For a while now, I've been bothered by an apparent hypocrisy I've noticed in my own behaviour: some people who identify as both gay and Christian bother me, and some don't.

Today, I realised why this is so, and I feel much less troubled as a result.

The ones who don't bother me are probably best exemplified by my friend Mal. Mal identifies as.... well, something other than heterosexual, anyway. Mal also identifies as Christian.

Those who do bother me are, typically, Catholics - or say they are, anyway. I shan't name any names here - largely because I can't, as I've tended not to pay much attention to these people, so can't call any to mind right now. This is not to say that all people who identify as gay and Catholic bother me..

The difference is simple: Mal understands what he means when he says he's Christian. Mal has examined his beliefs and come to his own understanding of what it means to be Christ-like.

In contrast, those who bother me have not examined their own faith at all. They tend to say "I'm a Catholic" without understanding what that means. Often they've not attended any church services in years, if ever. They typically don't have any knowledge of the book they claim their faith is based on, or the history, traditions, and policies of the church they claim to belong to.

(Updated to fix the link. I really should preview these things before I post)