Monday, January 17, 2011

Just What I Think

I've been disturbed lately. Well, by lately I mean the last few years or so.

Disturbed by loving, devout, wonderful people who love God and Jesus and his word and use their interpretation of that word as a hammer. Or a measuring stick upon which they judge others.

Here are a few examples of things that have disturbed me:

1. I have a friend that I genuinely like and think well of. She believes that no "good" mormon (since that's what we are) could be a Democrat. Now, I'm not a registered Democrat, but neither am I a Republican and I certainly can't understand members of the LDS church who follow the Republican party the way they follow the prophet.

2. My sister's roommates told her that since she voted for Obama that she was a "baby killer". I voted for Obama. And as far as I can tell I love babies and think they should be given the chance at life.

3. A kid in my sunday school class said that since the demise of "don't ask don't tell" that he wouldn't risk his life for a gay member of his platoon. If, that is, he ever joined the armed forces and there was a gay man in his platoon and they were in a life-and-death situation.

To which I responded: "Even if this gay man was a good man? An honest, hard working and loyal soldier who would be willing to risk his life for yours?"

Then another boy piped in and said "No gay man could be a good man. That's a contradiction in terms."

I was flabbergasted. How could he think that one facet of a person's identity completely defined him and negated all his other qualities?

Yes, the scriptures say homosexuality is a sin. But they also say that we should love our neighbors like ourselves. When we hate a person for something he is how is that any different from hating the Savior? "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Right? Don't we believe that part of the Bible too?

What about the bit about "judge not that ye be not judged"?

And don't forget that when the Savior was asked what the most important commandment was he replied "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Now I don't know about you, but I believe that God created all of us. And I believe that he loves all of us. ALL of us. Not just middle-class Christian White Americans like me. He loves the Jews. He loves Muslims. He loves Blacks. He loves fat people. He loves homosexuals. He loves Republicans. He loves the French. He loves the poor. He loves drug addicts. He loves porn stars. He even loves those Enron guys, Dick Cheney, and Bernie Madoff.

I don't have a lot of answers. And I'm sure glad that I'm not the one to judge the wrongful actions of others. But this much I know: I am to love my neighbor as myself. I am to refrain from judgment. I am to worry about the kind of person I am and the way that I treat others. Anything that divides us as the children of Christ ought to be eschewed. We ought to be One.

So when I support gay marriage and any other legislation that protects the civil liberties of my brothers and sisters under Christ, don't judge me.

And I'll try to return the favor.

For additional reading of one of the most thoughtful and articulate essays I've ever read, check this out.


Gentrey said...

You can't be a Democrat and a Mormon? I wonder if President Faust (and numerous other church leaders) are/were aware of that.

Maren, we need to go to lunch because I would love to discuss many of these concepts with you...90% of which I agree on with you.

Anyway, good post.

Susan said...

God ESPECIALLY loves fat people.

JaeReg said...

But does He REALLY love the French? I hear they are . . . you know, mean.
He probably, definitely loves French pastries though.

You are bold Maren.

Josh & Kimberlee said...
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shelley said...

AMEN sister.

LOL at Jess. I thought the exact same thing. But Dick Cheney? I don't know....

Jennifer said...

Wow! I bet that made for a memorable Sunday school lesson.

I often get frustrated with the anger and fear surrounding such topics. I, too, have been told that no good mormon could be a democrat. That makes no sense to me.

Anyway, loved the post and found that essay you linked powerful, moving, and laugh out loud funny all at once. I have much to think about after reading it.

Thank you for bringing this up.

shelley said...

by the way, thanks for the link to Mamastery. Did you read her post about Namaste? Hilarious!

Jennifer said...

Shelley, I just read Namaste and was pretty much laughing through tears! It was so funny and incredibly insightful.

May we all be bowling monkees!

Yes, Maren, thanks for the intro to Momastery.

Dana said...

Love this!

Rebecca Jensen said...

Thank you for this post!

Bryan Jensen said...

Thanks for standing up against the status quo! It's become epidemic among many religious communities who claim to follow Jesus that they seem more enthused about the US becoming a militant, prejudicial, crusading "Christian Nation" than being more Christ-centered.

It's one thing to see some politicians and media figures exploiting these fears for their benefit. It's an altogether different matter when a faith community isn't a safe place for polite disagreement on subjects like this. My experience is that there's a lot more diversity than appears, but a loud minority thinks it has orthodoxy on its side and drowns out dissenting opinions from having their place at the Table of the Lord. Sadly many turn away from that Table altogether.

A book I've been intending to read is "Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality" by Michael Spencer. I've been a regular reader of his blog ( for years, but haven't yet read the book that he didn't live to see printed. God be praised for Michael's heart for Jesus, biblical-rootedness and boldness, even if in blogger fashion he could be a ranter at times. :-)

Alison Coombs said...

Great post Maren! Although this is coming from an LDS member who is also a democrat and also supports gay marriage because I believe it is a civil right.