Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H

Being gay or atheistic are incompatible with Catholicism. The stupid would argue that to refuse to tick Catholic on a census form and to leave the Church formally or get the parish to strike your name off is polarising religion and sexuality/atheism!

Quick answer: "I am not turning my back on the Catholic Church but on the bad baggage that comes with it and the bloodshed."  No Catholic bigot could fail to be in awe of such an answer.

Yet it is clear that if your beliefs and the way you live your life is against a religion's required teaching you are not polarising but being true to yourself by leaving the religion. If polarising happens that is not down to your decision. It is still the right decision. If a religion is not infallible or the truth it claims to be then you should not be in it. Your devotion to truth is non-existent or poor if you stay.

"Refusing to check the box on the census or leaving the religion seems to be to be running away from the problem and not embracing your true self at all. It is only asking people to continue polarising religion and belief/sexual orientation."
Is it running away from the problem?
Not necessarily. It is dealing with the problem by protesting with your feet. Sometimes the only way to deal with a problem is to protest with your feet.

Would Fianna Fail supporters see giving up and voting for another party as running away from a problem Fianna Fail has? It depends.

In the light of the Catholic doctrine that nobody must force themselves to be members of the Church if they think it is man-made or has serious errors walking is doing the right thing and not polarising.
What is running away from the problem is pretending that a religion's official teaching that atheism or same-sex sexual activity should be warred against is either changeable or just its current opinion which might change in time.

Catholicism vehemently denies that its teaching can be changed or that it is mere opinion and up for debate. The Church has declared the war if there is a war.
It takes two to polarise. Take the homosexual thing. The argument is saying then that the Church will repulse gay relationships if the gays decide the religion does not suit them and they walk away! To want to be in a religion like that is internal homophobia. At least it is showing that it likes the bigotry of the Church and regards it as bigoted. Whoever uses the argument is no true friend of the gay community.
Its a free country. If you don't agree with your religion's teachings get another religion. Or are you too sectarian to do that? If it is a free country then stand up for that freedom by being consistent with it. If your religion is about you and not God then you are just a hypocrite if you stay in a religion that you think was not set up by God as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
LGBT rights and rights as atheists are in conflict with the rights of Christians. Don't try to paper over that. Whose rights should trump? I would say sexuality is more important than one's religion. And should be. That is the answer.

Catholic teaching says gay sex or atheism is a grave sin. A Protestant just has the Bible condemnation of gay sex and atheism to focus on, but the Catholic has more than that. The tradition of the Church is said to preserve the teaching of Christ and that tradition condemns gay sex and atheism is seen as a form of idolatry. In terms of the quantity of anti-gay and anti-atheist sources of doctrine, it would be less homophobic or less bigoted to be a Protestant than a Catholic. Christian teaching says that atheism is a grave sin which is probably worse than homosexuality for atheism opposes a relationship with God which is a fundamental principle for Christians.

People stopping going to Mass and vehemently criticising Church teaching has forced the Church to be less forceful and strident. The Church and even the pope pussyfoots around the Old Testament God's assertion that its an abomination for a man to abandon faith in God or lie with a man and that he who does this is an abomination. Jesus remember said the whole Old Testament was written by God through men and continually quoted it and put its teaching first. I'd rather the Church be allowed to state its teaching and if people don't like it they can find a new religion.
According to some, atheist or LGBT people who tick the No Religion box for the sake of atheist or LGBT rights are running away from the problem. Maybe those Catholics who defected from Scientology or Fundamentalist Christianity should reconsider and go back to their faiths. They ran away from the problem - shame on them! The worse the religion the worse it is then to run away from it. To try to be a member of a Church with harmful teachings is really saying, "You are so credible and so good that I need to be part of you." Outsiders see you as indicating that the faith is true and they think you are a bit mixed up if you live or preach in some way that differs from that faith. They take your attachment as a strange testimonial in favour of the religion but still a testimonial. And indeed they should! The Catholic religion after all sees itself as a hospital for sinners and rebels. Dissent and disobedience then are expected by the Church.
And is it a problem?  
