Monday, August 25, 2008

Dear Seda:

I'm not quite sure where to start in response to your comment on my "Serious Pill" blog, so I guess I'll just start from the beginning. However, please be warned - I am not perfect, and I by no means understand everything that other people claiming to be Christians may believe. But this is what I believe, and I hope it makes sense, without offending you.

I want to begin by apologizing - but I'm not sure how because I can't apologize for other people, though I wish it were that simple. It breaks my heart when people are judged or outcast for whatever reason, but I have to admit I've done it myself. I'm not perfect, and I continue to struggle with this. I wish people didn't, as you say, "drive the ambulance away as soon as you see the person falling is gay or transgendered." but I'm afraid that is how some people react. And that's very unfortunate because that is NOT the kind of love that Jesus teaches us to portray.

Getting back to my other blog, though... the intent of the quote was, I believe, to encourage Christians to help people NOT to stumble, or fall, and to take more of a preventative approach (putting a fence at the top of the cliff), rather than to stand around, waiting to pick up the pieces after they have fallen (the ambulance). But you make an interesting point about the people who hop in the ambulance and speed away, instead of choosing either of the two options mentioned in the quote, depending on the kind of person that comes to the edge.

Now this is where I need you to be open minded in hearing my opinion. I don't intend to shove it down your throat, but I would really like for you to hear me out, rather than writing me off as "one of those": I do not agree with same-sex marriage, and let me explain why. I believe that marriage was instituted to be between a man and a woman. So in this belief, the relationship between two people of the same gender does not fall under this. I know you disagree, so, again, I'm not trying to shove my opinion down your throat, but I can't sit here and pretend that I believe it's ok. I DO, however, think that it's your decision. And I also believe that even though this is considered a sin in my line of beliefs, it is also not at ALL different nor held on any different level than other things we consider a sin, such as lying, stealing, etc., which many who proclaim to be Christians struggle with daily.

But I say all of this to respond to your comment saying we should write our senators and legislators asking them to legalize same-sex marriage. I wouldn't do this, though in the same respect, I'm not asking them to keep it illegal, either, and I'm not ever going to protest at a wedding, or funeral, or anything just because I disagree with something that someone else did or chose, because that's not loving people. That's judging, and the Bible is clear on this - not to point out the speck of sawdust on someone else's eye, when I have an entire log in my own (Matthew 7:3). In other words - I'm not perfect, so it would be hypocritical of me to expect anyone else to be and to worry more about other people's shortfalls then focusing on correcting my own. In other words, I will not "fight so hard" to prevent you from enjoying the rights that we ourselves take pride in. I may disagree with things, but I also won't make it a point to shove my beliefs down any one's throat. I love sharing my opinions with people, as well as hearing theirs - after all, isn't that how it's supposed to be? Isn't that how we learn and grow?

As Christians, Christ tells us to love people. If anyone can show me a verse in the Bible where he himself did these things (protesting at weddings, funerals, etc., or writing his leaders against laws being passed), or anything like them, then maybe I'll reconsider my stance on the topic. But isn't our goal, as Christians, supposed to be striving to be like Christ?

So in response to your last paragraph - it breaks my heart when I hear things like that. Your friends were granted a marriage, and then the county decided to annul it out of the blue. I can only imagine how hurt they were, and how much pain that must have caused them, and may even still cause them to this day. They've been faithful to each other for 16 years, and this, in ANY kind of a relationship (especially these days), is commendable.

I guess I say all of this (hoping it makes sense to you) to say that whether or not I agree with someone's lifestyle or decision, doesn't change the fact that I try my hardest to love them. And I fall short. I screw up. I make BIG mistakes and I judge people sometimes. It's awful, and I shouldn't do it, but I'm not perfect.

Will you do me a favor as I work even harder not to judge people in the ways you say we Christians have? As I do this, will you also try and not judge all Christians by the inconsiderate and judgemental actions of some? It hurts some of us just a much to be bunched in with a group of radical, hateful people who try to use Bible verses completely out of context to prove their point and tell people that God doesn't love them because of one reason or another.

Maybe if we both work to correct these stereotypes, then eventually people can get along a little easier. I know that sounds very "sunshine and and bunnies", but... it doesn't hurt to dream, right?

And for the record: God DOES love you and he loves every gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual person JUST AS MUCH as he loves heterosexuals. So who are we to be any different?

I hope this helped and has answered your questions. If not, or if you have any more questions PLEASE feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them as best I can. Take care!

- Sarah :-)


Seda said...

Hey, Sarah!
I felt happy when I saw your post. Met needs for connection and understanding. I really respect your position gay marriage, and appreciate your honesty in saying it. Oh, and I love the picture of the kiss - you and your husband? Beautiful.

Right now I just want to take a moment and celebrate love. There is so much love in the world. Everywhere you look, it bursts out and blazes across the sky, in birdsong, in human hearts. Love fills the Universe, and everywhere has the power to cast out fear. I am so grateful for love - your love, my love, the love of my queer community and the love of your Christian community.

I appreciate so deeply that you won't fight against gay marriage, or (I assume) other laws that protect us from discrimination. That is enough. I don't ask that you embrace my philosophy. Love is too big to require that, and anyway, the world would be kind of boring if we all shared the same viewpoint!

And yes, Sarah, I'd be happy to work on not judging all Christians by the actions of some. In fact, I can't - too many of my dear friends and relatives, people who I love and who love me back, are Christian for me ever to do that.

But I'll try to take it a step further, and judge no Christian at all. It's a bit hard to do, when I feel hurt, and one of the worst things about feeling hurt is that it's so easy to then say things that hurt back.

But love is big enough to heal it all.

At this point, I don't want to ask anything back from you, Sarah. I'm just celebrating this moment, the peace and love in my heart - and I'm sending that love to you.

Be blessed,

Malia Marie said...

Hey! Just saw your comments, you're so sweet! Yeah, that camera was a rented one... :( Sadly I don't have one yet...but I'm was a Canon XSi...12 mega pixels...kinda nice...haha, it was a great time having it and it just made me giggle like a school girl to have it in my hands haha...more posts with products from that camera are coming up! :)

Seda said...

Okay, I'm confused. Who's in the photo? You took it, Malia, even thogh Sarah's in Maryland and you're in Oregon?

- Sarah :-) said...

Seda - she was referring to a comment I made on a picture on her page. She's a really good photographer!

The picture on mine is my husband and I on our wedding day last year.