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 blog.....my 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 them....so 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 you...you don't have to seek these stories out...they are everywhere. They are in every family and likely as not....you 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 hermaphrodites.....so 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 these....my 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!