Friday, July 3, 2015

Hi. I'm Alicia. I'm a Christian and I Love Gay People.

I have read two separate articles/blog posts today written by people in support of traditional marriage.  Both posts began with the authors saying how nervous they were to be writing about the topic, because of the side they happen to be on.  One said his fingers were literally trembling at his keyboard.

Why is that?

Why should we, or anyone for that matter, be so terrified to speak up about something in which we/they believe so strongly?  What are we so afraid of? 

Being judged?  Yes.

Being hated?  Yes.

Hurting the feelings of people we love and respect?  Absolutely.

Being called narrow-minded, hateful, bigoted?  Most definitely.

We have every reason to be scared.  Because so much of the world hates us right now.  Hates us for being religious, a word they spit out with disgust and venom.  Hates us for worshiping and following a God they see as a fairytale, or worse.  Hates us for being the "modern-day KKK," the proverbial white man on the bus ("religious person") making Rosa Parks ("gay person") move to the back.  Because she's lesser, not equal, not as good as us.  You laugh at the ridiculousness, I know, but the comparison has been made, and sadly enough, it's not the worst thing being said.

And yet, the hypocrisy is unbelievable.  Advocates of gay marriage stand on a platform of equality, acceptance, and LOVE FOR ALL*.  See fine print: *"All" encompasses only those who support gay marriage.  If you don't, you are a hateful, bigoted spawn of Satan who deserves to be beheaded. 

See the irony?

And here's the crazy part:  I DO LOVE ALL!!! 

Hi.  My name is Alicia.  I'm a Christian--a Mormon, nonetheless (gasp)--and I love gay people.  I love transgendered people.  I love everyone.  I even want everyone to be happy.  I want everyone to feel equal and no one to feel less-than or discriminated against.  Is this often a conflict with my belief that marriage is ordained by God and should only be between a man and a woman?

Every.  Single.  Day.

Because I know that by fighting to maintain that sacred definition of marriage, millions of people feel discriminated against.  Do I hate that?  Yes.  Does it mean I'm going to give up my belief, nay, my knowledge that marriage is ordained by God when done the way He intended?  Never in a million years.

So you see?  It's possible to disagree with someone's choices and beliefs and still feel love and compassion for them.  I know so many people don't want to believe that.  It's easier to get mad and feel angry and spew vitriol at those of us who believe differently than they do.  It's easier to refuse to believe that we still love and accept the very people who have made choices we don't agree with.  So weird, but, the very word "Christian" actually means "follower of Christ."  We strive to pattern our lives after Christ's.  And Christ was, is, and always will be the very definition of unconditional love.  Did he love that the woman being stoned had committed adultery?  Heck no.  Did he love the woman?  Without a doubt.  See?  It can be done.  And it is done.  By millions of Christians, every single day.

Are all Christians accepting and loving and not hateful toward gays?  No.  Does that mean all Christians should be lumped together into one big ball of hateful, narrow-minded, unaccepting people?  No.  Because that would be....yep, bigotry.

All I ask is for some fairness.  All I ask is to be given the same acceptance, tolerance, and love, despite my differing beliefs, that those on the opposing side are fighting so hard for.  I ask for the hypocrisy to stop and the equality that is so desired to be given to ALL people, including people like me, who oppose gay marriage.  Because that is true equality, is it not?

And lastly, I ask my fellow Christians, my fellow supporters of traditional marriage, to speak up too.  I plead with you to stop hiding behind your computer screens and quietly feeling anger and frustration and fear.  Because I know you want to speak up too, or, at least, you have things you'd love to say.  You wouldn't believe how many people have messaged me privately, ardently agreeing with me and saying they feel exactly the same way.  But why are they messaging me in private?! Why won't they speak out??  Because of fear, and because they, like me, know and love people that they would undoubtedly offend.  But I ask you this: Has my post about acceptance and love offended you?  Any of you?

The time for silence is over.  The time to speak is now.  Our side needs a voice too, and we are being drowned out by the opposition.  The world cannot know how strongly we feel about our convictions unless we tell it.  Not by bashing the opposing side but by stating our beliefs in a loving, Christlike way.  Because if we all truly acted in the name of love--as we are all claiming to--maybe we could start to see eye to eye.  And wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?