If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you know I enjoy the light-hearted side of life. The non-controversial and the random ponderings. But it’s time to get serious for a moment and share a recent frustration. It started with the picture below, posted on a friend’s Facebook page last week.
This post isn’t going to spend a lot of time rehashing homosexuality or gay marriage debates. The first point I want to make, after reading comments in response to this picture, is that the Bible is often misunderstood. The second point, on a different but related topic, is about the lack of civility demonstrated on both sides of the N.C. Amendment 1 controversy.
First, the picture. I admit it’s a little humorous, but it misses the mark. It’s another example of people taking the Bible out of context or trying to mesh the old covenant with the new. Comments I read in response showed that others who saw it were misinformed not only about the laws found in Leviticus, but also about God’s intent for marriage.
Yes, many laws in Leviticus (the old covenant) were harsh. They were in place as a way to follow God’s commands. People had a choice to obey, to do what was best for themselves, to protect their health and show reverence to God. There were practical reasons for those laws, which are no longer in effect because we live in a different time and because Christ’s death on the cross entered us into a new covenant. It redeemed us.
God’s intent for marriage as a man and a woman, however, is found throughout the Bible. (This is where people usually point to the custom of polygamy back in Bible times. If you look closely, though, men who had more than one wife were usually punished in one form or another. It might have been the custom, but it wasn’t the intent.)
I imagine some people reading this don’t agree with me, and that’s fine. We’re not all going to agree. In fact, if you don’t agree, I want to personally thank you for reading this far! I try to respect other people’s views, and I appreciate when others respect mine.
That brings me to Point 2.
With all the hubbub surrounding Amendment 1, passed yesterday, I’ve witnessed an awful lot of finger-pointing and name-calling the past month or so. I’ve read more comments about “hate speech,” “intolerance” and “bigotry” than I care to remember. And the verbal harassment is on both sides — people who support it and people who don’t.
I find myself avoiding arguments sometimes, not because I can’t back up my views, but because it can be exhausting to go back and forth with people when they don’t listen to a word you say (or write) and sling words around like the ones I mentioned above. Things like: “I can’t stand people like you, intolerant of any view except yours. You bigot!”
Really? What do you call that? It seems that these debates resort to name-calling when one side or the other has nothing intelligent left to say.
One Amendment argument I take no issue with is this: “God loves gay people, too!”
You’re right, He does! And so do I! Glad we can agree on something. Now let’s talk about the issue.
I welcome conversations about things like this, but it’s when it turns into mocking ridicule that I feel like giving up. I mentioned before that the pro-Amendment side hasn’t fared well, either. People saying they back it because they are Christian, then saying non-Christian things to those who oppose it. I have to say that the spats are typically to a lesser degree than what I’ve seen from the other side, but nevertheless. … Can we not just be civil and stop slamming everyone? Can’t we be rational, level-headed adults with different opinions?
I think I’m too passive sometimes. I feel like I should say something, but I also feel like it will end in a frustrated argument and me looking heavenward, saying, “Beam me up!”
There are those I’ve seen on both sides of the issue who do actually present valid arguments and maintain a kind spirit, but it seems like they are the ones who don’t usually speak up. …
*Sigh* I’ll try to make my next post less “heavy.”