Lindaland
  Divine Diversities
  Preaching vs Practicing Love

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Preaching vs Practicing Love
PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9070
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted July 30, 2017 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was going through some old bookmarks and I came across this article. Though this man got to reflect on this as he counseled a gay friend, he realized the problem was much deeper than people who are are "Christian save when you're gay" but even "I'm Christian (loving) save when you're different."
http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html


It's 3 pages, and I'm including only part of it here. Here's a short slice to start with:

quote:
I promise you it doesn’t matter what you believe, how strongly you live your beliefs, or how true your beliefs are. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks you are in the wrong. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks your beliefs are senseless or illogical. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks you have it all wrong. In fact, there are a lot of people in this world who do.

We each understand that. We already know that. It’s the world we live in and we’re not naïve. We’re not stupid. We get it.

Yet, we expect and want love anyway. We expect and want understanding. We expect and want tolerance. We expect and want humanity. We expect and want respect for our beliefs, even from those who don’t believe the same things we do. Even from those who think we’re wrong, unwise, or incorrect.

We expect all of that from the people who disagree with us and who disagree with our lifestyles and beliefs because, let’s be honest, nothing we do is actually bad enough to be worthy of disgust, anger, hatred, or cold-shouldering. Right? None of the ways in which we live our lives would warrant such behavior. Right? None of our beliefs are worthy of ugly disdain from others.


And a couple of more:

quote:
Before I go on, I feel I must say something one time. Today’s post is not about homosexuality. It’s not about Christians. It’s not about religion. It’s not about politics. It’s about something else altogether. Something greater. Something simpler.

It’s about love.

It’s about kindness.

It’s about friendship

And love, kindness, and friendship are three things that Jacob hasn’t felt in a long time.

I’m thankful he gave me permission to share our conversation with you. It went something like this.

“Jacob, I honestly don’t know how to write it,” I said. “I know what I want to get across, but I can never find the right words.”

“Dan, you need to write it. Don’t give up. I’m telling you, it needs to be said.”

I paused. “You don’t understand. It’s too heated a subject. It’s something people are very emotional and touchy about. I’d be lynched.”

My friend hesitated. “Dan, you are the only friend I have that knows I’m gay. The only freaking one,” he said.

“What do you mean? I know you’ve told other friends.”

That’s when his voice cracked. He began crying.

“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone,” he said. “They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”

I didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t say anything.

“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”

How do you respond to that?

I wanted to tell him it was all in his head. I knew it wasn’t. I wanted to tell him it would get better and easier. The words would have been hollow and without conviction, and I knew it.

You see, I live in this community too. And I’ve heard the hate. I’ve heard the disgust. I’ve heard the disdain. I’ve heard the gossip. I’ve heard the distrust. I’ve heard the anger. I’ve heard it all, and I’ve heard it tucked and disguised neatly beneath a wrapper of self-righteousness and a blanket of “caring” or “religious” words. I’ve heard it more times than I care to number.

About gay people.

About people who dress differently.

About people who act differently.

About fat people.

About people with drug addictions.

About people who smoke.

About people with addictions to alcohol.

About people with eating disorders.

About people who fall away from their faiths.

About people who aren’t members of the dominant local religion.

About people who have non-traditional piercings.

About people who just look at you or me the wrong way.

I’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it over, and over, and over again.

Hell, in the past (and to some degree in the present) I participated in it. I propagated it. I smugly took part in it. I’ll admit that.

And I did so under the blanketing term “Christian.” I did so believing that my actions were somehow justified because of my beliefs at the time. I did so, actually believing that such appointments were done out of… love.

This isn’t just a Utah phenomenon. I’ve lived outside of this place. I’ve worked outside of this place. It was just as bad in Denver. It was just as bad in California. I see it on blogs. I hear it on television shows and radio programs. I hear it around my own family’s dinner table from time to time. Usually said so passively, so sneakily, and so “righteously.”

From Christians.

From Buddhists.

From Hindus.

From Muslims.

From Jews.

“God hates fags.” “God hates addicts.” “God hates people who shop at Salvation Army.” “God hates people that aren’t just like me.”

People may not be holding up picket signs and marching around in front of television cameras but… come on. Why is it that so many incredible people who have certain struggles, problems, or their own beliefs of what is right and wrong feel so hated? Why do they feel so judged? Why do they feel so… loathed? What undeniable truth must we all eventually admit to ourselves when such is the case?

Now, I’m not religious. I’m also not gay. But I’ll tell you right now that I’ve sought out religion. I’ve looked for what I believe truth to be. For years I studied, trying to find “it”. Every major religion had good selling points. Every major religion, if I rewound far enough, had some pretty incredible base teachings from some pretty incredible individuals.

