It’s true; I woke up at 4 this morning, in tears, and was completely unable to fall back asleep after remembering the content of a very touching and devastating and maddening article that I read on the internet yesterday evening. I woke up with these fictional scenarios playing over and over in my mind and wanted to share them “with the world”.
Here we go.
Scenario 1: I love animals, and I have been a vegetarian my entire life — initially, it was for religious purposes, and then, as I aged, I continued the lifestyle out of deep love and respect for the furry creatures of this world (and, also, for health’s sake). Because of my great love for animals and disdain for eating animal flesh (and also because, in these fictional scenarios, I have absolute authority on planet earth to command all things), I am officially placing a ban on preparing meat, storing meat, AND eating meat. That’s right: no more tasty steaks, filet mignons or roast beef on sourdough for you. There is to be no more barbecue on the grill or fried bologna and cheese sandwiches in your lunch box. You heard me right; that means no more fried chicken. Prosecutors WILL be imprisoned, tortured, and even, possibly, destroyed.
Do I have your attention now?
Scenario 2: I believe that our bodies are temples — whether out of religious thought or otherwise, I believe that the human body is holy and pure. Tattoos and piercings, therefore, seem highly inappropriate to me, as they modify and mar what is an already perfect human body, and most of them are, honestly, ugly — so I am placing a ban on these, too; no more tattoos and no more piercings. Those who already have tattoos engraved onto their bodies MUST COMPLY with my new command by having them painfully removed no later than March 31st, 2015, and anyone who seeks to obtain a new tattoo (be it their first or otherwise) during this interim time period will be punished (again, by imprisonment, torture, and even leading up to death). Anyone with piercings must also remove their studs/rings/”items” immediately so that their bodies can heal and become, once again, whole and pure.
We’ll continue with one more.
Scenario 3: I like to attend church on Thursday, and Thursday only. Maybe I’ve somehow found my basis in the Bible or the Koran or, quite possibly, it’s just a day that suits my fancy, but regardless, that is the day that I have chosen is most appropriate to gather and worship upon; it is the only day that I deem fitting. So, from here forward, I officially and proudly declare that there are to be NO church gatherings on Saturdays, Sundays, OR Wednesdays, and in addition to this, everyone must share my conviction that Thursday is the best day – the most appropriate day – to worship upon, and they must then join me in my communion with The Divine.
So how do you feel about all of the changes that I’ve made so far? You like them? You agree with them? You’re actually very excited about them? Excellent! I’ve got just a few more to throw in to the mix for you.
Addition 1 (Scenario 4): I hate rap music. And country. And metal. The only musical genres that I like are folk and industrial (they are, in truth, quite different from each other, but for some odd reason, I find them both appealing). So, from this day onward, rap, country, metal, ROCK and all contemporary christian/gospel music is to be banned (this includes CD’s, cassettes, records, live performances and any recorded videos that contain audio born from any of these genres). Any violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (and this includes all parties to private, unrecorded gatherings where live or recorded music is played that is in affiliation to these banned genres as well as anyone who is found to be fostering CD’s, cassettes, records, etc as “antiques”).
Addition 2 (Scenario 5): It seriously bothers me — how much importance people place on appearances. Make-up, fancy clothing, expensive shoes, waxing services, nail salons… goodness, the list just goes on; the amount of money that is spent on all of these things could surely be better spent otherwise, don’t you think? I think so — so, starting today, I am banning all of these items, services and, for lack of a better word, things (as well as the existence of any establishment that would, either in whole or in part, facilitate or promote these things). Anyone seen wearing make-up, fancy clothing, nice shoes or manicured nails will be prosecuted. Also: no one should be wasting their time shaving body hair, as it requires either a waxing kit, razor and shaving cream, or other cutting instrument/aid, and this is not only costly (in reference to obtaining one of the aforementioned necessary resources), but it is a sheer waste of time. Any woman (or man) who is discovered to have shaved themselves will be publicly humiliated and prosecuted.
I think that, for now, we’ve added on enough levels of insanity for you to feel very uncomfortable, very angry, and very indignant.
“Who on EARTH died and made YOU boss? How are the things you’re talking about even relevant — or even up to you?! Shaving? Country music? Going to church on Thursday, and NO CHIK FIL A? Really???????”
