Some more thoughts on equality . . . because apparently, I’m not done writing about this

If your religious literature states that homosexuality is a sin, I don’t care. You are perfectly entitled to that belief – just as vegetarians are entitled to believe that eating meat is unethical or  Jehovah’s Witnesses are entitled to believe blood transfusions are immoral or Muslims and Jews are entitled to believe that eating pork is unclean.

However, vegetarians are not trying to outlaw meat-eating, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not protesting outside of blood banks, and Muslims and Jews don’t try to shut down Jimmy Dean factories. But there are plenty of otherwise very rational and kind people who see nothing wrong with trying to impose their religious beliefs on other members of the population by denying rights to homosexuals.

The largest part of this debate (and I still, for the life of me, cannot understand why equal rights is a “debate” . . . especially in 2012) has been the issue of marriage equality, but it goes beyond that. It is still legal in more than half the country to fire someone for being gay (and legal in 2/3 of the country to fire someone for being transgendered). LGBT teens are more likely to be depressed and commit suicide (but not when they live in supportive environments). We’ve all seen the pictures of people beaten, abused, and killed because of their sexual orientation.

Over the past couple of weeks I have heard the argument that supporters of gay rights are hypocritical because they discriminate against Christians or are intolerant of Christians. Saying that someone is discriminating against you/intolerant of you because they say you can’t (or shouldn’t be allowed to) discriminate against someone else is the most backwards argument I’ve ever heard.

Are there supporters who lump all Christians together? Of course, and I don’t agree with them either. I know just as many Christians who support gay rights as those who don’t. And I find it sad that they need to qualify “I’m a Christian” statements with “but not one of those Christians.”

However, the truth is that most of those speaking out against gay rights happen to call themselves Christians and happen to use their religious literature when they speak out. (Kind of like all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares . . . maybe not “all” in this case, but certainly the vast majority of squares are rectangles.)

Do I think they all “hate gay people”? No, I don’t. What I think is that they are misguided and seem to lack understanding and acceptance of the fact that we do not live in a theocracy. This is not a “Christian nation” and we are not bound by biblical principles, regardless of anyone’s interpretation of them.

Do I think some of them “hate gay people”? Of course. How could I not when you have protesters holding signs stating, “God Hates Fags” and “Fags Die God Laughs”? But I don’t think that because you identify yourself as a Christian that you follow along with them.

Are there people out there who bash Christianity and Christians as a whole? Yes. There are people out there who bash just about everything, and I definitely don’t support that.

But here’s thing — if you’re a Christian, I doubt you have ever walked into your church and had to pass protesters holding signs stating, “Death Penalty for Christians.” If you’re a Christian, all 50 states protect you from being fired because of your religion. If you’re a (straight) Christian, you’re legally allowed nationwide to marry the love of your life, to adopt a child without question, to visit your spouse on his/her deathbed no matter what policies a hospital holds, to walk into any bakery and order a cake for your wedding without risk of being told, “We don’t do Christian weddings.”

If I owned a business and told you that it’s my right to refuse service to whomever I want and proceeded to state that I would not serve Christians, there would be a nationwide backlash. And yet many of the same people who would shout discrimination in that case think businesses have every right not to serve LGBTs.

This is not about an “us vs. them” and it’s not about demonizing Christians and Christianity. It’s about demanding equal rights and equal protection to all people. Nothing more. Nothing less.

***I’d like to just say that I really am tired of writing about this. I have lots of other things I want to write about, but as long as this needs to be discussed, I’ll keep discussing it. This particular post was originally meant to be a FB status no more than a few sentences, but thoughts kept pouring, so I made it a blog post.***

Photo Credit

Advertisements

10 responses to this post.

  1. “However, vegetarians are not trying to outlaw meat-eating, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not protesting outside of blood banks, and Muslims and Jews don’t try to shut down Jimmy Dean factories.”

    BINGO. One’s opinion on the morality of gay marriage has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a LEGAL, not MORAL issue. That is what makes me nuts. If Christians want to believe it’s a sin, that is their right. But there are plenty of immoral behaviors that are perfectly legal. I think someone should have the sense to not blow their cigarette smoke into my obviously-pregnant-woman’s-face, but I can’t do anything about that. (And to clarify, I am not saying I think being gay is immoral, I am playing devil’s advocate for a second.)

    The only issue I had with this whole issue was, it’s frustrating when you ask an obviously-Christian-person their opinion and then flip out when they are honest. HOWEVER, that will never excuse the behavior I am seeing. I don’t even like Chick-fil-a, but when I heard that Cathy said being gay is “calling down God’s judgment,” I wanted to scream. It amazes me that there are people who are so arrogant they think they can speak for God. If someone asks you what you believe, answer it, move on, and don’t pretend to think you are so honored and special that only YOU know what God really said.

