Group One: You’re gay (publicly or privately) and Christian (publicly or privately).
Group Two: You’re Christian (publicly) and support gay marriage (publicly or privately).
Thing One: You’re not alone.
I know it feels that way. The blaring rhetoric makes it seem like a main tenet of the faith is that you can’t be gay or pro-gay and Christian. You (we) are living proof that’s untrue. A gay friend of mine leads a confidential coming-out support group. She’s been shocked by how many are Christians who fear they will (at best) lose their family and community and/or (at worst) go to hell. If you’re feeling this way (whether you’re gay or just supportive) I really just want you to know there are a lot of Christians out here who love you and understand your feelings of isolation and fear. When my wife and I dealt with infertility we felt all alone and full of fear. When we discovered there were others out there who were like us and understood it gave us a little strand of hope. It certainly didn’t fix everything. But it gave us something to hold onto. And sometimes that’s quite significant.
Thing Two: Resist the hate.
The climax of The Return of the Jedi is a battle between Luke and his dad. The Emperor keeps telling Luke to give into the hate. “Let it flow through you,” he urges. But ultimately Luke refuses to fight his father. He resists the hate and ultimately wins.
In the coming days, weeks, months, and years we will be given the option to engage or disengage with arguments about this issue of gay marriage. I’m going to do everything I can to refuse fighting with people who have different opinions than I do. I’ve seen so many pointless battles on social media and it’s time to accept that people don’t change their opinions while screaming at each other. Love wins when we resist the hate. A loving response is, “I’m not going to argue with you.”
That thing in us that needs to be right, that wants to argue, and win and convince, that’s our ego. And when I read the stories of Jesus I see that the main tenet of his faith was putting ego where it belongs- in the grave. Love wins when ego dies.
So, moving forward, a practical step I’m going to take when I want to fight and argue, I’m going to:
2. Breathe in deep. As deep and long as I can and let my ego just pass out.
3. Slowly exhale resurrection.
4. Trust that love really does win.
Photo by Brad Wise