Saturday, May 15, 2010

Some thoughts about a very touchy subject

Hello readers-of-this-blog,

Yesterday I watched the movie trailer for a movie about the infamous California Proposition 8. The movie is entitled, "The Mormon Proposition." Then I watched a video by some of Whit's friends from college, who argued for homosexual marriage.

I have heard, both in person and through other media, and read many arguments against such a proposition. For those who aren't familiar it was a proposition to have marriage remain between man and woman only. Many who were against Proposition 8 have inquired, "if you claim to have any kind of a heart or love for others at all, how could you vote for such a thing as to deny a group of people the opportunity to claim their relationship status as 'married'?"

As a very sensitive person (believe me, I have been a sensitive boy from my youth, just ask my parents and siblings) who voted for the proposition, this statement has caused me to meditate and ponder in great length about my decision to vote for such a denial.

In my sincere and honest soul-searching, I have come to two significant (for me, at least) conclusions about my decision:

  1. The ability to separate the act or life-style from the individual is the key to remaining a loving individual and still stand for principles that are difficult for many people to swallow. Some participants on BOTH sides of this issue have tremendously failed in this regard. Because I feel a bit like I am on the defense here :)...I can name several people (not just one) who are homosexual, who I love and respect. I love Mike for his ability to make me laugh and I respect him for his untiring work ethic. I love Paula for her hugs every time I see her. She brightens my day. I love Pam for her terms of endearment that make me feel good about myself. There are several others as well, but these are a few of my most recently made friends and associates who are homosexual. Obviously, this isn't "proof" to anyone who is reading this that I am sincere or without any guile at all. If you really want to know, ask my friends and associates if I have treated them with any more or less respect and love than others and put me to the test. I'm not perfect at all, I know, but to genuinely love and respect everyone around me is, I believe, a gift I have been given. Not once during my voting or my support of Proposition 8, or ever since then, did I harbor feelings of animosity or hatred towards those who voted against the proposition, homosexual or other.
  2. What is so beautiful about this country is that you can actually stand up for moral and ethical principles that you believe in and you have the means given to you to fight for them. I'm not just talking about my own beliefs, here, people. If a coalition of Mac Users for Georgia Domination (MUGD) wants to require everyone in the state of Georgia to only purchase and use Apple computers, that is their privilege and their duty, if that is something they truly believe is worth fighting for. I'm sure the Apple company employees would support that! I realize that this particular example is a bit ridiculous, but when my state asks me to take a stand on one side of the re-defining-of-marriage line I will stand on the side of marriage between man and woman every time. That is my privilege and my duty just as much as it is for homosexuals to stand and fight for their side. I must stand where I, personally, believe is right on every issue that is brought before me.
Now I may not be on the same side of an issue as another individual, but this certainly does NOT give me the right to persecute and belittle that person, or treat them any differently than anyone else.

Who is fighting for or against individuals here? Not me. I can look in your face, whether or not I agree with your position, and truthfully tell you that I love and respect you, and that because of who I am and what I believe, this is where I will stand.

Some may be reading this right now and may still think that I have a shriveled heart and a dead soul and that I care not for the feelings and the beliefs of others. If this is the case, all that I can do is to invite you, as the author Charles Dickens wrote long ago, to "Come in! Come in! and know me better..."




Molly said...

I like this post. I'm someone who happens to disagree with your position on the issue (and with perhaps 99% of the people who read this blog), but I wholeheartedly support your decision to stick with what you believe. I believe your'e sincere in your love and respect for everyone, but I know that a lot of people on the other side of the debate will never believe you. And that's unfortunate in my mind. This is a messy messy subject and 2008 brought a lot of grief to a lot of people/friends/families who found themselves on opposite sides of the debate. And that made my heart ache.

Kristin said...

Well said. :)

Lindsey said...

We were all given our agency to choose and believe differently. Both sides could pass less judgement and try to relate more to the other. I don't like feeling judged for what I believe either. And I will stand up for it. Love more. We could all be better.

mikila said...

Thanks for this post Ben! This touches on my exact feelings about loving everyone and still voting yes. I couldn't have said it better!

Elaine said...

It's always difficult to find a way to explain to someone that you can still love and respect them, while disagreeing with something that to them makes up their whole being.

I happen to fully agree with everything you said. Thank you for not being afraid to stand up for what you believe!

Los Shafer said...

I am lucky to be able to claim you as my brother. I can verify your genuine love for everyone you have and haven't met.

It is a very hard thing to explain what you just did. Where would this country be if we were not allowed to voice the beliefs that we have?

I love you, brother.

Kim said...

This subject kind of makes me want to puke:). On one hand I'm pretty convinced that at least some gay people are born that way and it breaks my heart that we expect them to not express that part of their lives. And I've seen how much some gay church members suffer. On the other hand I love our Church and it breaks my heart to struggle in any way with anything that it teaches. And pretty much everything it has taught me has been true in my life. So. . .that leaves me in an uncomfortable place. A grey area (for me at least). I HATE grey areas. I like black and white, right and wrong, truth and falsehood. . .you get the point. Anyways, I'll just be hanging out here in this uncomfortable place, i guess. I appreciate your thoughts Ben:).

Ben said...

I really appreciate everyone's comments. Thank you. You are all wonderful friends and terrific people!

Jessica said...

Wow, that was very powerful. This is the first post I have read about this subject that actually included love for others. I would like to, with your permission post this on my blog. (as your writing)