Friday, June 26, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Darling Karen,

My darling Karen,

I so appreciate your words, and I'm sorry I kept you up with mine! :) You ARE and always HAVE BEEN a woman who loves all and loves well, and you are my good friend. You have proven that time and again. And there's no BUT in there. You walk out your faith with integrity and authenticity and compassion, and I am thankful that you have always had my back whenever I've chosen to make my opinion known--whether you agreed with it fully, partially, or not at all.

The effort to "protect" marriage on the part of heterosexuals would not be so laughable if the divorce rate were a little lower, perhaps. No one, including myself here, has done a stellar job of protecting the sanctity of marriage. Not that giving gay people a legal crack at it would improve the divorce rates any--I'm just pointing out the blaring inconsistency of people who want to "protect" it while they are concurrently trashing it. We truly ALL fall short...

So, your question, in our quest to right this wrong, do we compromise? Here is how I've resolved this whole thing in my mind, having been raised and taught the very same things you are bringing to light in this dialogue: What is the most compassionate thing I can do in this situation? I think there are two things, actually. #1 I can speak out against the haters (which I've done and will continue to do) and #2 I can acknowledge the inequality of this situation. I really do see this as a civil rights issue. These are tax-paying Americans, yet they are not allowed the same privileges as straight people. We can try to throw that moral wrench into that by saying that homosexuality is not right. But there is another moral wrench here in that not everyone is being treated fairly and, like you said as well, many are even being harassed, bullied, and threatened. The people who do not wish to see gay people marry haven't really acknowledged the inequality. I mean, at LEAST say, "OK, then gay people should get a HUGE tax credit since they don't enjoy all the rights and privileges that straight people do..." which is ridiculous--namely because tomorrow, there would be so many gay people in this country, we couldn't count them all! I would consider switching teams myself! Why lie? Anyway, if the peeps who want to keep marriage between a man and a woman would at least ACKNOWLEDGE this and bend just a teensy-weensy bit, then maybe folks wouldn't be SO polarized. But, since there is NO ROOM for compromise, then I can't stand with those folks. Hatred is a moral issue--one that I believe poses a much bigger threat to our country than homosexuality. I mean, if I were raising young kids today, I would shelter them from the haters before I would ever shelter them from gay people, for crying out loud! I would NEVER let my child near someone so enraged that they would make a hate sign and go protest downtown, screaming "TURN OR BURN!" to folks just trying to be happy like everybody else. THOSE people are nuts! They scare me!

I also believe that marriage would alter the gay culture--whether that's in a big way or a small way, I don't know--but it would still promote monogamy. Monogamy brings many benefits in terms of health and stability. Having been exposed to the gay lifestyle by the friends you mentioned, I think this is a good thing--just speaking pragmatically.

So, let's talk spiritually because that is really at the crux of this conversation. One might ask, how can we vote to legalize gay marriage and dismiss what the Bible says about homosexuality?

I'm not dismissing anything the Bible says. I struggle with that book. It's amazing, and I love it, and I cherish its words in my heart. I ponder it. I grapple with it. It gives me hope. I pisses me off in spots. I don't get it. I SO get it! It truly is the only book I've ever read that is ALIVE WITH ME, if that makes sense. But there are so many other questions...

What does the Bible say about the law? It says the law doesn't save us. The law CAN'T save us. Regardless of WHAT the law is, the only One that has the power to truly save us from ourselves is Christ.

What does the Bible say about sin? It says it separated me from God, but that Christ came and bridged that gap. This is nothing any of us could ever legislate.

What does the Bible say about love? It says if I say I love God and hate my brother, that I am a liar and God is not in me.

My brother wants to marry his boyfriend. Should I let him? Or should I prevent him? But if I try to prevent him, I build a wall of hurt and distrust and regret between us, and every brick in that wall belongs to me. Said wall prevents me from being able to put my arms around him and LOVE HIM, which is my command and my responsibility. Why would I erect such a thing that blocks my love and stands between me and my brother when the law is neither HERE NOR THERE in regard to his own redemption or his relationship with God?

Can't do it. I can't build that wall. And Jesus gets me. He gets it. If I'm wrong, it is just one more thing He will work out in me. I do keep Him quite busy...