Well, dear fellow (but inferior/subservient) human, let me explain: as a human being, I have developed, over time, either from my own personal observations and studies or from my relatives and ancestors, certain theories, principles, and morals that I have committed myself to live by, and all of the things that I have made commandments out of are simply these things in solid form: the well-established and well thought out principles and morals that I believe everyone should live by. I feel very strongly about these things; I promise, I am being 100% genuine. And rather than chance that some of you may not agree with me or follow my example, I decided to make following along with my personal convictions law so that you can do nothing otherwise.
“But how does me listening to rock music or painting my nails affect you? How is that something that you have the authority to govern?”
I believe in the wrongness of those things so firmly that I am doing it in your best interest. Seeing your painted nails or hearing, in passing, your rock music playing on your car radio or home stereo could potentially offend me, as it would go against my convictions; now, there is no need for me to worry about these things.
Are you convinced?
Would you accept my rules, purely on the basis that I was well-intentioned and lived this way myself and just thought that it then stood to reason that I could make everyone else do so too, simply because of my conviction and my sincerity?
IF you would NOT accept these rules, congratulations; you are a rational human being.
If you would, and if you think that I am justified and am being reasonable, you are the danger of this world.
Now, I’m heading back into reality and I’ll try to explain this freak-show of a blog post to you.
I read an article last night (you can read it here if you would like, and I strongly recommend that you do… every single word), and here’s the gist of it: a teenaged girl (a transgender; she was born, physically, as a boy) felt so hated and unaccepted by her parents and so unloved and humiliated by her friends that she walked into the path of an oncoming truck and killed herself. On Sunday. Less than a week ago and in the 21st century.
You hear stories of suicides in the news almost every day (way too often), and they’re all very heartbreaking to read, but this particular incident truly devastated me and left me feeling very, very troubled. Why? Like all suicides, it simply didn’t need to happen. It was so incredibly preventable and the circumstances surrounding the girl’s death were so very cruel; she was, years after coming out and after continually and constantly trying to accept herself, left feeling understandably depressed that life could never be normal for her; that she would never be accepted by others (including her freaking horrible parents) and that her love for the same sex would never be reciprocated — that death was her only out.
And reading this article made me cry and made me very angry. Why are we harassing people over their sexuality? Still? Why are we assuming that we have the authority to tell someone who has the body of a boy but the heart and soul of a girl that they must conform to their physical container and that they cannot pursue the image, personality and sexuality that they feel inside?
Why are we still torturing gays and denying them their freedom to live their lives the way that they choose to?
I have heard every single maddening argument from the other side – most of them, sadly, from the christian world – and I do declare, the next person to tell me that gays cannot be gay or marry gay because THEY believe that it is wrong is going to make me scream in frustration. And vomit. And cry. Literally. Please do not be so narrow minded:
IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN and YOU BELIEVE THAT BEING GAY IS WRONG, DON’T.BE.GAY.
Hearing Christians says that “gay people are always pushing their gayness on me” drives me up the wall — what exactly do you mean? Is a gay person literally pushing their gayness on you? Are they repeatedly coming on to you and trying to force you to be in a relationship with them, or are you simply talking like an idiot because gay people are fighting for their basic freedom TO LIVE as gay people? Which is it? Determine what you are trying to say and then use the proper words to explain yourself and communicate your thought. Thank you. Truly; people making a big deal about GAY PEOPLE MAKING A BIG DEAL ABOUT BEING GAY is driving ME insane; if my own, personal, basic FREEDOM of CHOOSING WHO I AM GOING TO LOVE AND MARRY was being threatened or persecuted, you better believe that I would be making a scene of it, too. What do you expect them to do? Grant them their God-given freedom to choose who they are going to love, marry and live with (BECAUSE WE ALL POSSESS FREE WILL; NOT JUST YOU) and watch the scene disappear. BOOM. It is as simple as that, and it is a travesty, a horrid blot on our time period, that we are still having to talk about this.
Tell me this: did you choose to be a Christian, out of love for God and because of sincere, personal conviction, or were you forced to? What does it say in the Bible? “Follow me or go to hell? I love you; love me back or die?” Pretty much, but more than this, it says “come unto me.” It is an invitation.
And let me just pause to say — if I received an invitation to a wedding, or baby shower, and took it as a true invitation and then declined (due to extenuating circumstances or just honest disinterest), if the soon-to-be bride or mother then came to my house and hacked me to death with a rake or chainsaw, I would be very surprised. “But you said I didn’t have to come?” …topic for another day. We’ll move on, but you get the point: choosing God (and Christianity and, if you interpret it this way, not being gay) is just that: a choice. He does not force your hand; he, theoretically, invites you to take his hand.