Check this out, and feel free to correct me if I get this wrong…

According to Christians, Jesus taught a couple of interesting things. First, “love one another.” Second, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (“Her” being a woman who cheated on her man.)

According to Buddhists, Buddha taught a couple of thought-provoking things. First, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” Second, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

According to Hindus, a couple of fascinating teachings come to mind. First, “Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.” (Krishna) Second, “Love means giving selflessly, excluding none and including all.” (Rama)

According to Muslims, Muhammad taught a couple interesting things as well. First, “A true Muslim is the one who does not defame or abuse others; but the truly righteous becomes a refuge for humankind, their lives and their properties.” Second, “Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.”

According to Judaism, their scriptures teach a couple remarkable things. First, “Love your neighbor like yourself.” Second, “Examine the contents, not the bottle.”

The greatest spiritual leaders in history have all preached love for others as the basis for all happiness, and never did they accompany such mandates with a list of unlovable actions or deeds. They never said, love everybody except for the gays. Love everybody except for the homeless. Love everybody except for the drug users. Love everybody except for the gang members, or those covered in ink, or the spouse abusers. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody with the exception of the “trailer trash,” those living in poverty, or the illegal immigrants. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody except for our ex-lovers, our lovers’ ex lovers, or our ex-lovers’ lovers. The mandate was pretty damn clear, wasn’t it?

Love others.

Period.

So if this is the founding directive of all the major religions… why is it that sometimes the most “Christlike” people are they who have no religion at all?

Let me repeat that.

Why is it that sometimes the most Christlike people are they who have no religion at all?

I have known a lot of people in my life, and I can tell you this… Some of the ones who understood love better than anyone else were those who the rest of the world had long before measured as lost or gone. Some of the people who were able to look at the dirtiest, the poorest, the gays, the straights, the drug users, those in recovery, the basest of sinners, and those who were just… plain… different…

They were able to look at them all and only see strength. Beauty. Potential. Hope.

And if we boil it down, isn’t that what love actually is?

Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of incredible Christians, too. I know some incredible Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus and Jews. I know a lot of amazing people, devout in their various religions, who truly love the people around them.

I also know some atheist, agnostic, or religionless people who are absolutely hateful of believers. They loathe their religious counterparts. They love only those who believe (or don’t believe) the same things they do.

In truth, having a religion doesn’t make a person love or not love others. It doesn’t make a person accept or not accept others. It doesn’t make a person befriend or not befriend others.

Being without a religion doesn’t make somebody do or be any of that either.

No, what makes somebody love, accept, and befriend their fellow man is letting go of a need to be better than others.

Nothing else.

I know there are many here who believe that living a homosexual life is a sin.

Okay.

But, what does that have to do with love?

I repeat… what does that have to do with love?

Come on. Don’t we understand? Don’t we get it? To put our arm around someone who is gay, someone who has an addiction, somebody who lives a different lifestyle, someone who is not what we think they should be… doing that has nothing to do with enabling them or accepting what they do as okay by us. It has nothing to do with encouraging them in their practice of what you or I might feel or believe is wrong vs right.

It has everything to do with being a good human being. A good person. A good friend.

That’s all.

To put our arm around somebody who is different. Why is that so hard?


quote:
Disparity and difference have nothing to do with love.

We shouldn’t choose who we will love and who we won’t.

“I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.”

That’s the message we’re sending, you know.

“I’m Christian, unless I’m hotter than you.”

“I’m Christian, unless I’m uglier than you.”

“I’m Christian, unless I found out you cheated on your income taxes.”

“I’m Christian, unless you cut me off in traffic.”

“I’m Christian, unless you fall in love with the person I once fell in love with.”

“I’m Christian, unless you’re that guy who smells like crap on the subway.”

“I’m Christian, unless you’re of a different religion.”

“Oh, but you’re not gay? You’re clean, and well dressed, and you have a job? You look the way I think you should look? You act the way I think you should act? You believe the things I think you should believe? Then I’m definitely a Christian. To you, today, I’m a Christian. You’ve earned it.”

I bet you’ve heard that message coming from others. Maybe you’ve given that message to others.

Either way, I hope we all can agree that we mustn’t live that message. We just shouldn’t.

But many of us do.

And we do it all the time.

For some of us, it might as well be tattooed across our necks and foreheads.

Maybe not in those words, but the message is clear to those who hear and are listening. It’s clear to those who are watching and seeing.

The message has been very clear to my friend Jacob.

“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone. They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”

“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”

Jacob is a dear friend. He’s my brother. He’s a damn good human being. He’s absolutely incredible.

He’s also gay.

But why does that make any difference at all?

It doesn’t. Not to me.

