Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Post in Which I Get Controversial

I don't write about controversial topics. Mostly because I have a tendency to be a fence-sitter but (if I'm being completely honest) it is also because I don't have zillions of followers and I don't feel like I can afford to lose any that I might offend. Followers are hard to come by in the blogging world, and it's no fun to lose even one. So I usually just keep the strong opinions I do have...to myself.

But not today. There is a hot topic of debate going on right now, about which I'm struggling to keep my mouth shut. (If you're reading this I obviously couldn't help myself and ultimately hit "publish". Yowza. I'm getting ballsy in my old age.) It's true, I'm a little afraid I'll lose followers over it, but at the same time I feel like if you don't want to be my friend because we disagree on an issue, it's probably best that we go ahead and part ways. I feel like writing this is the right thing to do. Partly because it's my right to express my opinion, and also because this particular topic affects people that I care about. In doing so I am showing my support for them.

I think I should start by clarifying that I am a Christian. I go to church. I have a Bible on my nightstand. My family says grace before meals. I pray when I am thankful, or hurting, or confused. I do the same for others. I assume there is a God and a Heaven, but I've never come face to face with either so it is my faith that leads me to believe in both.

What I do not believe is that it is either my job or my place to decide whether or not men can marry men or women can marry women. Neither do I believe that I have the right to cast judgment on them. Those were not things I was ever taught to do.

That's right. I support marriage equality.



I don't know what it's like to be gay because I'm not gay. But I DO know what it's like to fall in love and want to spend the rest of your life with someone. To raise a family together. To declare your love for one another in front of the people you most care about and have it recognized as legitimate. I can't imagine how frustrating and hurtful it must feel to have that privelege denied.

I have several gay and lesbian friends. They are good people. People who contribute to society and care about others and abide by the law. I know of a lot of heterosexuals who don't do any of those things.

When we lived in Texas, we lived down the street from both a gay couple and a lesbian couple.

The gay couple started our neighborhood watch program. They held picnics in their backyard. They would always set aside a special bag of treats just for Tink on Halloween. When they had yard sales, they would let her pick anything she wanted. They walked their dog in front of our house every evening, and when Tink would run outside to pet her, they waited patiently until she was done. Don't they sound threatening? I don't know how long they were together before we moved in, but we lived in that house for almost 3 years, and we've been gone now for 6. They are still together, so their relationship has withstood at least 9 years. A lot longer than many heterosexual marriages last these days.

The lesbian couple lived two doors down from us. They loved animals and rescued any strays that came their way. They brought us a baby gift when Dimples was born. They are long time residents of my home town and my Mom can't remember a time they weren't together. They are probably in their 60's now. Wouldn't they be a total disgrace to the sanctity of marriage? They've literally shared a life together, but since they can't get married, neither of them will be considered next of kin when something happens to the other. Pretty heartbreaking if you ask me.   

I've seen a lot of people throw out biblical references regarding this subject. Yeah, it's talked about in the Bible. That much is true. But if we are really going to bring the Bible into it, let's be fair. The issue is addressed in a handful (literally...it is mentioned less than 10 times) of scriptures. There are, however, a whole slew of passages on "loving thy neighbor as yourself" and not passing judgment on others. It seems that those two things are being overlooked on this issue, does it not?

I'm not writing this because I think I'm going to change anyone's opinion on the matter. Chances are I'm not. But, I suppose a part of me does (naively) hope that people will open their minds to the fact that we are all different. We are all human beings. And we are all imperfect. We should probably keep that in mind when we start down that slippery slope of picking and choosing things out of the Bible for which we are going to deny people rights.

"Live and let live." It's a much easier life motto to abide by.

32 comments:

  1. You're lovely. And I agree! There's a lot of scholarly research on homosexuality and the Bible. I don't have a reference at my fingertips, but I can certainly get it.my pastor's husband happens to be a philosophy professor whose area of interest includes human sexuality. I was very, very bummed to have missed him give a presentation on this very subject, in which he debunked a lot of the anti-gay, bible-based rhetoric.

    Anyhoo, good on ya!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Applause, applause, applause! More applause! Ah the cafeteria Christian.... Rainbow loved this post and love you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nicely done! You are not losing this follower!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for clearing up that pic for me. I've seen it everywhere and had no idea what it meant. LOL.. I agree with you. If anyone has ever had the chance to talk to a person who is gay and asked that person if they chose that lifestyle or they feel like they were born that way. Majority of those people will say they feel like they were born that way. That would lead me to believe that GOD made that person that way! I was very lucky to have a best friend who was gay and I was curious about the lifestyle and very naive so I asked lots of questions. All I can say is their relationship is the same or even better then a hetro-sexual relationship. I'm sorry, such a long comment. But, I have very strong feelings on this subject. Thank you for posting. I hope you don't lose any followers because of your belief. That would be like losing a follower because you don't like apple pie.
    :)
    -Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  5. As the friend of many gay couples who deserve to be able to marry, this is a topic I feel very strongly about! Great post! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree wholeheartedly with your post. I am a Christian who has been blessed with a diverse group of friends. I believe who you love is a personal issue, not a political one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As a Massachusetts resident, I sometimes forget that standing up for civil rights is still considered "controversial" in some circles. I can't wait until my grandchildren ask me about what it was like back in the olden days, when gay people couldn't get married.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no idea what is considered "controversial" down here.... It is just embarrassing.

