I read an article today that irked me. This happens most days, which is why that cabin in the middle of nowhere seems more and more hospitable.
The article is an “idea” piece for the Time website: “Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn to Live As Exiles in Our Own Country“. Essentially the piece is about how marriage and societal views have shifted away from the writer’s values, as though he and those like him are somehow now an impacted minority.
My first response was along the lines of “Boo-fucking-hoo, suck it up.” None of the legal changes, especially marriage equality, hurt anyone. It’s not like they’re impinging on Christian rights, they’re trying to ensure equality. They’re not forcing Christians to change their mind about anything, they’re not rewriting scripture, who is this hurting? OMFG, homosexuals can marry, it’s the end of the world!
My second response, after reading the article more thoroughly, was to shake my head at just how hypocritical the writer’s viewpoint was. There are two “supporting” institutions referenced throughout the piece, Christianity and the government/constitution/democracy. The problem is, those institutions should support equality and love for all. No, this writer was misrepresenting those institutions to try and support, not Christianity, not the constitution, but an extremely conservative view point. It’s not about religion or the constitution, it’s about “conservative” values.
Christianity, sure it says marriage is between one man and one woman, but it also says you should love your neighbors, you should always be kind and generous, you should be a good person. When they were persecuted they chose peace and understanding over violence. If all Christians were like that I’d be a much bigger fan of the religion, unfortunately many are not. Where in the bible does it say it’s okay to hate someone, try to deny them rights, because they don’t ascribe to your beliefs or have a different lifestyle? If anything, Christians should live their lives without bothering anyone and trust God to sort it all out later.
Also, if I was going to get into a bible-thumper argument I’d point out all the things the bible says not to do, but are common even with “good” Christians. Masturbation, divorce, women wearing pants, when it’s okay to eat fish or pork, etc. It’s a long list. (Pre-marital sex, anyone?) So many people talk about living by the bible, literally, yet only pick and choose which passages. Just like those people who picket soldiers’ funerals with signs like “God hates fags”, “This is God’s punishment for your love of homos”, it’s a skewed view of the religion.
I did a lot of research for this post, and almost all the bible quotes I found talk about how hatred is a darkness that moves a person away from God.
Then there are arguments that marriage equality somehow undermines the democracy and the constitution. That’s just stupid. The people have spoken and the majority are in favor of marriage equality. Isn’t that how a democracy is supposed to work? Just because their conservative, narrow view point isn’t in the majority anymore the system must be broken? Uh huh.
The good thing about all of this is that hate is a weak emotion. Hate is a resistance to change, a refusal to understand, yet change is one of the few constants in life and understanding is the road toward happiness. That’s why hate is so pointless. It’s petty, it’s hurtful, hate is a poison that a person drinks hoping to hurt someone else. Ultimately, it only hurts themselves.
When I read articles like that one it makes me angry, but it also makes me sad. I feel sorry for the people who would rather hate than have compassion and understanding. Of course, if they’re looking for sympathy a whiny, poor-me article in my news feed is not the way to go.
I’ll leave you with one of the bible passages I found for this post.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7