So then, we’ve established that – again, theoretically – God does not force anyone to follow him; IT IS an invitation. If YOU accepted that invitation, you have agreed to live YOUR life according to the principles and morals outlined in the Bible — yes? Good; we’re on the same page then. That is excellent, and I truly admire your strength of conviction and your commitment to following, living and embodying what you believe in. Please; love your God and be an example to those around you.
BUT WHERE ON EARTH HAVE YOU GOTTEN THE ILL-INFORMED IDEA THAT, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOW A CHRISTIAN WHO BELIEVES IT’S WRONG TO BE GAY, NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD CAN BE GAY?
If your OWN GOD did not FORCE ANYONE to follow Him (and, following this point, HIS PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS outlined in the Bible), how on earth do you find it appropriate to usurp his power and to declare that the marriage of gays is illegal? And that, more informally, gay people just shouldn’t be allowed to be gay at all?
If it’s not with your words, it’s with your silence; and if it’s not with your words or silence, it’s with your rude stares, your judgmental gazes, and your painfully insensitive jokes with family members and friends. If you are disrespecting and humiliating and denying the BASIC, “GOD-GIVEN” FREEDOMS of another human being, WHO IS ENDOWED WITH THE SAME FREE WILL THAT YOU HAVE, you are the danger to this world. You have no true love. You have no true understanding. You are the problem.
So, to recap, I am actually a vegetarian, yes; but I do not go to church at all and I love tattoos. It’s true that I can’t stand country music, but I would never place a ban on it (?!). It’s also true that I haven’t worn make-up or painted my nails in years, and I actually do not-so-secretly think that the money
wasted spent on these things could possibly be spent better otherwise, but does that mean that I want these items banned? Make-up, nail polish, rap music and going to church on Saturdays or Sundays? Certainly not — and I honestly, probably waste an equivalent amount of money on ice cream and pie each month that men/women spend on make-up and nail polish, so..
if, after reading all of this passionate and somewhat insane mumbo jumbo that was written at 4 in the morning, you leave with any new thoughts, please let it be this:
It is okay to be a christian, or to not be a christian. It is wonderful to live YOUR life according to your beliefs and by adhering to the standards that you have elected are now yours. HOWEVER; do not confuse GRANTING OTHERS FREEDOM to live their lives according to THEIR convictions and beliefs with condoning their behavior; letting others use their free will IS NOT A VIOLATION OF YOUR PRINCIPLES. AS A CHRISTIAN, if you accept and recognize that a gay person has just as much a right to be gay as you have a right to be straight, and if you can allow your local government or state or country or WORLD to say, “this gay person can live how they want and get married if they’d like to and they should suffer no condemnation or humiliation from it,” then you have achieved something big. You have stepped out of the long line that is filled with the bigots, idiots, and many of the ignorant fools of this world and you have achieved enlightenment: you cannot make personal and religious decisions for others; it is their choice, not yours.
Before capping off this post, I have to congratulate my Facebook friends; I shared the link referenced above (many paragraphs ago) online last night after feeling very affected from reading the article, and trust me; I was prepared for an onslaught of Bible quotes, ignorant comments and more — the whole typical flood of negativity. But what really surprised me (pleasantly) was the number of Christians (who I personally know do not believe in the morality of homosexuality) sharing their sorrow for what had happened and stating how the parents of the child should have been more supportive of her, regardless of the girl’s choices; some Christians even defended the girl on scientific grounds and even more expressed that morality was a matter that should have been (at her age) just between God and the girl herself. I was very proud of my friends and I was glad that we could all agree on this one simple, irrefutable and all-essential point: that people are free to make choices, and that, regardless of those choices, they should be loved, respected, and accepted. (I would like to include an actual screen shot of both the post and the comments related to it, but out of respect for the privacy of these friends and family members, I am going to refrain from doing so.)
If you made it this far, I sincerely thank you for your time, and please feel free to share your feedback by posting a comment below. Virtually everyone in this world has an agenda of some kind, and I am proud to say that I do not — I only have this: I love all people, and one of the most basic human rights is choosing who you will love. Those who try to take this right away are the true danger of this world, and I will always fight for equality and freedom.
Sincerely sincere and somewhat exhausted (it is now 6:47 am),