So, I am gonna write a blog. Right now. About something I tend to be very careful about. Something I take extreme caution when writing or speaking about…something sitting on my heart heavily. I am going to write some thoughts about marriage equality, civil unions, domestic partnership and other things. Prior to writing this blog, I talked to my Pastor, a man who is very much in love with the Catholic Church. I talked to him because I am going to dance on a line that is difficult when it comes to Church teaching and American politics. But, I have some thoughts and want to share them. This might make a few of you mad, just know, I am trying to write it in a spirit of charity, hopefully that works out.
But first, two things.
1. I want you to comment, I want to hear your thoughts. However, I find both sides of this discussion to be incredibly disrespectful and hateful when it comes to the other side. SO…if you can’t say what you want to say nicely, know that I will delete your thoughts.
2. I am not gay (this might be obvious). I have never known what it feels like to be attracted to the same sex exclusively. I cannot imagine the fear, the conflicts, the tension, the rejection, the loneliness, well, frankly, the cross that would come with that reality. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to think the whole Christian community hates me. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have people quote Scripture to direct hate at me. I just don’t know that. So, those of you that might be gay, or close to someone who is exclusively attracted to the same sex…be gentle in your reading of this, I am not trying to be hurtful.
This morning, I woke up and checked facebook, about a zillion people had on their newsfeed’s this icon. I am crazy social media girl, so I went to ‘google’ and looked up, ‘Large red square with two pink lines!’. Google let me down, but within an hour or so it became apparent posting this icon was an act of solidarity with the LGBT community. These are very important days as our Supreme Court looks at how marriage should be defined in this country. A LOT of people were posting about it. And then the circus started. You know the circus. It happened with Chick-Fil-A last spring. More than half of my newsfeed was filled with people supporting Marriage Equality for all, many of them adding little anecdotes, reminding people that only hateful bigots don’t agree with marriage for all, including those of the same sex. A handful of people posted icons/articles stating why marriage simply must be preserved between a man and a woman in this country, if it is not…well, then we are doomed.
And all this social media chatter? Well, it made me feel sad. And it got me to think some thoughts. I shall share them with you¸ because, praise you Jesus…my blog helps me get things straight in my head. Here are my thoughts.
The Sacrament of Marriage (remember, Sacrament is a Catholic thing, you don’t have to believe it) is meant for a man and a woman
Dang! That is a hard pill to swallow. That particular pill has lost me a couple of friends. The Sacrament of Marriage is something that is defined by my Church for a particular reason. The Catholic Church thinks sex is super important (we love it), the Catholic Church thinks procreation is super important (clearly, Aaron and I dig that) and the Catholic Church has a completely different idea of sexuality than current culture. The Catholic Church understands marriage starts and ends with a Cross. The primary purpose of marriage according to the Church is procreation, which means that gay sex, birth control, divorce and remarriage, etc…are things that can never be allowed. The Catholic Church’s teaching is one based out of love, but love understood as total denial of self. This type of love doesn’t really make a lot of sense in this world, so I completely understand most people don’t buy into it.
I am worried allowing for same sex unions at a state/federal level, could compromise my Religious Freedom
Geez, I hope not. But I do worry, being honest, that if we allow for same sex unions (which, btw, is going to happen), within a matter of time in our crazy culture, churches would be forced to marry same sex couples. I get afraid, friends, often, that tolerance for lifestyle choices is true for every life style choice except ones that don’t fit within current popular trends. That scares me, I’m just being honest. You see, a couple of years ago there was this story in the newspaper. It was about a church down south that refused to marry an interracial couple. People FREAKED THE FREAK out. I am one member of an interracial couple and I DIDN’T freak the freak out. In fact, I thought, awesome, at least I know what church not to go to. Unfortunately, a lot of people thought the church should face consequences, be forced to shut down, etc… Here’s the thing. In our country, we allow for a variety of thought, and if a church doesn’t think a black man and a white woman should be married, well that makes me shake my head. BUT, I don’t think our government should force the issue. I don’t think our government needs to be involved in how marriage is defined in churches.
