Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Open Letter to Gays and Christians

So, gay marriage. Hot topic, much? I've been hearing about the injustice and suppression of gay rights and the attack on traditional marriage for years, now. And you know what? I'm tired of it. That's right. Tired. Of. It.

So I decided to write a letter. There are two parts to this letter. The first is written to my gay friends, my fellow Americans who live a homosexual, transgender, bisexual, or other lifestyle. The second part is written to my sisters and brothers of the Christian faith.
Dear Individuals who Live a Gay Lifestyle,

Hi. My name is Carolynn. I am a Christian and I don't hate you. In fact, I find you just as interesting and fun and amazing and unique as any other human person who lives on this blue planet. Your hopes, your dreams--I love hearing about them. Your struggles, your trials--I encourage you to persevere though them.

I have read so many articles written by gays and bisexuals calling Christians bigots and hate-mongers and all sorts of terrible names because we don't support your cause. Listen, there is something you have to understand. I am a christian by choice. I choose to live a christian lifestyle. I firmly believe that as a Christian I am called to live differently. My God, the God of the Bible, tells me not to marry someone of the same sex. Gay marriage, to my God, is an affront against him, the same way not wearing a veil would be to many Islamic women. This does not mean I am any better then you. This does not mean that by my choice to live a heterosexual lifestyle that I am saying negative things about your lifestyle choice.

All this means, is that as a christian, I am called not to be gay.
Same as I am also called not to be Mormon, or Jewish, or Muslim.

Let's approach this in another way. Many women who are Islamic wear a garment called the Burqa. As a christian, I don't wear a Burqa.  (I do feel called to dress modestly, but I don't cover myself head to foot in a Burqa) Does this mean I hate women who choose to wear a Burqa? No. Does this mean women who wear a Burqa are less women that I, or that I am better then them? No. They live their life by their religion, doing what they feel in their heart is the right thing for them--their choice, and I live mine. They follow the precepts of their god.

Do I go up to a women wearing a Burqa and yell at her because I think what she is doing is wrong? No! I let her live her own life, and if she asks about mine, or about my opinion, I will tell her, tactfully, what I think about Islam and her choice, reminding her that I as an American stand for her right to live her life as she sees fit, as long as she breaks none of our laws. (I know some women are forced to wear a Burqa, but I am writing under the belief that many who don this garment do with reverence to their husbands and in alliance with their chosen religious affiliation).

Please understand, then, my friends, that when I say I am against gay marriage--I am speaking from a christian standpoint. I am speaking of marriage as a religious observance. However, there is another aspect of marriage in the world now--and that is not religious, at least not from a christian perspective. There is marriage in civil unions. There are covenants between two of-age people who are not Christian. Thus, I have no problem with gays being allowed to marry by or in non-christian methods. The USA is a free country. Everyone that has not broken a law deserves the same rights. We have a separation of Religion and State, because there are hundreds of different Americans who believe in a wide variety of different religions and because we don't force our citizens to hail one God over another.

Tragically, I've read articles about gays suing Christian pastors who refuse to marry them. When I hear of this I feel terribly sad. As a Christian, if I went to a Muslim or Jewish priest and asked them to preform my wedding ceremony, and they refused because I was not of that religion; I would not see this as a hate crime. They are a different religion then me. It might be against their religion to marry me in the way I wish to be married. I wouldn't sue them over this--I would see their refusal as their religious right, keeping with their conscience. Why do you sue my friends and family? We are only trying to live our life how we feel the Bible and our Lord calls us to live. I would never sue a gay pastor who worships Buddha because he didn't want to marry my husband and I, a heterosexual monogamous couple! Please understand that the rights you are fighting for--the right for the state to recognize your union with your partner, the right to live as you wish--that right falls to Christians too.  (source)

If you make cakes and want to sell to only same-sex couples, by all means, go ahead and do that. But, if I make cakes only for heterosexual couples, why am I suddenly called out and bashed for discrimination? This makes as much sense as a women who chooses to wear a burqa in public being suddenly sued for not wearing normal clothes or for refusing to make normal clothing for me, if she owned a burqa-sewing business. (source)

Those who live a gay lifestyle are usually the main supporters of tolerance and fair treatment--yet sometimes you guys are extremely intolerant to anyone who happens to believe different then you.
Tolerance does not only go one way. I, Carolynn of, fully support your right to live how you want and do what you want. Honestly, I don't think the government has a right to tell me who I can or cannot marry. If suddenly, I lived in a world where only same sex relationships were recognized by the government, I would still be with my husband, and we would marry in our church, in a purely religious ceremony with my pastor, surrounded by my friends and family. Then I would live the rest of my days faithfully to him regardless of the governments idea or law on marriage.