A problem is something with the potential to be fixed. A religion stands for the concept of reason informed by faith. Even atheists have faith that there is no God. The idea is that if a teaching seems absurd or even unfair it must be accepted simply because faith is supposed to inform us on things we cannot know or work out for ourselves. The gay activist or atheist who claims to be truly Catholic does not have as much respect as he pretends when he wants to take away the religious freedom of the Church and get it to alter its teaching to suit him.
To stay in a religion to cause trouble for it and disagreement with its authentic teaching is being a problem yourself for that religion. How does a gay man or atheist expect staying in a Church while opposing its official teaching will help with the problem of how the Church views LGBT sexuality or atheist activism when he is a problem himself?
To refer to religious disapproval that leads to atheist or LGBT getting depressed and perhaps committing suicide and suffering other ills as a problem is a seriously insensitive understatement. Its more than a problem. It's worse than that.
Some atheist or LGBT people kill themselves in the hope of going into oblivion for they do not want to be part of an existence where there is thought to be a God who opposes atheist rights and LGBT love and condemns the sex as sinful. The Church has directly killed those people. If it is indirect then what does that matter? Indirect or direct does not matter much when the result is loss of life. The LGBT and atheists feel too excluded from the Christian society and that poses grave dangers too.
There are those who see Christianity's opposition to homosexuality as an abuse of religion. That is stupid. If religion were merely a system of ethics there could be a fair point. But religion is not just a heap of ethics. It claims to go beyond ethics to create further obligations. Religion comes from a word meaning to bind or obligate. Sensible people would agree that having a code of ethics is fine as long as you don't start adding in rules you can do without. It is ethical for Catholicism to say we must not murder but its unethical for it to say that only priests can celebrate Mass or forgive sins. That's taking away from the essentials.
The person who claims that being actively gay and Catholic are compatible and even complimentary will get a lot of tolerance and even respect for his sexuality from Catholics who don't know their religion well. They may think gay sex is not a serious sin in the Catholic faith or they may think the Church lets the individual Catholic decide for themselves. It is foolish of him if he regards the acceptance as proving he fits in the Church. Acceptance that is based on ignorance is artificial, dangerous and unsatisfactory. It cannot last - its sneaky of him to welcome it for it means he is encouraging people not to be their true Catholic selves. The reality is that the Church sees a gay person's conscience as distorted if it fails to see that God's teaching that gay sex is a sin is correct. Catholic respect for conscience does not mean the Church ever accepts a Catholic conscience that endorses gay sex as sensible or acceptable.
Some people "stay" in a religion when they should not. Don't try to justify the unjustifiable - if one sincerely disagrees with a religion one should not be in it - for one has left it anyway in one's heart and mind - and no religion however bad deserves people who class themselves as members though objectively speaking they are unbelievers. Agreeing with the Church a lot does not make you a true Catholic any more than it would make you a Mormon. The Church is either infallible or it is not.
A person who takes a census form and declares themselves to be a member of a faith and Church they have fallen away from is not being true to themselves. The Catholic who accepts atheist or LGBT people as moral people has become his own version of Catholicism but is not Roman Catholic.
If religious belief and practice do not matter, then why not declare yourself any religion at random? There is no difference between a person who rejects the Church and its faith declaring themselves Mormon on the census form or Catholic. One is just as untrue as the other.
And what if you state that it would be polarising religion and sexuality?
How black and white! LGBT have rights. The Church does not recognise them. Who is doing the polarising? Your statement implies that LGBT people who tick the No Religion box are as big into polarising as the Church is. It is an insulting statement.
Polarising whether slight or strong is a fact of life. If I drink tea, I polarise the makers of all other kinds of drinks.
If LGBT people are right to assert LGBT rights and the Catholic religion objects then the religion is what is doing the polarising. The argument that ticking No Religion is polarising is taking the Church's side. If you believe that LGBT people ceasing to declare themselves Catholic means they are polarising then you need to think again. Its only polarising if the break is based on hostility. This need not be the case. Again you slander my viewpoint and twist things. You show that your truly loyalties are not with LGBT people who break with the Church and you judge them.
