Last night, North Carolina overwhelmingly passed a vote amending their constitution to deny homosexuals the rights afforded to heterosexuals. Twenty years ago, when my friend came out to me in high school, I was naive enough to believe that by now he’d be able to marry the person he loves in any state in our union, because I believed that our country stood for liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. I was so wrong. I was so naive. Twenty years ago, I had believed in my bones in the future of this country as a place to champion the downtrodden and oppressed, a place where people could grow into the best human being they could be, flourishing in all the beautiful ways that God intended for them personally and individually. I thought that God’s love would touch enough hearts and change them so that they would see the beautiful people in front of them for who they really are, and not cover those people in the shit of their fear and bigotry. And yet here we are…twenty years out, and people are still defiling God’s creations with their hate disguised as morals and righteousness.
This morning I had to pull over into a parking lot because I was crying too hard to keep driving. I was crying for my friends and for complete strangers who have been told that 60% of the voters in North Carolina harbor enough animosity toward them that they actively went out and voted to restrict their rights as human beings in this country. I was crying for myself for living here, for not being able to do more, for that deep helplessness that descends when I consider that massive shadow of the so-called ‘moral-majority’ whose aim seems to be controlling people with laws and rage, so full of arrogance, instead of allowing for God’s power and grace to deal with his children. Do they not think him capable of it? Do they not trust enough in their own beliefs to think that God will handle it? Or do they fear that maybe God will do nothing about the thing that so offends them, and so it is up to them to control and condemn, to hurt and punish?
The thing is…God will do nothing. And the reason isn’t because he is waiting for us to do something for him. He’s more than capable. It’s because God made these people in his own image just the way they are, they are a reflection of God’s love for his creations just as much as any heterosexual. Just as I am. Just as you are.
Sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn’t believe in God, so that I wouldn’t suffer the confusion of seeing people act in his name in ways that are so blatantly against the love that I recognize as God’s eternal presence. It is all I can do not to ask them, “Who is this God?” Because God isn’t fear. God isn’t loathing. God isn’t putting other people in ‘their place’ before they contaminate ‘our place’. (They can’t contaminate our place. Only we can do that, and we do it by attempting to control other people. We defile our own lives with anger and disgust when we do that.) God isn’t interested in having us act as his police. He’s got this. He made this. Step off.
Part of my emotional reaction is no doubt due to having watched this video yesterday. You should watch it, too. And then make sure you all have wills and Healthcare Power of Attorneys in place. Because even heterosexuals need those. So, here’s a gay guy who wants to make sure that no one, straight or gay, has to go through anything like what he’s experienced. Watch this. Please. Pass it on. Share his voice. Speak up. We all need to speak up before it’s too late.
I guess I’m still naive.