I remember as a teenager feeling so liberated when I finally realized that I have my own experiences and those experiences shape my thoughts and feelings – that I didn’t have to blindly accept what I had been told. I was raised Catholic, in a very traditional, by-the-Bible family. While my parents weren’t outwardly critical of gay marriage, it definitely wasn’t a secret that it wasn’t something they condoned. Of course, part of my experience was being raised in a church that embraced everything the Bible says about being gay. And it took me a long time to realize that that feeling I got when confronted with the issue – that kind of yucky feeling, if I’m being honest – was residual of all the prejudice and innuendo I picked up from other people. It wasn’t how I felt, not at all. Just because I had a knee-jerk reaction to something didn’t mean that it was actually how I felt or what I believed. I realized that I didn’t give a rat’s behind who loves who – that as long as people are good to each other and respectful and contributing members of society, then good for them. They’re ahead of a lot of people in this world.
I’ve had to go to battle for my opinion, mostly when people use Bible as a crutch for their prejudice. It infuriates me when people who claim to be “walking with Christ” or “living through him” can be so hateful to a whole sector of our community of human beings – people who are kind, and good, and hardworking and just happen to love a member of the same sex.
With that being said, I do understand it – the Bible is, after all, a holy document, one that I respect and pray about and such and I understand people’s desire to live by the Bible’s word. In most situations, it’s a great guide. However, it is also an archaic document, passed along for thousands of years, edited by man. It has been changed, manipulated, and shortened, often to fit the needs of a king or some other leader. Not to mention all of the commands in the New Testament that, somewhere along the way, people just stopped observing. Not even your most religious person follows it to a T. So if we pick and choose other things, why are some people so hell bent on sticking it to members of the gay community with Corinthians and Leviticus as their only weapons?
I’m pretty sure God’s message was of love and understanding. That there is a whole lot more information in the Bible about love and acceptance than there is about being gay. The Bible was inspired by God and Jesus’ message, but ultimately was left in the hands of human beings – competent human beings, but human beings who are just as much susceptible to mistakes and misunderstanding as anyone else. If I had to be my life on it, I think God would want us to just love Him and each other. To accept ourselves, to make others happy, and to enjoy the many, many blessings He has given us.
Poverty is an issue. War is an issue. Crime is an issue. Gay marriage is not an issue. It is not an “issue” that we should use to elect our government officials. It is not an “issue” that should spark violence. Unless someone is harming someone else, it is not our “issue” to decide who someone can or cannot love. It is not an issue at all.
Nolan has asked me a lot of hard questions – about death, about life, about the world around us. He hasn’t yet asked me what gay means. He’s certainly heard the word and we’ve watched shows that featured gay men and women, but he hasn’t asked yet. I hope he never does. I hope it is just something that he accepts as part of our world, no different than the fact that some people have two kids and some people have four. Or some of us are blonde and some of us are brunette. Nothing so out of the ordinary that he feels it merits an explanation. But if he does ask, this is how I plan to respond:
“Mommy and daddy are a boy and a girl. We met, fell in love, and decided to spend the rest of our lives together. Sometimes two boys or two girls meet, fall in love, and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.”
That’s all. Short. Simple. Because that is all it is – two people, falling in love, and deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. Period.