Our Government’s definition of marriage has little to do with my Church’s definition of marriage
I don’t look to Uncle Sam for much when it comes to moral authority. I just don’t. I think that ship sailed a long time ago. If tomorrow Uncle Sam decided Marriage Equality was a must, it wouldn’t affect how I feel about it. There is a lot about the country’s current understanding of marriage I don’t dig. Heck, I think divorce is pretty awful, artificial birth control is toxic in marriage, couples need to pray together, marriage has almost nothing to do with emotion, etc…(see, I just pissed off about half of you with those statements). SO, I don’t waste a lot of energy asking the government to protect my definition of marriage because frankly, they never have. And, I’m not quite convinced they should.
My understanding of marriage doesn’t make me a bigot, and doesn’t mean I judge you
I am so thankful for my gay friends who get, truly get, that I don’t waste a second of my life judging them. Not one second. I advocate for love towards all. ‘Ain’t nobody got time for judging other people’ for real ya’ll. You know, yesterday the husband and I got into a pretty bad fight. In that fight, I ended up calling him a ‘piece of chewing gum’ (insert your own words). You see, I have enough sinfulness that I needn’t look elsewhere to point out other’s sins. I daily struggle with my inclination to choose the disorder of evil, so I try not to spend time a’ wastin’ thinking about yours (yours meaning all of us). Sure, if asked, I will break down why my Church teaches what She does. Sure, I live it (sometimes) and love it (always). BUT, when it comes to pointing the finger and saying you are sinning because you don’t…I stop just short of that. I am so thankful for each and every one of my gay friends who have noticed that, thanked me for that, been clear headed enough to see that…you have made up for every person who has ‘blocked me’, treated me poorly, or accused me of being a bigot. You rock.
For those of you that have added your voice in the social media/political world demanding that marriage be kept between a man and a woman…ask yourself this, ‘how’s that working for you’.
I’m embarrassed about the homophobia I see acted out in Christian Churches
One thing I always try to point out to teens is the Catholic Church is NOT like other Christian churches when it comes to her teaching on sexuality and homosexuality in particularly. Believe it or not, the Catholic Church affirms people that are attracted to the same sex. The Catholic Church calls out discrimination. The Catholic Church says that people attracted to the same sex have a unique opportunity to walk with the person of Christ. Unfortunately, a lot of people get it twisted. Catholics and Christians alike. If you are gay, or close to someone who is gay and have been hurt by homophobia, I am so so so sorry. I wish I could take that pain away from you. Especially when that pain is inflicted in the name of Christ.
Having different views than you regarding sexuality does not make me homophobic
Unfortunately, current culture has got us convinced that if we say, ‘hey, there might be another way to live out sexuality’ we are automatically pegged into a corner of homophobia. It isn’t fair. It has been very hurtful to me. It is a form of bullying and shaming that should be looked down on by everyone. People throwing out words like HATE and BIGOT unfairly has stalled the conversation in this country. It has created a world where we dare not have intelligent conversation about important things (like what constitutes a family), and it creates a defensiveness in people, few have the courage to address. Did you read the story about the owner of Chick-fil-A? How he was unfairly attacked? How his whole personhood got called into question? Did you read the follow up story that I posted (if not, can I give it to you?) about a leading gay activist and him working together for almost a year to learn from one another and increase love? If not, you should.
Those are my thoughts. They aren’t in any order, they might not even make total and complete sense. I needed to write them, I am hoping that at least a few of my social media ‘friends’ take a moment to read them. Those that are posting their support for Marriage Equality and those posting their opposition.
Like I said, feel free to agree/disagree/question…but keep it respectful, or your comment will just be deleted. There is just way too much hate going around when it comes to this subject to allow for it to get out of control.
Have a good night. And remember,
‘And the greatest of these is LOVE’ 1 Corinthians 13:13