Saturday, July 28, 2012

Same Day....Different Blog

Goodness! I don't normally do two blogs in one day and I don't think I have ever done two blogs on the same subject in one day. Today though....I felt the need. Apparently my first blog today ruffled many feathers on both sides of the issue of gay marriage. Funny because my original intention in writing the earlier blog was to focus on Chick-fil-A and whether an American company should be boycotted for a political or personal stance. Unfortunately my expressing my personal views on the subject of gay marriage as a sideline to the whole blog suddenly became the whole blog in peoples eyes. Not only have I gotten numerous comments on the blog but also my email and my fb messages have filled up too. Many are surprised at my stance and it appears that my personal thoughts have caused disappointment in more than a few. On the other hand...apparently some were pleasantly surprised that I wasn't leading the march to tar and feather others who lived and loved differently than myself. The really surprising thing is....the blog was actually about Chick-fil-A and although a few here and there have said that they will not be dining at the restaurant, most even on the side of gay marriage don't appear to be overly bothered by the Chick-fil-A announcement...... which leads me to believe that the hype of all of this is media stirred more than anything.

Not that I have to explain myself or my stance on gay marriage or anything for that matter....however, many of my comments and emails seemed to be centered on the question "why?" Why would I openly say I am not opposed to gay marriage? Most know that I am Catholic and yes the Catholic church does take a stand against gay marriage. A great sector of many Christian faiths in fact stand against it...and as has been pointed out to me over and over today....there are places in the Bible where homosexuality is called a sin. I understand this....but then there are many things that are called out in the Bible as soul killing sin that I am pretty sure some of the people pointing out scripture to me are they themselves guilty of. No not pointing fingers...just explaining my thought process.

For those of you wondering where my head is at and why? I will take this one and only time to explain...after that I will just refer all inquiries to this blog. As I said in the previous thoughts on homosexuality and gay marriage have changed over the years. The reason is because from high school on I have known gays and lesbians....yes here in my small town. Whether we admit it or even knew it....we all have known them, gone to school with them and in some cases made their lives miserable with ridicule and teasing. In my young days it was the boy who was just a little too effeminate, hung a little too much with girls and was teased mercilessly by the boys; or it was the girl who preferred sports over dolls, jeans and t-shirts over dresses and heels and hung back from everyone because she just didn't fit with the boys or the girls. Back then we didn't really think of them as gay....they were just different and God help them they tried hard to fit in because even they couldn't reconcile who they really were and how they felt with what the rest of the world told them they should be.

As I grew older I worked with both gays and lesbians in several different jobs the one I worked with them most at was in the healthcare arena. By this time in life, most were coming out or fighting to come out. Being repressed for so many years caused many of them to shout their new found freedom with much overkill and a lot of "in your face" tactics, none of which do I think would have occurred had they not had to hide who they were for all those years. Talking to some of them who were openly willing to discuss their lives....I always heard the same story. They knew from a very young age...long before sex and romantic love was a factor in their lives that they were somehow different. The girls often talked of their mothers trying to buy them dolls and dresses all the while they wanted to play with cars and footballs. The boys constantly felt different in their own homes because when their dads and brothers wanted to watch sports, the boys were more interested in how mom put on make-up or what clothes they were wearing to school the next day. As kids they had no idea what was going on or why they were so different and back then even the thought of homosexuality was so taboo that parents never entertained the thought that their child might be. How frustrating and mentally difficult it must have been for all involved. Once the kids became teenagers and realized that their physical attractions were not the norm....they felt a certain amount of self loathing. It must somehow be their fault that they couldn't be "normal" and they could never dare tell anyone that if he was a boy he liked another boy or that a girl had a crush on another girl. So they faked it! They tried to fit in, some even tried to date the "normal" way...but it never quite worked and kids being fairly astute usually figured out that "this" kid wasn't quite right.

