Wednesday, June 26, 2013

having compassion

Today is a pretty important day in politics and our country. 

I know, I'm starting off a post talking about politics, something I usually steer away from.  But today I feel like it is weighing on my heart to share.  I fully expect to lose followers and read mean comments but I think it is important for me to share what is on my heart. After all it is my blog and it is for me, I don't blog for anyone else. 

Today the supreme court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act {DOMA} unconstitutional. This means legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. 

This is important to me because my brother is gay. This ins't something I have shared with people, not because I am embarrassed, but because it is something he should be able to tell others when he feels it is right. 

I remember the night he called to tell me. I remember crying uncontrollably. 

I was crying because he was clearly hurting from feeling like he had to keep this in. 

I was crying because he was telling me as a kid he prayed to Jesus EVERY night to make him better.  

I was crying because he had felt so alone for so many years.  I remember telling him that he is my brother and I will love him unconditionally always. 

I cried for days. I cried because I knew the struggles he was going to endure. The rude, mean and horrible things people would potentially say to him. It hurt my heart then and it still hurts my heart now. 

I am a Christian, but I get so angry when people say the Bible says being gay is a sin and therefore should not be tolerated. I get angry for many reasons.

I get angry because the Bible teaches us to have compassion and tolerance for one another. Ephesians 4:32 says "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you". 

I get angry because the Bible does not say we will have a say in another persons judgement day.  We do not get to go before God and plead our case as to why someone should or shouldn't go to heaven.  That is something between each of us and God.  

The Bible says lying, cheating, adultery and so many other things are bad and sinful.  Yet we somehow think that being gay is a greater sin. A sin is a sin.  We all sin, Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".  It does not say we all sin but some are worse than others. 

John 8:7 says When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again, we ALL have sinned.  So why do we feel it is our place to say that being gay is a sin that is worse than anything else. We all sin and therefore we do not have any room to judge others.

I get so sad and angry when I hear Christians being so mean and hurtful.  How do you in the same sentence call yourself a Christian and then be so mean and nasty.  It just baffles me. 

The repeal of DOMA is so important to me because if my brother should decide to join the military and serve his country and be willing to lay down his life defending our freedom I think he should be afforded the same rights as my husband {and I} and every other heterosexual married couple have.  Plain and simple,  if he has a partner they should be afforded the same rights as I am. 

I want to be the big sister and crush people that say mean and hurtful things to my brother or about my brother, or about being gay.  I want to turn to those Christians who quote scripture to say being gay is a sin and remind them that throwing stones and lacking compassion and tolerance is not very Godly. 

I cried today writing this post. I cried because my heart aches because I will never forget my brother telling me that as a child he prayed to God every night and ask him to "fix" him.  My heart aches because I want to be able to go back in time when we were kids and tell him it is ok and I will always love him and that he should not be afraid to be who he is.  

I can only hope and pray that one day we will be compassionate and tolerant of those that are different from ourselves.  I hope that we will remember it is not our place to cast judgement on others.  I will continue to support issues, causes and rulings that give my brother the same rights and freedoms that I have.


Janet McIntosh said...

Beautifully written and thank you for sharing such a personal story!! Today is a great day for our country and a huge step forward!! :)Huggs!!

Jill Carr said...

You know I love you, and I'm so proud of your courage to share your heart.

Kim said...

I'm on the same page as you on much of this. Love and compassion are so crucial. My cousin is gay and I will always love and be there for him. I think your theology is a little bit off when it comes to the tolerance part. We are never supposed to be tolerant of sin. So although I love my cousin, I do not approve of his sin. Does this effect the way I interact with him? Nope. Does this effect the way I pray for him? Yep.

"Again, we ALL have sinned. So why do we feel it is our place to say that being gay is a sin that is worse than anything else. We all sin and therefore we do not have any room to judge others."