And I wish with everything inside of me that it didn’t make any difference to others. I wish we didn’t all have to find ways that we’re better than others or more holy and saintly than others in order to feel better about our own messy selves. I wish people wouldn’t cluster entire groups of people together and declare the whole lot unworthy of any love and respect.

But that is the point of such thinking and action, isn’t it? I mean, it’s simpler that way. It makes it easier for us to justify our thoughts, words, and prejudices that way.

All these people become clumped together. And in the process, they all somehow become less than human.

They become unworthy of our love.

And what a great thing it is when that happens, right? I mean, it helps us to free ourselves from the very directives that have been passed down for millennia from the greatest teachers and philosophers in history. It makes our rationalization for hatred, bigotry, and abhorrence so easily justifiable; so maskable.

So right.

It gives us the golden chance to look at ourselves and not be disgusted by what the glass reflects back at us.

Then, sadly and ultimately, it pushes us to that point where we no longer have any sort of arm to put around others at all. We no longer have a hand to offer our fellow human beings. We no longer have a need to.

And why would we?

Why the hell should we?

Unless, of course, we actually want to live what we all so often claim that we “believe.”

My dear friends…

This has to stop. We have to put our ugly picket signs down. We have to be the examples that help make it happen in our own lives and in the lives of the people that surround us.

We have to be that voice. We each must be that voice.

We must tell others that we will not accept or listen to such hurtful and hateful sentiments.

We must show love where love right now doesn’t exist.

Will you please join me?

My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even [gulp…] hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home.

Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by.

Reach your arm out and put it around them.

And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them.

If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start.

Every. Single. Time.

Because what you’ll find, and I promise you this, is that the more you put your arm around those that you might naturally look down on, the more you will love yourself. And the more you love yourself, the less need you’ll ever have to find fault or be better than others. And the less we all find fault or have a need to be better than others, the quicker this world becomes a far better place to live.

And don’t we all want to live in a better world? Don’t we all want our kids to grow up in a better, less hateful, more beautiful world?

I know I do.

So let’s be that voice. Let’s offer that arm to others. Because, the honest truth is… there’s gonna come a day when you or I are going to need that same courtesy. There’s going to come a day that we are desperate for that same arm to be put around us. We’ll be desperate for that same friendship. We’ll be desperate for that same love.

Life will make sure of it. For you. For me. For everyone.

It always does because… as it turns out… there’s not a damn person on earth who’s perfect.


IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9070
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted July 30, 2017 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure what to think of that show What Would You Do? as a lot of reality shows are heavily scripted, or at least edited. As far as I can tell it's real without a lot of doctoring or fakery, and from what I've seen it makes me feel better about the world and humanity, though I don't let it affect me too much because if I did and then it turned out to be even somewhat fake then it would have the opposite effect on me, and make it even harder to believe in goodness in the future. (That aside, I wonder how ethical it is to run those shows, how potentially dangerous it is, and also note that they make some absurdly "in your face" situations which make a difference...even plenty of passive racists would not stand for in your face racists, for example, but that doesn't mean they're shining paragons of tolerance and justice.)

But anyway, the above reminded me of one in particular that I know he'd absolutely love. It takes place in a diner in which a pastor seemingly is brought in to "pray away the gay" in their son, and the son gets an overwhelming amount of support. My favorite was when a REAL minister goes to the parents and prays with them, preaching love for their son. And another woman who interrupted with, "God deal with the imperfect, not the perfect." Anyway, here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KVwRlqT8-k

IP: Logged

mirage29
Knowflake

Posts: 8278
From: us
Registered: May 2012

posted July 30, 2017 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mirage29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Acknowledging your thread.
I haven't read it all yet.

IP: Logged

mirage29
Knowflake

Posts: 8278
From: us
Registered: May 2012

posted July 31, 2017 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mirage29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
....

omg.... That youtube! Got me cryin' now. LOL!!

The last person summed up exactly what I thought while I read your posts.

We're not to 'judge'...
God is about LOVE.

Love one another!

I liked reading his basic general synopsis of each religion. He was 'off' on one of the facts-- but, that wasn't the point being made! LOL

The Muslim one was truly Beautiful...


....

(music) Love One Another (Bob Kauflin, takes its basis on Romans 12:9-21 and 13:8-10; perf Glad acapella group, 1989) [2:45] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UQJ9j61uEo

(music) Get Together (The Youngbloods, 1967, lyrics) [4:38] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53XyCbIJGKY

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 01, 2017 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think WWYD is a reality show (which are scripted). It's a hidden camera show. It's real.

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 02, 2017 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course, actors are used, though, and they have to get permission from those filmed before airing it.

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 03, 2017 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's been boring so far this season. Maybe they are running short on ideas?

