I came across this post the other day on Facebook: “Support the Constitutional Amendment to Protect Marriage: This is a group for everyone who believes that marriage, as a tradition and as the fundamental bedrock of society, should be preserved as between one man and one woman and a constitutional amendment.”
….hmm….interesting….I thought so innocently I clicked the link that mysteriously appeared on my home page and read the first comment: “ugghh what are we gonna do with all these gays?” WHAT!?! Who is this guy, Hitler? “Amen to that!” writes the next person. Oh Lord, gay bashing Christians, what have I stumbled on? Surely people don’t confuse the rights of gays to marry as a Christian issue? Most people just need more rational information to make the right choices, so I decided to set them straight.
So I thoughtfully type: “Oh my! Same sex marriages are an important legal action to ensure the rights of both parties are honored in the event of legal and civil matters. It is not about Christian marriage, it is about legal rights and lawful representation.” A small little voice inside of my head warns me, but with a click of mouse I hit “send.” I dismissed the voice and now am smug and satisfied that I have done my civic and Christian duty to show these people the truth.
In just a few seconds my inbox alerts me that I have mail, then more mail. What’s this about? There are seven or eight emails about comments in response to mine. Oh joy, enlightened people, all voicing their intelligent agreement! Eagerly I go to the first email and am instantly slammed into an unexpected storm of hate.
“Adam and Eve!!! Not Adam and Steve!!!” declares the first post. Cute, I think, but over-used. I knew I should have listened to that inner voice. The next guy comments “One man one wife Gods law. And no one gets away with breaking Gods law, NO ONE!” What kind of statement was this? Does this person view God as their personal hit man? What a hater! The next guy writes “Amen!” Amen? Amen to what you moron? Aggravated but still hopeful, I continue to read: “Barbara is misguided!” I’m misguided! You’re the misguided one mister! I move to the next one. “Barbara, same sex legal rights are what’s important, not same sex marriage. Use your brain!!!” Use my brain!?! That is what I said in the first place, freakin’ weirdo! What’s next - the crazy lady in every crowd who cries hysterically “What about the children?” And next, “rights? So will they have the same right as having/adopting children? How will the child understand having two dads, moms? How will the child introduce his "parents" one day? Meet my dad and err...dad?” THE CRAZY LADY HAS ARRIVED!!! “Marriage wasn't invented by the legal system, Barbara; it was made as a covenant between a man and a woman by GOD!” What kind of statement is that? I suppose when God brought Eve to Adam he had a contract and a minister? Then Leslie says: “couples of same sex already have those rights Barb. No need to have more. The word "marriage" is an all-important concept, not a must for health insurance, wills, or estate inheritance, etc. The main reason some gays need to have a "marriage" is to remove the meaning for Christians worldwide and to include an "anti-Christ" life-style into its meaning.” OK! If gay couples had the same rights why is there such a drive to legalize gay marriage? OK, NOW WE HAVE THE ANTI-CHRIST THING - when all else fails it must be SATAN! It can’t be that you’re a brain dead idiot with the thinking capacity of a plant! “This nation is founded on CHRISTIAN BELIEFS and in those is NO GAY LIFESTYLE. I ban same sex marriage... god made Adam and Eve - not Adam and Fred - or Eve and Mary....If we allow same sex marriage to be legal what’s next - allowing civil rights to pedophiles? Heaven forbid! Why should we allow special rights based on who you have sex with? This is not a racial issue!” WHAT? First, capitalize God if you love Him so much; second, what do gay rights have to do with child-molesters? I doubt upholding gay rights will lead to pedophiles having the right to marital bliss with children. Yep we’ve got it all here with this loony-tune! God, Children and Country…Oh! Let’s not forget the oh-so-clever word play on Adam and Eve. And I don’t even understand the need to bring up racism. God help me, I think I am having an aneurism!