If LGBT people want to enjoy their sexuality and the Church is against this, who is doing the polarising? It is not LGBT people. If you think you are an LGBT person who wants the Church to accept committed loving gay relationships, ask yourself if you want to polarise LGBT people who don't adhere to or want to adhere to this model. They will certainly never be accepted.
Many people who call themselves Catholic do not go to Mass, do not pay the Church any money and hate Catholic beliefs and they are members of our community. This terrifying polarisation you fear between LGBT/atheists and Catholics is not going to happen just because LGBT's/atheists tick the No Religion box or defect from the Church. It may happen for other reasons but not that. I could attend a Mormon chapel despite being an atheist just because I like the people and the service. Separating from Church membership need not involve warfare.
There will always be strident homophobes and atheist haters in the Church and involved in running it. Some were popes and some were saints. Some want the church to accept LGBT and atheist rights and polarise them even if those monsters become popes. Be honest. Jesus said that if a kingdom is divided against itself it cannot stand so you are going against him in your disobedience. The Church is commanded to be one heart and one soul (Acts 4:32). How can it be and how can it be a Church and how can it teach if people like you campaigning for it to change its doctrine to suit you? You say having the honesty to walk away from the Church if you disagree with it is running away from the problem. Unity in doctrine is the basic trait the Church must have in order to be one in organisation and fellowship, holy, Catholic and apostolic. Walking away can be a sign of respect for the Church.
That's the strident homophobes covered about what about the "milder" ones who do not want Gay relationships encouraged or supported? In fact the homophobe who is nice and refuses support to committed gay relationships is worse than the nasty gobby homophobe. The niceness is just tactical.
The gay "Catholic" can have a seeming addiction to Jesus Christ and their wanting others to be trapped into that assumes that Jesus was and would be pro-gay. What comes first then if he wasn't or isn't? If it is not Jesus then maybe this "Catholic" should quit the Church.
Some declare that LGBT Catholics who do not tick the Roman Catholic box are polarising sexuality and religion and making the problems far worse. This is a blatant lie because many LGBT people refuse to tick the box for reasons that have nothing to do with their sexuality at all. Or at least there is little to do. They might be unbelievers or born-again Christians or want to be undenominational for example. Unless a person is required to state why they don't tick the Roman Catholic box and they state then there is no problem. And would it be a problem even if they did? Some want the LGBT minority not to polarise their sexuality and the huge Catholic religion. In terms of size and influence surely the Church will come out the winner? Or at least it has the best chance. We don't know if in ten years the LGBT community will get less or more acceptance than it gets today. Things can change quickly. Is it right then to consort with a body that condemns LGBT people as sinners for exercising their sexuality?
If one is worried about the polarising, is it because one thinks LGBT influence will be taken out of the Church or reduced? But the Church might also say, "Let us not exclude LGBT people for if we are nice to them they may come to see the error of their ways and see that valid heterosexual marriage is the only moral avenue for sexual activity." The only reason the Church might be nice is so that it does not drive LGBT people further into a forbidden lifestyle and does not anger people in the closet so that they will come out and join the cause. To be at peace with that is to become as manipulative as the Church.
Most Catholics do not care if you leave the box unticked and tick no religion. Despite their Church, they will not take it as an insult or see it as any of their business. There will be no polarising at all unless LGBT go to Mass and tick the No Religion box and make a ceremony of it. Most Catholics won't know or ask.The objectordon't be so stupid - your desperation to bully those who don't want to support an organisation that does not support them is horrendous.
Jesus said he came not to cause peace but to cause division and the father would hate his son and the son his father. If Christianity fits modern secular thinking - and to the extent that it starts to accept LGBT rights - then what Jesus said made no sense. Jesus was saying his true followers go not with the flow but against it.
Some say: "Shouldn't we be campaigning for religious tolerance rather than round rejection of religion?"
How dare you say I campaigned for a round rejection of religion! I told people to have the honesty to go their own way and be their own religion. And I didn't mention rejection. If you find something does not suit you any more, you will move on. Moving on is not the same as rejection.
