Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Double Standard

I decided to log off of Facebook around noon this afternoon because I was becoming more and more discouraged by the posts/comments/pictures in my newsfeed.  Like everyone else, I had heard about the outcome of the vote in North Carolina.  The majority of voters voted against gay marriage.  We live in a country where we have a right to vote and make our voices heard.  It was wonderful to find out that so many residents of NC exercised that right.  As with any vote, the majority rules and people have to be accepting of the fact that the result might not be in their favor.  We all win some and we all lose some.  There will be more elections and more chances to be heard.

Instead of expressing sorrow and disappointment in the results, an overwhelming number of my FB friends decided to openly bash anyone they believed was responsible for this "tragedy."  As you can guess, at the top of the list were Christians, namely Catholics.  It started with sayings such as, "North Carolina:  where you can marry your cousin. Just not your gay cousin" and calling the people of NC "close-minded bigots."  The name-calling escalated to include several combinations of curse words and statements about how the Bible means nothing, God's law has been watered down, and people should be able to do whatever they want to do, regardless of morality.

Up to that point, I could take it.  It was no different from other careless remarks I'd heard before.  People don't always think before they speak or write. I get that.  Because religion isn't important to them, they don't care that others might be sincerely offended by their words.  They don't seem to realize that when God flows through your veins, it's impossible to separate Him from the rest of your life.  It would be like cutting off an appendage.  People want to hear a stance against a moral issue that doesn't involve religion; I challenge them to throw a baseball without an arm.

Around noon I stumbled upon a picture of a cartoon Jesus hanging from a cross with the words "gay rights" scribbled across his chest.  What utterly cruel, intention, cuts-to-the-bone mockery to a Catholic, who holds the cross in such high regard.  How dare they?  HOW DARE THEY?

I understand that people are upset that the majority of residents in NC still have a strong moral compass but that doesn't give anyone permission to be downright nasty towards anyone who believes in Jesus. It was a low blow.  It does nothing to help the cause.  It certainly doesn't create dialog between believers and non-believers.  If anything, it causes people to shut down, much like I did today on FB.  I was disgusted and felt that if my newsfeed was going to be clogged up with hateful garbage, I was better off without it.

I have never and would never post offensive comments about gay people, gay marriage, gay civil unions, etc.   I happen to believe that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman and that the sanctity of marriage should be held in the highest esteem. Biologically, men and women have "parts" that fit perfectly together.  They complement one another.  The natural purpose of sex is procreation.  We were wired to want to have sex (hence sex being enjoyable) so that our species could continue.  Yes, we could have sex with any person, animal, thing, we desire but that doesn't change the original purpose for sex.  I also believe that sex should be reserved for marriage.  Sex outside of marriage devalues the sacrament and lessens the importance of the union between husband and wife.  Unfortunately in our society, marriage has been reduced to quickie celebrity weddings that last 70 hours, cheating left and right, and people who kick their spouse to the curb when things get a tad bit challenging or boring.  Where's the commitment?  What happened to 'till death do us part?  It has gone by the wayside.  We have normalized feelings of lust.  We have adopted a "do anything that feels good" mentality.  We try before we buy.  God isn't in the bedroom anymore (or we try to convince ourselves He is not).  All this so we can do whatever we want without the feelings of guilt that creep in from time to time.  And the more people on board, the better.  But that doesn't make it a marriage.

Yes, I'm hung up on semantics.  I value marriage so deeply and I respect those couples who have stuck it out through thick and thin and are still happily together, honoring their commitment to marriage. To call my relationship with my sister a "marriage" would be wrong.  A relationship between two friends is not a marriage.  A relationship between a parent and a child is not a marriage.  A relationship between a caregiver and a patient is not a marriage.  Let's call it what it is. Let's use the proper term.  We know what a marriage was designed to be and all I'm asking is that we stay true to that.  Anything that deviates from marriage is not "less"...it's just not marriage.

I'm traditional.  I'm old-fashioned.  But I am not a bigot.  I am not a hypocrite.  I do not resort to name-calling when interacting with someone whose beliefs are different from my own.  Why must it be done to me?  Why must I be bombarded with hurtful pictures and belittling remarks when I log onto FB?  I always try to use my page as a medium for conversation and there has been much successful dialog between friends on opposite sides of the spectrum. I'm proud of that.  But today things crossed the line.  The blame, ridicule, and nastiness were uncalled for.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day.


2 comments:

  1. Hi Chanel,
    I've always been inspired by how good you are at using your facebook page for dialog. I tend to shy from debates that involve Catholicism because I usually take them too personally. While I agree with you that the cross you described was completely over the line, most of what is on facebook today did not bother me. Then again, I must admit that I disagree with the Catholic church on this particular topic. Marriage is so much more than procreation to me. If that were it's only purpose, why then should the church marry older people who are beyond reproducing age? Are infertile couples less married? You see, I have searched my soul on this topic. I've listened to the church's views; I've listened to many perspectives. I just can't believe that two people who are genuinely dedicated to completely sharing their lives together are so wrong. I can't believe that God has cursed gay people to a choice of a life of loveless solitude or living in sin in the shadows. There are many things in the Bible that modern Christians do not follow because we have moved beyond them as culture has evolved. I believe this should be the next one.
    I am sorry that the comments you encountered were so hurtful today. It's hard when people get so upset about a debate that attacks become personal, and it certainly shuts down lines of communication. Just thought I'd share...

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  2. Chanel, I tried so hard to say what you said so beautifully. Thank you. When I went on my FB page the day after the election, I found posts that called "me/us" idiots, bigots, etc. I got really depressed. Marlene

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