During this past week, Yahoo.com's front page linked to a CNN video about "questioning Christians" - those who don't feel that they fit in a traditional church. Rev. Robert Hardies of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington D.C. explained that "the beliefs they were taught served as walls that divided them from other people."
It frustrates me that the Catholic Church is constantly viewed as outmoded or exclusionary. The word "catholic" means "universal". It is the Universal Church.
We are supposed to embrace uniqueness, embrace humanity. Jesus was a human being, after all. He was a very specific individual - a male, a foster child, a carpenter, a person of the 1st century AD, a Jew, and so on. God - and thus the Church - wants us to be different yet united in our faith and love of God. I'm afraid that some members of the Church - both religious and laity - have put out wrong information and wrong attitudes toward people different from them. God is an all-welcoming, all-forgiving, and all-loving father. We are all a little bit wrong, in some way, and all a little bit right for God. Amen to that.