In closing, I love you all. I hope we can overcome our differences with civility and peace.


To my dear Fellow Christians,

I know. I understand. It's hard living in this world where everyone has a different idea of the traditions and values we hold so dear. Sometimes I, too, feel like everything is falling apart. Sometimes I, too, am unsure of how to approach a certain topic or speak tactfully to a coworker or friend.

There are two things we must understand. One, is that gay people are people too. They are just like us. They are struggling, hurting, working--they have goals and dreams and have walked through pain and suffering in their lives just like us. We should treat them like every other person, with respect in the workplace, and as a friend in the real word. I know, sometimes they don't treat us the same in return--but we must understand that they have suffered. How have the suffered? Well, many Christians have said some very hurtful things to them, about their lifestyle and their choices. Many of them have been turned out of their homes for following their heart. Is it any wonder why they don't love us? Is it any wonder they are skeptical and scared of opening their hearts to us?
It's not like we have it all together, is it, dear brothers and sisters. I mean, sometimes as a Christian I feel like my every fault is pointed out and picked over by those who don't share my faith, and then brandished like a flag as proof against Christianity, because of course Christians don't have faults, you know, we're perfect. If only they knew we are not perfect. And we should never pretend to be.

Two, we must be open. When asked, we should feel no shame in explaining ourselves in a kind and respectful manner. If the person living a gay lifestyle no longer want anything to do with us because we stand firmly on the belief that gay marriage, from a Christian standpoint, is wrong, so be it. Don't put the blame on them. Don't wag your finger in their face and admonish them for the fall of marriage, because you know what, Christians get divorced too. Christians are in unhappy marriages. We should look to our own plank before picking out their speck.

I know, as a Christian, marriage to me is extremely religious. However, there are those who get married who are not christian. We Christians must realize that marriage is now more then a religious ceremony. There are people who decided to live together, there are people who divorce after only a 24 hour marriage. I would say these two things don't keep with Christian teaching at all--without even adding gay marriage to it, and I would be against them just as much as gay marriage.

We as Christians need to understand that we can't make choices for people. All we can do is make our own choices and live our own lives and let those be an example to the world, and talk openly to any curious observer. It's not our job to be hypocritical judges of society--it is our job to show the love of God to the world though our life. (I know, there are a million different ways to do this. Just try to do it in a way that doesn't make you look better--that is not the goal)

In closing, my friends, don't ostracize people who are different then you. Don't cut them off from the comrades and family they've had--stand by them. Tell them you don't think they are making the right decision, but don't let that end your friendship. Tell them you love them, no matter what. And don't remind them over every phone call, every letter of the "mistake" they are making. If your mom was an atheist, and every time you called to tell her of your woes and pain, she reminded you of your "religious crutch" and made fun of your "church attendance," you wouldn't really want to call very much anymore, would you? We are called to love them, not to judge them. They are still the same person you met and became friends with. And they need you now more then ever.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that we, you and I, we were not put on this earth to point fingers at every sinner and call them out for their faults. You know, when you point at someone--there are three digits on your hand pointing right back at you. We are no better.

I hope as a Christian that we can stand together with kindness and humility for what we believe in--and allow no hate or bitterness into our speech against any of our fellow humans who live here with us.

Love, Carolynn


bethany said...

This is great. I'm right there with ya!

Allen said...

