Okay folks, it's time to sit down on some ice blocks and cool down. This whole equal rights, free speech, marriage equality gobbledy gook has gotten completely out of hand and some very important, priceless bridges have been unnecessarily burned up.
This is the first, and probably only, time I will ever rant about anything political on my blog. I don't claim to know diddly squat about politics and that's mostly by choice. (I may change that starting today though.) I know what I'm going to say isn't going to sit well with some of you. Some of you may stop reading halfway through. I ask, no, I plead with you to read until the end. No, you don't have to agree with me. I'm not aiming to force my views on you. All I want is for you to see my thoughts of what I know of these current events to broaden your mind so you can understand how to stand up for your own even better.
And if I happen to cause you to think differently about something, cool! I mean, who doesn't like to feel like they have something important to say?
To start with, all this "don't judge me" and "only God can judge me" stuff is used too much. Yes, only God can actually judge you in a matter that counts for anything. My judgment of you is going to have no lasting affect on your life. However, we are human beings, we are supposed to make judgments. That's how we make decisions on what is right and wrong. That's how first impressions are made. That's how we decide who we want to hang out with. It's what we do with those judgments that makes the difference.
To quote Edna Mode (from Pixar's The Incredibles), "Pull yourself together!" In your mad dash to declare yourself equal to others, you've forgotten how treat people with an equal concept of love. Does it have to be a competition? Is that how everything is going to be in our society? I'm honestly waiting for a new reality t.v. show called "Are You More Equal than a Fifth Grader?" or a "Miss Most Equal Pageant". Sorry, it would be a gender neutral, "Most Equal Pageant". Well, I'm sure it would be much more politically correct. (Don't get me started on "politically correct"...)
So equal rights. I personally do not believe in equal rights. And you say, "College girl ranting about society on a blog say what? This is America, land of the free, home of the brave!" Yes, yes, I know where I live thank you. Freedom is a little different from equal rights though.
Freedom: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Equality: the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.
Rights: legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement.
Do you see it? Freedom is power; equal rights are revolved around entitlement. Yes, they are similar, but it's the attitude behind each that makes the difference.
As a Christian, I believe that equal rights don't exist. First of all, God is definitely higher than humans; His authority trumps all. We were made in His image, not vice versa. Secondly, God established a hierarchy. There were rulers, judges, masters, When Jacob and Esau were born, He said, "The older shall serve the younger." Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands. Children are told to honor their parents. We are not equal, and that's okay.
In our country's intense fight for equal rights, some simpler solutions have been overlooked. I guess it's for drama's sake. For example, if a cake shop doesn't want to provide a cake for a gay wedding, then they're told they have the "right" to discriminate like that. Huh? If the cake shop won't make a cake for your wedding, go somewhere else! Is it really that hard? (I guess if you live in a small town with one shop, then that gets harder.) Don't treat the owners of the shop with such a nasty attitude defending your rights while they're trying to exercise their own rights to their beliefs. Isn't that what freedom is? (If you've forgotten, see the above definition.)
Is stating our beliefs really causing someone else's "rights" to become less important? If that's your "rights self esteem" level, then you really need to do some reevaluating.
If I am thinking of this correctly, stating our beliefs and views is the same as free speech right? Free speech is a beautiful thing...until someone offends you or disagrees with you. News flash: there are over 7 billion people on this planet. They aren't all going to agree with or like what you say. So get over it.
Trust me, I hate it too. But I have to consciously choose in every conversation to be the bigger person and respond respectfully when I'm offended. Fighting fire with fire just makes more fire. Fighting fire with water has a better success rate. Just ask firefighters.
The other day, one of my coworkers used very foul language in a conversation that I didn't appreciate. I proceeded to use a nerdy movie quote to let her know I didn't appreciate it. Her response: "Hey, this is America right? Free speech!" I quickly responded with, "So, then I have the free speech to tell you if I'm offended." She seemed surprised by my response.
I don't think most people realize how free speech ought to work. No, it does not say this anywhere in the Constitution, but free speech goes hand in hand with respect. You have the freedom to hold and state your opinions and beliefs as do other people.
But get this, free speech is not, I repeat, IS NOT the freedom to enforce your thoughts and words on others to shut them down in disrespect. That is manipulation and dictating. And last I checked, we didn't like leaders that did that. So why do we do that?
