Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Choose to Love


I saw a beautiful poster on my Facebook feed, so like a child I went to go look at it.

Over 700 hundred people on this Facebook group page "liked" this quote and over 400 had positive comments to say about it.

And I looked around at the page I found myself, it was called "Wipeout Homophobia On Facebook."

I saw other posters and quotes being shared like:


And this one:




I saw a young man that had been brutally beaten... his video taken after being attacked and others felt compelled to rally around wanting this kind of cruelty to stop. I understood. 

But then I thought... the people on this page believe and hold dear a different principle - a core belief - that is opposite of mine. And both can not be embraced as truth for one person. For if you believe one to be true, the other is false. Both could be false, but both could not be true... my more logical reasoning friends will recognize this as one of the first basic types of arguments in the study of logic and debate.

But I continue to think, being the thinking person God created me to be. 

Is it possible for one person to love and respect another, to honor and give another the freedom to choose what they believe? In choosing to believe differently, does the other person's beliefs wipeout what I believe? Or if my chosen beliefs are different, do my beliefs wipeout what another person chooses? 


Since without that choice, are not we simply forcing others to believe as we do? 


Can two people who believe differently, whose life truths are mutually exclusive, still love and respect each other enough to not force them to conform to the other's beliefs? 


Is this not really what we all desire? ...to be able to "hold true" to our faith without being persecuted, oppressed, attacked. Can you love a person who believes differently than you do? Can you accept them and not hurt them?

Can I believe the Biblical principle that marriage is between one man and one woman? And at the same time, can another believe the cultural principle that  marriage is  between two men or two women? And if we both believe differently, is it possible for us to mutually love and respect each other, to honor and give each the freedom to choose what they believe without forcing others to believe as we individually do or without offensively shoving it in their face?

Is it possible - in love- to still remain "true" to our own life principles and allow others to remain "true" to what they believe without criticizing, belittling or making a judgement on the person. (Of course, we make an inner judgement on the belief, we know we believe absolutely differently, but does that make us have to be hateful or even to want to respond in disgust?)

Do this compromise my faith... what I believe? If I am allowed to have my beliefs and to openly express them. And just the same, allow others to have their believes and openly express them.

Does this compromise God and His principles? If God's principles can't be changed, and God never wants anyone to be forced to believe. He wants us to choose by freewill. Are we able to believe differently, and remain kind-hearted?

If God wants there to be a choice, will there not be different beliefs to choose from? How can you have a choice if everyone is under the compulsion to parrot back and embrace one belief?

So I, stepping out into the space of making myself a vulnerable target, posed this question on the "Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook page":

Can I ask a question without being attacked?

 I think most people would agree that everyone should be who God created them to be, that if we all sadly find ourselves victims of bitterness, ignorance and insecurities. Everyone should know and feel loved! It is a beautiful life when we can be brave enough to listen to the still and quiet voice inside our head. I totally embrace all of this and desire it in my life, and for all others. And I totally don't agree with or would I stand by and let anyone be bullied or beat or mistreated. I would hope no one would allow this to happen to me.
Here is my question: Do we all have to agree to have the same principles? Is it OK for you to have one voice speaking in your head what you embrace and another voice speaking in my head? If we believe in different principles does it make us enemies? Or do we only become enemies when we force others to embrace what we hold dear? Can we not respect each other enough in our humanitiy to be different and to not have to change others? 
We can each speak and share what we believe, what we love. We can openly share how we see life and how we have experienced pain, rejection, forgiveness, acceptance and love without being cutting, nasty, mean or cruel to another? Is this a possibility? Are do we, must we, confess to believe what we do not just so that another doesn't feel rejected? If you called me names... mad fun of me... attacked me personally, would you not be guilty of the same thing which you so profess to be against? 
Love knows no boundaries. We should be able to offer everyone love. Even when it is hard, even when we are hurt, even when we are bullied. Because abuse and bullying knows no limits or focus groups or direction... we can - as humans - all be targeted by another's bitterness, anger and hurt.
But to live by love... for love to mean acceptance of another person (period) not acceptance of their inner core beliefs, but acceptance enough to allow them to be fully who they are inside and express it outside. Is not this what you are asking for yourself? 
I may be simple minded, a child in heart, but I can't see why we can't love one another, be kind to each other, accept each other and not push our own beliefs in the face of another or not allow another to determine what they genuinely believe. Isn't that decision, the ability to chose, what makes us human? 
I choose to love, accept and not willfully hurt or purposely offend other people. I choose to treat others with respect as I also wish I could be treated. I choose to allow others to make core principle decisions for themselves. I choose to be who I am created to be and to stand unafriad of my beliefs. I choose to love! 
What do you choose? Do we all give each other the ability to choose?

_____________________________________________________

I have not heard back and don't know if my response or post will be removed from the page. But I could not help but ask, since I cannot help but want everyone to know that they are loved! 

Romans 8:5 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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