This is a scary topic.
For me at least. Because it’s close to home. Too much too soon? Perhaps. But, let it be said: I love gay people.
I have many gay friends. And a couple of gay family members too.
I love all of them. Just the same as any other friends/family: regardless of skin color/ culture/ language/ association. Your value (intrinsic value or not) is so much more than those labels we put on ourselves and others.
I recently posted a link on Facebook on why I don’t hate ‘the pride‘ — read it here.
The institution of marriage, from a legal perspective at least, provides many benefits, chiefly within the genre of health care, insurance, and property purchases.
However, only yesterday I read a blog in which a woman, who has been with a life-partner for 20+ years, filed for divorce after having to move to another state to get their same-sex marriage recognized, realized that (and I quote): “relationships aren’t all rainbows and unicorns.”
Gay propaganda/pride/campaigns has been part of life since I can remember. Just the same as all the other “forbidden” stuff I grew up being warned about — racism, drugs, drinking, sex, candy, strangers, tree climbing, and stealing flowers from the neighbors.
FACT OR LIFE:
At some point we will do something that offends/hurts/upsets/abuses someone else. Regardless of however pure our intentions might be.
There’s much to be said about the politics/religious/cultural wars we face on a daily basis, regardless of the global location in which we find our physical selves.
In many ways, I believe, we fail to show love to others. And by this I don’t refer to some unattainable candy floss “get out of jail free” -card that we hand out just so that we don’t seem too conservative. Wait, let me re-phrase: too close-minded.
I find that most laws/wars fought ride the tidal wave of equality, or fairness, but in case you haven’t noticed: life is very rarely fair.
The question then is — who is being treated more unfairly?
The liberals (who fight for what they believe in) or the conservatives (who defend what they believe in)?
Isn’t this just two sides of the same coin?
Are we defined, or valued based on what we are, or who we are? Because, I believe WHO we are is waaaaaay more important than how we live out who we are. Yes. I am a girl. A white girl. An Afrikaans-speaking white girl. From Africa. Those are all labels that society puts on me. Am I defined by them? Yes. Am I limited by them? No.
I have strong convictions about a lot of stuff — some motivated by my culture, my family values, morals, my faith, or simply my academic mind. Am I opinionated? Certainly. Do I enforce my convictions on others? Perhaps, though unintentionally. Do I abuse those who don’t agree with me? No.
I find myself wondering which is more “fair“: wanting things to remain the same because I believe them to be right, or disagreeing with others simply because they believe something else to be right. And then, in the event that our opinions differ, does that mean that I hate them? NO. Simply because you disagree with someone, it does not mean that you hate them, or fear them.
Allow me to clarify.
I like meat. No, wait — I’m South African: I LOVE MEAT. So, you’re a vegetarian/vegan. Do I hate you? No. Do I disagree with you on how juicy your soy mince tastes? Yes.
You see my point here?
I think, from a Christian perspective, we fail to show love to many people. I don’t know much about life, but I do know Jesus, and I know he would treat the “differents” differently.
A few things I know about Jesus:
1. He loved people who were different than him.
2. He ate with people who were different than him.
3. He served people who were different than him.
And here, let me quote Jarrid Wilson in saying that “if you call yourself a Christian, you’re called to do the same. You don’t have to agree with someone’s lifestyle in order to spend time with them. You can still showcase love and compassion to someone, even if you don’t see eye-to-eye with their beliefs. Jesus would have never wielded a “Got Hates F*gs” picket-sign, nor would he reject the opportunity to sit and eat with someone for dinner just because they were gay. He loved all people equally and you and I are called to do the same.
“While I don’t believe all people have hateful picket-signs stored away in their closets, I do believe the unspoken opinions of the LGBT community would resemble something quite similar. That’s a bold statement, but I believe it to be true by what I’m seeing and reading taking place in our world. “Regardless of what your interpretation of biblical text is, loving your neighbor is not something you can ignore or push aside. And while I don’t believe all Christians need a crash-course in “showing love 101,” I do believe that there are millions who do. Are you one of them?
“The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”—Mark 12:31
I do know this one other thing Jesus lives by, and it’s found in Romans 12:2
Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
My point then? I have family members who are gay. I have friends who are gay. I know people who are questioning their sexual identity. I have black friends. And white friends. And bi-racial friends. I have Christian friends. And Atheist friends. And really confused friends.
Do I agree about everything with them? No. Do they agree with me? No.
But I try to show them love and grace as Jesus would. Am I a passive bystander in the war for equality? No. But, I value relationships — and I try to live with love, compassion and mercy, and to not limit my acceptance of people, or their value to me or society based simply on their convictions and the ‘labels‘ they or others hang around their necks.
So, if I were to host a parade, it would be one with streamers and rainbows and balloons and dancing and a giant poster that reads:
HIS BANNER OVER ME IS LOVE!
And this is the basis of all my convictions: to love well.