I had a very interesting Sunday. I had a house full of guests. However, as exciting the day was, it brought some aggravation and disappointment. I also find it disappointing when conversations turn to the following:
My sister was discussing her church happenings. Her church is looking for a new paster so they've been inviting ministers to guest preach each Sunday,followed by an interview.That's a bit backwards to me, but I digress. Well she was discussing today's guest minister. Apparently he "seems" gay to her and fellow church mate. This was the start of a whole big discussion, which got me heated. My mother and sister are religious, but they are not of the same denomination. My sister is Baptist and is more vocal about her religion. My mother in nondenominational and she's not vocal but you can tell from her behavior and demeanor that she is. Both my mom and my sister do not believe in homosexuality in the church. They both are quick to say that there's nothing in the bible that approves homosexuality. So I'm going to try to write out this conversation as best as my memory can go.
Sister: so this new minister came today to guest preach and he was sweet
Sister: yeah, you know (fingers snapping in the formation if a "z") "hey"
Mom: oh you think he's gay
Sister: yeah, so we're not going to grant him an interview
Me: why not?
Sister: we do not believe in homosexuals in the church
Me: you have to interview him period
Me: that's discrimination if you don't. You must treat him the same way you would treat any other candidates
Sister: (gives me a quizzical look)
Me: yeah? A gay person can't believe in God?
Mom: which God do they believe in?
Nephew (who also attends the church): it's not that. He's just not a leader he needs more experience. He's needs to learn more about being a leader. He's just not ready.
Mom: see that is the proper answer (pointing to my sister) yours was not the correct answer
Me: personally, I don't care. As long as he's doing his job to the fullest, whatever he does in the privacy of his bedroom is no concern to me
Sister: he's not ready to lead and we can't have a gay minister. We don't believe in homosexuality
Me: you don't believe in having them in leadership role or part of the congregation?
Sister & Mom: in a leadership role
Me: you made it sound like all parts of the church
Niece (who also goes to the church): the church is very closed minded, when the youth at the church wants to do something, the elders of the church automatically shuts us down without even hearing us out
Sister: (clarifying) this church is an old church. It's over 50 years old. It was created by southerners
Me: do you have any white people in your congregation?
Niece: we've had a few but they are not regulars.
Me: southerners and old people tend to not be kind to interracial relationships, do you think they would accept Jason and myself?
Sister: I don't know
So this whole conversation made me look at my sister and the church a whole lot differently. My sister says she has no issues with gay people. She works with a lot of them and are really close friends to a lot. My mom also says she has no issues with gay people. I really don't know. I wonder how they both would've reacted if my niece or nephew came out as gay. Would they feel the same?
I remember a few years back, my sister came by and she told me that our cousin came out as a Lesbian. I said ok, a bit disinterested. She was a bit incredulous. She couldn't believe it. She was in shock. I didn't really care. My cousin is my cousin regardless of her sexual preference. I will treat her the same regardless. Nothing of importance has changed.
I believe in treating people as people and not by their sexual preference. Sexuality should not be basis in anything. Hell, it shouldn't even be an issue in the news. All people should be able to do anything they want; marriage, children, whatever. People should fall in love with whomever their heart quickens for. This discrimination will not allow for us to grow as people. It just makes us bitter, uncaring people.
Let us try to be tolerant of everyone. Let's make this world a better place for all to live.