Love God. Love People. Period.

I really really do try to see both sides of every story or situation but sometimes I can’t hold my tongue. Since the AMAZING history making announcement Friday, I’ve found myself defending more than celebrating the glorious news. The thing is, same-sex marriage at this point in my life, really, doesn’t effect me at all. I’m not gay. I don’t have gay siblings. I’m not super close invite-me-to-your-wedding close with any gay people that I know but I find myself having this need to defend an enormous and welcoming society of people. The same society I come from. A society that doesn’t even need defending because there shouldn’t have to be anything to defend but there is.

I’m often politically incorrect and I can have pretty skewed opinions but I’m sorry; I can’t wrap my head around the “Christians” who spew hate towards the [God-forbid] idea that two men or two woman or a transgender human BEING are allowed to marry one other. It makes me want to scream every time I scroll through my newsfeed and see the ignorance or the hate or the preaching Christian quoting bible verses.

Of course, I’m nosey. I can’t just ignore a post and keep scrolling. I really do want to “understand” the other side of the opinion. I can’t even tell you how many posts or videos or info-graphics I’ve viewed. I can’t deal. My mouth dropped when I started watching the video posted below. And this doesn’t include the post that went along with the sharing of the video. It doesn’t include the comments of the people I went to school with. The kids I attended Sunday school with. How can so many of us have been taught the same thing every Sunday and then in high school every Wednesday, feel and believe so differently? Nature verses nurture? Really? What the video below does include is how incredibly ignorant I am to not see that the world really can never be full of peace and love and happiness and acceptance.

Two gay, married women [or men] don’t contribute to society? Are you kidding me? They work just as hard if not harder than anyone else. They participate in community projects and fundraising efforts. Same-sex couples welcome and raise and love and cherish children in their lives every day. They are successful. They are moms and dads all rolled into one. Same-sex couples are college educated and pay their bills. They go on trips and I bet they’ve even sat next to your gay-hating butt at the airport. They don’t contribute to society? What kind of meth are you cooking? 

I don’t have the ability to hold my composure watching this video. This isn’t the worst one I’ve seen. It’s not the worst thing I’ve read. But I’ve had enough. There are clearly either multiples Gods in the universe or this is some kind of extreme pre-Revelations type test because “MY” God loves everyone. 

And if you’re not a Christian and you still have an “issue” with same-sex … anything. Why? Explain it to me. I’m mostly ranting about the Christian following because that’s where all the negative I’m seeing is coming from. I have a wide array of people on multiple social media platforms and the only disgust I’m seeing is from those with a firm and clearly pounded into Christian pavement belief complex. There are so many religions in this world. So many opinions. So many followers and believers. So much of everything. Do we have nothing in common? Is love and acceptance for everyone too much to ask for? Love God. Love People. Period.

Minorities.

We’ve been taught from a young age to not be judgmental or prejudice towards minorities like the disabled, people of color, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Yet, terrible things happen by people of all abilities, colors, sexual orientation, and views each and every day.

We’re asked to “look the other way” or “give them a chance” when we have bad vibes about a person of color or someone with a disability because if we judge them, we’re immediately perceived as a prejudice asshole.

Things like rape, child abuse, drug charges – they happen everyday when society “looks the other way.” And just to clear up foggy air; I’m not defending the fully-capable white person here and saying that we do no bad. Believe me, white people are just as guilty as anyone else in the “committing crimes” edition of society.

I’m simply saying that when we’ve been taught for so long to not judge someone that we feel uneasy about. We are taught to try to push that deep down in our gut to forget about it because we don’t want someone else to think that we are racially profiling or pointing fingers because we feel uncomfortable.

That’s the sad thing. Horrible things happen to innocent people every day when society looks the other way for the sake of hurt feelings. I’ve witnessed this first hand. A group of extremely innocent people could have been protected years ago if we as a community weren’t taught so sternly to “give the guy a chance.”

I’ve learned that it’s best to go with your gut and if you’re an asshole for doing so because you think a disabled person or any other minority is a fucking creep..than so be it. You could save a life.

God Loves Us Just The Same I Figure.

I overheard a conversation about churches, religion, and it’s relation to dress code today. At first, I almost had a “no way” moment but upon analyzing the situation; I’ve found myself thinking about it all day. To be clear – I wasn’t a part of the conversation but in such a small office space, anything that anyone talks about is open to all ears so of course mine were peaked.

The two women were talking about the churches they attend or have attended in town here and elsewhere. They were discussing the strictness and leniency of the dress codes. On Wednesday nights – it appears – is no big deal. I don’t know if they actually have mass on Wednesdays or if it’s the same as when I was in school and we just had Wednesday night religious ed. Regardless, come as you are on Wednesdays I guess. However, on Sunday; it sounds like your ‘Sunday Best’ is a requirement. 

Now, I don’t know if it’s literally a rule per the church, God, or society but I just about had to pick my mouth up off of the floor. Really? A requirement? I pondered this the rest of the day waiting until I could give my mom a call this evening. The women talking were discussing the practices of their Lutheran faith, respectively.

I was born and raised Catholic and per the confirmation of my mom – strictness and Lutheranism don’t really coincide so I was than even more perplexed with that conversation. Growing up Catholic, we were taught many things. Even though I went to Sacred Heart every Sunday, we were the minority in the little ol’ Lutheran town of Roseau. So I’ve been used to the un-christian-like slander my whole life. That’s another story, we’ll save that for later. But I just had to ask my mom: “Did we dress up to go to church?” Turns out we didn’t. If we wanted to wear a sweatshirt and jeans, God didn’t care. We were there, that’s what mattered. We practiced good faith and possessed good morals. Growing up, what we wore on Sunday was never a topic. I think that is the reason that this minuscule overheard conversation rattled my brain a little.

Looking back, I remember certain families that always dressed up. I guess I might have noticed back then but I really only figured that they dressed up to keep up with their image in town. In case you aren’t aware of the quite obvious fact, your status in Roseau, MN is a very important thing and to this day; I think that people put on an invisible mask in order to maintain that said status.

CHURCH2

Sacred Hearth Catholic Church – Roseau, MN

I also figured that the women in dresses, fathers in suits, and little kids with fancy new clothes were just rich. We’d go to church with sopping wet hair making water marks on our backs, shoes untied, and a crying snotty nosed brother in tow. God loved us just the same I figured.

It’s actually pretty crazy that this little conversation I eavesdropped on today would cause me to analyze so many people and years of my life in the church I grew up in. I feel very fortunate that I grew up the way I did. We had a great priest. I retained some of the best life lessons in that little community of a church. All teasing from school during the week disappeared. The music in my head all week was sang and the communion and forgiveness of sins made me feel whole.

Once we left Roseau, I began to slip away from the Catholic faith. Although, I still credit many Catholic beliefs to my upbringing; I don’t necessarily agree with certain areas of the faith now. Between the combination of the modern church and it’s scandals to my individual growth; I have my own opinions and beliefs. I’ll always acknowledge being born and raised Catholic but when I think of the church, I think of Roseau. It was very welcoming and accepting. There was no “wrong way” to dress. And if there were stares, I was young enough to be oblivious to that but nothing will ever take away from the great memories I had there. 

In conclusion, what is your stance? Have you ever felt that you needed to pull out your Sunday best on the day God rested? Why? Does it matter? Do people only choose to dress up for a social standing? Are you embarrassed of yourself or your family if you don’t? Let’s start the conversation.