**This post is pure opinion**
I know I haven’t written about faith in my life recently, but this post idea started in my mind when a particular conversation happened between myself and a coworker.
To give a little background, I work for a Philanthropy foundation that embodies Christian values and beliefs; we pray before most meetings and before any work luncheons and many organizations supported hold those same values and beliefs. I am a ‘new’ Christian, I was baptized on Easter in 2012, a decision I have not regretted.
The foundation does more than just give grants out to many organizations, it also is involved in a few side projects. I don’t know the full extent of the involvement in all the projects, but one of them is related to same-sex marriage.
*For the record, I believe everyone should have the right to marry, but that is my belief and not the main point of this post.
The conversation came up when my coworker asked if I wanted to listen to a live stream of a conference/talk that someone was giving. It was being streamed by a center that is for same-sex marriage rights. She was explaining what it was, she had the link sent by our supervisors because they wanted to her to hear it and give a report back on what was said. She in turn asked if I wanted the link to listen to it. I remember I kind of stared at her, because initially I thought it was going to be a speech/talk about why same-sex marriage shouldn’t be legal.
However, she continued to explain who was giving the talk and thought it would be interesting to listen to because, “You know they’re against us … they’re the enemy essentially.” The quote isn’t exactly verbatim, but the words against us and enemy were definitely used.
I’m pretty sure that I was dumfounded. Here is a perfectly nice and caring person, who I really like and enjoy working with, but then that is said. Knowing her, I know she most likely didn’t mean it harshly or the way I heard it. But still, what happened to just loving people of this Earth? What happened to compassion and being genuinely nice, no matter what people did in their private life?
I understand that many people have the belief that same-sex marriage should not be legal, mostly for religious reasons from what I can tell, and I’m okay with that because everyone has a right to their own opinions, beliefs, and values. I think what I’m not okay with is using religion to try and create a law or make something illegal – I have no knowledge in political science or government, but isn’t that trying to combine Church and State? Yes, we use our beliefs and values as reasons to try and change something, but shouldn’t the goal be to create an inclusive society that tries to avoid harming people in any way?
We all want to live in a society that has the same beliefs and values as ourselves. I get that, because I wish our society placed value on some of the same things that I place value on. But I accept that there will always be someone out there that will be against a belief or value that I hold. Especially in America where we have grown and developed into something far greater and different from where our country and society began. The foundational elements that America was built on are not the only ones that are relevant anymore.
This whole thing has lead me to the realization of maybe why I decided to forgo Church attendance, at least for now. I didn’t feel like I fit in, particularly, I didn’t feel like my personal values and beliefs fit in very well (not that it was ever told to my face or anything, it was more of a feeling than anything else). Which is fine, I may find a Church in the future where I do feel like I fit in.
After that particular conversation, I did a Google search about where in the Bible does it say that homosexuality is a sin. I did find a couple articles/people that gave a couple references and I even found one when I was doing one of daily reads of the Bible. I found it in Leviticus 20:13,
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death.
What I noticed is that the language, to me, implies that it is believed to be disgusting and therefore is believed to be a sin. But I find that saying something is a sin because its disgusting isn’t a strong argument, at least in today’s world. I understand that there are many levels of disgust, all different between people, but I mostly go back to the fact that the commandment of loving your neighbor as you love yourself is one of the most important commandments to keep, only after recognizing the Lord as One and loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. These three are the most important commandments. There is nothing that says unless your neighbor is so and so or does this. (Mark 12:29-31 Holman Christian Standard Bible).
I find myself thinking that I am more spiritual than religious, but I’m still not sure. It seems that many people have their own idea about what it means to be either. What I do know is that I believe in God and I love Him, I generally love the people of this world and believe that everyone deserves a happy, healthy, and free life, but beyond that, it’s a little fuzzy.
Here’s to hoping and praying for a more peaceful, compassionate, and understanding society in the future. Have a great day and weekend!
I found this interesting site about Christians who are for LBGT equality that goes into more detail, it’s the Not All Like That Christian Project website.