The United States legalized gay marriage nationwide today, and I’m not afraid to say that I’ve hit “Like” on more than one friend’s status update and on more than one news service’s headline about this social milestone.
I’m also not above sharing the fact that a person I’ve known and called a friend for some time now sent me a text message asking me why on earth would I give this breaking news a thumbs-up, remarking by way of justification that,
“…it’s wrong and goes against what we believe in, and as a woman who someday wants a family you ought to think hard about how this threatens your future position as a mother in a society that accepts this sort of thing. Your hypocrisy is disappointing, to say the least. ”
Anyone who follows this blog knows I wear my faith and my views on my sleeve, and I do tend to get a lot of mixed feedback about doing so. That’s only to be expected, though, since the Internet is public — but that’s besides the point. Of all the negative messages I’ve received about my more worldly views, this is probably the one that angers and hurts me the most.
It’s not just because I have a lot good friends who are homosexual and a few who are bisexual. It’s not just because a good friend of mine is a heterosexual whose divorced parents are both now with same-sex partners. It’s not just because one of my closest friends came out to me before they came out to anyone else, including their own parents. It’s not just because a dear friend of mine is searching for a way to make their homosexuality coincide with their faith, determined not to give up or abandon either one because they believe both are equally important to who they are as an individual.
It’s also because I have never, ever believed in using my sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or gender to say that I am in any way “better” or “holier” or “more deserving” than anyone else – and it pains me to know that members of my faith community (both immediate and extended) so easily forget what the Lord says about love.
And He has quite a lot to say on the subject, but perhaps the most familiar points to just about anyone are, “Let those without sin cast the first stone,” as well as, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.” He also asked us to, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Oh, and while we’re considering those points, it would serve us all in good stead to remember that “Christian” means “follower of Christ,” and “Catholic” means “universal.”
Is it truly Christian or Catholic for any person or group of people to say that those who are “different” aren’t worthy of the same rights, privileges, and advantages which “the norm” may claim unopposed? Do we truly love others as we have been loved by an infinitely wise and loving Creator when we use that same Creator’s words against people who are in some way, shape, or form not exactly like us? Can we really say we believe love is the greatest virtue when we allow our faith and beliefs and ideologies to get in the way of everyone being able to share their lives with other people in freedom and security?
If being a follower of Christ means following His example in daily life and if being made in God’s image means reflecting some measure His infinite love, then the hypocrisy lies not in being supportive of friends and/or family members whose lives are remarkably different than our own. The hypocrisy lies in viewing anyone who isn’t heterosexual – and therefore supposedly “normal” – as being unworthy of acceptance, friendship, support, and yes, love.
And that’s because the bottom line about humanity in this faith, the very heart of this belief system, is that our God became human so that He could die for all of humanity. The Incarnation and the Crucifixion did not occur to save a select handful of souls, but rather every soul. That is the extent of Divine Love, and nothing of human design or conception – not even the most deeply entrenched prejudices or misconceptions concerning the diverse complexity of any aspect of humanity – can change that.