By the time these kids hit young adulthood most could no longer deny their attractions and the stronger the attraction....the worse the self loathing. One guy told me once that he felt as if he was trapped in hell. He said I am a Christian and I was taught that God said homosexuality was a sin and that if you were one you would go to hell. At the time though he felt that he was already living in hell denying everything about himself. He couldn't even tell his parents who he was or how he felt for fear he would disappoint and hurt he suffered. He did eventually come out and sadly he lost relationships because of it....but he ultimately found himself. After hearing such stories over the years...(and mind don't have to seek these stories out...they are everywhere. They are in every family and likely as are currently acquainted with someone outside your family who is gay or lesbian whether you are aware of it or not) I began to realize that God created these individuals the way they were. No one would choose a life of misery, self loathing and the risk of losing family and friends they loved just to be "different." Especially not a high school kid whose main desire in life is  to fit in at least somewhere. I know some will disagree with me here (and several have today) telling me that God would not make someone a homosexual. I say....really? He creates blacks, whites, yellows, browns, weak, strong, gifted, mentally/physically challenged and even in some cases why would He not create homosexuals? Also the fact that many of the gay and lesbians that I met were in the medical field was also not lost on me. These abominations to God (their creator) working in service to other people. Hmmmmm. If that doesn't give you pause....then maybe it should.

Anyway....after many years of hearing stories such as thoughts on just how horrible homosexuality was started changing. I started realizing that homosexuality was not a lifestyle choice....but simply a fact of some peoples lives. I came to the conclusion that their lives did not affect me or my life. My take on it became that I did not care what they did in the privacy of their own homes as long as I didn't have to hear about it and I would return the favor. I was of the mind that who was I to judge others when I was doing good to handle my own life and worry about my own sins. This thinking worked well until the topic of gay marriage became prevalent. 

When gay marriage became the topic on everyone's lips and one of the keystones of every political campaign, my first thought was: Marriage is between a man and a woman! Why? Because down through history.....marriage had always been between a man and a woman. And hadn't the Bible given us Leviticus for example, to tell us of the abomination of homosexuality?!  Then someone made this point one time.....a wise older man said to me that if I was basing my argument against gay marriage on history, then why didn't I own slaves and why wasn't I subservient to a man? It caught me off guard. As he put it....when the Bible was written it was "God's words" written by man. Much could get lost in translation and Biblical times were much different than modern times. It truly got me to thinking.

I do believe in the Bible. I see the Bible is as much a history lesson as I do a cornerstone for my faith. I also believe that parts of the Bible were written with Biblical times in mind. It is possible that some of God's words were lost in translation but the thoughts and themes were for that time and place. The only words we have of God's that we know were written with His hand alone are the Ten Commandments given to Moses. There is no doubt of their meaning and their words are timeless. The lessons they teach us are respect for God's day, respect for God as He is our only, to not lie, steal, kill, covet or commit adultery and to respect our parents. Nowhere do they say that love is a sin or there are only certain ways to love or only certain people can love....yet we seem to find homosexuality a greater sin than others? If we are going strictly by the Bible....then what about the fact that Matthew, Proverbs, Luke, Leviticus (I could go on) all cover scripture about adultery and divorce. All claim it as sin (it all falls under The Ten Commandments) and yet we seem to find little or no fault in this sin. We don't scream and name call when a marriage (even within our own family) breaks up over infidelity and ends in divorce...but somehow this is not as horrible as two people of the same sex falling in love and being faithful to that love and even wanting to make that love a legally binding commitment. We are okay with divorce being legal but not same sex marriage. Again...hmmmmm! If we are going strictly by the Bible then the Bible says if you divorce and remarry then you are by Biblical law in Biblical times committing adultery. Adultery is a sin and sin keeps us out of heaven and yet some of the very people condemning homosexuality and gay marriage are divorced and remarried or have family members who are divorced and remarried and yet the subject is never given a second thought.  I can't help but smell hypocrisy or at the very least....selective picking and choosing of what we choose to acknowledge as sin. 

My thoughts on gay marriage really changed after talking with parents of gay and lesbian children. All parents want happiness and true love for their children. Does this suddenly change because they find their child is gay? Should they suddenly want their children's lives to be lonely and full of lies and unhappiness because they can't love the way the parents wish they could? It made me understand that God loves us all. We are never more than a prayer away from Him and the greatest gift He gave us was love so how could allowing anyone to commit to such love be wrong?

