My friend Rosie D. responded to my recent post, How I Can Support Traditional Marriage and Not be a Hater, with this comment:
Great blog post. But one question enters into my mind. How many times did your mom have ‘the talk’ with you? Did she remind you over and over again that you were living in sin? Or did she let you know how she felt, then went on loving you, silent about her objections? I don’t know the answers to these questions. What I see is most of those who don’t believe in marriage equality have to let others know over and over again how wrong they are, instead of accepting the other person. That is truly loving them in my mind. Accepting that they have different beliefs than you do, and loving them anyway. And who knows, as your mom found with you, they may just see the light!
Of course, being the long-winded person that I am, I couldn’t write my response succinctly enough to fit in a comment box, so I decided to turn it into another blog post.
Thus, while I do not want this blog to fall into a single-issue black hole, here is my response:
First, Rosie, thank you for your comment. It is very thoughtful and well-worded, and I see the very good intentions behind it.
In answer to your question, my mom just talked with me the one time. But, while I might have started avoiding her if she brought it up too frequently, I would not have faulted her for further discussing her reasons at a later date, or sharing informative materials with me… though I might not have read them! While I don’t think we need to constantly berate our friends and relatives with the truths of our faith, neither should we remain silent.
Indeed, in a world where we struggle constantly against a culture that seeks to normalize the LGBT lifestyle and generate acceptance for it, it becomes increasingly important that we Christians speak out. Most television shows these days have at least one gay couple. The mainstream media covers and celebrates gay pride parades and NFL football players kissing their boyfriends and proposing to them at St. Peters Basilica. Rainbows, once a Jewish and Christian symbol, have been high-jacked by the LGBT cause, superimposed over profile pics and used to illuminate the White House. Even the equal sign is no longer free from socio-political attachments! Few mainstream cultural outlets are covering stories like pastors being brutally beaten during gay pride festivals, churches in the UK being sued for refusing to perform gay weddings, or near naked little boys dancing provocatively at gay pride events (I refuse to share the link to that particular video, as it is seared on my mind and I would not wish that upon anyone. Google it if you must).
Thus, we traditionalists post our opinions, and supporting articles, facts, and videos such as the one below in hopes that we can, in some small way, have our own influence on a culture that’s been taken over by the liberal, feel-good, anything goes left.
A good friend once told me that, if Jesus were alive today, she thinks you’d be as likely to find him in a gay bar as in a church. After all, as he himself said, “It is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick.” (Matt 9:12) I think that’s very true. But I don’t think you’d have found Jesus there, turning water into wine for a “wedding” celebration. Instead, I think you’d find him befriending the patrons, leading them by gentle example closer to his Father. I think he might have a parable or two to share. I think he would teach and he would pray and he would love, with the intent of nurturing them into a place where their greatest desire was to know, love, and serve God.
Okay, you’re not going to find me in a gay bar. But, I would love to have coffee with one of my gay friends or cousins today. They know my values, so they know where I stand. I’m not going to bring it up. But, if they wanted to have a conversation about that, I would prayerfully enter in.
For now, I’ll just borrow Lisa Mladinich’s words in response to her nephew when he asked what she wanted for gay people:
“I want them to be drawn by their hearts to a profound love for God, so that they are willing to do anything or sacrifice anything to be close to him and in right relationship with him. If that happens, they will be truly happy.” (source: #GayMarriage, Love, and Lessons from Canada, on www.patheos.com)
Pope Benedict XVI’s message for Lent in 2012 speaks volumes on this subject:
In his message, the Pope then calls on people not to “remain silent in the face of evil,” even though there is a mentality that dominates society today, that reduces life to mere earthly dimensions and therefore “accepts any moral choice in the name of individual freedom.”
Indeed, he warns, for those who believe, “admonishing sinners” is part of the work of “spiritual mercy” and Christians must not, “for human respect or for convenience,” adapt to “common thought” and stop “warning their brothers against the ways of thinking and acting that contradict the truth and do not follow the path of good.” (source: Vatican Insider, bold in original)
Silence does not equal love. Love equals love. We give that love through our example, through our generosity, through our prayers, and through sharing truths we know.