Please... Christianity says that gay people are sick perverted abominations who should be tortured in a fiery pit forever unless they apologize to an unchanged God who also happens to be Jesus who said that gays should be put to death in the past but now wants to throw them in hell. Your Christian viewpoint say that anyone unlike yourself who doesn't follow your religion or repent to your God deserves to be tortured and burned forever. You don't love your neighbor and u don't love gays. You want people to be just like you and if not they should be punished. Christians / Muslims are hateful bigots and saying u love people a million times wont change the fact that you believe hateful things about gays and many others. Maybe this example will show you why smart intelligent people don't fall for your bull crap..... I'm a vegetarian. i became one to lose weight. Now you might not be a vegetarian which means we have different a "lifestyle".Btw its funny that straight people never use the word lifestyle to talk about themselves? A little bias are we? anyways I don't hate you for eating meat and i'm not gonna down you for eating meat i just don't... lets try to apply this to your religion. I'm a gay atheist and you are a straight Christian. i don't hate you because you are straight. I'm not gonna down you for being straight. i have no book that says to down you for being straight or tells me to believe that one should be punished and tortured forever for being straight. You on the other hand claim you don't hate gay people but believe in the Christian bible that gays will burn and will and should be tortured if they don't do what the straight Christian wants or the God they worship. You want/believe gays should suffer because they aren't like you. No one forcing you to be gay or no one believes you should /or will go to hell to be tortured but yet you believe non straights should be punished and u pretend you don't hate gays .. Please you really need to reevaluate your position because only a weak minded individual would follow for that. You are still pretty hateful but at least you recognize that there is a separation of church and state in this country and people might not want to be associated with a hateful religion. You do have the decency to keep your hate between the people around you that practice it. That should be commended .....

Charlotte said...

It took a lot of bravery to post these letters. Kudos to you.

Tori Bragg said...

Great letters. Your love for others shines through in your words. I definitely agree with your point of view here. Our God has a reason for everything He commands us to do and not to do, whether we fully comprehend it or not. So many Christians spend time dwelling on the sin of homosexuality that they overlook their own sin of hatred against those who practice homosexuality. We're all imperfect, but too often Christians get the idea that because we follow God, that because we don't commit the same sin that homosexuals do, we're in some way better than them. Following God doesn't give us any more value in His eyes. He loves us all, sinners and saints, just the same. My heart goes out to the blind of heart, who cannot see that God loves them or comprehend His ways. We were all meant to find His ways, to follow Him and discover the beautiful plan He has for our lives. We're all born wanderers in this world. It's a tragedy when we stay that way.

no said...

Carolynn in all honesty, fuck you.

Carolynn said...

I am very confused by your statement. How is this helping end the problem of hate in this world?

Carolynn said...

I don't want anyone to suffer, least of all my friends. God does not want you to suffer either and that is why he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross. I feel line your comment is full of anger and a ton if generalizations about Christians. I do try to love my neighbors but of couse I am not perfect! I don't care what the sexual orientation of my neighbor is, I would still love them.

Ihatemoroncalledno said...

You must be fucking gay! You go fuck yourself. How dare u said that to Carolynn, she wasn't rude to u at all.

Bree said...

Thank you for posting this. I feel the same way you do. I'm 19 and my generation is very much in support of gay marriage, which is fine because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it's scary when you tell someone you don't support it. It's like they forget who you are as a person and assume you are a hateful, horrible monster. Many of my friends have even made snarky remarks towards me about how I feel about it and it made me question whether or not my belief was right. I don't hate gay people and I know God doesn't hate gay people. HE loves us all the same. And i am no saint, we all sin in our own different ways. It's very confusing to me though how when people discover my belief, they can call me terrible things when I've done nothing wrong. I guess I understand to some extent because there are those people against gay marriage who say and do horrible things and claim it to be defending their religion, but I don't think God wants us to fight each other over it. HE gave us all free will and HE knows that we have sinned, and will sin again, so it's not my place to go and try to take away someone's free will. I have the right to my own belief and people should respect that. They don't have to like it or dislike it, just respect it. People are so caught up in believing that if you don't support something, you automatically hate it, which is untrue. You make the decision to hate and spread your hatred, and that it not what I choose to do. I am absolutely against that. I apologize for this being so lengthy, but I've never met anyone outside my family who doesn't support gay marriage and who doesn't support hatred. You are a kind woman and your words are very wise. God bless you and thank you once again. I don't feel so alone now :)

Carolynn said...

Thank you for your comment. I was very happy to read it: you totally summed up my point completely and you knew exactly what I was attempting to say. It really means a lot to me. You are not alone, and neither am I. :) Hugs!

Allison said...

Thank you so much for writing these words. I am always so shocked by those on both sides of the issue, who claim "God only loves people in my situation", be that gay or heterosexual. No, God loves us all. And even if I don't agree with the choice that a person may make, neither does that mean that I automatically hate them. I love them just as God does. You shared some thoughts that many are afraid to voice, and that is much-needed in today's world.

Kat said...

"but it's scary when you tell someone you don't support it. It's like they forget who you are as a person and assume you are a hateful, horrible monster."

