In my opinion THIS is the holy trinity of what should never be discussed in mixed company. I don't ever shy away from open, honest discourse even with people I don't agree with. Scratch that - especially with people I don't agree with. When it comes to religion and politics I can usually disagree with people without being a complete jerk. I actually like to hear others people's views on things, and once in a blue moon I've altered mine because of it. It's the only way we grow as people...by living and learning from each other. Now college football? Forget it. All bets are off, sorry. But as of late, thanks to the digital world in which we live, I've learned that my views are not only different from a lot of people I consider friends, but downright offensive to some of them.
A hot topic as of late, which sort of falls into the category of both religion and politics is gay marriage. This is something I feel really strongly about. Why you ask? No, I'm not gay. I do have gay friends. I have gay family members. But even that really doesn't have anything to do with it. I support my gay friends & family members, of course, but even if I didn't know a single homosexual personally, I would still feel the same way. I took to Twitter and Facebook during the Chick-Fil-A nonsense and didn't leave my views on the subject to the imagination. But I haven't really taken the opportunity to fully explain why I feel this way.
For starters, I am a Christian. Yep. I'm a Christian who supports gay marriage. I support gay marriage not in spite of my Christianity but because of it. Christians who oppose gay marriage love to quote the Bible to support their stance, so I have found a few verses in that big ole book to support mine. Quite frankly I had a plethora to choose from.
Lev 19:18 - Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Matthew 7:12 - Do unto others as you would have done to you.
Psalm 33:5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.
And even if you believe homosexuality is a sin...remember
Romans 3:23 We have ALL sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.
In the same book (Leviticus) which people often take verses from & use to say homosexuality is a sin - it also says that non-virgin brides, people who have pre-marital intercourse and adulterers all be stoned to death...so be careful what you wish for.
Here's the thing - I would never try and change someone's religious views on this subject. It's a delicate topic, and I'm respectful of people's RELIGIOUS views on it. If you think it's a sin, we can agree to disagree. If you think it's a choice (I will likely judge you) but still agree to disagree. But how is it Christian to fight against someone's civil rights? How can people use Christianity to mistreat a certain group of people? If you truly think it's a sin -fine. Don't do it. But to take it as far as saying people who "practice this lifestyle" shouldn't have the same rights that you do doesn't seem very Christian to me at all. And as a Christian myself, it kind of offends me.
It probably didn't hurt that I also recently read The Help. Yes, I know - I'm about two years late, and no I haven't seen the movie. Anyway, when I was reading that book I couldn't help but think -wow, this really wasn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things. This happened during my parents' and grandparents' lifetime. How could this be? How could good, Christian people have treated other good, Christian people this way? And now my generation, and generations to come will read about that era in history books and think -how terrible. I can't believe the government allowed that kind of gross mistreatment to exist. How could they think separate but equal was ok? How could they not let people into the grocery store or the library based on their skin color? How could they expect black people to use a separate bathroom and separate water fountain because someone convinced the whole southeast it was unsanitary otherwise? It seems absolutely crazy now - but it did in fact happen. I truly believe that sometime in the (hopefully near) future - people will feel this way about "that time we wouldn't let gay people get married"...because let's be honest -it's the same damn thing. It's discrimination based on a factor that is beyond someone's control. I firmly believe people are born gay the same way people are born black. Why would you chose to be discriminated against? To have legal rights taken away? To be judged, ostracized, even shunned? Why would any human being choose that for themselves? And let's just say for argument's sake they did choose it, and/or it is a sin - so what? We all sin, every single day. Doesn't mean you can take my legal rights away because of it.
Another twist in all this that no one seems to really be addressing is why the hell is the government involved in the marriage business anyway? Marriage was created by the church and should be governed by the church. It's really none of the government's business. If a church wants to deny groups of people the right to marry - that's their business. But the government? Last time I checked, gay people had to pay taxes too. This IS a civil rights issue. I don't see how anyone could see it otherwise, and I'm open to other people's views. I will respectfully disagree with people who think homosexuality is a sin all day long, but you can't withhold equal rights from "sinners" or anyone else or we're all screwed.