Remaining compassionate whilst maintaining the courage of Our convictions. After the announcement recently that Indiana had passed its own version of A Religious Freedom bill, to which my first response was if I am honest disappointment. The misinformation and scare mongering reached epic proportions and drew the haters out of the woodwork. As a result of this bill some Conservatives even began using the phraseology “LGBT Jihad”
There have been a few items in the news pertaining to Business’s refusing to cater for events that were LGTB in origin. Most memorably there was the Baker who refused to bake a cake for a Gay Wedding and the Pizza Store who also refused to cater. No too sure what group of miscreants would want to serve pizza at a wedding but taste is clearly relative.
As a gay person I feel sad that people are refused service on the grounds of their sexuality or perceived orientation but one cannot presume to force another into service or that would be slavery right? If I was ever refused service on the grounds of my sexuality, I would find some other company that wanted to take my gay money as it is still a buyers market. I do have to wonder how many of these businesses would refuse to cater a wedding for a divorcee, a murderer or someone who wears clothing made of mixed fibers.
Market forces will always dictate the success or failure of a business and if people are willing to diminish the number of clients through the door by refusing to serve certain groups, word does get around and either those who agree with your stance will patronize your establishment or you will have to close.
The reasons stated by the pizza people for not providing a service was that they didn’t agree with gay marriage as it was in their opinion, not acceptable and they did not want to be a part of that. Participating in their opinion added some element of culpability however if you sell someone a gun and they kill someone you would not have a level of culpability.
Whilst I may vehemently disagree with the fact that people do this I fundamentally recognize their right to do so. My issue with this is the level of hypocrisy attached to this. They would serve an adulterer or a murderer or any other common or garden sinner. If you consider homosexuality to be a sin, the bible teaches us that there is no grading in sin, so why do some Christians seek to elevate some sins/perceived sins over others?
Much to the chagrin of some of my LGBT brethren, I have over the last few years evolved, personally, politically and in many other ways. For so long I thought all Conservatives and Republicans were haters and believe me some are to the point of being hypocrites. The reality is so many are not and want the same things as you or I and genuinely care and love and want things to change and get better.
Getting to know so many Conservatives and even developing very close relationships both personally and professionally I grew and actually changed for the better. I have even been told by some that have learned a lot from me. Whilst I wish to continue growing with my fellow Americans who I might not see eye to eye with on every issue, there sadly comes a point where one has to draw a clear line in the sand and stand up for what one believes.
Since gay marriage has being legalized in so many states and also the institution of laws that were initially set out to protect us things have shifted somewhat. Some (and please notice that I care enough not to generalize) Conservative Christians have really shown their true colors and have sadly wrapped that fact in scripture, and used it to attack which still does not make it right.
Whilst I am big enough to stick up for myself and even for you from time to time, there are those among us who cannot. It really is our job gay or straight, black or white, whatever to attempt to make a difference for them and us. If we are ever going to come together as Americans we have to learn to live together, differences and all. To not do so will really will become our undoing and the blame is not just on one side of the divide. I am here to tell you it is on both.
I have spent the majority of my adult life working to further equality for the LGBT community and of late have been left somewhat disillusioned. I do not feel we have the right as gay people to force service provision. I do feel we have the right to access the same rights as other people, but I do not believe that Ministers of Religion should be forced to marry two people of the same sex if they do not agree with that standing.
Have we as the LGBT community forgotten what this struggle was about? We cannot force acceptance and to do so makes us as bad if not worse than those who we say oppress us.
By the same token Christians can’t go around hating gay people because of gay marriage and the laws of protection. Where is the love? Did you forget about the message of our savior Jesus Christ? He came to this earth to teach us to love one another and died nailed to a cross to declare his love for mankind. All of mankind, regardless of sexuality, how you vote or what your opinions are. I hate to break it too you Conservative Christians, but Jesus died for the gays too.
I have kept my cool on Social Media for so long but really had to respond yesterday to a meme someone had crudely made misquoting scripture. (See above) It read CHRISTIANS REBUKE THE GAY COMMUNITY! HOMESEXUALITY IS AN ABOMINATION! (LEV.18:22) HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS SIGN GO COMPLAIN TO YAWEH. Aside of the blatant misuse of scripture and the fact that nowhere in the Bible are the words Homosexual or Homosexuality found, here is a Conservative Christian calling for the harassment of gays on FaceBook!
Why are they not harassing thieves, adulterers and murderers too? Where did we go wrong? Did we suddenly lose the need for God? I don’t want to be tolerated and I will not stand idly by while you alter scripture and use it to hit me over the head with. I will not be subjected to harassment on Social Media for being gay. I will not debate with people whose sole quest is to elevate Homosexuality as an unforgivable sin and worse than any other if you consider it to be a sin. Sin is sin, is sin………
In order for change to occur we all have to try harder and stop judging each other. It is one thing to maintain the courage of your conviction, but in doing so we must remain compassionate. I am speaking to all of us in that statement, we need to remain compassionate and try to work together for the greater good. Hate begets hate and we need to stop the hate as it trickles downward. None of us are without sin and need to deal with the sin in our own lives before point out the sin or perceived sin in others. Love is louder!