May 11, 2012

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

I have had thoughts rolling around in my head about this weeks current gay marriage controversy. Obama came out for it publicly, I think the first time since he had been elected President. Then, numerous states voted against civil rights/marriage rights of gay couples. There are SO many reasons I don't like politics and one of them is that it takes something that is so personal to many, and turns it into a cause, a huge ball of mumbo jumbo. Who's for it? Who's against it? Who thinks that they have the right to push their beliefs on others, just because they think they are right?

Homosexuality has so much to do with identity. Scripture says we should find our identity in Christ, but really how many people do that? Your identity might be wrapped up in your car, your home, your happy marriage with 2.5 children. When a political machine starts rolling to swing votes, they are happy to use any personal issue to increase their numbers. The Right will use homosexuality as a fear tactic, vote for Mitch Romney as he believes in keeping the family between a man and a woman. As much as I have enjoyed Focus on the Family, I have heard too many times that the gay and lesbian community is threatening American family's. What? The issue of Same Sex Attraction has been around for centuries, thousands of years. What has changed is it is now being used as a political ploy to frighten people to vote for the conservative candidate or visa versa to vote for the liberal candidate. Focus on the Family can claim Same Sex Attraction is weakening the traditional family, they probably wont lose too many contributors, and they will certainly rally continued support when they talk about this issue. But really, what is weakening the American family? It is divorce and the lack of two parent families. But there are a lot of religious right and Focus on the Family check writers out there that this issue comes a bit too close for comfort. If we can claim homosexuality is the big bad wolf, then all who don't struggle with the issue can stay pious and safe in our own little world.

For me the issue just boils down to respect. I can thump the Bible and what it says ALL day on someone's head, I can quote scripture over and over, I can tell someone that their lifestyle doesn't please God...but where is the blessing for anyone in that? It is no wonder that when non-believers and even church going younger generations associate the church with being anti-homosexual. I personally would rather be known for who I love than who I hate. Or we could say, love the sinner, hate the sin. But as I already noted, Same Sex Attraction is tied in with identity. So the perception is we hate the person, unless they change into what we think they should be. I am not comfortable with that. There is a good chance that the person with SSA has prayed, cried and pleaded to have heterosexual desires. We are asking something that is impossible for them to do in most cases. And so then we say, just live a celibate life, like that is no big thing.

I am also not comfortable being swayed by the media, the book I just read for my Christianity in Culture Class, Tempting Faith by David Kuo, speaks to the fact that Washington insiders thinks that outsiders are idiots. And especially Christians...So when a political player looks at the easiest way to sway a vote and decides they can scream and shout about the pro's and con's of any issue to move the mob they will attempt to do just that.

I definitely think all people are entitled to respect, it shouldn't be an us or them. Why can't we just leave the mob mentality and look at people individually and be in each other's lives. God works that way, He is blessed when we love His creation, whether we agree with them on everything or not. Whether or not gay marriage is legalized, that has not one ioda of a claim on whether God chooses to recognize that marriage. Our Christian argument to not allow Same Sex Marriages is an extension of fear, like we have to protect God. He doesn't need our protection, I think He would much rather we be an extension of His love, and leave the judgement to Him.

And when we are afraid that if we aren't the one to tell the gay person who has walked into our path that their way of life is sinful they might not ever know, we can rest easy and know that the 200 other Christians before us did just that, and we can just be a friend.

Each person has value, each person in the United States has rights, it is what our country was founded on. We couldn't say that if we lived in Iran or Iraq. No equal rights amendments there. But here, we have rights. It is easy to want to make a law that will affect an entire population when you haven't cried with an individual that this is a life affecting choice.

There are not easy answers when you choose to embrace the human condition, our human nature is to want to wrap it all up nice and tidy in a bow. Difficult issues generally do not work that way, and that is OK. God's love has won it all. Those of us who believe that Jesus died for our sins, and is calling us to follow Him, and we have done just that, can rest in that overflow of love that He has for us and share His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. How many of those attributes do we see in our Presidential candidates? Let's be that for those around us.

















3 comments:

delonymom said...

Bravo!!!!!!!

erinlo said...

I am not sure at all how I found your blog, but I just wanted to say you said so eloquently so many of the things that have been flying around in my head. Thank you.

Karen said...

This is lovely. Thank you.