Thursday, February 17, 2011

You Either Love Me or You Will Hate This Blog...Just Warning Ya

Maybe I am crazy for posting about this, but as it's MY blog, I'll write what I want! If you don't like it, don't read it. Or go write your own blog to debate my position.

Tonight I saw a link to an article written in the newspaper of my alma mater. It was embroiled in controversy, touted as anti-LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, for those of you are aren't hip to acronyms--and if you aren't, hello?!? This is AMERICA and everything is referred to in acronyms, making the English language so much harder for foreigners to navigate, ha, ha). I read through the article, expecting to be as shocked and outraged as the article about it suggested I should be. I was sadly disappointed. I was more outraged at the fallout the article has created. And that the article ABOUT the article claimed it contained things that it clearly did not say.

First off, let me say that the article was not well-written. It is really unclear. At the beginning of the article, the writer seems to be on the side of LGBT students, but by the end, seems to have made an 180° turn to the right-wing. Of course, it was written by a high school student and perhaps his writing will improve over time. However, now I am thinking that if this is the standard for writing on my high school's newspaper, maybe I should have applied twenty years ago, been a star, and set myself on a different career path! But, I digress....

Before I go further, I must strive not to pigeonhole myself as anti-gay or prejudicial. I have friends of many races, nationalities, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation, etc. I have a couple of lesbian friends whom I love (purely platonically, that is). One has read this blog before and if she does again, I hope she will not disown me as a friend! I have black friends, Vietnamese friends, Korean friends, Catholic friends, Atheist friends, etc., etc., etc. We may not look the same or agree on everything, but they are my friends; I do not see skin color or an "ism" when I look at my friends. However, I have my beliefs, which are based on the Word of God, which I believe to be true and eternal and unchangeable. That is the law that I base my life upon. As for the rest, they are my soapbox preferences and rantings. I hope that you are able to tell the difference between the two. God's Word is clear on prejudices: Galatians 3 says, "for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."

What irked me the most about this article was that the LGBT community and supporters were so outraged about the printing of this story. I loved the response from the paper's editors: "(Student's name) has rights protected by the Kansas Student Publications Act, which states that 'Material shall not be suppressed solely because it involves political or controversial subject matter.' Although his editorial was interpreted by many as distasteful, he has a legal right to publish his beliefs. An unwillingness to enforce those rights would be destructive to the freedom of press in its entirety and make it hypocritical for the 'Messenger' to allow students to publish material in favor of LGBT relationships in the future." Since when does freedom of speech only apply to certain groups? They are right. How completely hypocritical to want to publish pro-whatever your affiliation and then get mad when someone publishes something anti-whatever your affiliation. The response goes on to say that many pro-LGBT articles had been published in the past. Now, if those had been squelched, the LGBT community would be screaming discrimination and infringement of their first amendment rights to free speech and freedom of the press. The same should be afforded the opposite viewpoint. Freedom is a two-edged sword. You have the freedom to worship and believe as you choose, but you must allow others who disagree with you to do the same. To be honest, I no longer think that we have freedom of speech in this country. Anything said anti-whatever renders the speaker guilty of being close-minded, a bigot, prejudiced, or accused of hate crimes.

My husband made a good point this evening. He told me about an episode of the TV show Southpark, which I never watch. In it, they discussed the opinion that there shouldn't be any hate crimes because ALL crimes stem from hate. If you murder someone, do you not hate them? If you beat someone up, isn't it out of hatred? Why does the color of someone's skin or their beliefs make it a hate crime?

I get highly offended by reverse racism. When I was ready to go to college, I began to look for scholarships to help with the cost of school. I couldn't find any! I found scholarships if I was black, Hispanic, lesbian, blind, handicapped, etc. But nothing for a white girl who made good grades and graduated 4th in her class of around 250. Seriously. I considered applying for the Hispanic one since I was married to a Mexican-American and had the Hispanic last name. I even considered applying for the lesbian one--I mean, how could they prove that one, one way or another?! But, you know that if there was a scholarship out there for whites or straights, there would be a huge controversy about how racist that was. I think having scholarships that exclude whites or straights is just as racist.

