I think our culture needs a distinct line drawn between self and others, a line that blurs constantly due to our increased levels of communication. The blurred line means that anyone believes they have the right to comment on anyone else, whether we're in the car, chatting with friends, or on Twitter. Well, Americans do have that right, thank God.
But it doesn't make exercising that right at all times, well, right.
I think our culture would benefit from people doing what I encourage my kids to do: Focus On Yourself First. Everyone could take a good dose of that, figure out what works for Self and leave expectations for others outside the equation. I challenge myself with this pretty often. For instance, I find a great deal of peace in my faith. I could go on about it all day, trying to get people to come to my church and gain what I have there. And I would mean well. But I recognize it's not my place. I've found my peace, yeah, but I have to constantly remind myself: who is to say my peace is someone else's? I force myself to recognize the difference.
Not so, most people.
And trust me, it's something I've gone round and round with in SCAR. I finally decided Trinidad and Castile need to have a couple of heated, honest discussions about faith. Not very comfortable scenes for me to write. It's my dealbreaker with evangelist Christians and why I can't claim them as brethren. I honestly do not believe it is our place to "recruit" and I have a pretty strong reaction to people who do. I really do believe they have it wrong.
People might call me a "gay" proponent. And I'll claim that. Most of it dates to a personal decision to accept my fellow humans and wish the same for them as I have. I'm very blessed in many ways, and why shouldn't others have that too? Many of them are more deserving than me!
I was with my husband for 5 years before we married. We literally grew up together from the age of 19-24 (and since!) We had a ten minute ceremony in a church we haven't been to since. And yet, things changed between us. Because of my faith, I truly believe having an ordained person (someone who has committed himself to God on a deeper level than most of us, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually) marry us sanctified our union in God's eyes.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know how that sounds. I've only come up with this way to explain: during communion at my church the priest calls the angels and the archangels to the table. Do they come? Do they exist? Can't prove it. I only know I'm a better person for believing that they do. So for whatever reason, my marriage made my husband and I better together. The idea that laws keep certain people from achieving the same state with the person they love is just stupid.
HOWEVER, I don't expect every church and every person to accept that for all people. I do expect that right should be granted to all and tolerated by all. (If I forced people to accept such a thing, I'm no better than the evangelists.)
But the issues of gays has a personal slant to me. I think I picked a pretty volatile issue on purpose. 20 years ago, homosexuality wasn't on my radar. It wasn't that I was against it. I just didn't think about it all. But over the years, it came to the forefront for me. I can't date it to a person or an event. But yesterday I realized it started out as almost a tool for me. I use how people judge gays and their rights as a measuring stick to integrity and worth. If someone hates gays, or even just tolerates them, but doesn't believe they deserve the same right to marriage that straights do, I'm probably going to put some serious distance between me and that person. ++++I've done it before with churches.++++ Because, to me, accepting only SOME of God's creatures is the ultimate hypocrisy. (Another post altogether.)
I'm probably going to talk more about DIFFERENCES in the coming week, dig into it deeper. I'd love to know your thoughts. And I realize my beliefs in marriage and my faith might put someone off. But these are issues that require my touching on my opinions, if I'm to be honest. I certainly don't mean to downgrade anyone's relationship; for all I know, other people can achieve the same joy I have without marriage. We might just be a bit neanderthal that way. :)