Tolerance for what you don't like is not the same as tolerance for what is wrong. The objector seems to confuse the two. You must tolerate what you do not like. But you should not be part of anything that is wrong. You walk.
Objector you have a ridiculous concept of tolerance. Unlike you, I assert fully the right of the Church to condemn and exclude LGBT should it wish and the right of LGBT people to separate from the Church. You are implying that LGBT people who make the decision to leave the Church and tick the No Religion box are intolerant. That is offensive and many have sacrificed a lot to separate from the Church. Christianity is obligated by its scriptures to see those who leave as evil and misguided and in danger of everlasting torment. The Roman Catholic faith teaches, "Outside the Church there is no salvation." Christians bully those who leave by calling them intolerant and that is what you are trying to do. Go to bed with bullies and you will be bullied yourself.
Do you think the Catholic Church is intolerant for not allowing Muslims to celebrate Mass in its Churches (hypothetical). So why should I be called intolerant if I take steps to break with the Church for the sake of human rights or just because I have the integrity to do the right thing and be an official unbeliever if I don't believe? The objector you want to be tolerated by the Church and not accepted. Tolerance implies putting up with something immoral or bad because there is no way of eradicating it. Did you know the meaning of the word when you wrote your letter? Tolerance implies, "I have to tolerate my son making the choice to live as a gay man. I begrudge doing it and wish I could make the choice for him not to do this.!
There are those who will not say, "Ok, this religion is not for me. I will find another one. There is plenty out there. I will not upset the leadership of the Church and its obedient followers by staying in it as I advocate for the Church to change to suit me. Why me? The Church cannot change to suit everybody who has a problem with its doctrines. If a religion is not truly from God but is man-made and I know it, then I shouldn't be in it." There is no genuine tolerance or respect in what they are doing.
Objector, you do not tolerate LGBT people who no longer identify as Catholic. You want them to tick the Roman Catholic box.
The objector like everyone else, believes there are actions that should be hated. The Church says that gay sex is one of them. The objector if he really believes in religious tolerance for the Catholic Church will have to insist that Catholics be given the right and even the encouragement to detest gay activity. Whose side is he on? Tolerance actually means you put up with somebody or something bad or dangerous but not that you like it or encourage it. Being part of a harmful religion is not tolerance. Its collusion. Tolerance for the objector should mean that he leaves the Church. He asks the Church to tolerate him being in it when he opposes some of its teachings and certainly when he denies that the Church really is the voice of Jesus Christ and free from error. That is unfair and intolerant of him.
The progress Catholics have made in LGBT issues that you mention is not progress but disobedience of the Church. Pick and Mix fake Catholics are everywhere these days. You have fake pick and mix Christians like Tony Blair and all who boast about being men of honesty and peace while they lie and cheat to incite war.
You distorted again objector. I did not say people must roundly reject religion. I merely said that if a religion teaches things that are not for them they must think about going their own way. Why not be your own religion? Why not be your own man or one woman Church? Its the fashion! That is not rejecting religion but doing the right and honest thing. If you have to have a religion, then find one that does not unjustly condemn you or your actions. Saying, "I'll be my own religion and tick the No Religion box" is a rejection of a religious affiliation not a round rejection of religion.
Would you use that argument objector if it was a religion that taught that gay people must be destroyed as part of its official doctrine? Would it make any sense then to campaign for this teaching to be tolerated? No - you would feel then you were not part of the solution but the problem. The Catholic Church does not execute gay people but surely you must see that to tolerate its teaching against LGBT rights is to fuel efforts to destroy those rights.
Objector you have roundly rejected the Catholic religion yourself. You cannot come up with a way of telling where truth begins or falsehood leaves off in the Catholic Church. You reduce religion to human opinion. You want a Church that changes to suit you. You want to distort Catholicism while retaining the trappings, the culture and social benefits of Catholicism. You are not the only person that thinks the Church should change to suit you. Just be honest and admit you think its the Church's job to suit you even if - hypothetically - it is right to condemn homosexuality. 