Agree with me or not...maybe now you understand a little more about my way of thinking. I think all real love should be celebrated. If when I die God finds my thinking on this sinful, then maybe He will have mercy on my soul as my sin was not killing, stealing, lying, or choosing another god instead of Him. Rather my sin was erring on the side of love and treating other humans with the same respect that I myself would like to be treated with. The fact is there is only one perfect human and it is not for me to judge someone elses "sin" as greater than my own. I will leave the judgments to God. And don't expect me to be out with a rainbow sign or marching in a parade, but also don't expect me to condemn that which I question or judge that which is not my place to judge.

If my take on all of this disappoints you...I am sorry, but it is in this particular place that I find myself. Like my mother always told me....Never be afraid to question. Never be afraid to learn and never be afraid to take a stand! And so I have!


Anonymous said...

OMG!!!! I could not love this more if I tried. I am not particularly religious but I have been on the fence about gay marriage. My issues with it have been societal and not religious but I really never wanted to debate the subject. While I have known some gays I have never really allowed myself much conversation with them. Your conversations and your willingness to see beyond the stereotype have given me much food for thought. Gay or straight pro gay marriage or against, EVERYONE should read this blog. Wonderfully and thoughtfully written. I will definitely be sharing this!

Roy said...

Well written Lisa. I created quite the shit storm about a month ago about my comments and support of gay marriage. I too made the comment that if homosexuality was such a sin then why wasn't it listed as one of the ten commandments or one of the 7 deadly sins. If lying, cheating and stealing are in the 10 commandments then obviously they are considered much greater sins then homosexuality. Yet it says in the bible that all sins are considered equal in the eyes of God so lying about your age is just as much of a sin as murder. It is humanity that has put a point system on sin. Not God. I even had a couple of people unfriend me because of my argument and views on this. I wonder if one that unfriended me will do the same to you? Who are we to deny people's happiness? Who are we to say that our love is more important or truer because we love someone of the opposite sex?

So. Baptist said...

I am Southern Baptist. I am not just Southern Baptist though, we are Southern Baptist to end all Southern Baptist. We were brought up that homosexuality is a sin and we went so far as not to associate with known offenders. Then two years ago my uncle divorced his wife of 25 years and came out to the family at Thanksgiving. Apparently there had been murmurings about his "strangeness" since he was a child but once he was safely married to a woman everyone quit worrying. Now mind you Uncle started drinking right after he got married and him and Auntie nearly divorced numerous times throughout their marriage but after their second child was born, Uncle sort of resigned himself to the marriage and the bottle. Finally Uncle couldn't take it anymore and after nearly killing himself and someone else in a DUI and ending up in rehab for 60 days, he realized how far down denying his sexual orientation had taken him. After the big holiday announcement the entire family had to come to terms with it all. Was Uncle a sinner of mass proportions or was he just a human who had tried to do what everyone wanted him to do, lie about who he really was and end up almost dying over his sexuality? I am fine with it. I love my uncle, flaws and all and I feel like he has done his time in hell already. Some of the family is angry and feels that he just decided to be gay to spite everyone. Some as I said, suspected all along and are having to live with the lie they helped to create. Even his wife is not angry with him because it was the secret they both knew but never admitted to. If only he had just been allowed to be himself from the time he was young so many people would have not been hurt. I love God. That will never change. It is self righteous, judgmental hypocrites that I take issue with. Great blog.

Anonymous said...

Reading comments on both blogs made my stomach turn. I am a church goer but some of the replies directed at you for your belief make me cringe. It is judgmental hypocrites like these people that give all Christians a bad name. If they want to pull from the bible how about "he without sin cast the first stone." I am fairly sure at no time did God step down and ask any of these "Christians" to step in for him but you wouldn't know it by their comments. It is just this sort of thing that makes me want to give up organized religion altogether and handle my spirituality between God and I. Good blog and sorry you couldn't speak your mind without holier than thou harassment.

Anonymous said...