I can't think of anything more awful than telling someone you don't think they should be allowed to (secularly) marry the person that they love. It doesn't matter how nicely you sugar coat it, it is terrible.

There was a time when people felt mixed race couples should be excluded from marriage. Some even based this belief in Christianity. Close your eyes and imagine telling a nice, loving couple that they can't marry because one of them is the wrong color. Do you really think they will (and should) respond positively to that? Can you imagine how hated they would feel?

Kat said...

Sorry, it doesn't matter what Christians think of gay marriage. We have a separation of Church and State.

"Those who live a gay lifestyle are usually the main supporters of tolerance and fair treatment--yet sometimes you guys are extremely intolerant to anyone who happens to believe different then you."

LOLOLOL "Why don't gays tolerate my intolerance?!?!?!" Do you know why gays don't "tolerate" your opinion? Because they support fair treatment, like you said, and not letting them marry the people they love and experience all the legal benefits of marriage is unfair.

Would you tell civil rights protesters to calm down and start being more tolerant of cross burnings, segregation, white flight, etc? I mean some white people truly believe that God wants races to stay separate and it would just be soooo intolerant of Blacks to get angry at those white people who want them to have less legal rights...right?

Carolynn said...

I am not trying to tell anyone here what they can and can't do with their life. If you read the whole thing, I clearly state that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, should be treated equally and have equal rights. I'm saying I don't support gay marriage, not making any comment on that persons choice to marry at all.

Marriage for many Christians is a very religious thing. Our bible says that to marry a man and a man is wrong, or a women to a women. If a person chooses to be a Christian, just like giving up sex outside of marriage or living together before marriage, they must be willing to not enter into a gay marriage as well. The bible further states that a Christian should marry a Christian. There are rules and we Christians (at least try) to follow them.

As a follower and believer in God, I submit to his rules. I would not try to hold anyone else to these rules if they are not a Christian. I think gays should be able to live how they want. But they don't have the right to force a pastor to marry them just like I don't have the right to force a Muslim pastor to marry me in a wedding ceremony. They should make up their own marriage thing, separate from christian marriages.

Also, because of my stance, would vote against any sort of gay marriage laws. It is just my personal belief. I'm not judging any person's choice. Just like I would vote against larger federal government or against any new gun laws--I'm not judging anyone by my choice to vote, simply saying this is what I believe. For one, I don't think it should be a law. The government should not be able to tell you who you can love and marry at all, in any sense, rather religiously or no. They should not be involved in this debate.

I would never support a rule about interracial marriage, that is not Christian at all, nor have I ever heard anything to that effect in my church or any of my friends church. I'm sure it might exist in other cultures but it is not biblical and I believe it is wrong.

Lets say someone told me they didn't believe in marriage. I have many friends that say they will never marry because they believe it is a construct that demeans women. I would not feel threatened by this not would I feel hated. I mostly am perplexed by these friends and interested to ask questions, and debate. But I wouldn't take it personally. I am not them and unless they came out and said "I hate you" I would never infer that from them just stating they were not for marriage. So, no, it does not make sense to me when I say "I am against this" and people think I am a terrible person.

Carolynn said...

did you not read my blog post? here is a quote from it if you missed it:

"Please understand, then, my friends, that when I say I am against gay
marriage--I am speaking from a christian standpoint. I am speaking of
marriage as a religious observance. However, there is another aspect of
marriage in the world now--and that is not religious, at least not from a christian perspective. There is marriage in civil unions. There are covenants between two of-age people who are not Christian. Thus,
I have no problem with gays being allowed to marry by or in
non-christian methods. The USA is a free country. Everyone that has not
broken a law deserves the same rights. We have a separation of Religion
and State, because there are hundreds of different Americans who believe in a wide variety of different religions and because we don't force our citizens to hail one God over another."

cypher20 said...

Hey there,

I don't know if you've ever had the opportunity but I would recommend you check out "Correct, Not Politically Correct" by Frank Turek and/or "What is Marriage?". I recommend those books only because as Christians, we have a case for traditional marriage that goes above and beyond, "The Bible says so". I'm glad to see you're sticking by your convictions. That is going to be a harder thing to do in the days ahead but as Christians we are called to persevere and "run the race". Also, remember verses like John 15:18, the world will hate us for standing for Christ. What is wisdom, truth, and love, seems like the opposite to them. So stand strong! God bless.