Objector you would tell people, "You can be Catholic and not believe in the Church's teaching about sex." By stop with sex? Why not say you can be a good Catholic and advocate culling most of the human race to avoid the nightmare that awaits us when the world population is fifty billion? What's so special about sex? You are guilty of a misrepresentation and not genuine loyalty to the Church. You are not speaking as a Catholic but as a heretic. You cannot believe these teachings. Are you trying to by reading Church literature and praying, "God help me to believe for faith is your gift"? If you are then your attitude is, "The Church has to be right though I cannot see it yet but I will. Therefore I must still support and advocate the Church's teaching." There is just no way somebody can claim to be infallible and to speak for the Church like you do without the right or authority to can be a true Catholic.
People who use religion as a convenient label are hypocritical and I find them irritating.
I wonder are you as keen at picking up the pen to defend gay rights as you are tolerance towards the Catholic Church?
He is saying we must tolerate Catholic homophobia and not reject this faith because of it. Obviously he turns a blind eye to how dangerous the Church's attitudes are. Official Church and Bible teaching says sexual sin, including LGBT acts and relationships are a serious sin and deserve everlasting punishment. Jesus said in Matthew 18 that we must ostracise and despise anybody who does not accept the teaching of the Church. Jesus said you are better to lose an eye than to use it to incite lust. People have committed suicide, been cut off by their families and suffered mental illness because of these teachings. The spiritual and social power of the Church are very intimidating to the vulnerable LGBT person. We only tolerate what is tolerable. The harm the Church does is not. He turns a blind eye to the fact that society is prone enough to homophobia without the Church adding to it.
The vitriol some gay people direct at the Church is still less bad than the Church teachings that homosexuality is a grave evil and if the person knows the Church forbids it and still does it with full consent that person will suffer forever in the retribution of hell if he dies unrepentant.
How the gay or atheist "Catholic" or "supporter" of the Church who the Church sees as an unrepentant rebel can expect people to be impressed by his ways and his distaste of the Church's anti-gay teaching is a good question. They will just see him as the Church does, a stubborn sinner.
Its a strange kind of religious tolerance that supports a dangerous religion instead of you being your own similar religion and pope and prophet. The objector is not the fan of tolerance he pretends to be.
It is not a round rejection of religion the article advocated. Its a round rejection of the Church on the census form that was asked for. You can still go to Mass etc for sentimental reasons or whatever. You can invent your own version of /Catholicism and be your won Church. That is not a round rejection of religion.
Interesting that you want LGBT to campaign for tolerance of religion instead of campaigning for religion to tolerate LGBT. I suppose you are aware that tolerance really is just people stomaching one another reluctantly. You should want the Church to accept you instead of merely tolerating you. If you felt that people were tolerating you, would that help your sense of self-worth? It would do you more damage in the long run than getting beaten up by Christians outside a gay club.
The Church gets away with the things it does and says because of its apparent size. And that is the fault of people who are not truly Catholic but who go through the motions and label themselves as Catholics. Most so-called Catholics are not real Catholics. It is because their names are on the books that the pope is taken so seriously as a major world figure. Having your name on the books is contributing to the prestige the pope is held in. Because he has it, he can use it to come to your country and plead with believers to stop gay rights. If greater numbers of gay men have to live with HIV and AIDS, that will be a challenge for health service funding. The Church will say, and indeed does say, that nobody forced most of them to have sex. It will say they contracted those illnesses through illicit sex and so must take responsibility for this. The Church will conclude that those who are sick not through their own fault should be given priority. The Church will kill gay men through its teaching. It already does that by conditioning people to feel good about refusing to use condoms. The person who has unsafe sex sins less than the person who has sex with a condom on.
LGB rights started off in force because of the number of LGB people who were committing suicide and being harassed by those who disapproved of LGB people and their relationships.The objector wants to support an organisation that preaches homophobia in the form of refusing to support and encourage LGB relationships - that is often more harmful than an LGB person suffering abuse or even the odd slap. The Church ignores the fact that its disapproval of gay relationships encourages promiscuity among many gay people. It makes them feel their relationships are dirty.
