We're sitting in class--I remember like it was yesterday; we were supposed to be studying or doing some sort of learning. But you and I both know that that just means a chance to whisper and pass notes! My friend taps me on the shoulder and says "I'm gay." Wow--I'm 16 and don't know what I want for lunch so I'm definitely not thinking about gender orientation...I'm hoping it's not an offer. So I ponder the statement for a minute then give my response "as long as you remember I like guys we'll always be friends." That conversation took place back in 1987 in the buckle of the bible belt. AIDS was new, people were afraid of gays and hatred was strong. I knew I wasn't gay but I also knew it wasn't right or fair to hate, judge or be afraid of people who were (and still are) my friends.
Today, it's the 'new millinium', don't ask/don't tell has been repealed, some states recognize civil unions yet there is still an undercurrent-a movement who is against this population who is different. These people quote scripture and claim that the gays will burn in hell for their wicked ways. Well what about the wicked ways of the accuser? The finger pointers may not be gay but just by judging others they are doing the very thing God has said we aren't to do. God is the one true judge...whether your sin is abuse, cheating on your spouse, looking at pornography, speeding, lying, excluding people, profanity...take your pick because there are plenty to go around!
The message in my bible is one of love and understanding. Did Jesus throw the stone? No he simply drew in the sand (I think it was the accusers sins, thanks Padre for that illustration) and asked the one who had not sinned to cast the first stone...no one picked up a rock that day, in fact according to what I've read they all turned and left. Jesus didn't put the woman down or tell her all she had done wrong He simply said 'go-sin no more'. How many of us can genuinely say I have never sinned, I will never sin and can cast that stone?
Mama always said we were supposed to love the sinners not the sin. She definitely lived that through my sinful college days. Oh so often she said these words to me: "Dana, I don't like what you're doing but I love you". It stuck and now as a mom myself, I find myself teaching my girls that it's easy to love but when we like someone or something it is much more serious. Today I pulled out the handy dictionary to help drive home my point.
1. to be suitable or agreeable to; to feel attraction toward or take pleasure in
1. unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another
So the moral of this blog is you don't have to like the lifestyle that is chosen by others but you really should love them. Remember God's house is big and has many rooms...He has a place prepared for those who 'do unto the least of them'. No sin is bigger than another, I believe they're all equal in His eyes.
We're ALL crazy blessed children of God...we're all sinners...
we may not all believe alike but we can all LOVE alike!!
I am so impressed by your thoughtful, loving post about this divisive issue. I can only hope that something I may have said or done in English class those many years ago might have in even a small way contributed to the spirit of maturity and tolerance evidenced in your post. So easy to wear a What Would Jesus Do button, but so much more difficult to live up to the example.