I’m gonna get controversial today, again.
I’ve been feeling really strongly about a few topics lately that are extremely controversial and all rooted in one topic, the misrepresentation of religion. I have to preface this with saying that this is my opinion. It’s my interpretation of the topics at hand. You have every right to have your own opinion on this, in fact I encourage you to pray about it, think on it, consider thoughts at hand, and formulate your own educated opinion. However I also request that you please respect mine.
There have been a lot of really controversial topics to come to light over the past 10 years or so. I’m unsure if it’s that I have become more politically aware, or others have become more outspoken, or that more and more people think they are smart about politics because of the availability of information on the internet and social media especially, or that I’m becoming more and more intolerant of ignorance and hypocrisy as I get older I’m not exactly sure, but regardless of the reason I feel I have to speak up. I have prayed, and thought, and meditated, for a long time on these subjects and have come to a conclusion. Wanna hear it? Here it goes …..
I am a Christian so I am calling out other Christians. I will let those of other faiths do that to their own. I fully back the right of Christians to protect their rights to. However, I think we tend to confuse and distort the difference between Christian rights to not be persecuted and the rights of Christians to persecute others. Here is where my Buddhist background comes in. I honestly, with all my heart and soul, and every fiber of my being, believe that I am no greater than anybody else, and my rights are no greater than the rights of anybody else. When I pray about a subject this is the thought that returns to me every time. How does this effect those around me? If fighting for my “rights” hurts, damages, or takes away the rights of another than it isn’t my right to have. I am a sinner just like the rest of us. I have committed adultery, been divorced, had a child out of wedlock, I suffer from pride, I talk about other people, and the list can go on. My sins are no greater or less than yours. I cannot tell another person that your sins make them less of a person or that they have less rights than me because they believe differently than me. I will fight tooth and nail for the right to pray in school, but in the form of a moment of silence so everyone can worship as they see fit. I cannot with good conscience say that I have the right to pray but you do not. We go to other countries a missionaries and fight for the right to worship, and pray, and hand out bibles, yet we deny other faiths the same rights here on our own soil. When I first moved to KY my car was vandalized for having a Darwin fish, Sikh temples have been bombed, the Buddhist center in Louisville has been vandalized at least twice. Why is this ok? Why is it ok for Christians to not only persecute but actually do harm to those different than them? It’s sickens me to watch programs like FOX news come just shy of applauding Christians persecuting others. Some of the more horrific domestic terrorist events have been committed by Christian extremists yet they have been swept under the rug, and downplayed. In the case of some murders of abortion doctors they have even been joked about. We claim our Christian rights are being violated because we want the right to not have to do business with people we don’t like, or who have a lifestyle we don’t agree with. Having respect for another human being is not an affront to our Christian faith. We actively fight against the rights of gay marriage yet my marriage is just as much an abomination. Not only did i divorce but I also married a non-believer. How is my sin any less than the other? Now I do believe the pendulum swings the other way though. In my opinion it is the right of a church to not marry people who they feel are not living appropriately (including living together, being of the same sex, etc). If that is the stance of your church then find a new church or change the way you are living. I do not believe we should force others to believe as we do on either side of the fence.
The greatest discomfort I have with the transgender community is the knowledge that they have the highest suicide and teen homelessness rate than any demographic in America. It makes me ill, it makes me cry, knowing that my fellow Christians have helped make that a truth. I cannot look someone in the eye and tell them that their life doesn’t matter to me because I may not agree with their lifestyle. I have friends who are gay, I have friends who are transgender, and I have watched them struggle. I have watched them fall, I have cried with them and for them, and all I can do is love them and share the love of Jesus with them. If we turn away a transgender do we also turn away the alcoholic, or the greedy? I have seen the greedy who have no remorse for their sin be welcomed with open arms while the homosexual or transgender who feel guilt and remorse get turned away, shunned, and even threatened. Why is this ok? It is not my job to judge. I leave that job to my God. I can share the love of God with them but the relationship they have is their own because everyone faces judgment alone.
I do not view myself as being so great that I can interpret the word of God better than the next person, but I do understand one thing, my job is to love and share the gospel and that is what I will continue to do.