On Friday, June 24, 2011, New York State joined five other states and Washington, D.C. by legalizing same-sex marriage. Almost immediately the news spread across social networking sites. Among those supporting the actions of the New York State senate were many celebrities including talk show hosts, actors, and musicians. Many of their followers also joined in by responding to their posts. Some applauded their position while others expressed their disagreement. What was most disheartening, was not on which side a person was found, but rather the tone of the conversation.
For the record, I am against same-sex marriage. This position is completely religious in nature. I am not homophobic, nor do I hate homosexuals. I do not feel that I am better than they, nor do I feel I have a monopoly on goodness. I simply feel that marriage is a sacred institution ordained of God to be between a man and a woman. Nevertheless, I know that all people do not agree with me and it does not make them my enemy just because we are not on the same page.
As I read some of the dialogue on this subject, I found it very disheartening. Many that are opposed to same-sex marriage expressed their view by stating their loss of respect for the person on whose post they were commenting. Some stated that they would no longer listen to or buy their music. Others resorted to name calling by using words such as “pervert”. Some screamed their position by way of using all capitals. All this was done in the name of Christianity.
Those representing their support of same-sex marriage were not any better. Anyone who disagreed with them was a bigot living in the dark ages. Such disagreement also was cause to label them idiots who believe in God and the Bible. The criticizers also saw their objectors as nothing but people filled with hate, even those who did not express their position in a disdainful manner.
Although I believe that both sides are completely out of line in their approach, wherein this dialogue is concerned I think that I am a little more disappointed in those who share my view on this issue. Most who disagree with same-sex marriage do so because of their religious beliefs. Because of this, I take the assumption that they believe in God and want to follow His commandments. Although God may want us to take a stand on such issues, I personally believe He would want us to do so in a more compassionate manner. Wouldn’t He want us to see that there is more to a person than just their homosexuality? Wouldn’t he want us to also look for the good in a person?
The classically influenced pop singer, Josh Groban, was one musician who applauded New York for its recent vote. Does God now want us to no longer listen to Josh’s beautiful music? Does disagreement on an issue mean that we can no longer respect a person for his wonderful gifts and talents? I also think of Ellen Degeneres. She is hilarious. She brings the gift of laughter to so many. Although I do not know much about her, I assume that she is a good human being. Can we not enjoy her quick wit and humor because she is a lesbian or does God really want us to determine a person’s worth based solely on her sexual orientation? I am not speaking of supporting entertainment or media whose content promotes lifestyles with which one may disagree, but rather about looking for and enjoying the good in a fellow child of God.
Since I am in no position to speak for God, I guess these are questions that each person must answer for himself. But, I believe that it is possible to stand firm in one’s beliefs while at the same time seeing the beauty and goodness in everyone. I believe in God and strive to keep His commandments, but if people want to see only the bad in me and with what they disagree, I guarantee that they can and will find it. I would rather them look for the good and therefore that is what I intend to do. I will continue to listen to Josh Groban’s music and I will enjoy Ellen Degeneres’ humor on occasion. We do not have to be enemies in disagreement. We can be examples of the believers. We can be bearers of God’s love for all of His children. In doing so, we will all find that we have helped make our world a better place.
Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4 [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]