On Tuesday, I received four e-mails directing me to the polls to protect marriages here in Texas. But at the time, my son was sick and he needed my care and I simply could not go down. If my actions display my beliefs then, I guess, I don’t think this proposition is that consequential.
I can fully empathize with those that heeded the rallying cry of Christian Conservatives. We really just have no idea beyond the fact that we live in a fallen world why people are gay, and just in case it might be viral, my gut level reaction is to keep them as far away from my children as possible. I would be devastated if one of my children said they were gay. Plus, to deal personally with homosexuals would mean challenging a lot of pat answers I have about sin and disease and responsibility. Those answers give me an easy map to follow, and I don’t want to get lost.
But my son has been sick for two days. And I’ve been alone and every time I get an e-mail telling me to go vote for Prop 2, I just have this nagging sense inside of me that I am responding to the gay community out of fear and not love. I’d even say it is a healthy kind of fear--the kind that keeps us watching over our children at busy parks, and wakes us up in the middle of the night just to see if they are okay. But I don’t respond out of love, and that is beginning to bother me a bit.
The statistics, though not widely publicized, are out there and they suggest that the gay lifestyle has its drawbacks. The social stigma, the medical problems, and the isolation one encounters as he engages in homosexual behavior—honestly, I know I don’t have any qualifications to judge, but do you have to be an expert to know that if those deterrents alone cannot prevent homosexual behavior then a few sentences on a piece of paper won’t either?
How many of us choose to be driven by our own particular temptations and addictions? No one does, but many are. The amount of pornography consumed by our husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, ministers is staggering and few churches adequately address it. Affairs occur. Marriages fail. Children become pregnant. Honing in on the legalities of gay marriage (currently 1-3% of the population) is a little like going into my laundry room that is always filled with dirty clothes, taking a pair of dirty socks, throwing them away, and saying with satisfaction, “Okay, I’m done.”
So often in our churches we leave dirty laundry sitting in a dark room with the door closed. And the anti-homosexual agenda deters us from dealing with those sins—planks in our own eyes—ones that if removed might better enable us to help others.
Perhaps our time, our energy, our prayers could be better spent. These men and women are dying. Dying. And Christians are concerned about their legal status? It is like watching a drug addict on the street shooting up heroin, seeing the scarred veins, the emaciated body, looking into empty eyes and thinking, "That guy is loitering."
Tuesday, when my son was sick and his fever was raging at its highest point, he said, “Mom, will you pray for me so that I will get better.” I did. Then I called a doctor. The doctor did blood tests. My husband keeps calling to make sure everyone is okay. A friend called this morning. My mom called.
But when it comes to sins, do we walk with one another in the same way?
Jesus seemed to link sins and sickness in a way that makes me uncomfortable. When he heals a paralytic he says, “Your sins are forgiven.” What does that mean? I don’t fully understand the connection, but I know that sin and sickness were equally birthed in a garden a long time ago, and perhaps it would help if we gave them equal care. I’m not sure what that entails; smarter people than me can make suggestions. But I was bothered that on Tuesday, I received four e-mails in one day urging me to keep homosexuals from marrying, and yet I have never received a single e-mail urging me to keep them from dying.