For 10 years, I attended Catholic school. Up through eighth grade, I learned about the commandments and beatitudes, saints and church hierarchy, holy days and religious holidays … and in ninth grade, I let it all fall through the cracks of my sidewalk approach to a faith-related life.
And so, here I sit at 23 years old, with the Reader’s Digest version of Catholicism beliefs making up my “religious” standpoint. Perhaps I don’t attend Mass on a weekly basis – or yearly, for that matter – and I clearly am not a fan of the whole no-sex-before-marriage stipulation. But I believe in God, I’ve read the Bible, and I’m reasonably in tune with the fact that my lifestyle has already doomed my soul to hell.
Be that as it may, I remain a logical, thinking human being whose blood cannot help but boil when I come across the topic of same-sex marriage and homosexuality.
I’m not a closed-minded individual by any stretch of the imagination. However, I cannot fathom how individuals my own age, approximately, can be so opposed to the simple concept of LOVE. What else is same-sex marriage based on other than just loving another person? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. But those who have read the same Biblical words I’ve stumbled upon turn that love into something ugly, something unworthy of basic rights such as marriage, because of something as minute and unimportant as gender.
Where my reaction to this topic comes from, I have no idea. I’ve had handfuls of homosexual and bisexual friends throughout my lifetime, but no family members, as far as I’m aware. I’ve never had to help a friend “come out of the closet” to his parents or stand nearby as others mocked his lifestyle, so I may never be able to pinpoint the origin of my thoughts on the topic. But whenever I realize a 20-something out there in this world of 2008 holds opinions strongly against homosexuality and same-sex marriage, my hands start to shake, my pulse rapidly increases and I need to step away from whatever I’m doing and surround myself with thoughts of ponies, rainbows, sunshine and butterflies to calm down and avoid smashing my computer, my phone or hell, even my hand against a brick wall.
Fifty years ago – ish – whites were arguing that sharing bathroom facilities, dance hall floors, drinking fountains, public transportation, schools, oh wait, ANYTHING, with blacks was against their religion, against the way they were raised, against everything. How is “straights vs. gays” any different than “black vs. white”? Perhaps some individuals out there – and in NC, I’m sure I could find you a few – still believe that African Americans are “less than” or “not as good as,” but today, that’s called a racist.
Wouldn’t someone against homosexuality, against same-sex marriage and clearly against giving LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) individuals the same basic human rights be racists then, too? Because to me, it’s the same issue with a new face for a new generation unwilling to see the forest past the trees.
Imagine a world where every single issue that may have jeopardized the faith community was voted against. We’d have no abortion – and if you read this blog on a regular basis, you ought to be completely in tune with my stance on that topic – no birth control, no alcohol, no businesses open on Sundays, no secular music … and these are just a few of the plethora of freedoms we’re all granted as human beings that would be entirely nonexistent, and simply based on a Christian outlook.
As a society, we’ve progressed in more ways than countable since the country was first founded due to religious persecution on the other side of the big ole’ pond. And from that, we grew to welcome, to some extent at least, a variety of religions and beliefs different from the ones we and our ancestors held. What exactly makes homosexuality any different? Please, if someone can truly tell me that a man loving a man or a woman loving a woman is “wrong” without citing religion, do so because another argument based on specific faith beliefs will earn you no respect from my side of the fence.
If you’re unable to give me one just cause not rooted in religion, don’t you think it’s time to expand your horizons a little? And if not, at the very least look at the person who is standing there, asking that they be afforded the same marriage rights you some day hope for yourself, or perhaps have already been given. Then tell that person he/she isn’t good enough from your God-faring pedestal simply because of gender and tell me your God will really welcome you into the gates of heaven for persecuting others.
It’s a double-edged sword, if you ask me: Sit there and claim your biblical teachings force you to be against same-sex marriage and homosexuality while swearing your stance will earn you a one-way ticket to the bliss of above despite not “loving thy neighbor” as you love yourself … or realize that gender has little to do with love and everyone deserves the same rights regardless of what bits and pieces their DNA chose.
Either way, you’re probably going to hell; might as well have a few friends when you get there.
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