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       Anniversary Dinner of Dignity/LA (2012)

             By Pax Nidorf, Founder of Dignity

   Thank you for taking me out of mothballs for this evening. It is a wonderful experience being here and speaking to you.

   I was going to start by saying that I do not like taking credit for the work of the Holy Spirit; but the fact is that I probably do like it.

   So it is important for you to know that it was only by some strange cosmic lottery that I was chosen to plant the first seeds of Dignity. The Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and I happened to listen. After planting those seeds, He inspired others, far more talented and brilliant than I am, to carry on His work; and thus Dignity has grown through tremendous and untiring efforts.

   I envision Dignity as being a great presence and force for goodness in the world. It goes way beyond sexual preference and all of the way to the very core of humanity. When someone knows that you are a member of Dignity, they should automatically assume that you are a symbol for everything that is good and just in this world.

   We really must not waste our time trying to change Rome. Just look upon the Holy See as a Ministry of Magic and treat it with a benign tolerance. The Church is filled with many well-meaning wackos! Having climbed the hierarchical ladder is obviously no guarantee of sanity or sanctity; and human frailty is painfully evident in the hierarchy of the Church.

   Please remember that the Church sponsored the Inquisition.

   What is life all about? It is about growth, and there is little growth without challenge. Every person here this evening, everyone you know, has their challenges. I would like somewhat fewer challenges, but I know that they are necessary for growth. And when we finish growing, it is time to pass over. We come down to this planet to grow and evolve.

   Dignity cannot expect to sail through history without any confrontations with the hierarchy. We need to remember that the "Church" is the membership. The Church is all the Catholics throughout the world, not just men wearing funny hats and red capes. Hopefully, but not always, the Church is represented by the Holy See; but as we know from history, the body of the Church is often found to be in conflict with Rome.

   We need to be the new Knights Templar, carrying the banner of HOPE for all Christians, gay and straight. The world needs us, because Voldemort is out there and is gaining strength. There is real evil in the world; and we must stand shoulder to shoulder, supporting and loving one another.

   We need a new St. Teresa of Avila. She was the first true feminist; she was brilliant; she was clever in outmaneuvering the Inquisition; she was courageous; and she was deeply spiritual. She was one of the greatest mystics of the Church. We need more women in Dignity.

   Young gay people must see Dignity as not just a social organization, but rather a crusade for equality, justice, and right. We must burn with a fire and zeal that shines forth for all of humanity to see.

   The members of Dignity need a challenge. Not that we need to run off to join the missions, but just being a Catholic is not enough. There needs to be a new emphasis, not on religions but on spirituality.

   We have been so brain-washed that sex is the BIG sin, when it is not even a sin at all. But it would seem that the medieval Church found sex to be a great way to control people; and they are still trying to do so.

   We lose perspective. We need to learn how to belong with God in order to grow and recharge our batteries, to awaken to the God presence within us. And then let the love flow, which is spiritual, physical, and emotional: the total person. We only receive love by giving it.

   Loneliness, depression, and fear of failure are all luxuries that we cannot afford, since they are a denial of the God presence within.

   Dignity members have a greater challenge: to be beacons of love and and hope for all others.

   We have so much to look forward to: there is such a core of energy in Dignity, energy to change the world. Not only for gays, but for all who seek the right. What makes you think that we were not chosen to lead the way?

   Do not underestimate the power of your touch, your smile, your kind words, your listening ear, or your smallest act of caring, all of which have the power to change the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

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