As a member of the Roman Catholic Church in the Cayman Islands, I have from time to time on my own accord taken on the role of apologist and defender of the Catholic faith in local newspapers and magazines.
It surprises me that many Christian denominations don’t view the Catholic faith as being Christian. They must stop and consider that the Christian Church, which is the Catholic organisation is older than any other Christian denomination. That’s factual. In my writings that appeared in the Cayman Net Newspaper back in 2005 and 2006, I attempted to explain the Catholic faith with writings on the real presence in the Eucharist, love and respect to the Blessed Virgin, the authority of the Pope and the sacrament of confession to a priest. I was at no point trying to convert anyone but only to educate.
In more recent times I have been writing for a local Christian magazine. It was made clear to me by the editor of the magazine that I would not be paid for my writings and that I was to stay far away from any topic that was too controversial, after all this is a ‘Christian Magazine.’ I agreed.
Well, I am Mr. Controversy himself personified. I am an artist at heart. I think outside the box. I often times break church rules as the Christian lifestyle, the road less travelled, is not an easy one. Oh; but I do try! I try to be good, do good, love God and neighbour and hold fast to my faith in Christ.
The editor of this Christian magazine was apprehensive to let me write knowing that I could be a man of hedonism, drunkenness and licentious behaviour. But for the grace of God there go I. I know that I far from sainthood.
My first three-part series in the magazine had been on sexual purity in our Christian lives. This is what we should all aim for. Yet the topic made many readers cringe and as a result the editor came under question as to why I was being allowed to write in the magazine. Still the editor gave me a chance. I can see, though, why people would become uncomfortable when reading on the topics of lust, premarital sex, extramarital affairs and homosexuality. Some people were outraged.
But I welcome a healthy debate and we as a society must discuss topics openly. In my view nothing should be taboo. Let’s talk about it … religious, pagan or atheist. I realised that my name had been removed from the contributing writers’ lineup in the Christian magazine. When I questioned this I was told that my name would only appear if my writing had been printed in that particular issue. I didn’t really buy into that, honestly.
When I questioned why my subsequent Catholic writings hadn’t been used the editor basically told me that they were too Catholic in nature and that by the time the works had been edited it had made no sense to print in that there was nothing really to print. I questioned whether or not the real reason for not printing my material had been my supposedly controversial lifestyle. The editor assured me that that was not the reason and that we all have had a past but that God loves us and forgives us.
I was reminded by another highly educated individual not to be upset with the editor of the magazine as ultimately there is an image to protect. I reminded the editor that I am who I am and that I am not prepared to make apologies for that. And speaking of controversy, I recently auditioned for a role in the Broadway musical to be produced by CDS later this year titled RENT where I’m casted to play a homosexual man who’s in love with a male drag queen. Will this create even more controversy as someone writing freely for a Cayman local Christian magazine, I asked the editor. The editor then quickly reminded me that how it ‘was rumoured some years ago that I was gay’. This is where I pretty much lost it. The only reason I am able to take on a gay role in a stage production is because I am comfortable with my sexuality as a heterosexual male.
If I were gay in real life I would be the first one to shout it from the rooftops in pride! I confessed there and then to the editor of the Christian magazine that perhaps I am not worthy to write in a Christian magazine as I am often times tempted (and many times give in) to visiting brothels where I am sinfully entertained by women.
I speak truth. I hide nothing. And I am in constant need of God’s grace and forgiveness.