The difference is that, hopefully, our sin isn't unrepentant. I don't gossip and just accept that "it's the way I am." I fight it. I repent of it. I ask people to call me out on it and shut the conversation down if it becomes hurtful towards someone. It's not a worse sin than anything else, but the lifestyle can be very self-indulgent, which gets to be a slippery slope.

Anywho, my brain has a hard time figuring out what's right & wrong in all these politics. Good thing we have the bible to stand by.

Kim said...

Ps my intention isn't to prove you wrong or debate or be mean! Just wanted to hop in the conversation :)

Andrea @ Bubblewrapp'd said...

You gave me chills because this is so how I feel. Honestly, as human's, and sometimes different religions.... You interpret things differently, but I'm sorry, I will ALWAY ALWAYS ALWAYS stand by the thought of don't you think that God, that OUR God who is good, and who is love, IF IF IF IFFFFFFF (A BIG IF!) you were wrong, wouldn't want you to err to the side of LOVE? Honestly, I've been in church all my life, but I ACCEPT AND RESPECT people's choices, and BELIEVE in equality for ALL, but the God I've been taught about LOVES, and I believe that if nothing else, we are to love love love love love love love love love. It seems others have been taught that we are here to be bound by rules, restrictions, and consequences, and to judge and hate, and segregate, and that is so sad. I want my kids to grow up in a world that is loving, accepting, and has compassion, and GOODNESS.

Andrea @ Bubblewrapp'd said...

I meant *WOULD*.... that our God WOULD want us to err on the side of love!

Marissa Beattie said...

This is beautifully written. I too have a gay cousin, and I love him more than anything in the world. As a fellow Christian, I believe in treating others with love and compassion... as well as treating others the way that I want to be treated. I get so irritated at some Christian folks hypocritical ways. I just want peace, equality, compassion, and love for everyone. It breaks my heart that my cousin felt he couldn't tell me for the longest time because he thought I may judge him. I try my hardest to judge NO one, as that is not my place. Who am I to judge? I not perfect, nor is anyone else on this earth. We are ALL sinners.

Alyson McMahon said...

Big fat LOVE this. Seriously, awesome. What it comes down to really, it's that it's nobodies business but their own. We should all be free to live how we want to live.

Stacey @flickerwhips said...

I feel ya! You know I am a Christian too. I have gay friends and an aunt that is gay as well. We are instructed to have compassion and love one another. I do believe it when people say they were born gay. I have also seen children who were "different", for lack of a better term and you just have a feeling they are gay. That is something that you can't teach a young child, especially if that child has straight parents. The bible, to me, is not always black and white, although i do believe the bible as a whole, God says, "My ways are not your ways." I take that to mean we aren't meant to understand everything or know exactly how God plans things out. Their is so much we can't explain. e.i why bad things happen to good people. Why are children born with such horrible birth defects, and so on. And we have discovered so much medically. We also know we carry genes for different things and that your brains chemicals and your body's hormones play a big part as well. Their are too many people in this world that are gay for us to ignore alternative answers. I really find it hard to believe that, that many people woke up one day and decided they were just going to live their lives in perversion. Especially when you can see physical differences in some of our gay folks. Like women who are more manly and men who are more feminine. When our time here is done, we will have the answers that we seek, but until then we just need to love everyone equally! Love ya Gal, and Thank You for sharing your story.

Shannon said...

Beautifully said. I totally agree.

Melissa H said...

I JUST had a discussion with my son about something similar to this. Kids are kids. They say words they don't know the meaning of. Well, my son heard a boy at school use the word *faggot* and he came home asking me what it is. I told him. But, without letting him run off thinking it was ok to EVER use that word, I explained to him that the word won't be used by him or anyone else in our family. It's a derogatory word that others would be offended by. It isn't up to us to judge anyone or call them ugly names.
My oldest son knows what it means to be gay. He also knows that we are to love as Christ loves us and that we are not to judge others.
Your post was well spoken. Your brother should be proud to have you as a big sister!

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