    God said love your neighbor….whether they are black, gay, Jewish, purple, loud, dirty, fill-in-the-blank. There were no clauses, no exceptions, period. Christians will never “win” others to their side by acting so incredibly hateful and defensive. And Christians like me, who accept people regardless of their sexual orientation, hesitate to even say they are Christian for fear of the other person running in the opposite direction. That’s what really makes me sad. I’m a Christian because of Christ, NOT because of what His people have “done” in His name.

    Reply

    • Slightly off-topic, but not quite —– I was searching for something else the other day and came across this – http://www.sacred-living.org/gandhi-what-jesus-means-to-me — It was very interesting and describes my feelings about Jesus better than anything I’ve ever read.

      I cannot speak for everyone, but my issue with the whole Dan Cathy thing was not his views on marriage equality, but where the money was going. I know that was no secret before, but it wasn’t well-broadcast either and I was not aware of it. *That* was the point when I decided that not another dime of my money would go to that business.

      It’s interesting . . . In most non-Christian circles, I find myself defending Christians when the topic comes up. I think I gained more respect for Christianity as a religion since I’ve been a non-Christian. My issues are with individuals, not entire categories of people! I wish more people could grasp that concept.

      Reply

  2. love it dayle. well said. 🙂

    Reply

  3. I agree with you. I think a lot of younger Christians actually believe God loves everyone and doesn’t care if you’re gay or not but I know older ones are harder to change. I know my parents don’t agree with someone being gay and I feel opposite of them…that being said, my Mom would never be hateful and say anything about anyone to their face or behind their back. The only thing bad I have ever heard my mom said is that she doesn’t agree with a gay lifestyle and she believes God sees it as a sin. I really don’t think her mind is going to change on that, sadly….I, on the other hand, have gone from seeing it as a sin but being tolerant to a stance of who cares who another person wants to love? Everyone deserves love and I really don’t think God would want to withhold his love from someone because of WHO they choose to love.
    I don’t see what the issue is of giving gays the right to marry…I don’t get how it would hurt straight people. I know of no one that has been hurt from a gay person that was allowed to marry….so what’s the problem?
    And speaking of marriage…..way back years and years ago, there were no marriage licenses, people got together and were declared married. Marriage licenses didn’t even come about until the government came in and required them so we could have the extra benefit of being so called “legally married”….Therefore, “Marriage” as in a “Legal Marriage” with a marriage license and rights to proclaim your marriage for taxes and etc. was NEVER a Biblical or strictly Christian thing whatsoever……The only thing you could call Christian about a wedding is IF the couple gets a minister to read from the Bible and say you’re married in the eyes of God……and the ISSUE is legal marriage, is it not???? So no religion has a say in that anyways because as we know, it’s the separation of Church and state….
    So I say let any two people who choose to get LEGALLY MARRIED and if you’re someone who doesn’t acknowledge that as a Biblical marriage, fine, do so and keep it to yourself, but in the eyes of the law, they will be married. 🙂

    Reply

    • My feelings exactly, Sharon. I honestly think they should completely separate legal marriage from religious marriage. Give no legal standing to marriages performed by religious leaders – if you want that, go to a JOP and then have a separate religious ceremony if that’s what you want.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Tammy W. on August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    “Over the past couple of weeks I have heard the argument that supporters of gay rights are hypocritical because they discriminate against Christians or are intolerant of Christians. . . . [and that’s] the most backwards argument I’ve ever heard.”

    I agree here, but it seems to me that that’s the exact argument the mayor of Boston (and a college campus or two) are giving for disallowing the fast food chain of note this week to open stores.

    Re: “However, vegetarians are not trying to outlaw meat-eating . . . But there are plenty of otherwise very rational and kind people who see nothing wrong with trying to impose their religious beliefs on other members of the population by denying rights to homosexuals.”

    There is a difference you’re not mentioning here, and it is significant, IMHO: These “rational and kind people” (thanks for being so kind and respectful, yourself, by the way!) are not actually proposing that current rights be revoked, but that new rights not be extended. The latter being the case, more changes will likely ensue, further changing the culture in a direction that already allows for reducing our rights to practice a certain lifestyle and pass it on to our children. (The day is probably not far off when even religious institutions will be required to not “discriminate” against those whose lifestyles or beliefs oppose the teachings of that faith as far as whom they employ.)

    Reply

    • Regarding the mayor of Boston and a couple of others — those are a handful of individuals who made poor decisions and I believe acted out of haste. I don’t agree with what they did . . . and neither do many (if not most) liberals. That doesn’t quite equate to an entire section of the population being discriminated against on a nationwide scale.

      As I mentioned in the FB comment, your distinction is one that was made pre-Loving v. Virginia as well and if we want to follow that same logic, women should not have the right to vote, we should still have “white” and “colored” drinking fountains, and if Kes and I *wanted* to get married, we shouldn’t be legally allowed to.

      And the fact that none of those are the case but parents can still raise their kids to be misogynistic and racist makes it hard for me to believe that anyone is going to stop people from raising their kids to think homosexuality is a sin.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Anne Katherine on August 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Amen, Dayle!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: