Saturday, February 26, 2005

Religion as divider

My best friend called me yesterday to talk to me about how hard it is to find new friends. Tell me about it. Of course I'm a little peevish about her looking for new friends, but I did move away about 4 years ago so I guess it's bound to happen. Also, love and friendships are in that group of things for which there isn't a limited supply.

So she's been trying to meet other women who have Down's syndrome children. She's been having a hard time because where she lives most are Mormon, and she isn't. Her husband was raised Mormon but left the church before he met her. The Mormons kept coming by to get him to come back to the church. Eventually he told them that he was married, not interested, and his wife wasn't Mormon. The local Mormon church actually sent him a letter to tell him that his blessings had been rescinded. I had no idea you could revoke blessings.

Anyway, she met a new woman who also has a Down's baby and toddler and they took all their kids to the park. Everything was going well and somehow in someway sexuality came up and the woman informed her that the Bible is against homosexuality. I look up to my best friend Valerie exactly for what she did which was start questioning her.
Should the Bible always be taken literally?
Yes, it was written by G-d.
Then you shouldn't be doing x y and z which the old testament expressly forbids.
The Bible was written long ago. That was appropriate for that time.
But why should some things be exact and others modified?
Because it has always been wrong to be gay.

What the woman didn't know was that Valerie's brother is gay. It's hard to be friends with someone who thinks murders can go to heaven if they repent, but a gay man because he refuses to apologize for who he loves.

I wish religion wasn't so divisive. Our country is so divided right now among political lines, but I think it has more to do with religion. How can you get both sides to talk to each other when one side seems thinks the other is going to hell? I don't believe in hell, but I wouldn't wish that on anyone except murderers, rapists, and such truly evil people.

Tomorrow in my speech class I will speak on gay marriage. Simply put, I don't think religion should be part of it. A church can decide who it wants as its members and who it doesn't. A marriage in a church adds special meaning for the couple with faith, and a church can refuse to marry anyone. The state on the other hand should not discriminate against any consenting, unrelated adults. A marriage by the state offers legal protections. A marriage in a church and marriage by the state have the same name, but are not the same. Why then would the churches want to stop state weddings? It is not a love thy neighbor type of situation, that's for sure.


On other news, today was a busy day for Janie and I. She went to a sibling class at the hospital taught by one of those chirpy always happy and excited types of people. The video she showed was made at least 20 years ago, complete with the big 80's hair styles and infant car seats that faced forward. Then Janie and I went to a 6 year old's birthday party at the bowling alley. Janie would basically drop the ball straight down, then sit and watch as the ball slooooowly made its way down the aisle (gutters balls prevented by ingeneous rails). Then we went for haircuts and grocery shopping, then I went home and took a little nap. What a day. I wish I didn't have class all day tomorrow, I'd really like to rest.


Blogger Janis said...

Delurking to comment...

I also live in a predominatly Mormon place. Utah.

I too left the church years ago.

If your friend is in the same area, and would like to meet - I'd like that. I kind of feel like a square peg in a round hole at times. (okay almost all the time)

I have a sister who is a lesbian. I love her not in spite of who she is but because of who she is. All of her. That causes some problems with some I talk to. Add in losing a child to suicide and boy am I just a step away from getting deported.

I'm serious though, if we are close by each other and she needs a friend, I could use one too. :)

I hope this doesn't come off weird and stalkerish. LOL

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Catholic who believes exactly what you believe about gay marriage. The state sanctioned unions should have nothing to do with any religious connotation of what "marriage" means. Period. The government should offer equal rights/protections to ALL of it's citizens.

I myself was not married in my church, b/c my husband is profoundly anti-Catholic (so how did he end up with not one, but TWO wives who are Catholic?) Oh well.


6:29 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I agree with you on gay marriage. I don't believe that the state can deny civil unions, but the whole issue gets mixed up when people invoke God and marriage.
I personally believe that we will all have to answer for ourselves at the end. Maybe we should spend less time thinking about why our neighbors are going straight to hell.

As far as making new friends goes--seems nearly impossible after you reach a certain age. I hope I'm wrong about that.

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