As LGBTI people of faith, we share much in common. We live multiple identities that many think simply do not go together. And as such, we can be bridges of communication between seemingly conflicting worlds. The intersection of our identities can serve to facilitate inter-religious dialogue around LGBTI issues, but also beyond them, to the core of the challenges facing us today, which I think can be understood as the question, “How do we relate, as individuals and as societies, with those who are different from us?” Or as the bible states it, with “the stranger, the widow and the orphan.” As LGBTI people we are on the front lines of working for inclusion, and we must realize that our work is not only for us, but for the “stranger, the widow and the orphan” as well, all those who would be considered “other” or outside the familiar norms of our personal lives and of society.
Growing up Christian, I am intrigued by other religions that have similar but more rigid dogma regarding Christian prices and beliefs and exactly how they live out their stated convictions. I question what attracts visitors to such strict methods and exactly how women and the LGBT community are accepted, viewed and their jobs, both traditional and modern in both Catholicism and Judaism. I intend to research the changing role of culture in regards to women, the LGBT community and the role of religion in this social change. How do women and the LGBT community impact these religions? Also, what is the influence of gender and sexual orientation on the religious practices and doctrine? My objective is to further understand the role of the two religions as it factors in the role of women in command positions within the religious beliefs and the acceptance of the LGBT community and exactly how they may be changing or not changing their doctrine for this particular cultural group.
The role of women in society has changed a lot in recent years. Women are taking on leadership jobs in politics, economics, and more but many religions still have not allowed women to participate or hold leadership roles within the cathedral. How come this so and it is this situation likely to alter given sociable change? This subject is a subject of substantial sociological debate-the more so in view of the annals of these two religions as a profoundly patriarchal.
All religions have something to state about sexuality within the remit of religious control and spiritual teaching. Both these religions condition tolerance and also have been victims of persecutions throughout history, yet their doctrine affirms that homosexuality is wrong. Given public change about the acceptance of the LGTB community, how are these religions growing or are they?
Using an objective investigation which includes the utilization of demographics, service observations, interviewing of church leaders and exercising worshippers, and an analysis of gathered internet research like the history of women and the LGBT community in Catholicism and Judaism and trending data regarding social changes within these two religions. I anticipate attending services in the Riverside area at a Catholic church (one weekday and one weekend service) and meeting with priests and users of the congregation to discover their views regarding ladies in management functions and the approval or not of the LGBT community. I also intend to visit and meet with Jewish market leaders at a synagogue and interview them on these tasks as well.
Sociology of Catholicism, Women, and LGBTQ
The amount of Roman Catholics in the world is increasing (Hoge, 2005).It’s been well documented that American Catholics tend to be Catholics on their own conditions, or choose to remain Catholic while selectively embracing formal Cathedral doctrine. Still, many Catholics who disagree with formal Cathedral teachings on major issues such as homosexuality, women’s ordination, or abortion, and are thus institutionally marginalized, choose to stay Catholic (Dillon, 1999). Why do they stay, when the expense of remaining and being stigmatized would seem to be higher than the benefits they might gain from switching to religious organizations whose doctrines would validate their values on these issues? In my research and interviews of a local Catholic priest and parishioners, I question the ethical and moral challenges that Catholics face in taking those who find themselves openly homosexual or lesbian, advocates of women’s ordination, and pro-choice. I also proceed to investigate why and exactly how pro-change Catholics continue to remain actively involved with the Cathedral, despite their rejection of the Vatican’s teaching on sexuality and gender.
Another point that needs to be considered is the role of women in the Catholic priesthood. According to current events, that while more people are becoming Catholic, there’s a lack in priests. This calls to question, why doesn’t the Catholic Church ordain women? Studies indicate that ordaining women into priesthood is in fact well-liked by 62 percent of the Catholic laity in a 1999 survey. I’ve not seen any numbers on priests’ behaviour, but the figure would probably maintain the number of 35 to 55 percent in favor. In my own interview with a local Catholic priest, it was conveyed that this would be a logical solution.
Sociology of Judaism, Women, and LGBTQ
It is estimated that at least 7% of American Jews are lesbian, homosexual, or bisexual (Cohen, 2009). Since the rise of the LGBTQ movement in the 1970s, Jewish women have played critical assignments in advocating for the entire addition of LGBTQ people in society, in synagogues, in history books, and in social, political, and spiritual life (“Jewish Women’s Archive”, n.d.). Recent years have brought many breakthroughs for the LGBTQ Jewish community: the establishment of LGBTQ synagogues, homosexual/lesbian haggadahs, the ordination of gay/lesbian rabbis, rabbinic officiation at LGBTQ commitment ceremonies, and much ritual and liturgical development. All of these changes have helped transform LGBTQ Jewish experience from silence and erasure, to dignity and celebration.
It could be complicated to assign modern LGBTQ identities to women of days gone by, and many today continue steadily to struggle with the heterosexual norms of our secular and Jewish neighborhoods. In participating in services and meeting with people of the Jewish community, I found their views to be quite liberal and receiving of the LGBTQ community of the liberated role of ladies in their religious practices. The term “tolerance” was widespread in my conversations. In There is transformation in the manner Jews think about spirituality, women, and LGBTQ individuals. It seems that these two minorities have helped the Jewish community become much more inclusive.
Religion celebrates, and thereby, reinforces, the fact that people can form societies. But what goes on when society’s views change and the original forms of religious beliefs are affected by the role of women and the LGBT community? The spiritual aspects of society should also be allowed to evolve, so that interpersonal change may emerge. Religion will always be present for it performs a required cultural function however the specific nature and doctrine of the religion may or my not be able to change with culture.