January 30, 2014

Let's Play Fair

OK, you got me. I was trying to stay out of it. I posted an article on a similar subject just recently, and I don’t want to obsess. But when I see so many media reports about it, I feel compelled to speak up. Specifically, I’m referring to an article on today’s Huffington Post. I will spare you any moral outrage or religious tirade, because I know you’ve heard it all before.

Like many, I was struck by the shallowness and Hollywood glitz of the mass wedding at the end of the Grammy ceremony a few days ago. Perhaps it's just me, and it's neither good nor bad, but it left an impression. Yet even more so, I observed the tone of the Macklemore song that preceded it, Same Love. A few of the lyrics, for the uninitiated:
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The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision

It is. At a very young age I chose to date girls, and it wasn't because I was ignorant of other possibilities. If you're not ashamed to live this way, you shouldn't be afraid to admit choosing it. Death and taxes are inevitable; everything else either a choice, or the consequence of a choice.

Man-made rewiring of a predisposition

Science has shown us that some people are born predisposed to drink, or abuse drugs, or beat their wives. Should we allow such people to live out such inclinations unchecked, just to preserve their civil rights? Consider carefully before you answer.

America the brave still fears what we don’t know

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I oppose gay marriage, it’s not out of fear or ignorance. I grew up in Hollywood, and began to learn about these things firsthand from a very early age, long before I knew what to do with the information.

And God loves all his children

I couldn’t agree more; absolutely. All of them, always. And we all know what happens when parents fail to impose boundaries on their kids, don’t we?  My mother loved me, and her occasional rebukes and spankings only proved it. I understand that now.

But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago

I suppose you mean the Bible. Historical inaccuracy notwithstanding, even the most liberal paraphrasing of Scripture still has something to say about this subject.

And I can’t change, even if I tried

Perhaps. But as long as you cling to that second clause, you’ll never know.

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me; have you read the YouTube comments lately?
“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily; we become so numb to what we’re saying. 
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ‘em, call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board

Actually, I can share that sentiment. Nothing good can ever come out of ridicule.

It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion; gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment

Please don’t lump all of us in with the world of rap. I ain’t down with that.

When I was at church they taught me something else; if you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed. That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned.

Yes, I’m aware that plenty of churches out there do, in fact, preach a gospel of hate. But again, don’t presume to know me until you ask.

Whatever God you believe in, we come from the same one

Have you ever studied world religions? This is demonstrably false.

Love is patient, love is kind

Wait, didn’t you just tell me that the Bible was an outdated irrelevant relic?

This song presumes that the only possible reason why I might hold this opinion, is because I’m a hater. Or a bigot. Or a religious nutcase. Yes, I know full well that the unloving, hateful churches are out there, all over the place. The world of rap has excluded you. Maybe your family and friends have, as well. I agree, you’ve been wronged. But let’s play fair.

Among the gay couples married in that ceremony, is a friend who I have known since we were three years old. (That’s close to 50 years.) I have never spoken an unkind word to her, and she knows I disapprove of her lifestyle. And that I love her dearly and would jump in front of a runaway train for her. I will have her for a friend, for as long as she will have me. And she knows it.

Incidentially, you might be interested to know that I face persecution regularly as a Christian -- both individually, and in the form of general public ridicule toward my kind. Mostly it's not because of anything I've ever actually said or done; they've never met me or asked my opinions, yet assume that I must be just like every pious hypocrite out there.  I live in a world that's hostile to people of faith, where the government compels even nuns to buy contraceptives. (Where I come from, that's called prejudice and harassment. Sound familiar?)

You say that the world of hip-hop hates you because of your lifestyle. I have to wonder why it's so important to you, to be accepted by that particular group. Would you be shocked to learn that many times more people hate me because of mine? It's true. But I don't go about feeling entitled, I don't beg to be accepted, and I don't lament every rejection. Some people will like me, and some won't. I just live my life, knowing full well that my choices will bring consequences.

Like you, I'm not shy about making my views known. Like you, I exploit every opportunity to tell the world what I believe is right and what's wrong. What I don't do, is that I don't march into gay bars to preach against homosexuality. I don't picket the gay pride parade in my old neighborhood. I don't assume that those who disagree with me, are evil. I make my case, and you can decide for yourself if you'll be swayed by my arguments.

You don’t want me to hate you, or insult you, or make broad, generalized assumptions about you, who I’ve never met?

Agreed. Now, please extend the same courtesy to me. I might surprise you.



3 comments:

  1. Steve, I like the balance of love and biblical fidelity in your post. A good pattern for all of us.

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  2. YES! The key is your ending. Why is it when conservative Christians speak up for what we believe, we're considered bigots and haters, but left wing liberals can say what they want to whomever they want with no consequences? Drives me crazy! Good stuff here, Steve.

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