I don't need scripture or the bible to tell me where you are headed. This is a bunch of bunk you talking about treating others as you want to be treated. Do you want to marry a woman? Usually your blogs are great and I agree with you on everything but not this. This is a tragedy that you would allow yourself to be so brainwashed. Next thing you will be telling us that you are pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-welfare and voting for Obama. There are some people that should not be stood up for and those that try to take away from our normal do not deserve kind words or actions. I am not disappointed. I am disgusted and I think you should be ashamed of yourself for writing such trash and making others read it.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a way to explain a spiritual/biblical stance on homosexuality and gay marriage to my adult bible study class. Thanks to you I think I have found a way. I hope you don't mind if I use it as a teaching tool. I think you have found the words that I have been looking for to explain it all quite beautifully. Both of your blogs today were wonderful but this one really touched a chord in me. Thank you so much for sharing, caring and educating.

Anonymous said...

It seems that I am late to the party, but better late than never. If you are a purveyor of human nature then you will undoubtedly know that the harder you have to work for something the more it means when you get it and the more you take care of it and respect it. On the other hand when something is given freely, then it tends to be less cared for, less respected and taken for granted. It just doesn't seem to mean as much. My point is that heterosexuals have had marriage (defined as one man one woman) for centuries and how has it been treated? People marry for all the wrong reasons, they abuse their vows and treat their license as if it means nothing to them. As easy as it is to obtain the marriage license, it is just as easy to obtain the certificate of divorce. In other words, Christians view the ability to have a marriage license as an honor and something sacred when they don't want anyone else to have it i.e. homosexuals. It is sacred to them in fact, right up to the time that they want a divorce. Then they scrap it and move on. Still they don't want people who have only dreamed of being able to legally say "I do" to have the opportunity because they feel that their lifestyle, love or whatever is not worthy of the institution of marriage. I say this is a lot of horse hockey. I would love to know the number of people fighting so hard against gay marriage who have disrespected their vows, treated the institution as if it were nothing and in the end scrapped the marriage license for another legally binding piece of paper called a divorce? I know it is not just Christians fighting against gay marriage but their attitudes seem to be the ones in the for front. It all comes off as very hypocritical and ridiculous in my mind. Are heterosexuals some how afraid that the gays might actually get it right and make them look bad? Are they possibly afraid that gay marriage might actually be respected, honored and not tossed overboard the first time waters get rough? I think this is all ridiculous. If two people are of age and love each other then why shouldn't they have the right to make it legal? I think those against gay marriage need to perfect heterosexual marriage before they start throwing stones at others. Just my thoughts. Good blog. Nicely written.

Melissa said...

God gave us the entire bible, in its form, on purpose. I trust the Church, the Church fathers, tradition and the entire bible. God knew language would evolve and change. He didn't send the inspiration for the bible down to be valid through the year 1452, after which time we all take what we like and leave the rest. The reason I love and embraced the Catholic faith is because we follow what Jesus taught us and what was later written down as the inspired word of God. We don't just do what feels good, what feels right, what seems nice. I have many proclivities I would like to act on but I don't. And I have a great female friend who loves football and beer, played great college bball and is very in love with her male husband and their two children.

Anonymous said...

You lost me on this one. Completely.

Over the past 2 years of my life I have dealt with betrayal, adulterers, a pedophile, bisexuality, death, redemption, forgiveness and unconditional love. I even faced 3 men holding guns at me and I never flinched because I was lead by Faith. Before that I watched my mother die brutally from cancer and dealt with the unsolved murder of my beautiful brother. But all this it hasn't made me better than anyone else and it hasn't given me the right to cast stones. It does however give me boldness.

What got me through it all was God's absolute Truth. His Truth has been a rock since time first began. Nothing has changed about Him. Nothing. His Word is inerrant. I learned through Him not to be ashamed of my sins. My sins have been great I freely admit. I've used my sins and forgiveness to speak Truth and help others cope with tragedies and face their own sins with boldness and grace. It takes great strength to stand up and say, "I'm wrong. But I can make it right." Few have the strength to admit sin and then hit their knees.

I'm greatly disappointed in your blog today. You admitted that God's Word might not be accurate. What's next? Pull a few pages out, maybe a few books because it's dated stuff? Again, the only thing that's changed over time is us. We think we're smarter. God hasn't change. He's perfect. Sure we have more technology, but our sins are just as great, just as depraved and just as ignorant.

