First, a quick side note :
anyone can respond to this blog (if you're so inclined),
you don't need a Blogger account. Just sign as 'anonymous'.
The last two weeks have seen me finishing up the rough draft of my M/M romance... I'm in re-write Hell at the moment, trying to sit on it for a while, but having a hard time not going back and looking at it, yet when I do, all I end up doing is changing fussy little details... I've had one beta reader get back to me with some good points, most of which have been implemented in one way or another (thanks, Ange!!) I'm waiting for my other beta readers to get back to me, because of course we're all in the midst of Holiday planning, regardless of what holiday we happen to celebrate this time of year.
Yesterday saw the repeal of Don't Ask / Don't Tell here in the U.S. -- well, almost. It's not finalized yet, but I'm confident that it will be... now to get it implemented in a timely fashion. I can't understand the resistance of so many outspoken people on this issue. We've heard from military leaders from around the globe that when they repealed their own prohibitions against openly Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual service people that it was pretty much a non-event. Life went on as it had been; the only thing that changed was that brave men and women were no longer being discharged from service to their country because of their sexual orientation.
While I don't like to point fingers or ever take an 'us against them' stance, it seems as if some of the strongest adversaries to LGBT equality (I'm not calling it "rights" any more, because what we're talking about isn't my rights vs. anybody else's rights, what we're talking about is equality for *all* human beings regardless like sexual orientation and gender identity -- regardless of ethnicity, which is no more under our control than our sexual orientation or gender identity.) At any rate, it seems like the strongest opponents to equality are members of the Christian faith. Certainly not all Christians -- I know any number of wonderful Christians who seem to honestly get what their faith is really about.
But it seems odd to me, especially at this time of year, that Conservative Christians allow their hearts to continue to be filled with mistrust and hate.
That's right. "Allow".
Hate is a choice. It's a decision we must consciously make and put effort into maintaining.
Hate is not the natural state of the human heart any more than ignorance is the natural state of the human mind. We are curious creatures by our very nature. We want to learn and grow. It is only when we allow a fearful few to control our thoughts -- to tell us what to think and how to feel -- that we become closed minded, cut off, boxed in, and fearful of everything that is "different".
In the beginning, the leaders of the Christian movement feared that new converts would fall back on old ways, or that children born to sect would be lured away by their neighbor's beliefs. (Remember, originally Christianity was a movement with Judaism. Not that I ever learned that in Sunday School, I had to go off and learn it on my own.)
But if you look honestly at the teachings of Jesus himself (as garbled as they've become over the thousands of years since his life), you won't find a message of hate... well, except for that incident where he got royally pissed at the money changers in the temple. It makes me wonder what he'd think of the state of the Church today. I can't imagine he'd be pleased with much of it. The message that Jesus taught was always compassion, mercy, healing and love -- things we don't see being demonstrated by all modern Christians and their leaders. (There are a few. I'm certainly not overwhelmingly familiar with her work, but every time I catch her on the tele, Joyce Meyer amazes and impresses me. I'm sure we'd never see eye to eye on much of anything, but to all appearances, she is both genuine and compassionate.)
Early Christian leaders also feared reprisals from their government -- a very real fear, though it's kind of ironic that some modern Christians see fit to make it just as hard for followers of other religions today, as it was on them 2000 years ago. The resistance to same-sex marriage isn't based on anything other than religious bias -- from outspoken Conservative Christians. The resistance of repealing the regulations against openly Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual people serving in the military is based solely on religious bias. Once again, perpetuated mostly by outspoken Conservative Christians.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender kids are kicked out of their homes, left to the streets, to survive anyway they can, solely because their conservative religious parents can't accept and love them as they are. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender children and adults take their own lives because their families, their churches, and various religious leaders tell them they aren't worthy of love and respect, because their peers, many of them just scared kids themselves, bully them and pick away at them until death is the only way they can see to make the hurt go away.
The same things happens to children who leave the religion of their parents, hoping to find a Path that fits their hearts and souls better, because so many people have been taught that their way is the Only Right Way. The truth, I believe, is that there is no One Right Way when it comes to religion -- the only Right Way is the way that's right for the individual, the Path that sings to your heart and soul. The way in which we worship is merely a window dressing; the Divine is too big to ever fit into our little human boxes, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Wicca, Asatru, Druidry, etc. Those things are human inventions.
In the beginning of the Christian movement, a lot of emphasis was placed on "us vs. them", on the things that set Christianity apart. A very conscious decision was made to place as big a wedge as possible between Christians and their Pagan and Jewish neighbors. Two thousand years later, not only are those same wedges still in place, but they've gotten bigger and uglier. There are walls where there should be bridges -- willful ignorance where there should be understanding. Hatred where there should be love, especially at this, what is a most joyous time of year for so many people of so many different faiths.
“They say that time changes things,
but you actually have to change them yourself.”