But that's often our first response: disrespect and hatred. Take prayer in schools for example. Bibles were banned in schools and kids are discouraged from praying out loud in the public school systems because some people felt the church didn't belong in schools. They were offended by the visible declaration of faith. But...other faiths and beliefs are encouraged to be shown and paraded around such as the LGBT movement and evolution. (Yes, evolution counts as a faith because you're still believing in something that no one witnessed and you're counting on science being right.)
Actors and athletes are looked down upon for religious faiths that they share, but if someone wants to change their sex, they are brave and praised. Both have executed their rights to free speech, but neither are treated equally. Isn't that what the whole fight is for? Equal rights and freedom of speech?
We are a country of hypocrites. Yes, that's a we. I include myself in that. I'm not always good at practicing what I preach. I've definitely gotten frustrated with people and considered their opinions dumb or inaccurate. I'm not proud of myself.
Finally, marriage equality. If you've made it this far, thank you! I know this is a long post and I'm sure I've offended someone along the way. I genuinely am sorry if I have. That was not my intent. I am not meaning to attack any specific person. This is simply my moment to express my views and frustrations with where our society is heading. I'm working on getting over the fact that I'm not going to please everyone or impress all who read this. And I know some people will really let me know that they disagree.
After all, who doesn't like the idea of being praised for being a genius and innovative?
Marriage equality is tricky. As a Christian, I cannot condone the behavior. God stated in both the Old and the New Testaments that gay behavior is wrong. God condemns sexual immorality. In Ephesians, Paul quotes Genesis saying, "For this reason a man will leave hiss father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." I don't know about you, but that's one of the few times I have seen the Bible be gender specific when talking about the general population.
Now, did you catch what I said before? I cannot condone the behavior. Behavior. Behavior is not a person (unless some celebrity decides to be cool and name their baby Behavior.) I don't hate gay people. God doesn't hate gay people. It's the sin we hate. I don't hate liars or thieves, but I hate that they lie or steal.
In God's eyes, my disrespect of my parents is as bad as murder. Both are forbidden by God and both separate man from Him. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." He's not being exclusive here to a rating of sins. They all are sins, so they all are bad. The difference is repentance. I have to repent daily of my sins I commit and ask for forgiveness because I am not perfect. I can be a Christian who knows Christ and devote my life to Him, be disrespectful to my parents and still go to heaven, but I'd be stubbornly living in my sin. Romans 6:1-2 says, "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" My salvation does not give me an excuse to keep doing the same sin over and over with no inkling of guilt. It's still sin.
So, Angel, what does this have to do with the political view of gay marriage and why you're talking about it, you ask.
You see, it's all connected. My religious view gets insulted for disagreeing with the gay agenda and in that, my belief that marriage is between one man and one woman is discredited. Is our new view of equality? Can equality really be possible? It's all a great idea...a beautiful concept really, and I wish I could believe in it. But I've read too many utopian novels to see that pure equality just gets overthrown just like inequal societies.
To have equal rights, you have to have no sense of right and wrong. And if we have no sense of right or wrong, our society is doomed to self-destruction.
Whoa Angel! Simmer down there! Way to be all doom and gloom...we're the land of opportunities remember?
I'm sorry, but think with me for a minute. If we as a society has agreed that the LGBT movement is indeed born in you and is a behavior you can't ignore, then can't kleptomaniacs and sociopaths technically make those same arguments?
Doesn't that make your skin crawl...
Equal rights is something I want so much to believe in. I'm sick of the conflict, the riots, the wars, the hatred that's spreading. I can't stand how many nasty words are being passed around by our citizens. But you know what? I honestly think it really started all the way back to the feminism movement...or maybe even women's suffrage. None of these things are particularly bad. People are standing up for their beliefs and being brave and that is commendable! But sometimes things get way out of control and there's no corralling it.
Society has made big strides in America, both good and bad. I wonder what our founding fathers would think of our current view and response to equal rights. I have a feeling it's not quite what they envisioned.
There, my rant is over. If you jump up and down and shout "Amen!", fine. If you walk away steaming mad, fine. If you show me some decent rebuttals to my arguments, whether respectfully or not, fine.
But please, don't walk away completely. I may not agree with you and vice versa, but that shouldn't deter you from being a friend. If I was looking for people I always agreed with, I wouldn't have any friends. I've made that mistake before, cutting of friendships because they held different views than me over issues I thought were deal breakers. But that was immature of me. Please don't make the same mistake, whether with me or someone else.
That's how we grow, by standing up for we believe in, by disagreeing sometimes, but also by listening respectfully to the views of others and choosing to still love them.
I think we'd be more successful if we did that.