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 04, 2017 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Watching it now!

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9070
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted August 10, 2017 10:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey mirage, it's a bit hard to explain why I think this belongs in this thread, but I mainly wanted to share it with you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-f9a5E-udY

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9070
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted August 26, 2017 01:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought this fit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-PX2Z4r-e4

God thinks all blacks are obsolete farm equipment
God thinks the Jews killed his son and must be punished
God thinks the white man is Satan

God, they know what God thinks

God thinks we should all convert to Judaism
God thinks we must all be Christians
God thinks we should all embrace Islam
God thinks the only true religion is Hinduism

and I, I know what God thinks
God thinks you're a waste of flesh
God prefers an atheist
God, God

God thinks all people like you are hateful
God thinks all people like you are an embarrassment to creation
Self righteous, judgmental, first to throw the stone
And you're using His name for your own protection

God thinks the sun revolves around the earth?
God thinks there was something very wrong with Copernicus
God thinks abortion is murder
And God thinks everything that science gave us is wrong
God thinks women deserve it
God thinks AIDS is a form of punishment
I hate people who blame the Devil for their own shortcomings
And I hate people who thank God when things go right

And I, I know what God thinks
God thinks you're an idiot
God prefers a heretic
God, God

God thinks all people like you are hateful
God thinks all people like you are an embarrassment to creation
Self righteous, judgmental, first to throw the stone
And you're using His name for your own agenda

God is a liberal, God is a Democrat, God wants you to vote Republican
Never trust a man who puts his words in the mouth of God and says it's absolute truth
It's lies and it smells like death
It's all in a days work, taking money from the poor
Why do you think that God would need your dirty money if He wants to start a holy war?
Self righteous, judgmental, first to throw the stone
And you're using His name for your own protection

God thinks puppies need to die
And God thinks babies need to drown
'Cause God is neither good nor bad
God is you and me
God is everything

x

Because some people misunderstand, I should point out he's not bashing God, nor is he to be taken literally or as someone telling you what God thinks. Sometimes he lets his thoughts slip in, but for the most part he's making tongue in cheek comments and mocking those who use God to justify hate and other evils, that is, they use God as a shield and justification, but it's not what God actually thinks. I'd think that as often as he contradicts himself that it would be obvious even if you didn't know he uses satire in his writings and songs a lot, but apparently not.

Some of the comments are worth reading as well, and surprising that the YT comment section doesn't seem to be filled with a lot of religion bashing or offended religious people.

And liked this one:

quote:
I think it's fairly obvious we all come to our own morality and political views independent of our religions, or lack thereof, and those who use God to defend their views are just projecting what they came up with on their own onto their ideal master of morality. It's pretty simple. If you hate homosexuals, you're gonna hate them whether or not you believe in god. If you hate liberals, you're gonna hate them whether or not you believe in a god. Etc. Etc.

In the long run, using your god to justify what you think is right or wrong is the equivalent of saying, "Well dad says I'm right so hah." That didn't work when we were kids, it doesn't work now.


Some fun comments, too, like this one:

quote:
God thinks, this song is awesome, and god thinks,,,
we should love a possum.

IP: Logged

mirage29
Knowflake

Posts: 8278
From: us
Registered: May 2012

posted August 27, 2017 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mirage29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi PJ... Just seeing this now. I haven't read or listened to anything yet. Give me a day or two..

*waves* Saying Hello.

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9070
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted August 27, 2017 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
*waves*

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 28, 2017 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
*two-handed wave*

IP: Logged

mirage29
Knowflake

Posts: 8278
From: us
Registered: May 2012

posted August 28, 2017 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mirage29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PixieJane:
Hey mirage, it's a bit hard to explain why I think this belongs in this thread, but I mainly wanted to share it with you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-f9a5E-udY

"The Good in her will be my Sunflower field"...

*hug*

I liked your Voltaire 'God thinks' too.. *thumbsup*

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 29, 2017 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mirage29:
"The Good in her will be my Sunflower field"...

*hug*

I liked your Voltaire 'God thinks' too.. *thumbsup*


IP: Logged

mirage29
Knowflake

Posts: 8278
From: us
Registered: May 2012

posted August 31, 2017 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mirage29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
....

(music) Flowers (India Arie) [3:53] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd6mEjHLvZo

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted September 01, 2017 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mirage29:
....

(music) Flowers (India Arie) [3:53] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd6mEjHLvZo


IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted September 02, 2017 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Love the flower hug!

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted September 03, 2017 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 84706
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted September 04, 2017 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hope that site stays in business.

IP: Logged

All times are Eastern Standard Time

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Linda-Goodman.com

Copyright 2000-2017

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a