To claim to be Catholic and then reject required teachings of the Church is intolerance. Better to shake hands with the Church and make a peaceful departure. Those individuals who refuse to admit they are inventing a religion of their own when they reinterpret the religion they were born into are annoying. And such are not solid support for LGBT rights for they only have a minority interpretation. Support for LGBT rights should be based on facts not on interpretations. Interpretations cannot be taken any more seriously than opinions can.
The objector may not realise that many people do oppose LGB relationships solely on religious grounds. If he realised it, he would tick No Religion on the census form. The Church requires opposition to LGB freedoms on religious grounds. Its part of being the Church. Too many gay people reason, "The Church opposes my right to be happy in a same sex relationship. I do not care for that shows that it is not about us so much as something the Church does not like in itself. Only those who have LGB tendencies they fear and cannot accept or suppress, will disapprove of same-sex relationships." This argument is actually narrow minded. It over-simplifies. Not all people who oppose something need do so for the same reasons or reason. People can be genuinely disgusted by at least some forms of sexual behaviour. You may as well argue that the old woman is offended by scantily clad girls because she wishes she could dress like that as argue that only closet gays hate gays. Her disgust could be based on the fact that some men will see those girls as sex objects and she feels the girls are encouraging them. God said in the Bible that men having sex together was an abomination - is God queer? It is insulting to people who believe that sex outside marriage is bad to imply that they believe this because they want to engage in it. And you are implying that if you state that those who disapprove of same sex sexuality and relationships and sexual activity must have some unwanted LGB feelings. The objector is simply assisting those who wish to oppose his sexuality on religious grounds and he is assisting it merely by claiming that he is in the Church and by attending its worship and giving it money with which to spread its silly message. He is desensitising himself and others as to the full horror of homophobia.
A consistent Christian cannot complain about homophobic or florid anti-atheist language. Jesus used abusive language in Matthew 23. Curiously, it was not a sin for Jesus to speak abuse to the Jewish leaders who he said were going to Hell. The usual excuse was that Jesus was so overcome with love for them that he lost his temper and had to be very blunt for their sakes and to make them wake up. There is no hint of love in the passage and besides Jesus said to them they cannot escape their fate in Hell.
The argument that we should tolerate the Church instead of leaving it if we know or think it is wrong is not truly concerned for tolerance. Rather it wants to deprive people of the one religion that is known for not changing doctrine to suit the times. It wants the Catholic Church to become another form of Protestantism with all its disunity and confusion.
The Bible contains vicious anti-gay and anti-unbeliever statements. If LGBT or atheist people want to change the Church, then those statements need to be excised from the Bible and declared to be of human not godly origin. Can you imagine the Church doing that and then having to do the same for other groups that are not happy with the scriptures? For the Church to do that would be to admit that it is a man-made religion that has a Bible that claims to be written by God which is really just human and unfit to be called a revelation from God.
You don't like my suggestion that LGBT people need to tick the no religion box as it "seems too pessimistic". The seems shows you have, not surprisingly, lost confidence in your own drivel.
To assert that the Church will never take the side of gay rights is not pessimistic. The Church can't please everybody and shouldn't even try. LGBT people are not the only people who want their own kind of change in the Church. The Anglican Communion wants the Roman Catholic Church to accept its bishops as real bishops and to accept the ordination of women and then they might consider reunion with Rome. Women want the teaching against contraception changed. The Roman Catholic Church is not going to risk a Church split of unprecedented proportions to accept gay people. LGBT people comprise less than 2% of the population for heaven's sake. If that acceptance were to happen, traditional Catholics would soon create their Roman Catholic Church Continuing or True Roman Catholic Church and there will be a number of men in Rome each claiming to be the one true Pope and to represent the true Catholic faith. To say the Church needs to change is really to ask the Church to deny that it teaches objective truth and to repudiate real Catholicism. It is to declare the Church as a system of doctrine to be just an assumption based on the absurd and loathsome principles of moral relativism. To take such a stance means that one follows the Church out of sentiment not faith and that is not following the Church at all. It is letting feelings be in charge.
