This sure brought a tear to this former Catholic’s eye:
David Lohman is a faith work coordinator with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. He’s also a composer with a deep background in musical theater. Those tracks of Lohman’s life came together when he composed the hymn “For All the Children.”Catholics for Marriage Equality, at the urging of former priest Jim Smith, recently funded and organized the making of a music video around that hymn. More than 300 Catholics and others packed Cavalry Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for fellowship and song in front of the cameras. Faith Forward MN captured the day.
What a beautiful gesture. With the hierarchy of the Catholic Church — from the pope on down — making anti-LGBT spiritual bullying a priority (especially in Minnesota, where the Catholic Church is throwing its weight behind a proposed marriage discrimination amendment to that state’s constitution) it’s easy to lump all Catholics into the same bigoted bunch. But as I’ve said over and over again, we must resist the impulse to do so even as we speak out against these injustices. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of Catholics support LGBT rights, including marriage equality. Many of them are finding their voices for the first time, summoning up the courage to overtly challenge the homophobia of their church’s leaders.
And yes, it does take courage. Take the people in this video, for example. Taking a stand on marriage equality was so important to them that they left the comfort of their home parishes to gather in a safe, welcoming space (most Catholic parishes wouldn’t be able to host a gathering like this, even if they wanted to) and sing their support for their LGBT friends and loved ones. If any of them minister publicly in their churches — as volunteer cantors (songleaders), lectors (readers), ushers, greeters, or communion ministers — or if any of them work for the Catholic Church in a professional capacity as pastoral associates, liturgists, business managers, teachers, music directors, etc., participating in this video could get them pushed out of ministry or even fired.
Yet they came anyway, sang anyway, spoke out for equal marriage anyway in spite of those very real risks. For them, sending a message of inclusion to the LGBT community and standing up to Minnesota’s mean-spirited, divisive, and discriminatory amendment was worth it.