Here’s something that’s really been bugging the crap out of me lately: Why is it that as a country we see the polls showing an increased tolerance for alternative lifestyles, but then you look around and everywhere you turn more and more states are trying to pass “religious freedom” laws that are nothing but attempts to legalize discrimination against those who are already at the legal margins of society?
I have a very basic bottom line for what I will or won’t tolerate from another person: If what you do does not affect me, then I’m perfectly cool with it. So if two men or two women want to get married, adopt children, and move next door to me in my neighborhood, that’s fine by me. And, hypothetically, if I had a business they wanted to frequent or spend their money in, that too would be just fine by me. If I own a bakery and you want me to make a cake for your same-sex wedding, I would be honored to be a part of your incredibly happy occasion. How is that in any way, shape, or form an infringement upon what I believe as a Christian?
What irritates me most about these so-called “Christians” who want to be able to separate themselves from those whose lifestyles they deem to be abnormal or immoral is this: We run the country by a Constitution, not by the Bible. If you long to live in a theocracy, perhaps we can interest you in a move to Iran, where that form of government already exists. But if you want to remain in the United States, then you’re just going to have to adjust to living by the law of the land, even if you disagree with it.
I just so happen to be a Christian myself—a lifelong Methodist—and nowhere in the Bible I read does Jesus say it’s fine to hate others if you disagree with them. As a matter of fact, Jesus instructs us to pray for our enemies just as much as we do those we love. I admit with sadness that I don’t follow this instruction nearly as much as I should, but I know it’s what the Lord wants from me. In other words, I’m not perfect, but then again, none of us are.
What do I hope to find one day when I wake up in my corner of America? I hope to find a nation that truly lives up to the promises that are enshrined in the Constitution. And I also hope and pray I will one day find Christians who are as loving and accepting of others as their Savior was and tells us we should be.
Are these completely unrealistic goals? Maybe. But as John Lennon once wrote in a song I have always cherished, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
Let’s dream this dream together and make our country as great as it should be.