I have been thinking a lot about what happened in North Carolina last week. I have to admit that the whole debate of civil unions and gay marriage has been a difficult issue for me to navigate through. I feel caught between two worlds. In one world, homosexuality is often seen as a sin above other sins. There is a fear that if society accepts homosexuality it will open a gateway to all sorts for evil and will be the downfall of life as we know it. And although you hear, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” I really don’t see much of that happening. So, I feel ashamed. Ashamed of my fellow Christians who put forth an attitude of distain or even hatred. Ashamed of myself for the times my own heart has been judgmental and condemning .Then there is the other world I live it. A broken world, with imperfect people, attempting to find their way. A world where people are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit. This world is complex and messy. There are few easy answers. Honestly, it is in this world that I feel the most safe and free to figure things out. There is an acceptance that I have rarely felt in the Christian world. And so, I feel torn. I live with this tension. I am trying to find the balance.
As I ponder these things, I am beginning to find the balance I seek. A middle ground of sorts. Although I do question the morality of homosexuality (something I am in the process of reevaluating,) I do not question that their civil rights should be any less than my own. Our country was founded on this very notion and everyone should be treated with dignity, respect and equality, regardless of differing codes of morality. I don’t want the popular majority to be able to vote to take away people’s rights. The ramifications of that could be disastrous. I have no doubt that everyone engages in some behavior that other people find morally wrong. Do we want to go down that road? Tit for Tat? If we do, I think it could get pretty damn messy.
So I find myself in a strange place. A difficult place really. Sort of stuck in the middle of a war. A war in which I can’t fully align myself with either side. A place where I often fear I will be misunderstood. It can be pretty overwhelming at times. Then I think about Jesus. About how I am to love others in the same way I would want to be loved. And things become a little bit clearer. I want people to accept me, even if they don’t agree with me. To understand, that I am in a process. That it is not my intention to hurt anyone as I wade through the difficulties of figuring out who I am and where I belong. I want people to be patient with me. So, that is what I want to give others. Love. Acceptance. Understanding. I want to dig down deep and grab on to the courage that will allow me to love in ways that others may disagree with. And I am hoping that others will respond in kind. That they will be able to love me deeply, for who I am and where I am at. I hate to use a cliché but I really do think ‘love is the answer’ to this difficult debate. Without it, I fear we will only draw battle lines and devour one another.
So, I choose Love.