punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Friday, March 29, 2013

For the Record: I am not an Unreasonable, Hate-filled, Fearful Bigot

Of late, the vitriolic rancor flung at Christians due to their beliefs about the nature of marriage and the family has been particularly vicious.

I can only conclude thus: that charity is not the native language of my generation.  Nor the previous generation, perhaps.

As saddening and sometimes maddening as this is, I maintain my hope that, despite the incivility haloing the topic of gay ‘marriage,’ most people, once you get them alone (and away from social networking sites), are able have an unheated, rational conversation about the topic.

I say this is a hope because I am still waiting for that person who would like to sit and charitably exchange ideas.

I especially want to engage with someone who may be proliferating the uncharitable language that is now so familiar to us.  For example, slogans like “FCK H8,” and “StopH8,” which are supposed characterize how Christians in some way really harbor a profound hatred for homosexuals.

I happen to be a Christian, and, believe it or not, I don’t hate anybody.  I'm just stuck wondering why you are accusing me of doing so – and don’t you realize that you are actually attacking my personal character when you do? 

What if I turned around and said of all same sex marriage supporters: “Stop H8ing God and FCK H8ing heterosexuals?”

Well that would be absurd.  I might not agree with their position but obviously supporters of same sex 'marriage,' many of them anyway, love the Lord, are heterosexual themselves, and believe they are supporting a just cause.  What about that makes them ‘haters?’  Nothing. But by the same token, how does my position make me a ‘hater,’ if I too love all people and believe my own position to be reasonable?

Without really thinking it through, one half of society has decided that smearing, labeling, and shame mongering the other half into accepting a stance that many simply do not agree with is the best tactic.  To me and to many such methods only serve to weaken their arguments because, after all, why would you distract away from your core beliefs by attacking others, unless what you believe is unsound in some way?

That and what happens is that before I can even lay down my side of the argument, I am already stuck defending my character, which gets old, frankly.  For, if I don't hate gays, as I indicated already, then I must surely be fearful of gays or social change or both.

Right. What would I be afraid of, now?  Most gays I know are good, caring people.  I like them though I dislike their sin and I pray for them, but not in a condescending way.  I’m a Christian, remember?  Praying for all sinners is kind of what I’m mandated do.  This has nothing to do with someone’s sexual orientation, just our universal fallen human nature and, because, buddy, I’m also on that list. 

Regarding fear of social change: really?  In this day and age where things change by the minute? Plus I’m the person who goes on yearly Walks for Life advocating for the rights of the unborn.  Clearly, my family and I are “out” (no pun intended) and willing to engage in social discourse.  I am still not seeing my own fear regarding change.

Lastly, the charge of bigotry.  You know, this goes both ways.  If I am bigoted due to my narrow, Christian, single-minded views, then how is that different to someone being bigoted towards me due to their own narrow, opposing view?  Am I to accuse half the nation of being bigoted against Christianity?  Isn’t that a bit extreme?

Of course it is! So when I hear such a charge flung against half the nation by the other half, it makes me wonder: if the one side doing the flinging truly believes their cause to be just, then why go to extremes (unless their cause isn’t just after all)?

For the record, therefore, and for whatever it’s worth, I am not a hate-filled, fearful, bigoted individual due to my belief in what the core structure and purpose of marriage is.  I am a rational person, who has followed a logical train of thought, and arrived at what I believe is a completely reasonable conclusion.

Also for the record, those who disagree with me are also not hate-filled, fearful, bigoted individuals either (most of them).  They too are rational people, who have followed what they believe to be a logical train of thought and arrived at their own conclusions.

No haters, homophobes or bigots need be present in this debate.  So could you do me a favor and quit accusing me of being all three at once?

Oh, and I almost forgot about the ‘wants to impose a religious state’ upon everyone accusation.  Yes, I am a Christian, but it might surprise you to hear me say that we don’t need to insert to religion into this debate at all.

There is new and current data from countries that have already legalized same sex marriage on the effects of changing the family structure, which I think we, as a nation, need to pay very close attention to before we can even continue this conversation.

How’s that for being secular?  Surely you’re not going to accuse Norway and Sweden as being instruments for the Catholic Church’s inquisition?  The statistics are coming in and looking very grim for children raised in same sex households.

In sum, your un-fearful, non-hate filled, non-bigoted Catholic mom, who prefers to wait for objective data to indicate the best direction for her country is signing off now, still in the hopes that someone out there wants to engage in way that is productive and charitable in every sense of the word.

1 comment:

  1. I find the study you posted somewhat suspect. The Witherspoon institute is a conservative think tank based on religious principles, and is somewhat biased: http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2013-03-29/new-documents-contradict-regnerus-claims-on-gay-parenting-study/

    Although admittedly, it is hard to find gay parenting studies that do not seemed biased.

    I feel like Christians actually do have a large part in making gay families less stable. By establishing constitutional amendments that deny gays the right to marry each other, they put many strains on the family to begin with. In many cases only one of the partners adopts a child, because legally they cannot together. If something happens to that partner, they child could be taken away. This does not even mention the higher costs the family will have to endure by not being able to share health insurance, file joint taxes, inheritance etc. That is a lot of stress.

    Do you believe that civil unions should be an available to gay couples? (All benefits from marriage, without the word marriage. They would presumably just say that they are getting married, and Christians or anyone would be free to disagree).
    What do you think about civil unions for all, and to give marriage back to the church. I feel like that would be a good compromise.

    I do believe that Christians on the whole are good people, and really do not want to do harm to others. They should not be shouted down as bigots or monsters for their heartfelt beliefs. The thing is, gays should be free to not care what christians think. But they have to, because Christians vote, and enact laws that make these kinds of benefits unavailable to them. There are a lot more Christians than there are gays.

    I respect your approach to this sensitive topic. You a clear in your words that you do not think you are better then anyone else or hold any ill will to homosexuals, but again this is when we run into trouble at the ballot box. If majorities always voted for the rights of minorities, would civil rights have taken longer to be granted? (I am not comparing christians to racists would have liked to see Jim Crow stay in place, but highlighting the parallels of a majority voting against a minority).

    I do agree that no Christian should feel the like they are not able to express their thoughts and feelings, but they should always do so while being sensitive to those who would be deemed "sinful". Gay people normally take time to grapple with their sexuality, and it does become a part of their identity. When they hear "love the sinner hate the sin" they hold that part of themselves dear, and it is something that is to be "hated".