Granted, I know that slavery was very, very wrong. I am 100% opposed to it and feel sorrow that the practice ever existed. However, to use affirmative action to promote an individual people group smacks of "two wrongs don't make a right." According to Wikipedia, "Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including 'race, color, religion, sex, or national origin' into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination." In other words, reward people who have done nothing to merit reward, based on what their ancestors may have suffered in history. Okay, let's take a look at history. Were blacks the only ones who were ever used as slaves? No. The Bible talks about the Israelites being slaves of the Egyptians. The U.S. still has cases of farm workers being enslaved, which are usually illegal immigrants and primarily Hispanic. China still has slavery in many regions, even though it is outlawed. The Middle East is another area that is still dealing with slavery. There are an estimated 40 million people in India that are living as slaves. Brazil's government recently freed thousands of slaves. According to statistics of the U.S. State Department, 80% of slaves trafficked across national borders in 2006 were women and girls and 50% were minors. Slavery, or human trafficking, is not contained to one country or continent or ethnic group. It is a tragedy worldwide for all mankind. Are white people to blame for slavery? Certainly whites participate in human trafficking. However, there are also many whites who have and still do fight against slavery. And whites were not and are not the only people group to participate in the slave trade. I have read that in previous centuries, the way slave traders obtained their victims was from African tribal leaders. They sold their own people into slavery! Wikipedia states that, "Victims are typically recruited through deceit or trickery (such as a false job offer, false migration offer, or false marriage offer), sale by family members, recruitment by former slaves, or outright abduction." Sale by family members or recruitment by former slaves. In Africa today, pygmies are enslaved by the Bantu people. Black on black crime? As the victims of human trafficking are a veritable who's who of the world's people groups, so are perpetrators of this heinous act also a catalog of the planet's ethnic groups. Why, therefore, does it seem that whites only are to blame for enslaving blacks? Why, in America, are whites to stand back as this country makes up for past wrongs that we personally didn't even commit and those who benefit from it didn't even suffer? Why can't I get a scholarship? I know that blacks and various other ethnic groups still face the sting of prejudice from idiots that think being different is a crime. But, I hate when we all have to pay for some morons that don't know how to act like human beings.

I am a student of ancestry--one of my ancestors was of royal lineage in England and was disowned. Can I get some restitution on that injustice? One of my ancestors was American Indian and they were treated even worse in this country than blacks were, so she hid her heritage. Can I get reparations for that? I can dig farther.... I am sure every family has some injustice somewhere in their history. You can't make all past wrongs right. And to say that all whites must pay because all blacks have suffered is not only an untrue statement, it's stereotypical.

Okay, so I got off-course from my primary subject, which was LGBT. Sorry, sometimes I step from soapbox to soapbox.

The article that the high school student published contained some Bible verses from the book of Leviticus. Quoted was Leviticus 18:22 "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable." as well as Leviticus 20:13 "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." In another passage, God commands that someone who has committed adultery should be stoned to death. This shows how strongly God feels about the sin of adultery. And anyone who has suffered at the hand of an adulterous spouse knows how damaging that act is. I speak from experience. I was reading last night about Sylvia Plath's suicide. I believe, from what I read, that her depression leading her to put her head in her own oven was caused primarily from her husband's infidelity, which, incidentally, also caused his mistress to commit suicide in similar fashion. God felt so strongly about adultery that he made the commission of it a crime worthy of capital punishment and made it the only condition under which divorce would be acceptable. I believe these passages in Leviticus tell us likewise how strongly God feels about homosexuality. These were not the laws of men, but laws given to men by God. In Genesis 19, Lot receives angelic visitors in Sodom. The men of the city urge him to bring out the men he is entertaining so that they may have sex with them. Lot offers them his two daughters instead of allowing them to abuse his guests. While this is repugnant to think that Lot would offer his daughters up to be molested, I think it shows how much more repugnant are the homosexual acts that the men wanted to perform. Where do you think the term "sodomy" comes from?

