The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of same sex marriage nationwide, finally granting marriage equality for all. When I heard the news, my heart was filled with pride to be an American, an ally for equality, and a Christian. Yes, a CHRISTIAN.
I was raised in the Lutheran church, and I have always felt very devout in my faith. I’m also very liberal and progressive in my beliefs, and I reject the idea that there is only one way to interpret the scripture. As much as I reject the idea that the world can only be seen in black and white, I believe in color. All shades of every imaginable color, even the colors too faint to be identified by the human eye.
Allow me to elaborate, and I will begin by referencing 1 John 4: 7-8:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not, does not know God; for God is love.
God is LOVE. Take a moment to consider that statement. It seems so simple, but apparently it’s way too complicated for vast numbers of people to accept as truth. Instead, I’ve seen such ugly, venomous proclamations directed towards supporters of equality, all supposedly in the name of God. For me personally – as someone who identifies as a faithful Christian – it’s downright embarrassing.
Seriously? I’m a smart girl, and I struggle with understanding how anyone can justify denying equal rights to a group of individuals based on the false claim that they’re somehow less human than the rest of us. How is this different from the Holocaust, or Apartheid, or race segregation in the 1960’s? Simply stated, it’s not.
I’d like to point out that scripture also tells us that God created each of us in His image, exactly as we’re meant to be. Why is it so hard to accept that this also applies to homosexuality? The gay people I’ve known throughout my life have ALL shared with me that their attraction to individuals of the same sex was something they became aware of at a very early age.
In reflection, I also remember the first crush I had as a little girl. I was about 6 years old, I saw him in my elementary school cafeteria, and my heart was all aflutter. I had absolutely no control over that occurrence, and I believe in my core that it’s the same for everyone. Attraction is not a choice – it just happens, biologically and chemically. The choice lies in how we respond to it, and how we act upon it.
Trust me, if we had ANY control over who we’re attracted to, there would never be any broken hearts. We’d never fall for people we can’t have. There would never be any tears shed over the one that got away, or “it’s just not meant to be.” No. We’d simply select the person who is best suited for us, we’d intellectually decide that they were the only one we wanted to walk beside on this crazy journey, and that would be the end of our search. But honestly, that would also mean we’d never grow from our experiences, or learn more about ourselves from recognizing that we’re just too valuable to settle for anything less than pure bliss. In that, we’d also miss out on growing closer to God.
I’ve also never been sold on the idea that “Jesus hates the sin, but loves the sinner.” I’m still seeing the word hate associated with Christ, and I feel like that is just one giant contradiction. If God is love, and if Jesus is love, it follows logically that the antithesis of God, is hate. The God I follow does not hate. He is a compassionate God, a forgiving God, and a loving God.
Now, this should not suggest that God doesn’t hold us to a high moral standard, or perhaps become frustrated and disappointed when we make stupid decisions (like any parent would); but still – I will take my last breath believing that hatred is not something God would ever be proud of in His followers. Nor is judgment, or ignorance, or cruelty. God is proud when we’re humble, and when we admit to our shortcomings. God is proud when we’re compassionate towards others, regardless of the circumstances. God is proud when we embrace what we don’t understand, because we’re admitting that our mere human minds are not meant to comprehend the unknown wonders of the universe.
The most profound conversation I’ve had regarding my faith was shared with one of my closest friends, about 10 years ago. We came to the conclusion that attempting to wrap our human minds around the concept of everything that God knows – in His omniscience – would be nothing short of impossible. Here’s the simple truth – we’re not supposed to understand it all. We’re not supposed to know the answers to everything. We’re just supposed to believe. The rest will come later, if we’re lucky. In the meantime, I will remain an advocate for equality, for justice, and for LOVE. And if I believe in the scripture, this will keep me on my chosen path, with God. That’s all I need to know.
I’m going to close with one of my favorite quotes, from one of the holiest individuals who has ever graced this earth – at least in my opinion. Not a Christian man, but undoubtedly a man of God.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
To be blunt – Put that in your pipe, and f**king smoke it.