chapter  4
26 Pages

Hindrances to Gay Spirituality

I grew up believing that no person’s life could be complete without a personal relationship with God. Granted, the Evangelical Christian denition of authentic spirituality is fairly narrow, but the basic principle of being in relationship with God seems to balance the human experience. We are not only physical, mental, emotional, and sexual beings but we are also spiritual at our core. Broadening the scope and denition of what spirituality is helps us to see that all human life is improved when one’s spirituality is acknowledged and developed. Karl Jung cautioned that humans needing balance and harmony would benet from integrating spirituality into their lives (Wikipedia). However, spirituality is not exclusive to that part of the population attending weekly worship services. It is not limited to the Abrahamic siblings of Christians, Jews, or Muslims. Nor is it conned to Buddhists, Hindus, or Wiccans. Spirituality as dened in chapter 1 is that part of us that connects outside ourselves to something greater than ourselves or, as O’Hanlon (2006, p. 11) said, “a sense that there is something bigger going on in life.” All human beings desire a connection with something more or, at the very least, something beyond their own minds. When spirituality can grow and develop into something meaningful, it is accompanied by a new sense of wholeness and mental health in people’s lives. In fact, in a 1996 survey of marriage and family therapists, 96% “agreed with the statement that ‘there is a relationship between spiritual health and mental health,’” (Carlson & Erickson, 2002, p. 111). Conversely, the

opposite is also true. Whenever people are cut o from their spirituality or feel ostracized from their spiritual communities, they suer.