I know there are churches that welcome gay and lesbian lifestyles, and even pastors that are gay. I am always puzzled by this. How do they get past the passages in the Bible that blatantly state that homosexuality is a sin? Do they pick and choose what to believe? How can you do that? How can you trust any of the Bible if parts of it are not true? It's either all true or none of it is true. If you can't trust what's sin and what's not, how can you believe that there is a heaven or that Jesus died and rose again? Is God not God? How can individuals dictate what is and is not sin? How do you presume to say that God is wrong and we are going to decide for ourselves what is right and what's wrong? In First Corinthians 15, there is a passage where the biblical claim of Christ's resurrection was questioned: "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead....And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.... If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." If parts of the Bible are not true, how can you be sure that any of it is? And if it is questionable, why would you follow it? And if it's doubtful, what hope have you for any life after death?

And lest you think that the Old Testament is old and out of date, which it is not, the New Testament also speaks against homosexuality. Romans 1 has a passage on the subject. In First Timothy 1, homosexuals, as well as other purveyors of sin, are called, "lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious." There's no mistaking what the Bible says about homosexuality. It is sin, it is wrong.

When I hear about churches that embrace the LGBT lifestyle, it reminds me of another church that I disagree with and wrote about not that long ago. At the risk of offending and enraging some, in my mind, they are similar to Fred Phelps' "church." I know that would burn Fred Phelps up to be likened to an LGBT church, as it probably sickens LGBT church-goers to be equated with a parasite like Fred Phelps. However, the trait that links them inconceivably together is that they create their own truth. They believe what they want to believe. They pick and choose what parts of the Bible are important and what can be discarded as old-fashioned or negligible, inconsequential, insignificant.

However, the law in Leviticus had a purpose, which the high school writer either did not know or did not discuss. It was meant to show mankind that it can never be good enough. Mankind can never be perfect enough to reach God. Homosexuality is only one sin. There are many. And ALL violations of the law are equally sin. The law is meant to show that there is only one way to God and that is through accepting the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. But, in accepting Jesus as Savior, we are to see our sin as He sees our sin and turn from it, repent. That means leaving it behind. If the sin is homosexuality (or whatever your sin of choice), it means leaving it behind, not sitting in a church that condones it and thinking you're right with God. It doesn't mean perfection, but it means a change in direction, turning and going God's way, not your way, not the world's way. It is possible! I know a woman who was once a lesbian, but now walks with Jesus and left that lifestyle behind!

I do not hate LGBTs. Like I said early in this post, I love my friends who are lesbians the same way I love any of my friends that don't agree with me. If I surrounded myself only with friends that agreed with me 100%, I'd be a lonely woman. In my previous post about Fred Phelps, I mentioned the church that I used to attend that was picketed by his "church" because our pastor taught that we love the sinner, but hate the sin. In other words, we love people of all shapes and sizes, colors, and walks of life. But, we do not always love the things that they do. We condemn behavior, not people. That's what I believe. I love people, but I disagree with the things that they do. Because, as Christians, that's what we are called to do. We are called to be Christ-like and Jesus loved the world enough to give his life for it, while we were yet sinners, not after we cleaned up our act and were worthy of him. But, he also hated sin. That's Jesus' purpose, to save us from our sins, to take them away so that we can be with him who loves us. When we refuse to leave our sin, and wallow in it, I am reminded of a Ray Boltz song, which is ironic since he decided that he is gay: "Do you still feel the nails every time I fail? Have I crucified you Jesus with my sins? Oh I'm tired of playing games, I really want to change. I never want to hurt you again." To think that that one sin, whatever it is...that we insist on holding on to...cost Jesus his life. Is it really worth that?

I must admit that I am proud of my old alma mater in at least one respect. When I was a student there, I wrote a research paper from a Christian world view. I was personally castigated by my English teacher for my viewpoint. He had asked for controversial topics and when he didn't like my position, he very bluntly let me know about it, in a most unprofessional way. He made a half-hearted, nearly unrecognizable apology after the principal forced him to. Therefore, I am somewhat surprised that the school not only allowed a conservative article to be published, but defended its right to publish it as well. So, in opposition to many, I have to say that I am glad for the publishing of that article...even if I could have written a better one.

And to all that I may have offended, I am truly sorry. It is not meant to offend. I love you. But, in America, we have the freedom to disagree.

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