As we move nearer to the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) more and more states are approving the rights of gays and lesbians to enter into same-sex marriage. It is an issue whose time has come. Fourteen states have approved same-sex marriage as legal, that’s more than 25% of all states. Ten years ago that would have been almost unthinkable. Times they are a changing. It’s not a bad thing that our nation and its citizens are growing more tolerant. But there is a vicious element of hate and bigotry that is loud and vocal and gets heavy play in the media.
This crowd is being fueled by elements in one party whose agenda has nothing to do with same-sex marriage but everything to do with control. A lot of candidates and from both sides of the aisle have used hatred and bigotry to drive their campaigns for election and re-election. It is despicable to say the least that candidates of all stripes often use hate, bigotry and fear to fuel their campaigns.
The fear factor can be a huge motivating force not only in politics but religion as well. Religion, especially a lot of Christian churches have often used fear as tool to control and motivate their members. The very Bible we as Christians adhere to contains a number of passages of motivational fear as well as hate and bigotry. That Jewish Rabbi from Nazareth tried to change that but after more than 2000 years hate, bigotry and fear are still present in our religions. Despite all of the efforts at pointing out that Christ was about peace, love, kindness, compassion and justice we still have Christians who preach the Old Testament and claim to be followers of Christ.
The fact that Jesus offered us a new Covenant to follow has often fallen on deaf ears of many of the ministers in Christianity and they as a tool still reach out to passages in the Old Testament that offer up fear, hate and bigotry as a means to wave off anything that they don’t like or may disagree with. I am always drawn to the passage in the Bible that essentially empowers Christianity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, so that all may have life everlasting.”
It always comes to my mind whenever I hear purported messengers of God and Jesus preach against such perceived sins as homosexuality or abortions or whatever. If he so loved the world why wouldn’t he also so love gays and lesbians.? It also says somewhere in the New Testament that God loves everyone regardless of whether or not they may have sinned. I don’t remember it saying, well if you are gay or if you are black or if you are a woman you don’t count among those God so loved. But we continually hear those who oppose the rights of women to have control of their reproductive rights and those who are gay and lesbian, et.al, that they are sinners and what they are doing is an abomination unto God. Wait did he not so love the world? The world that also includes all of these people? Or did he have an asterisk placed after his pronouncement that excluded certain groups or people? I don’t remember any asterisk!
We are in a changing world. But there are a lot of people who are fearful of change and in fact only want change that fits into their plans. When change comes of a type that they do not like they want to control and stop that change.
So, they speak out and dig deep into the Bible for passages, taken out of context, that they believe support their beliefs. It is then of course that they condemn anyone who believes differently than they do and they proudly, boldly hold up their Bible and say God hates Jews. God hates Lesbians. God hates Gays. God hates women who want to control their own bodies.
Well, the God that I believe doesn’t hate. She loves and She loves without discrimination. A lifestyle doesn’t condemn anyone to Hell (if there is a Hell). Having a medical procedure doesn’t condemn anyone to Hell either. Being Black or Brown or Yellow or even White doesn’t condemn anyone to Hell. The things that I believe are sins are unadulterated hate, bigotry and greed. But I don’t believe that the God I believe in hates the haters or those who have bigotry in their hearts and greed in their souls. The God I believe in may shed a tear at their hatred and bigotry and their lust for greed. She may wish them to have a change of heart, but She does not hate them and neither do I. I do happen to disagree with them and believe they are wrong very vehemently.” —– Bob Bearden