Pardon me while I rant. I promise that I will try to keep my political posts to a minimum. I was just reading the news today and became enraged by all of the articles about people banding together to overturn anti-descrimination ordinances that were passed in Lincoln, NE to protect the rights of gays. Apparently, a couple of Christian groups banded together to get people to petition against the new ordinance. They managed to get over 10,000 signatures. The new ordinance states that employers, landlords, etc. cannot deny employment and housing to individuals based on their sexual orientation. I think that sounds pretty reasonable. What was even more upsetting were the online comments left by the paper’s readers, with one referring to gays as a “tyrannical fetish group”. Seriously? Homosexuality is not a choice and is perfectly natural. Also, what is so tyrannical about a group of people wanting basic human rights and to be treated as equal in a country that was supposedly founded on those very ideals?
More and more I see American politics being overrun by the agendas of major religious groups. When did the line between church and state become so blurred? America is not a Christian nation. America is a nation of many cultures and many religious beliefs. This is what makes our country so beautiful. Imagine what it would be like if we actually embraced that diversity like we claim to. I have no problem with religion, I just don’t think that one should claim prominence over all the others in a country so diverse. One nation under God? That was actually added to the pledge during the height of the Communist scare in an attempt to liken patriotism to religious piety. I guess it worked, but it’s not what the founding fathers intended. What happened to E Pluribus Unum? Out of many, one. Now that’s beautiful.
Another point I would like to make is if a person insists upon clinging to one or two Bible verses, they should a) know what they are talking about and b) not just choose the verses that suit their cause. There are a lot of interesting rules in the Old Testament. Let’s look at a few:
– You can’t wear clothing of mixed materials.
– If a man rapes a woman, he has to marry her and basically pay her father a fee for the damaged “property.”
– There’s a whole lot of animal sacrifice. There are several occasions for sacrifice and specific animals prescribed for the occasion.
Now is the time when many would argue, “Well, times have changed. Those were written for that specific period.” Those rules are found in the same place as the verses that argue against homosexuality.
So, all of these rules are in the Old Testament of the Bible. The Old Testament actually has very little to do with the teachings of Christianity. Honest. In fact, there are several occasions where Jesus actually speaks out against the dogmatic old ways. Many scholars view Jesus as a great reformer and after his arrival, the teachings of the Old Testament become irrelevant. Jesus actually never mentioned sex, let alone homosexuality in his teachings. The only time he even speaks about marriage is when he speaks out against divorce. Jesus claimed that people who remarry after divorce are committing adultery in the eyes of the Lord because once they are married, the couple remains spiritually married in the eyes of God. How do you like that, America?
More than anything, let’s take a look at the core of Jesus’s teachings: To love one another. Remember that Jesus always cared for the outcasts of society? He associated with lepers, tax collectors, and prostitutes. All of these people were considered extremely sinful and were hated during that time period. This actually earned him a lot of enemies because people didn’t understand. Jesus’s message was one of love, acceptance, and understanding. Think about it. It’s disgusting that so many Christians are so filled with hate. It’s horrifying that such hateful acts are carried out in his name. I realize that it has happened throughout history, but that doesn’t make it right. Love one another. That’s all you really need to do.
When it comes time to vote on such things as gay rights, or anyone’s rights for that matter, I hope you at least take some of this to heart. What would really be the Christian thing to do? I realize that I probably won’t change any minds. In the end, people will believe what they want to believe. I’m sure that’s how this post will be dismissed. I do hope, however, that I offered you something to think about. If you stop to ponder for a second or two, even if it’s to write me hate mail, I will be happy. So, dear reader, thanks for hanging in there and sticking with me.