Cheers to being who you are!
The title of this post comes from a Sunday sermon, but I’m not here to impose Jesus upon you – although, what I’m about to say not only comes from who I am, but also from my spiritual heart.
Many of you know who I am to some degree – Biker chick (both Harley and bicycle); cat lover; animal lover; beer and chocolate taste-tester; lover of outdoors and all things Star Trek and NCIS; woman of faith; Christmas cookie baker; retiree; advocate of the disadvantaged.
That last one is something that has had me conflicted in recent years – the struggles facing people of color, of different faith, of different sexuality or anyone who is targeted by hate, fear and phobia.
Currently, Texas and Florida are placing my heart in despair and Christianity in question, along with children and adults in the LGBTQ community (and their parents) in harm’s way with laws that serve no one except for those who are homophobic, hateful, or don’t subscribe to the second commandment given to them by their God. In Florida, racism is standing in the way of teaching actual African-American history and also being targeted by lawmakers.
From the pits of hell, it feels as though this is the place where the anti “loving your neighbor” laws come from.
In creating laws that make it illegal to teach actual black history and keep children from being who they are, democracy and a free society are being threatened. Children and their parents are facing health and legal setbacks for no reason other than some people find their lifestyle “icky” or unforgivably sinful. Those lawmakers also cannot get past their racist ideologies or the embarrassment of the past.
In regard to the LGBTQ community and the recent laws either passed or about to be passed, consider this: Do states next make laws about whatever else makes them feel uncomfortable and willing to be judge and jury of humanity? Do they make it illegal to be Muslim or Buddhist or teach these religions in any format? Do they make it illegal for anyone to possess a book that teaches black history? Do they make it illegal for television or media to report any news they don’t first approve? Do they start banning TV programs that don’t fit into their box?
In a time when most of the world understands that we are in a fight for democracy, there are those who want to take it away from targeted groups of people. For no other reason than a soulless, judgmental position. It is akin to the days when black Americans were made to sit in the back of the bus and use separate bubblers and bathrooms. Is this what these lawmakers want…to move backwards in accepting an open, honest and loving society? How is it that anyone wants this kind of world?
We are all individuals, who have a right to be who we are as long as we are obeying laws and not harming others. We have a right to be Christian or Muslim, heterosexual or homosexual, left-handed or right-handed, cat lover or dog lover, Republican or Democrat, black or hispanic, blonde or purple-haired, teetotaler or beer drinker, home owner or apartment dweller, liberal or conservative.
What we don’t have a right to be is hateful, bigoted, racist or someone who uses their powers against individuals or certain groups of people. Humanity doesn’t allow for this type of behavior. My God doesn’t allow for this behavior. Dictionary definitions of humanity include being humane and benevolent, being part of this world’s community. In Christianity, one of our main commandments is to love people without restriction. I’ve written about this before, but I don’t believe it can be expressed loud enough. I have become tired and disgruntled over the misuse and skewing of Bible scripture to justify ugliness and I wonder if it will ever stop.
I realize this is a diatribe of sorts, but I decided to write how I am feeling rather than swearing at the awful news stories, tromping around the apartment in a huff or simply being brought to tears.
Why can’t we just leave each other alone so we can be who we are? Give each other “space” as a friend recently stated? Why must we pick on each other because we don’t live the same life? Who are we to be judge and jury when our neighbor is not breaking a law except for the one in our own biased and opinionated heads?
As I wrote in a recent Facebook post, “Perhaps we can turn the tide by always loving and accepting others, no matter what, without justification to the contrary. Perhaps we can stop being “right” all the time and start listening to our friends, family and neighbors with an open heart and clear mind. Perhaps we can simply be our messy selves without harming innocent people.”
I cannot judge the lawmakers and citizens who believe ostracizing and quieting a people’s truth is the right and moral way, lest I be just like them. However, I can hope and pray that the majority of humans in this country and on this planet are better than this, that they either take the second commandment as seriously as I do or that their hearts are softened with love and understanding.
No matter who you are, stand humbly in your space and please be kind toward others always; be willing to make a positive difference in this world, one that could really use an overflowing wave of love and acceptance.
Cheers to being who you are, who we are, as one family.