Really angry now, I read the next one. “De una costilla ...Hombre y mujer nos creó Dios... para complementarnos y uno al otro expresar lo mas sublime su amor.” I have no idea what this says, so in my mind I decide it says “Barbara, you are brilliant! I will never be the same after reading what you wrote. I was, until I was blessed with your words, an anti-gay terrorist who has taken many innocent lives. Because of you I have decided to give my immense fortune to support the legalization of Gay Marriages. As soon as I post this I am turning myself into the police. You are indeed a truly beautiful person”. Lost in this fantasy, I read on. “Barbra your prolly a faggot yourself.” Bastard name calling closet queen! “Judgment is bad and yall r being partial against gays god says to love everyone equally just talk to them about god and don’t shun them” Thank you Emily! The next one declares “You are all a bunch of Bigots” Tell it! Looking for more light I find “I am for a man and woman marriage but ya’ll are treating them like they r things and not human beings who have feelings.” Amen! Then dreadfully; “AIDS is a gift to mankind from the gay community! Homosexuality is sin and the wages of sin is death!” This one sickens me. I take a breath and move on: “I don't mean to sound bad, but God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. People need to get there bible and read and get to know the Lord before it’s too late. Sorry to friends that are. They already have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. They want the title of marriage because they think that with it will come social acceptance for their perverse lifestyle.” Did she really just call an entire section of society perverts? She must be Southern! “They are perverted, bless their hearts, but we should be nice anyway.” My exasperation is mounting again…“Marriage: the institution and process that should precede parenting. This should be protected from being slandered and altered so as to fit the political and/or financial desires of other unnatural influences.” So couples who choose not to have children or are unable to have children should not marry? What sense does that make, you dense person! Every whack job in the country is on this thread spewing hate and intolerance and they think I am the misguided one?!?! Idiot! Jerk! Hater! I’ll show you gay bashers!
In a temper, I type an onslaught of corrective advice to these brainless people who have nothing better to do with their time and whose IQs are obviously not high enough to contemplate issues weightier than “Amen!” Just before I made my opinion permanent for all to see the Spirit moved in me, quietly, and said “read what you wrote Barbara”. So I did. Well, I reasoned, it isn’t very good and it IS a bit strong, so I calmed down and wrote: “-David...I thought that is what I said....Same sex marriage is one step that ensures same sex rights. It can be very complicated and expensive in regards to legal issues. Legal Union - is this a better term? It would simplify things for them, not to mention it honors their right to love and be with whom they chose. -Leslie, again I say...this is not a Christian issue. This is a matter of legalities and rights. The New Testament sets the stage for forgiveness, tolerance and the power to repent if we choose to follow Christ. Only Christians are expected to follow the path. Our government was indeed built on a moral code that Christians adopted as in "Thou shall not kill," etc., but it is not built and founded on Christianity. It is built and founded on the freedom to worship and live without overbearing government interference. Our government is not meant to force us to be Christian, it is meant to serve ALL the people. It is meant to make certain we all remain free and are able to live our lives within a safe and secure homeland. Gay and lesbian unions threaten no one. They hurt no one. Your theory says Catholics (since some Christians do not consider them Christian), Jews, Muslims, Buddhist, etc must live for and worship Christ. It seems to me you are asking government to take on the job of The Holy Spirit and that is idolatry - worshipping a false God and not trusting in Our Savior. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. ”1 John 1:8“ But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger . When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7””
A new post pops up: ““1 Corinthians 6:12; …you may say, "I am allowed to do anything." But, I reply, "Not everything is good for you." And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything. Believing the lie that anything other than marriage as one woman and one man is ok is allowing yourself to become a slave to the world and the way the ….” Clearly she is not listening. I should never have thrown scriptures in! Then another; “Romans 12:2, …do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Scriptural arguing, how I hate it. No one becomes enlightened when the only desire is to win. Blane comes back with: “And then Jesus said to the woman "go and sin no more." The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. You make some very good points Barbara but the fact of the matter is to re-name marriage as a civil union or legal union just washes down the importance of marriage. We already have a divorce rate of higher than 50 percent. Make no mistake; I know that it’s no better within the church. As a society we don't see marriage as sacred or worthwhile. We need to protect the sanctity of marriage and keep it one man and one woman. And I am not judging anybody, that is not my job, it’s God’s. History repeats itself...Rome, Sodom and Gomorra....you get my point. If we don’t turn from sin and turn to God, He will take care of it.” Some very good points Blane, but your argument is still lame although I hold respect for you and your approach.
