My facebook page has been flooded with a plethora of profile picture changes recently. I find that most of my friends have changed their picture to reflect support for LGBT rights, and fewer of them have changed their picture to vocalize their support of the unborn.
I look at this divide and think to myself that I wish we could all just get along.
I am a devout Christ follower. And what I am about to say will offend, shock, and probably ostracize me further in the Christian community. #idontcare
I believe firmly in equal rights for LGBT’s. Many of my friends are members of this diverse community, and they are beautiful people! I love my gay barista. I adore my lesbian friends. They have a perspective on life that identifies with suffering, and add a punch of quirky to my life. Plus? They are people created in the image of God.
Our society is no longer predominantly Christian. If you don’t believe that, you are in serious dee-ni-al, my friend. Yes, I have moral opinions on the LGBT lifestyle. Yes, I believe it is sin. But so are the thoughts that swirl in my own head about my parents. So is the irritability that I dish out on my children on a daily basis. But as soon as we look to take the speck out of our brothers/sisters eyes, I have a plank the size of the Titanic I need to remove from my own. Many of my LGBT friends know how to love and accept in ways that I can learn from. And I find members of the Christian community who treat these beautiful people with contempt, disdain, unacceptance, and horror reprehensible and a disgrace to the name of Christ. Sin is no respecter of persons, and I am so tired and weary of the Christian church “scaling” sin. Sin is sin. Doesn’t matter how you slice it, my sin is no different than, and no less entrapping than, theirs (or yours).
I identify with the LGBTs. I often wonder if I were to invite my gay barista to church. Would he come? Would he bring his spouse? Probably not. Fear of unacceptance, of feeling judged, grips them. I have felt this way for far lesser things. Christians, we are to blame for this. And we have thrown the opportunity to shed Christ’s love and grace on them away. And we keep them at arms length. This is so wrong! They have a story to share, and rarely do we give them the opportunity to share it.
So my opinion on this whole equal rights issue is that it should happen. Firstly, because we are not a Christian society. We cannot hold unbelievers to the same standard of living that we expect from ourselves. This is wrong. Second, because I believe that we are due. Honestly, I believe that a heterosexual couple did more damage to me, subscribing to Judeo-Christian beliefs than would have been done to me in a homosexual one. Obviously, not all families are like this! My situation was extreme I recognize that. But it illustrates my point. Thirdly, because in America, it is simply unjust. It is unjust that a dying LGBT can’t have their partner notified. It is unjust that they can’t file jointly on their tax returns if they want to. We are all entitled, under our system of government (put your moral opinions aside) to the pursuit of happiness, are we not? And the Christian community is the first to take even an issue like this, and spin it around to equal rights for the unborn. They want it for the unborn, but they can’t recognize the importance of granting equal rights to those in our society who live with the sting of it every day? Really Christians, your hypocrisy is stifling. And finally, it is needed. There is still so much injustice in our culture. This is a huge step in recognizing that. Our society has granted equal rights to races, but that’s as far as it has gone. I have been told by employers that if a young female comes in to interview for a job, if the female does not mention that she is done having children, and is of childbearing age, that she won’t get the job. They say that technically they aren’t supposed to do this, but they do it because it costs them more money to hire a woman who would have a baby. Women are paid less. Women are victims of rape culture. LGBTs are victims of a different kind of racism and discrimination. So I hope this amendment passes, and I will rejoice with all of my LGBT friends and wear a rainbow to honor their victory.
Here’s another group in our society that is underrepresented and victims of inequality: Children. Children are at the heart of God. The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. And they are our future. They should be invested in and listened to.
Yet daily, children are subject to live in our world with inequality and injustice. Our coffee and chocolate industries are supported on the backs of children trapped in slavery in Africa (buy fair trade!). Do we care? Christians, we should be the first ones to speak out against this. This is inequality. Children throughout this country have next to no rights. Our country is the only developed, first world country that has not adopted the UN Rights of the Child (the other one is Somalia, guilty of actively engaging in child slavery). Before you bristle, it’s a beautiful document, crafted with the best interests of children in mind. This is injustice.
Children are subject to the will and whims of their parents, no matter how well intentioned or heinously abusive they are. If a parent wants to homeschool their child, the child has no say so whatsoever. I was thirteen when I was asking to attend our local public school. And I believe that that is old enough to be able to have a voice, and for that voice to be taken into consideration. Yet, there was no system in place that would have allowed me to speak this voice (say, for example, to a social worker). Yet school would have been the best thing for me. This is injustice.
Children are not empowered. When asked about abuse that goes on in the home, that is generally reported and found out by teachers and counselors in a school setting, they cower, being told by their parents not to say anything. I have sat in on a hot-lined event, and watched my student speak out of fear, recanting his story. He was six. He went home, with no rights, that day into his father’s abusiveness. This is injustice.
Now, here’s where it gets sticky. It’s hard to talk about societal progress in the areas of child maltreatment and abuses when we have failed to recognize the lives of the unborn. Granted, we don’t live in a Christian society. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that even unborn babies deserve an equal opportunity to grow up and pursue their own happiness. Having said that, I understand the gut-wrenching agony that would come from the realization that you were pregnant with your father’s child. I get it. And honestly, I would choose to end that life. That is not something that I could live with. And Christians, before you go and judge, don’t. Most of you have never experienced abuse of that nature, so reserve them unless you have. I believe that while the choice should be there, that if the Christian community changed their dialogue about how children caught up in abusive homes, in unhappy homeschooling and cultic ones, trapped in the sex and slave trades, is wrong in the eyes of God, that maybe, just maybe, the rest of society would pick up on this concern and opinions and hearts would be softened. Children are not a commodity or an asset. They are a gift. Abortion is simply a reflection of that overall societal belief. And the Christian church is probably the guiltiest of contributing to these beliefs.
“For all” in the Constitution means just that: For everyone. Babies, children, teenagers, adults, regardless of race or sexual orientation. Equal rights for everyone. So while the Equal Rights issue that is swirling in D.C. at the moment is two steps forward, our society still has so far to go.