “Coming Out Day,” and for that reason the panel was asked to provide information and affirming messages to individuals in the community that find it difficult to connect their sexual orientation with their unique spiritual path in life.
The moderator of the event posed three questions for the eight panelists:
1. How do you distinguish Spirituality from Religion?
2. In your faith tradition, how are LGBTQ received or viewed?
3. How should one go about healing the scars imposed by religion in our past due to one’s sexuality orientation?
It isn't very often that I am asked my thoughts, feelings, beliefs regarding such matters which is why I was honored to have been asked to be one of the eight panelists. This discussion was not one where we came together to debate the right or wrongness of homosexuality; rather it was about healing and empowerment. As part of that effort I share with you my general responses to the questions posed by the moderator.
1. Spirituality is like cooking based upon color, texture, smell, and taste where as religion is cooking strictly by following a recipe. One is more organic and based on personal experience and the other is following what someone else said tastes “right.”
2. As a New Thought / Interfaith-Interspiritual minister, all are welcome, affirmed, and supported! There are no borders or boundaries of class, age, sex, color, etc. We do not see homosexuality as sinful, wrong, or evil and so those who are members of the LGBTQ community are loved, supported, and welcomed as divine beings.
3. Healing from religious damage is done the same way one heals from any injury – time and nurturing. As with grieving a death, you allow yourself time to heal and you nurture yourself. As with surgery, you allow yourself time to heal and you nurture yourself. When you realize how magnificent you truly are and you allow yourself time to make the shift from the darkness to the light and you nurture and empower yourself, your healing will occur naturally. The human body knows how to heal itself; so too does your heart and soul. Align yourself with a support system of people who love and appreciate you for the totality of you and do the same for yourself, love and accept.
I believe we are at a major turning point in human evolution and history. Every day we see more and more darkness being exposed and brought to the light and as this occurs, we are given the opportunity to shift into the light or pretend and remain in ego consciousness, pretending to be asleep. Members of the LGBTQ community deserve full “human” rights and privileges whether that be marriage equality, housing, employment, etc. All the rights afforded any human are the same rights that are called to be afforded to all humans! As an evolved and ever evolving race of intelligent, compassionate, spiritual beings we have a duty and responsibility to protect, heal, support, and serve all of humanity and in so doing, we also do so for mother nature.
Treat others as you want to be treated.
That is the golden rule in all cultures, all societies, all religions and spiritual traditions and now is a great time to live in accordance with it.
In Light, Love, and Gratitude!