Last night I went out for a ride, minutes later I was laying in ditch not knowing if I was going to get home. Two bikers, angels on Harley's with tattoos found me, held me, comforted me and called for help. It was a time of revelation for me. Good men that many would judge for their appearance didn't hesitate to help a sinner like me. But the truth is we all have the free will to sin or do right in God's eyes. Those good samaritans choose to help a stranger laying beside the road without second thought. And I'm home and doing well because of them and God's grace.

Sin is sin. Forgiveness is absolute. But be very careful in telling others they can excuse sin because it makes them happy. What you may see as a revelation may actually be a time for pause. Ask yourself; are you helping or hurting those that need God's Truth and Grace?

Anonymous said...

If I could have 1 wish it would be for whatever ones intolerance was, that it would present itself to that person. You can spout all the bible you want and try to to sound all holier then thou, I'm pretty sure the minute let's say you have a child who turns out to be gay, you will start back tracking on your stance. Of course without it you can keep on with your current take on the subject and stand around and tell everyone how wrong they are. I'm sure that's what God would want us all to do, be all nasty to each other

Non-Hypocritical Christian said...

Whoa here people! I don't think this blogger ever said God's word was incorrect. I think what was said is that God's word could have gotten lost in translation when it became handled by man. Everyday we see man put their own slant on "God's word" so that it fits whatever they happen to want it to fit at the time. The bible was not written by God. It was written by man. It was God's word put down by man and being that man is imperfect it would not be a stretch to believe that there could have been at least a couple of translation issues. That is not doubting God's word only mans ability to get it right. Blogger if I am wrong feel free to correct me but I would be that I am not. I don't understand how anyone could be disappointed in this blog, it's honesty or the person writing it. It takes guts to question and look for truth. Even Jesus himself questioned. Faith is a powerful thing and when you pair that with compassion, understanding and love you can't fail. This blogger did that, and if you are talking about faith maybe you should go back and read this blog from beginning to end like the name says. This blogger is nothing but one big ball of faith. If you are comparing life struggles I am pretty sure the race would be fairly close. Maybe it is that faith that gives her the grace and the empathy to be able to be so honest in her blog. However when you claim faith like many here have but then pass judgment on others you are nothing but a hypocrite hiding behind the word faith and nothing more. Faith means many things and one of those things is trusting that God will do his job just fine when it comes to judgment time and he doesn't need help from any of us mere mortals. I seem to remember something in the bible about "judge not lest you be judged." I am sure that everyone here who has found fault and disappointment in this blog has their own plates full with their own sins so I am amazed that they have all this idle time worrying about the sins of others. Perhaps they need to spend more time dealing with the man in the mirror. If we are going by the bible then it says that all sin is equal. If that is the case and homosexuality and gay marriage are a sin, then they equal to a white lie and a murderous rampage. The difference is lying and murdering are choices, being born gay is not. Maybe all you judgmental Christians ought to think that one over.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh atthe small minds and closed hearts that exist on the planet. I am Christian but I am not a bitch or a judgmental idiot. I believe in God and I believe God created us all. I believe our job is to take care of our own lives not ride roughshod over everyone elses lives. I wonder if all of you judgmental types are as quick to tantrum about someone having an affair or the legalization of divorce as you are about homosexuality and gay marriage? If it is a sin then God will handle the offender not you! If however God does not deem it a sin and finds judgment and disrespect of human life more the sin then look out folks because the line to hell will be a long one. Whatever the case this blog was and always is a great read and I find it funny that as long as cmom writes what people agree with she is golden but the minute she has an opinion that might be different she is suddenly to be shamed and people use the word disappointed. If anyone should be disappointed I would think it would be cmom for how closed minded and unChristian some of her blog readers are. Whether you are for or against gay marriage we all have a right to our opinion and deserve that others respect that right. Sorry for the outburst cmom but somethings just shouldn't happen and trashing you and your blog are one of them.

FCEtier said...

Good blog.
Good points.

Lisa, I've made a choice for my own blog.

I do not publish anonymous comments. Anyone can stand in the shadows and say anything from the shelter of anonymity.

If a commenter hasn't the courage and conviction in what they say to step out into the sunlight and sign their name, I don't allow it.