this blog is usually dedicated to design and its link to anecdotes from my life. i usually focus on very pleasant and charming moments, but this week, as north carolina passed amendment one, a knot developed in my gut that could not be ignored. ironically i was working on a very light-hearted post related to weddings (after weeks of writer’s block), when news broke about the vote. as friends spoke out for and against, via facebook and other social media, i felt really terrified. was i just going to sit back and passively observe this, or was i prepared to tell the world how i felt? at first, i was not, but for reasons i’ll reveal later, i changed my mind… so here goes.
i am Christian, which means i love Christ and i accept Him as my savior. He is the ultimate teacher and the ultimate authority. so what did Jesus say was most important to Him?
i’m troubled by any rhetoric that says “if you’re a Christian, you should think_____.” i’m troubled when scripture is taken out of context and used to justify the unjust. mainly because, as an african-american woman, i am well aware of other times in our nation’s history where scripture was used to withhold rights. for instance, God-fearing Christians of the south relied on the following scripture to justify slavery:
“Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japeth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave’. ” (Genesis 9:25-27)
… so forgive me if i approach issues of faith and policy with a pinch of apprehension.
besides, i remember older bibles with the words of Jesus in red. someone along the way decided His words were so important and so powerful that they should stand out from the rest of the text. so when Jesus Himself declares “the most important” commandment, i say it’s pretty safe to say Christians should take them to heart. to paraphrase, Jesus said, believe in one God and love Him with all that you are and love your neighbor as you love yourself. these are the keys, according to Jesus, right?
yes, there are multiple scriptures in the bible where we are told that a man shall leave his mother and be united with his wife and that the two shall become one, thereby establishing a male-female relationship. however, i’m not sure that Jesus ever says, explicitly, that a man cannot be united with man, or that a woman cannot be united with a woman. i am not a biblical scholar, but i believe it’s not may place to extrapolate. however, He does EXPLICITLY say:
and yet, divorce is rampant in the Christian community, directly defying the word of God. is sin not sin? what if there were suggested legislation that said no one could get divorced, EVER, for any reason?
i don’t know exactly what God expects of us except to love Him and to act, in love, towards ALL His children. therefore my heart was heavy with conviction as our congregation was strongly encouraged to vote for amendment 1 by the pastor of my church, whom i respect a great deal, and yet i wasn’t sold. was this vote really the tipping point for all that is wrong in our society, as suggested? i humbly believe that i can think of many other things that must truly disturb our heavenly father.
eventually i was resolved to not voice my opinion on this. my children attend a Christian school and many of the parents and faculty were openly for amendment one. i didn’t really want to get into debates or become the “Skeeter” of my community, but then my bestie posted the restoration hardware’s image on the left, on facebook, with this quote: “When we FEARLESSLY fight for what we believe in, and remain HOPELESSLY optimistic about life, love and the future, we create an authentic connection with all those in our path, most importantly with ourselves.” then, my daughter did a brave thing. she debated this very controversial subject with her bible teacher, at school, in front of her class. and while she didn’t change his mind with her arguments (which were partially influenced by a discussion we’d had at breakfast, the morning after the vote), he did ultimately congratulate her on her courage. if she could courageously speak her mind, shouldn’t i?
so, in case i haven’t been clear, i’m against amendment one. i’m sad that it passed. i’m also sad that so many people were devastated by the vote and now possibly feel that the Great Comforter is not on their side, because those who say they represent Him, have rolled up their welcome mats.