When I was a little girl, I went to church with my parents every Sunday morning. I was maybe 12 or 13 years old when a guest minister came to our church to preach on homosexuality. Throughout his sermon, he discussed all kinds of Old Testament fire & brimstone (a rare occurrence in most Methodist churches) & uttered the infamous phrase “God created Adam & Eve NOT Adam & Steve!”
No, I’m not kidding. A grown man stood in the pulpit & actually said that…I WISH I was making that up.
Even at that young age, it seemed to me that, since “All have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), it wasn’t really ok for that guy to stand up in front of a congregation & blast the “immorality” of homosexuality. The thought I kept coming back to was “Isn’t this guy just mad at people who sin differently than he does?” I mean, if we’ve all fallen short, what gives him the right to say one group of sinners is better than another?
Thus began my life long arm wrestling match with organized religion, which is a topic for another day.
The other thing that began that day was my fervent belief in equality for ALL people. The anger I felt at that guest preacher went way deeper than being faced with hypocrisy. Every religion has it’s own set of hypocrisies, comes with the territory. The ire that I felt came from someone using religion as an excuse to treat other Americans like second class citizens.
You see, I have my quarrels with organized religion, but at the end of the day I believe in God. I think God is benevolent & He loves everyone. No exceptions. You don’t even have to believe that He exists for Him to conspire in your favor. He’s THAT cool. This is who, based on all the evidence I’ve been presented with in life, I believe God is.
Now, if I’m correct & this is indeed the kind of God we’re dealing with, do you think He would be ok with discriminating against other people? Would He want a whole section of people to be treated as if they are “less than” because of who they love? Would He oppose people wanting to be in loving, committed relationships just because those relationships happen to be between people of the same sex?
No. Of course not. He loves us. He loves us even when we are unlovable. He doesn’t want us to be alone or unhappy. He created ALL of us, gays & lesbians included. I imagine He’s probably rather displeased that people choose to use pieces of His teachings to people centuries ago (when people thought it was ok to rape, pillage, & have sex with animals) in order to justify widespread institutional discrimination in 2013.
As a side note, if you really believe being gay is a choice, riddle me this: Why on earth would someone choose to be gay while living in Texas, Kentucky, or Alabama? That sounds like a TERRIBLE life choice to me. So terrible, I have a hard time believing anyone would ever make it. But I digress…
I believe that love is love. If you are lucky enough to find someone in this life you love enough to wake up beside EVERY SINGLE DAY, God bless you. I have a hard time finding someone I LIKE enough to keep around for more than 6 months, let alone a person I love so much that I want to committ myself to them for the rest of my live long days. When you find love like that, you should be able to walk into any courthouse in our great nation with your head held high & get a marriage certificate, regardless of the genders involved.
To people that have a hard time accepting that this change is going to come to pass in America sooner rather than later, I have a few questions for you: Why are you so concerned about relationships between consenting adults that don’t involve you? Yes the Bible says homosexuality is sin. It also says divorce, adultery, gambling, tattoos, & drinking alcohol are all sins. Where’s the outcry to make all these things illegal? You’d think people would be falling all over themselves to ban first two since they actually DO impact the sanctity of marriage, but they’re not. If that’s truly what all this is about, why pick on the gays? Why is the focus not on marriage in general? Because from where I’m sitting, a married straight couple who’ve had 2 sets of kids taken away by DSS, spend their nights beating the hell out of each other, & are cooking meth in a trailer somewhere aren’t doing a whole lot for the whole sancitity cause. They ARE straight & married though, so that’s good enough apparently? Seems to be.
My hope this week is that ALL the people I love will have a greater chance of being able to legally marry the people they love by Friday, not just the straight ones. I am hopeful that the courts will do the right thing by striking down both Prop 8 & DOMA. But even if it doesn’t happen this week, everyone who favors marriage equality can take comfort in the fact that IT WILL. This change is coming and there’s nothing that can stop it. Hopefully the courts will find themselves on the right side of history by doing the right thing now rather than continuing to treat our friends and neighbors differently in the eyes of the law just because of who they happen to love.