I am a heterosexual, Caucasian woman, married to a heterosexual, Caucasian man. We have friends of all shapes and sizes. Some are Caucasian, African American, Asian, Mexican and Indian, some are heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, some Christian, some are Jewish, some are religious and some are not. The point is our friendships are based on each individual person and not on color, race, religion, sexual preference or affiliation to any particular group.
That being said, I want to share what happened to me the other day. I was speaking with a woman I had just met and she was asking me questions about where my children take lessons, on which teams they play, etc. It was a typical mom-to-mom type of discussion. At least, it started out that way…
When I mentioned one of the affiliations we have, her expression changed. It was as if her emotions flat-lined and a disapproving glare filled her eyes. She leaned in closer to me and whispered. “Doesn’t it bother you to have your children exposed to a homosexual lifestyle? Don’t you feel that’s setting a bad example for them?”
All I could do was step back in shock. I was utterly amazed at the bigotry that faced me. We were in public so making a big scene wasn’t an option. I smiled politely and said, “No, these particular people are not only my friends, but they are a wonderful influence on me and my children.” I excused myself and left; but it got me thinking…
I remember years ago when a very close friend of mine was told that she couldn’t work with a church youth group because of her sexual orientation. I was livid then, and I’m still livid now. This woman is one of the godliest people I know. She’s unpretentious, she’s honest, she’s open and trustworthy. I consider her to be one of my most reliable prayer warriors. In fact, on 9/11 when for seven long minutes I didn’t know if my husband was on one of the United flights out of Boston, she was the first phone call I made. I love her to death and the pastor who denied her the ability to work in the youth group made a terrible mistake. There would have been no greater influence on those teenage lives than this woman.
Bigotry comes in many packages, but is most commonly wrapped up with a big, bright bow of religious righteousness. What the bigot doesn’t understand is that there is nothing righteous in the condemnation or judgment of others.
Jesus said to love others. He didn’t say to love them only if they fit into your close-minded box of what you deem is right or good. He simply said to love one another. And here’s a statement that should get the right-wing religious panties in a wad: Jesus didn’t say to try to change others. He said only to love them. Some religious people become arrogant about their ability to befriend a homosexual, as if the very fact that they are embracing what they consider to be a “sinner” makes them godlier. In reality, their arrogance makes them less godly.
People…we are equal in God’s eyes. Color, religion, race, sexual orientation…none of it matters. We’re equal. We all have our challenges and we all face our own demons. Life is difficult enough without judging one another on top of it.
What is a Bigot? Big. Idiot. Gone. Off. Track.
I think we need to stop grouping people together and start looking at individual hearts. ALL homosexuals aren’t bad influences any more than ALL heterosexuals are good influences. Truth be told, I’d rather have my kids exposed to a loving relationship between two people of the same sex than a violent, hateful relationship between two people of the opposite sex. Which one better teaches them the meaning of love and commitment?
Choose who will be in your life based on the connection you feel on the inside, not on the exterior pre-judgments of a religious society that has ironically condemned, degraded and abused more people throughout history than any other group.
Love God. Love others. It’s really that simple. ~