Thursday, February 7, 2013

Another House on the Horizon

I can't seem to find it at the moment, but I'm recalling a black and white image on a post, where several young white boys were carrying a sign (circa 1952 or so), that said that blacks were not allowed to enter. The caption beneath left me feeling small, implying that anyone who did not conform to the gay rights movement as presented would soon be viewed in much the same way that we view racism now. That seems to be the current thought isn't it?  That there is no excuse, no room for difference where gay rights are concerned. I agree, and I disagree. I agree that gay people should be treated equally, but I disagree with erasing religious rights and freedom of conscience as part of that process. Having spent many a long night and countless hours wrestling with some of these issues, I've come to the conclusion that there is never going to be a day where everyone agrees on abortion or homosexuality. There are always going to be people on both ends of the spectrum that feel very strongly. I'm okay with that. These are hard questions, and I've gotten past the point of thinking that I'm going to convince everyone to see the world as I do. But may I say, this is my vision of where I hope all this is going.

Concerning the gay community, that rather than seeing people like myself as dinosaurs that are not hip to the new reality, I hope that the gay community can begin to respect religious rights, as we begin to respect their right to disagree with us, and that we could each begin to respect each others space.  The turning point for me personally with this issue, was not being called a bigot or a hate mongerer ( I seem to have gotten myself an assortment of t-shirts over the years), but rather was in beginning to understand how human rights developed in the western world, through protest and religious dissent. I began to ask myself, what really is the difference between a gay person's right to self-identify as gay, and my right to self-identify as a Christian? Is that not what protestants fought for in the reformation, the right to disagree, the right to believe differently? And does that not amount to the right to self-determination, so much so that  we've been disagreeing and splitting ourselves down the middle ever since haha.  It's taken a few hundred years and a lot of bloody corpses but we we can finally laugh about it haha. Oh boy, sorry. But that is why I believe that religion is not as great a threat to the gay community (at least in the western world) as is commonly assumed, because quite arguably human rights came out of religious rights.

With that history in mind, do you think that we could  begin to look at each other, figuratively speaking, as neighboring houses or communities? Another house on the horizon, when all the court cases have been settled, the gay community alongside a church alongside a synagogue alongside a mosque? Another house on the horizon where we understand that there are differences here, that we don't agree on everything, but we respect each others right to be equally part of the larger community, as Muslims, or Jews or Christians (or non-believers) or, as a member of the gay community? Another house on the horizon, where everyone is welcome, where you're free to come in and have a discussion, but you don't have to stay, and you don't have to agree. 

A fb friend posted this article today and I thought well, not quite sure how to summarize it, but may I just say that I would hope that we (speaking as a theologically conservative Christian) could eventually gain the support of the gay community, by being authentically who we are. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be enough examples of that, at least in the media, so I was thankful for this article.  Time to get dinner started.

take care,

M. A. Harvey

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