I have started to write a post about my thoughts on marriage equality almost every day for over a week now. Every time I've scrapped the whole thing and started over, because I just get too angry.
I'm angry that there are real people behind the "homosexual" label who are being deeply hurt.
I'm angry that Bible verses are being mistranslated and used out of context to push an agenda.
I'm angry that the Golden Rule has been tossed in favor of self-righteousness.
I'm angry that shouting matches on social media have taken the place of rational dialogue.
I'm angry that my homosexual and bisexual friends, people I love and care about, feel like second-class citizens in the eyes of the people around them.
I'm angry that there are individuals who are withholding from others the freedoms they enjoy for themselves.
I'm angry that there are homosexuals who will never know the love of Jesus because of a few vocal Christians who misrepresent him so severely.
I'm angry that people flippantly toss out labels and assumptions without looking into the faces of the people they wound.
I'm angry that there are individuals who act as if they are somehow personally affected by the sexual behavior of two other consenting adults.
I'm angry that there are Christians who treat homosexuality as if it's a terrible, terrible sin.....and then gossip about their gay neighbor, yell at their kids, and give other drivers the finger in traffic.
I'm angry that I can't say I love Jesus without people assuming that I'm anti-marriage-equality.
I'm angry that my religion has been hijacked and used as an excuse for hate, bigotry, and marginalization.
I'm angry that there are Christians who place priority on pushing morality rather than showing love.
I'm angry. I'm also unbelievably sad and profoundly frustrated. Sometimes I really just want to grab people by the shoulders, shake them, and say, "Don't you see?! Don't you see that there are real people whose lives you're tampering with? Real, flesh-and-blood human beings with hopes and dreams and goals and families and feelings?" I want to sit them down with a member of the homosexual community over a cup of coffee, and have them talk about everything but marriage equality. Then, after a couple of hours, I want them to try to look that other person in the eye and say, "You can't have same freedoms as me. You don't deserve the same happiness I do."
This isn't an argument. I have a plethora of Bible verses, real-life examples, and well-designed arguments that I could argue passionately...but I'm not going to. I don't think there are enough good arguments in the world to change a mind that's firmly made up. I think that takes real people talking about their lives, feelings, and experiences--about their hopes and dreams and desires.
And my hope--my hope is that the Christian community will begin to show the homosexual community the same radical love, grace, and freedom that we have been shown. My hope is that we will begin to welcome them with open arms rather than keeping them at arms length. My hope is that the community of faith that I love--and am yet so frustrated with--will one day be known for what we're for, rather than what (or whom) we're against. My hope is that we would treat people as Jesus would. My hope is for equality for all people--regardless of their sex, gender, color, beliefs, or sexual orientation--in all things, including the right to marry whom they choose.
**Note: Currently, comments are open, and I welcome a diversity of opinions. However, comments that are hateful, inflammatory, or disrespectful toward any person or group will be deleted; if this occurs, all comments will be moderated before posting. Keep it civil, folks.