Saturday, August 25, 2012

Is the Gay Rights movement leading to Religious Persecution?

I had to think about this for such a long time before actually sitting here and writing this. I would be wrong if I didn’t say there was a little fear of the public reaction to it, but I have some thoughts that I really need to share and also get some real feed back on. This is the internet so I am sure there will be ignorance and hate that will be started because of this, but this is obviously something that needs to be thought about.  In recent years, there has been a lot of debate on legalizing gay marriage. In more recent news the CEO of a well known Christian restaurant chain was asked his opinion on Gay marriage.  The public’s reaction to the obvious answer has raised more questions to a national dilemma.  Where is this leading our society?  Could religious persecution be next?

I have read the reasons behind the Gay Rights movement. As an American citizen I do understand the appearance of their rights being infringed upon.  I read about wills being discarded, custody being taken away, the health insurance and many others. But reading the poignant stories, I ask how are these situations unique to the Gay community?

Everyone knows about the dispute between Anna Nicole Smith and her step son, over her husband’s will. The custody battles over a deceased partner’s kids with their family is nothing new either.  No matter who you are, most people feel more comfortable when their blood is being raised by blood (we have all heard the scary step-parent stories). There have even been times when family has interceded to take custody away from biological parents when the parents are seen as unfit.  So on these stories, I don’t see anything particularly unique. It’s just one American using his right to question another American’s right to an estate or custody of their sister’s kids.  On the health insurance thing, now that is something that is unique.  I don’t understand why you can’t add whoever you want to an insurance you are PAYING for.  As a consumer in a Capitalist society, this really doesn’t make sense, even without bringing gay rights into it.

Now let’s look at the opposition.  What are all these bible thumpers against? As a Christian myself, I have been very confused on the gay rights issue.  I do not like the unfairness that homosexual people have to face, but I also do not agree with the lifestyle or the tactics that are being used either.  I feel like this is a pill that I am being forced to swallow.  Why is it ok for people to flaunt in my face something that I think is wrong, but I am not able to say that I think it is wrong? 

The only things I can’t have an opinion about are the things that I don’t know about.  My mom raised me a certain way. I know that if I do something that she does not agree with, once she knows about it, she will tell me her opinion.  That also means that things that I don’t want her opinion on, I keep from her knowledge.  It’s the same for almost every one I know and have met. As soon as they see something they don’t agree with, you know it. Smoking is wrong. Drinking is wrong. Sex before marriage is wrong. Wearing fur is wrong. Homosexuality is wrong. Abortion is wrong.

However I am starting to see a train of thought that is tainting everyone’s actions and reactions.  “Drinking is wrong. John drinks. Therefore John is bad.”  The thought that people are judging them when they are told something they are doing is wrong, makes it obvious that if you don’t want to seem judgmental, keep your opinion to yourself. Honestly speaking, for the most part, that is true.  No one is perfect but we like to weigh our wrongness against the wrongness of others. It makes us feel better about ourselves.  I may be “this”, but at least I’m not “that”.  Unfortunately, it’s the imperfect “Christians” that are the loudest to point out someone else’s wrong.  The saddest thing is that they are less forgiving of gay people than they are of murderers, thieves, prostitutes and gangsters.

I have to admit that before I read on the Gay rights movement, I was taking a rigid standpoint. I saw only the fact that all the flamboyant people want to force me to accept something as right that my religious beliefs say is wrong.  The tactics of the Gay rights movement had me on the defensive.  Like I had to not only protect my beliefs, I had to assert them.  In spite of the fact that I have associates and people that I highly respect that are gay, I was rigid about it.  Never had a discussion with them about it because I know we would disagree and I didn’t want heated words to ruin those relationships. Fortunately these people were discreet about it. I know they are gay and they know I know.  It’s not to the point of cross dressing. It never becomes a point of discussion, because their discretion makes it obvious that I am not privy to their personal business.  I respect them more for that because I feel their respect for me.

However not everyone is as respectful of other’s decisions and opinions. So with the Gay Right movement in full swing, does anyone else feel that America is only a few Radicals away from religious persecution?

An Unusual Hindsight

This is an usual topic. We all accept things about a person after we have taken off the rose colored glasses.  But some of the things we start to accept after it’s over can be scary and alarming.  We look back at them, then look at ourselves and think, “Was I really that stupid?” And the sad part is that the answer is often “yes.”  A few days ago while helping a friend out by giving a massage, I was asked if I had ever given my ex one (according to him I should be charging).  When I replied “No.” I was asked “Why not?”

There were a lot of things I wanted to do that I didn’t do with my ex.  The reasons behind me not doing could be any number of things. But that was not the focus of this conversation with my friend. It was not even a few minutes later that he asked a question, that I now realized he had asked me before.  The question rephrased this time was, “How shocked would you be to discover that your ex was sleeping with men?”

I replied right then and there that I would have been very shocked. It was impossible that my ex was gay.  When I got alone and thought about all the other questions this same friend had asked. I realized that each time I thought better of my ex, it turned out I was wrong.  He asked me if I thought my ex was thinking about proposing, I said “yes.” I was wrong. He asked if it was possible that my ex was cheating, I said “no.” I was wrong. There were plenty of other questions too and I was wrong then as well.  So when I got alone and thought about it. I had to admit that I wanted to judge everyone by a better standard than is realistic. The fact that this friend has met my ex and asked this same question before I have to think it’s possible he saw things that I didn’t want to examine.  He definitely called the cheating.

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is possible.  I am done thinking the best of people when they have proven otherwise. It’s time I label their box correctly. So yes, hindsight now says that all the bad and inconceivable things I refused to consider before are now possible.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Soul Ties

I have heard this term quite often growing up. It was usually preceded by the word “unholy” and my mom’s go-to reason for not having sex before marriage.  She always said sex before marriage creates unholy soul ties.  These soul ties were things to be avoided at all costs. You never know what bad things another person is carrying in their spirit until you have to carry it yourself all because you opened yourself up to them. Now this soul tying has a different meaning to me that goes beyond the left over lust you may have for a person you’ve slept with.

Have you ever placed  someone at center the of your spirit?  It wouldn’t be too far off to say that your world revolved around them.  You practically live, sleep, eat and breath them.  You pray for them. You pray for their happiness. You pray for their well being. You pray for their increase. You also pray for your relationship with them. You pray for your patience with them. You pray for understanding. You pray all the prayers that should help you and that person be together.

When you’re not praying for them, you are bending over backwards just to make certain they know how much you love them.  Trying to be a well of happiness, peace and love that they can draw strength from to face another day in the harsh world.  Even while trying to be their everything, it’s not to the point where you have completely lost yourself in them. You have a sense of self. It’s just a self that has been wrapped around another person. 

This is a person you carry in your spirit. It goes beyond mental obsession and physical lust.  Even when the body stops longing and the mind admonishes against the very thought of them, your spirit still holds onto them.  There is no emptiness.  There is just yearning.  You yearn for the day that they take up less space in your spirit so there will be room for someone else. Someone that you can have a future with.