"Gay rights are human rights." ~Hillary Clinton
I'm going to preface this post by telling you that I am fully supportive of gay marriage rights, simply because I personally believe that a committed relationship is a commited relationship - and two people in love deserve the right to marry regardless of race, sex, creed or sexual orientation.
It amazes me how small minded people can still be in 2015. Between racism and sexism and ageism and weightism...it's getting a bit ridiculous. And of course, we've got to add homophobia and plain old bigotry to that mix these days.
The Supreme Court Decision that Divided a Nation?
On Friday, the historic decision came down from the Supreme Court - finally, love won one and gay people now have the same rights as straight people - the right to legally marry and enjoy the priveleges that all married couples do.
Me? I say it's about time. But some of my friends? That's a whole other deal. I have been absolutely shocked at the level of ignorance and hate some of them have been throwing out there.
When it comes to my Facebook news feed, it's been...interesting...on this topic. While I've been thrilled to see photos of several friends finally being allowed to marry the ones they love, I've been shocked by some of the stuff people have posted.
Between my apparent ignorance to the level of homophobia some of my friends carry around with them to the Christians who quietly object (and those who aren't so quiet about it), it's been a real eye opener.
The Persecuted Christian vs. Gay Rights
I honestly had no idea that so many people who call themselves Christian had such an aversion to homosexual marriage. I do tend to look for the best in the world, so maybe it was intentional ignorance, but I totally missed this one.
I knew that Catholics didn't support gay marriage, but I'd never really understood the level that some Christians would take their "concern."
While I saw tons of ignorance that I would never repeat simply because it's negative and hateful, one friend of mine named Marie posted something that basically said she does not support or agree with homosexuality, but we can all still be friends.
I have a small issue with this, but as someone who accepts herself without exception, I try to accept others the same way, and since Marie didn't directly insult anyone, I could respect what she said on some level. She is an intelligent and thoughtful woman who simply has her personal beliefs and doesn't necessarily throw them in anyone's face.
So I felt compelled to share my thoughts with her. I told her that I understand her opinion differs from mine and that as long as she's respectful of the people who have different ones, I'd be respectful of hers.
She then stated that Christians are now being used as targets because of their beliefs.
Are Christians really being targeted because they believe gay marriage is against their religion?
I'm not going to lie to you - my first thought was "YEAH RIGHT!" And that's because I've personally experienced being judged by people who claimed that they did so based on their Bibles.
For example, when I got divorced from my first husband, I put my son in a daycare that was run by a church - one that didn't like the fact that I was leaving the emotionally abusive jerk. And they persecuted the hell out of me for it - I ended up having to find a new daycare because they literally called me three or four times a week to pick my son up - and there would usually be nothing wrong. They just didn't want me to work.
But I try to keep an open mind, and I think there is a certain amount of validity to the statement that Marie made - except that, in my case, I was raised by a minister who has always been supportive of gay people and their rights. A Christian minister - and one in the United Church of Christ denomination, which actually was the first church to openly support gay people and their rights. (Have to admit, I'm proud of them for being pioneers in this brave new world.)
Still, personally, I think a more accurate statement would have been to say that SOME Christians who have certain antiquated beliefs and who choose to use said beliefs to justify their hate are being persecuted.
Why would I say that? It's simple.
Have Christians Declared Open Season on Gay People, or Vice Versa?
As I watch this whole deal unfold, I'm seeing a lot of so-called Christians who seem to have declared open season on gay people and their rights.
The amount of absolute ignorance and hate they spew is mind-boggling - and people like my friend Marie, who hasn't spewed even a bit of hate, are suffering the consequences right along with the gay population.
Having grown up in a Christian household, and like I said, raised by a minister, I understand that they aren't supposed to judge. And I know for sure that not all people who claim Christianity are anti-gay.
And yet there they go - spewing hate and ignorance in the name of a God who they clearly misunderstood.
Maybe we need to have empathy for them because they were brought into this ignorance by their families and were never able to expand their minds and grow out of the little boxes they were given at birth.
But I also feel that empathy is a two way street.
Imagine, as a woman, how it felt to exist in a time when they didn't even pretend we were equal.
If you can put your head in that place, you can have a tiny taste of how it feels to be born a certain way and to be treated badly because of it.
And now imagine if it were against someone's religion to be female. Would that make it okay for that person to hate you? Or to "disapprove" of you?
I say no. You cannot judge or persecute a person for a quality they were born with - it isn't fair and in most other situations, it would be completely unacceptable to the same people who are claiming that they have the right to hate someone because of their religion.
At the same time, we don't have the right to judge anyone for their religious beliefs. Like I told my friend Marie, I don't have a problem with your beliefs as long as you're respectful of those who have different ones.
But then Marie replied: "Yes, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, I'm just sad that it's now open season on Christians. We don't want to be bashed just because we have our own beliefs."
That is also a valid point, right?
As Marie said, "Everyone wants the same thing, to be treated equally. Two wrongs don't make a right."
"No, it's not OK to bash gays, and no, its not OK to bash Christians," she continued. "I'm a devout Christian, and God has made me who I am and brought me this far in my journey, my love for God transcends every part of my life and it is who I am. I cannot tolerate bashing of God in anyway."
I get that. The fact is that religion is sacred to many people, and that is why you won't catch me bashing anyone for their beliefs.
At the same time, I struggle with the fact that some religious people use that religion to make hate okay - though not all of them are spewing hate. Some are intelligent and quietly stating their opinions, like my friend Marie.
And as Marie pointed out, though she understands "the plight of homosexuals, that cannot be used as an excuse to bash Christians."
"We have a right to be left alone and in peace, just like the homosexual, or any other person," Marie continued. "Christians want the same equity afforded to anyone else. My post is any no way meant to trivialize the gay experience, but my post is to bring to light that Christians should not be bashed. The amount of hatred and ugly comments directed toward Christians has reached an all-time level and it saddens my heart."
Food for thought, I suppose. Marie is right - Christians don't deserve to be bashed any more than gay people do. But do Christians have a right to judge? I think not. But you tell me - what do you think?
I find this all very disturbing. On so many levels. How do you see it? Share your thoughts below or hit me up on Facebook. Let's talk about it.