On Gay Marriage…
At first I felt that the topic of gay marriage was so irrelevant compared to the epic geopolitical, environmental, and economic issues that are looming over us all, but then I had to check myself. While it’s not relevant or significant to me in the slightest, it’s clear that this is a topic that’s very sensitive and very important to millions of people around the world. I’m aware that, as a heterosexual man, I’ve been socialized to view heterosexual relationships as the only form of love that’s normal or acceptable since birth. All my life I’ve been conditioned to judge and condemn anything that doesn’t fit that representation of romantic love or sexual desire.
Having said that, if I were to accept “social conditioning” as a valid excuse for projecting my views upon others, acting upon the judgments that I have been armed with by my culture, and condemning or treating the world around me poorly on the basis of those judgments, then I would have to extend the same excuse to racists, misandrists, religious extremists, elitists, and anyone else who looks at my life choices and decides that I deserve their condemnation instead of their respect. I believe that the only way that major ideological conflicts can be resolved is if all people were willing to stop outside of their own preferred views and perspectives, and were willing to show compassion toward issues that either aren’t relevant to them or would be looked down upon within their own cultural worldview. It is the best path to peace that I know of, so I need to practice what I preach.
Sexual attraction between two of the same gender strikes me as weirdly mysterious. I genuinely don’t understand it. But when it comes to the societal discrimination against gay marriage, the historical stigma against interracial marriage is the closest comparison I can think of. I know that I’d be very emotional about suddenly being granted the right to marry the woman I’ve been in love with if we had been prevented from doing so purely because of biological differences. When I imagine myself in a position in which I would not have the same legal rights and legal protections as other people within my society, purely because I’m in love with a person who society says I “shouldn’t” be in love with, it seems entirely unjust. So whether I can relate to the experience of homosexual relationships or not, I support them on the basis of justice and fairness for all.
So congratulations to those who are celebrating. I strongly support the concept of equal rights and freedoms between all human beings. I believe that love has the power to transcend all boundaries, natural or man-made. At the end of the day, my opinion has nothing to do with the way that two consenting adults choose to express their love and affection for each other. I do my best to not project my views upon others, and I hope that I will always enjoy the same respect in return. The only time I’m bothered is when a dude goes as far as touching me in a sexual way. Besides that, I live and let live.
To the religious conservatives who are so worked up about it, let’s have a conversation. I was raised Christian, but by the time I was 14, it was clear to me that there was a wide contrast between what was taught in the Bible and the way I saw people living. Right there in the Bible it had clear and explicit directives about things not to do, yet my fellow Christians were consistently doing most of it anyway. And amazingly enough, they were consistently judging each other, along with anyone they could spot a flaw in, for falling just as short as they were. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
How can you comfortably judge another person for the way that they “sin” while you’re sinning so much yourself? Are you having pre-martial sex? How about that alcohol? Drugs? Do you watch a little porn now and then? That “ambition” to make more money than you actually need…that actually falls under the category of greed. That collection of clothes and shoes you don’t need? More greed. How about those lustful thoughts? Let’s put those on display and see how fast you get quiet. Do you have any kids out of “wedlock”? What about the lies you tell and the charades you maintain about who you really are? How dare you? What kind of asshole shouts at another person to mow their front lawn when their own yard looks like a scene out of The Jungle Book?
Whether you’re Christian or Muslim or Jewish, according to your own religion it’s not your place to judge. That right is reserved solely for God. And if all sins are equal, it’s very possible that a gay man or woman lives a more virtuous life than you do if their only sin is to be married to a person of their own gender. How’s that for logic? If that’s not enough to expose you to your own hypocrisy, and to show you that it’s your moral obligation to let these people live their lives, then answer this for me…
If God or Allah gave YOU free will to either live your life in sin or follow the path of holiness whenever you choose to, and still shows YOU love and compassion even when you live in sin as you do now, then who are YOU to disrespect a gay man or woman’s free will and to condemn them as being unworthy of the respect, love, and compassion that your God shows you?
Your God is giving them unconditional patience, compassion, and love while you’re busy anointing yourself as his “holy” representative and standing in judgment on his behalf. Who do you think you are? Don’t you think you’re just a few decades premature? They aren’t even dead yet and you’re ready to send them to hell. You presume to stand in judgment as the voice of your God, yet you fall short of the holiness that you proclaim by the very act of doing so. Live your own life. Tend your own garden. Let God do his own job, you stay in your own lane, and let these people find their own path to their truth.
– Michael Verdun