Until you give me evidence that the Catholic Church is going to consider making gay porn no longer a sin, admit people have the right to have casual sex without love, give women the right to have babies without having a relationship with a man, have open sexual relationships, make marriage optional and one valid lifestyle among many and encourage young people over the legal age to experiment with sex with their own sex don't you refer to my proposal as pessimistic. You know fine well that the Church would have to say that only lifelong gay relationships built on love are moral if the impossible happened and it changed its mind on gay people. But it will never go further than that. If it happens that lifelong commitment is accepted it will cause polarisation in the LGBT community which does tend, thanks to Christianity, to categorise LGBT people, who are very sexually free and feel no need for lifelong love as sluts. The teaching that we must not judge those who have lots of partners in bed is sneaky. It implies, "I don't know the full situation and so I can't judge. But if I could know it I would." The judging is still happening in principle. People will see through it and be gravely damaged by Christianity's promotion of holiness and opposition to sin.
We need change soon not in a hundred years or in a thousand. And the change cannot happen for it will be telling Catholics that man has the right to change what the Church calls divine revelation and turn the Church antichrist.
To support the Catholic system is to support an information network that seeks to make homosexuality and atheism look bad and look like a sin. Have you read Catholic Voice and Alive? They contain alarming fulminations against atheist parents in particular and atheists in general and contain rabid anti-LGBT teachings.
"No one should have to give up their faith in order to hold on to being gay." That is a denial that religion has the right to exclude people if it so chooses and has the right to have standards even if some of the standards seem unfair. And the reality is that some standards will be unfair so all you can do is just obey them but work for change without dissent or rebellion. It all depends on how serious or not the harm done by the standards is. If I find out there is no God, I have no right to expect the Church to change to suit me. I walk. Rather than supporting religion and faith your attitude advocates hypocrisy and self-deceit and superstition - its superstitious to say "God revealed this religion but I don't believe that bit and I like this bit so I will believe it." I agree with the pope that if you don't like the rules then find another religion or another Church that suits you or go you own way but don't pretend you are a true support of the Catholic faith. If the pope is wrong then where do we draw the line? He is only uttering commonsense.
You know that the Church makes exclusive truth claims. You want it to change. You want it to drop its exclusive truth claim that homosexuality is wrong and you want it to do it for you. You are making an exclusive truth claim that the Church should change its exclusive truth claims. You are not making sense and therefore you are not a true supporter of atheists or homosexuality as long as you profess Catholicism. Period.
Religion is not a gathering of individuals. It is not a social club for individuals. In fact, you have to give up your liberties to be part of the religion. But you may say that say Mormons and Catholics for example have a lot of freedom to do what they want. Yes but they are doing these things primarily because they are permitted so they are still not free. The only freedom the religious person has is the freedom to obey.
Sin is defined by God's alleged revelation to the Church as breaking the law of God. Therefore sin and being a harmful person are not necessarily the same thing. if you break the law by being only slightly over the drink driving limit and are caught you will be punished. Thus even if homosexuality or atheism were recognised by the Church as good it would still have to forbid it as the Church claims no authority to change what has been handed down from the apostles and that includes the belief that homosexuality or atheism is a sin.
The word for sin in the New Testament is hamartia. This word comes from archery and describes missing the mark. Sin then means missing the point of your human existence and what God wants from you. Thus if you believe one can be a good person and gay that belief is no good. The doctrine that sin is missing the mark says you are fooling yourself. It says people will believe that things such as homosexuality and atheism are good and the fact that they believe these things is IRRELEVANT! The Christian God condemns sexual relations between members of the same sex and says atheism is idolatry. Your belief cannot change that fact. The Church would say all sinners justify their sins to themselves. Don't play into the Church's hands by arguing that you believe gay sex or atheism can be holy.
Don't try to give the impression that separating from the Church is negative when you know fine well that the Church puts a huge amount of time and effort and money into stopping gay marriage. It certainly thinks that if making homosexuality illegal again is the best way for the state to innoculate itself against gay marriage it should. Don't let anyone say that Catholics dumping the Church when they become atheist is negative and ruining atheist rights. Saying that is just stupid.