Calmer now, the Spirit again is moving in me. So I carefully type “Thank you Blane for being gentle yet corrective...You leave my heart open to consider what you have so correctly and peacefully shown me. I am not suggesting we change the reality of Christian marriage, which is a holy covenant between God and the Man and Woman…I am saying why not develop another way, other than “marriage” that allows gay couples to protect themselves and to be “legally recognized” as a “legal couple.” There are millions of marriages that are not Christian yet are legal. There are millions of unions made outside the churches. These are legal agreements, not Godly covenants. Non-Christians cannot operate under the same laws as we do. They are not capable because they do not have the Holy Spirit indwelt. Until they do, they cannot make the same walk as we do. God will judge, this is certain, but He asks me to let Him make my life an example of Him and His love. Can I do this if I am busy judging others? Am I the example Christ calls me to be when I treat people harshly and with disdain and hate? If my intolerance repels them, am I doing what God calls me to do? Love conquers evil. No, this is not what Jesus would do.”
A few minutes later the first comment on my post comes up “It is a very Christian matter...we have stayed silent too long. Prayer taken out of schools, God removed from whatever they wish, and so frankly, America is no longer a nation under God but a nation needing God. When do we stand and say enough....without God we will fail and rampant sin will get worse and then what? I have a brother who got married to his partner in California and he has disowned me cause I told him it is wrong. Sin is sin. If you murder you go to jail....that is a sin in the word of God. Homosexuality is clearly defined by God also. Read your word.” I have yet to meet a silent Christian!!! No wonder her brother hates her. She is a legalistic ass! The next: “gays are sick and wrong.” Here we go again! And bigots are stupid and offensive! Bracing myself against the rage, I read “Gays pay taxes too - that they do not have the same rights as heterosexuals to legal union (which is defined by the state as marriage) is discrimination. There needs to be compromise here - heterosexuals need to lead the way to a fair outcome that allows homosexuals the same rights & homosexuals need to lay off the "marriage" moniker so as to not offend religious beliefs. The solution, marriage becomes only a religious union & the states change the word "marriage" to "legal union" in the law books. Would this satisfy everyone? No - but it would be fair & less contentious.” I then post “I think I'm in love with Russell...” Finally, oh Praise God, finally, a really smart one appears. “I agree with Barbara on this one!!” Nuff said! I logoff, still angry but feeling slightly vindicated!
To blow off the last of my steam (and to further confirm my rightness in this matter), I made many phone calls to friends and family with much ranting and raving about ‘those narrow minded Christians.’ During those phone calls a voice rises up in me and asks gently “what are you?” I kept pushing it way to vent my anger and sense of injustice. Finally when my overblown offense abates, the voice becomes louder, gently asking me again “What are you?” This quote comes to mind: “Wise are those who look at others with the same generosity they offer themselves, and at themselves with the same critical eye they have for others.” Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, it hits me - I am a hypocrite! This terrible insight goes straight to my heart as THE TRUTH ABOUT ME. I am angry with myself more than the people who commented. How can I preach tolerance when I myself am intolerant of people who do not share my views? The level of judgment in my internal dialog while reading the comments of those people frightens me. The very foundation of my Christian walk begins to shift immediately. Then, once again, the Spirit lovingly tells me “Well done.”
Written by Barbara Rhyne-Tucker
Edited by Rhonda McLearen