Tag Archives: gay marriage

What Jesus Wants – Love Your Gay Neighbors

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I grew up in a Christian church and one of the biggest lessons I learned while I was there was love. I was taught that Jesus was the type of man who hung out with thieves, prostitutes, and the poor and loved each one of them in the same way he loved others. I was also taught that our place is not to judge others lest we be judged ourselves. The whole “he who casts the first stone” lesson.

The U.S. supreme Court decision on Friday that supported the right of same-sex couples to marry created much joy in the hearts of those who have been in support of equal rights for gay people. Those supporters include individuals from all walks of life. For those individuals, the fight has always been about love, not about any hidden “gay agenda” and definitely not about discrimination or hatred.

Mixed in with all the love and celebration of that decision came a strong dose of fear-based, judgemental, and at times hate-filled words. While those reactions were expected from the clearly bigoted, hateful groups of individuals who still exist in our country, it was disappointing to see some of these same reactions coming from people who claim to be “Christians.” The response was not Christ-like from a space of non-judgment and love. On the contrary, it was harsh, judgmental, and oft-times hateful.

There seems to be a great misunderstanding amongst some Christians (note I said “some” not “all”) of the Fundamental, Evangelical, or Conservative persuasions, that you cannot be gay and be a Christian. They take a stance of “us against them.” The “righteous against the sinners.” The “good against the bad.” The “moral against the immoral.” What an unfortunate, disillusioned, and limiting stance. In reality, a great number of gay people are indeed Christian. They go to church, they hold Bible studies, they pray for your souls, they feed and clothe the hungry. There are also Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, Sikhs, Atheists, Wiccans, etc.; the same mix of faiths and belief systems as the rest of our wonderful country.

We are all human beings. We all deserve love. We all deserve equal rights no matter what our religious or spiritual stance may be. Basic human rights has absolutely nothing to do with your religion. We all should have equal protection under the law. The law of our country is not the Bible or God’s law. It is the Constitution. If the law of the land were based on one religion, then that would impede on the rights of others who choose to believe something different.

Gay people were given the Constitutionally protected right to marry the person they love. This in no way, shape or form infringes upon your right to choose who you will marry. It in no way, shape, or form infringes on your right to choose the religion you want to practice. You can still go to your churches, still read your Bibles, still pray for the souls of those you care about. Nothing has changed except for a new challenge to your own hearts. Acceptance.

We all have the opportunity right now to choose love and acceptance. There has been way too much judgment, hatred, fear, and misunderstanding surrounding the issue of gay rights coming from all sides. It’s past time for all who call themselves “Christians” to be the example and reflect how Jesus would want us to be. He would expect nothing less than for us to love one another in both word and deed and cast all judgment aside.

Love always wins.


Love Wins

In the end love always wins…

   

  
  


Whether You Like it or Not, Baby We Were Born This Way

Freedom to Marry

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2011. All rights reserved

There is an ugly undercurrent of self-righteous bigotry flourishing in this country. It cloaks itself beneath the veil of “Christianity” and vehemently spreads the message “being gay is not okay.” Those who subscribe to this belief will do anything to push their ultra-conservative agenda in an attempt to withhold equal rights for homosexual’s. All this in the name of “God.”

But their religion and their politics are based on fear; far more than on reality. The fear of God. The fear of liberal thought. The fear of freedom for the masses to live their lives as they so please. And most obviously a deep fear of the unknown. This fear of the unknown leads straight to misunderstanding and paranoid assumptions about certain individuals and groups of people who do not subscribe to their own personal belief systems.

Like a small child when faced with a shadow in the darkness, these fearful minds blow the shadow out of proportion as it morphs into an enormous monster poised to ravage and consume their well-being. This paranoia has led to the creation of a myth used only to embolden their cause: “gay marriage would destroy traditional marriage.” They have also come to the conclusion being gay is an abomination and a sin that is carried out by choice.

So they “counsel” gay individuals and send them the message that being gay is wrong and is an abomination in God’s eyes. They pick and choose certain passages from their Bible to drive home their fear-filled message. They get together with these “lost souls” and try their darndest to pray the gay away. That will surely fix the problem.

But it doesn’t.

And they continue to do this even though the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association have both agreed that being gay is not a choice, but is inherent at birth.

Dismayed that their prayers have not eradicated the gays, they back political candidates who will push their personal agenda in an attempt to derail laws and court cases that support the inalienable rights of all people.

Fortunately, this minority of far-right, ultra-conservative, paranoid, gay-hating, bigots (yes, I said it) do not represent the majority of people in our country who believe in an all-loving God.

Several mainline denominations such as the Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Methodist have come out in strong support of gay rights. Now the United Church of Christ has made a statement in support of gay marriage. The Presbyterian church recently voted to amend its church rules to allow ordination of gay people who are in committed same-sex unions. Though he still believes being gay is a sin, Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s leading voices, spoke recently of the “need for Evangelicals and Southern Baptists to repent (i.e., apologize for) their homophobia.”

Popular approval of gays and gay marriage continues to grow exponentially and has become the majority view in this country. DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) – that quirky sweep your truth under the pillow and smother it because we don’t want to have to deal with it military rule – was recently overturned. Now DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage, has been deemed unconstitutional in a recent same-sex couple bankruptcy case and the Justice Department has stated it will no longer defend it in court.

The walls they are a crumbling and soon we will look back in disdain on this time period in our history when gay people suffered blatant discrimination at the hands of those who refused to believe in equal protection for EVERYONE.

All you far-right, ultra-conservative, paranoid, gay-hating, bigots can continue to get down on your knees and plead with your big, dark, scary God and try your hardest to pray the gay away while wasting your millions in support of candidates who carry your religious conservative agenda with them to the ballot box. But I have a feeling you will not get very far. You see, our Nation was not built to defend bigotry but to protect the inalienable rights of all its citizens, including those who do not subscribe to your own personal belief system and practice of religion.

For those of you who fall into the category of “misinformed sheep” and do not feel you are truly “haters”, I implore you to search outside your protective little boxes in order to seek out truth instead of falling into the pattern of “yes” men and women. Stretch a bit outside your manipulated reality and try for one minute to see these “sinners” as not so different from yourself. You both want love, support of family, friends, a good career, children, happiness. Many of those gay people you are praying for are at the same time in church praying for you.

There are many people who believe in an all-accepting, all-loving God who is much more pleasant to pray to than some ugly monster in the closet. These people say He is a God of love who makes no mistakes. They also say He created each one of us in His own image.

Whether you like it or not, gay people are here to stay, and baby we were born this way.