I know you get me too, my friend. :)

Love you,
Daisy Rain

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Mike,

Dear Mike,

I thought your Facebook post was spot on yesterday, and you know I was biting my tongue in regard to some of the responses that people were posting. I bit my tongue out of a simple respect for you. It’s one thing to light your OWN Facebook page on fire; it’s quite another to light someone else’s on fire. I have no desire to do that. That’s what blogs are for. Incidentally, I’ve lit my own Facebook page on fire—it took me about three weeks to put it out.

However, since it wouldn’t be inappropriate in the least to express my opinions here on my own personal blog—the “Libs” haven’t taken THAT right away, have they? If they have I didn’t get the memo and I AM one so you’d think I would have heard—let me say a few things.

To catch everybody up, here was Mike’s post:

I'm not looking to the Republicans and Democrats for leadership. Live as citizens of the Kingdom of God. Jesus never fails.

I thanked Mike for his wisdom. Justin wrote:

Justin Webb at 9:45pm June 20
You may have to pick especially if the Libs say you can't have any sermons condeming homosexuality in your churh service. It may be considered a hate crime!

I simply responded with: Ugh.
Here’s what I didn’t post:

Dear Justin,
I’m sure you’re a very nice guy. I’d like to ask you respectfully to consider this possibility: There are no “Libs” who have ever entertained such a notion. The “Libs” are not out to squelch anyone’s freedom of expression, speech, or religious beliefs. This notion was most likely born straight out of an ultra-conservative camp, which puts out these hypothetical scenarios in order to stir up fear in the people they are trying to manipulate. I’m astounded that it works, but alas, it works. It WORKS! BUT, let’s just say that it IS true. It’s not, but I’m entertaining the suggestion here. Let’s say that preachers can no longer even broach the “hot button” subjects. The gospel will still be preached. Can I get an amen?

And, on a side note? I’m personally appalled at how gay and lesbian and transgendered citizens are treated by Christians in general. I don’t want anyone’s right to free speech to be taken away, but these sermons “condem(n)ing homosexuality” really don’t do a thing for me, I gotta be honest. I don’t think they do anything for anybody. I don’t think gay people come screaming down the aisle to the altar to get saved after hearing those sermons. I don’t think STRAIGHT people come screaming down the aisle to the altar to get saved. I don’t think ANYBODY comes screaming down the aisle after a sermon like that. I think people get up out of their seats after hearing a sermon like that and feel more justified in their contempt and disdain for gay people. Period. I choose simply to love people—all people, gay or straight—and let the Holy Spirit do His job in bringing ALL people—gay or straight—to a place where they can live a life that is holy and pleasing to God. In fact, I’m so sickened by the treatment of gay and lesbian and transgendered people that I’m a bona-fide Jesus girl who votes to legalize gay marriage every chance I get because I see it as an issue of equality, and I think that the REAL moral issue here is the hatred that these Americans continue to endure. I think WE need to repent!

There. I said it.

And I know a bunch of OTHER Christians who are also personally appalled as I am and SECRETLY vote to legalize gay marriage too—even a PASTOR who would NEVER admit it to his congregation, but he admitted it to me because we are very close friends. I’m not even remotely kidding.

So, whether or not Mike and I vote the same way or are members of the same political party is less relevant than the fact that we are making our way as best we can, ultimately, to the same location after we die. He seems to suggest that we walk hand in hand toward a kingdom that, unlike the United States of America, will never pass away. I mean, let’s face it folks. Everything on this earth is born, it lives, it declines, it dies. People, careers, cultures, nations. Anyone who thinks America is going to last forever is living in La La Land. This is earth. Don’t get too attached.

And, Mike, I think that’s all you were really trying to say. You weren’t suggesting that we don’t vote or “check out” of politics. You didn’t tell anybody HOW to vote. You’re just encouraging us to keep it all in perspective: We are merely pilgrims here, just trying to get home. And what should we do in the meantime?

How about love one another? As John the Beloved Apostle said, if it is ALL we do, it is enough.

And now… let the firestorm begin! For all those of you who believe I’m going straight to hell with all the gays, lesbians and transgendered… post away!

Mike, buddy, I’ll see you in Heaven, if not before! HA! ☺ Kiss my Heather for me!