Bridging the Divided

Just Like You…..

The other day, one of my daughter’s and I stopped into Old Chicago to have a drink and share an appetizer. I love having adult children, love watching their lives unfold, watching how they handle life’s challenges. At the same time, it is bittersweet. I can no longer hold them on my lap and kiss away their tears. I can listen, I can offer sage advice, and I can promise them I will always be in their corner no matter what comes their way. 

My daughter is getting married later this year to a lovely young woman. They love one another. Many, some who are blood-relation, tell me I should oppose their relationship. It’s wrong, it’s not Biblical I am told over and over. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I love my daughter. Will God smite me or my daughter for loving another human being, another God-breathed soul? Yeshua (Jesus) talked about love as he traversed the Israeli countryside. He talked about forgiveness. The Bible records His last words as “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (King James Bible) With His dying breath, He asked God to forgive the ones who cast lots for His clothing, forgive those who nailed Him to a cross.

As my daughter and I talked, tears rolled down her beautiful cheeks. She told me she is weary of opposition from outsiders, from people who are little more than acquaintances, from people who say they love her but their actions prove otherwise. She is weary of hiding who she is because it’s easier than enduring judgment. She and others are judged for one facet of their lives; who they choose to love. Our lives are many faceted. Those who judge others for being gay don’t bother to look beyond that one facet. They do not bother to look inward at the essence of the beings they judge. If they did, those who judge would find loving, caring, gentle people; people who want the same things from life as those who judge. 

We tend to fear what we do not understand. It’s human, I get it. Religion teaches us to fear what is outside of the tiny high-walled box built by those who want to control others. The religious say God didn’t create Adam and Steve. True, going forth and multiplying wouldn’t have been an option in that case, but that doesn’t mean once humankind was well on the way to populating the earth, male and female would remain the only option. Being gay is nothing new. Historians say that same-sex relationships date back to ancient Israel and are found in every culture and country in the world. Homosexuality and bi-sexuality are also found in the animal kingdom according to animal researchers. 

What offends people about homosexuality? Lots of things offend me in the world. The fact that women have spent centuries trying to prove their equality to men offends me. Why would women need to do that? The roots of inequality, however, can be traced back through the Bible. Women were considered property, were to tend to the home and children and not concern themselves with the affairs of men in subjects considered too complicated for the delicate female mind to comprehend. I am offended that women and children have endured abuses from the beginning of time, and historically the religious have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. My children and I experienced abuse at the hands of a man who considered abuse well within his rights as a Christian husband and father. Spoil the rod, spoil the child. The church remained silent. I am offended that loving, kind, and gentle people are ridiculed, murdered, and some decide to kill themselves rather than continue to endure bullying because they are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender. 

When I look past the outward ridicule and into the souls of those who are offended by homosexuality, who believe it their right to judge others, I see hatred, I see intolerance, I see fear. I will champion the rights of those who have differing opinions. We are guaranteed that precious right in the Constitution. Please remember, however, while exercising your right to express opinions, those you judge are loved by family, friends, and significant others. Those you judge have feelings and suffer from the ridicule of others. Those you judge are God-breathed souls, just like you…..

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