      Delete
  8. This made me cry. Thank you for your support <3

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well said, Meredith...thank you for your posts, you make us laugh and think!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post!! The thing about the biblical references, and shall we just say "abomination" and get it out there, is that if a person LITERALLY reads the Bible, then they should LITERALLY read the whole Bible with a LITERAL interpretation without consideration of translation, context, or the changes in society. In that case we are all wearing a big "A" on our chests and it does not stand for adultery either! The people who shout "Abomination" are often the same ones who are anti-abortion on the grounds of it destroying life and then turn around and support the death penalty. HUH? How can you do that? Wait, I'm drifting aren't I?

    Anyway, it wasn't that long ago that interracial marriage was going to destroy society and women were supposed to just stay at home and dust their homes. We need to right these wrongs people!

    Yes, we support equal rights for everyone and that includes our gay friends and family. Although Morgan Freeman did not REALLY say it (see Snopes.com) we do so like this quote: "I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You are not scared. You are being an asshole." OK, said it . . . sorry to get carried away . . .

    Murphy's Mom

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am also a Bible believing Christian, the Bible has so much to say on this subject and it is for Jesus to judge (as He did), not me. My sister is a lesbian- which was no shock to anyone- but we had the very heartbreaking experience that she wanted nothing to do with us, in spite of the fact that we love her the same as before she told.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was it because you're family is religious, or unrelated?

      Delete
  12. As a practicing Catholic, my church's stand on gay marriage makes me sad. This post isn't controversial. It is spot on. Also, even if gays did have a higher rate of divorce (not that they do), who cares? It shouldn't take away the right to get married.

    I have very good friends and close family members who are against gay marriage. I still love them, but they are wrong, and I hope one day they recognize that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... me too! I've actually had this feeling of not wanting to go to church because the bigotry is so upsetting to me. How sad is THAT? :(

      Delete
  13. Everyone has prejudices in them. Mine for the gays is that they're usually nicer to have in your circle of friend or neighborhood than most other people. They mow their yards! Bake things! Contribute to kid's fundraisers! Give elaborate gifts! I LOVE MY GAYS!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well said! And there are plenty of biblical references to slavery which have been to referred to as justification to continue slavery in the US. While most Bible quoters don't dare quote those verses, many still love to refer especially to the Old Testament. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey, that was not so controversial. I don't really bother with religion (I have blogged about the subject once only, I think that covered the why) but I do bother with people - as in, be nice to me and mine, I'll be nice to you. That's it. No, be nice to me but only if you are straight/white/English/over 6 foot. I don't see why religion (or race, colour, nationality or height for that matter) should be used to treat people differently to how I want them to treat me. I expected society to let me fall in love and get married (so long as the person I married was of legal age and willing). I expect society to let you fall in love and get married. That's it.
    I really don't get what the problem is.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well if you lost any followers because of this they weren't the right kind of followers anyway. Besides, you have gained a new one in me :)

    I applaud you for openly standing up for what you believe in despite the controversial nature of the topic. This is an important part of history, and I am proud to be on the right side of it and I am proud to share my support publicly. It will be glorious to be able to look back and say, "I remember the day we helped to win the right to marriage equality by standing up and speaking out against discrimination!"

    Supporting something privately is not really supporting it at all. Just the act of voicing your beliefs aloud encourages and empowers others to do the same. Thank you for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  17. As a Canadian, where we've had legal marriage for everyone for uh, a while, I can only look on in wonder at what's going on in the USA over this. But yes, it's time and I think the majority support you. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is awesome Meredith. Well said!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. If any followers jump ship, it's just the sheeple effect, blog on!

    ReplyDelete
  20. You are a class act, you know that? :) And I couldn't agree more! Now let's celebrate you not losing any followers by opening a bottle (or 2)!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Kudos on your brave stance, especially in the face of knowing others will disagree. I'm totally with you on this one and was so proud to see so many little red squares show up on my facebook newsfeed! Thanks for letting people know you can be Christian AND support marriage equality!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm generally a fence-sitter too. That was funny. But I loved how calm and rational your post was. Some of the people posting about the topic get so irate, event those in support of gay marriage that it really does more harm than good. I lived in Texas years ago. There were still active KKK groups one town over, literally 6 miles away. And they defended their groups' behavior with scripture too. As if.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you. Just Thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete

What's on your mind?