BLOGPOST: What We Are For Is More Than What We Are Against

“You are anti-abortion and anti-gay,” she said, seeming to sum up my entire worldview. Five words to define me.
She knew me from brief classroom conversations and my writing, including my personal history as a reader. I wrote that history for her graduate class in literacy in 2006, before same sex marriage was a national argument. In it, I mentioned Bernard Nathanson’s book Aborting AmericaNathanson’s account of his journey from abortion doctor (his term) to pro-life advocate.
I included books I felt had shaped me. Nathanson’s had carved conviction for life into my heart.  But there was also William Barrett’s Lilies of the Field, the first book I remember reading because I wanted to, not because I had to. And Laurel Lee’s Walking through the Fire: A Hospital Journal, her story of single motherhood that I read before I embarked on a similar experience only without the threat of serious illness.
I had made no effort to hide my Christianity explaining the change it produced in my life had also changed my choice of reading materials. I hadn’t thought to include a couple books I had read on the Christian perspective about homosexuality. I had an opinion on the subject but not one that defined who I was. Nonetheless, my history as a reader was a woven trail that led to a complex me.
But she boiled me down to five words.
In that moment, I struggled to define myself. “I am more pro-life and pro-family,” I stammered.
With the clarity that comes all too often after an uncomfortable encounter, I can state that I am an advocate for human life in the womb and later (which is why ‘anti-abortion’ is an incomplete term to describe the pro-life perspective). And for me, speaking up on behalf of families has related more to the pain divorce causes than it has to the legality of same sex relationships.
But with my awkward self-definition still hanging in the air and my clearer definition to be formulated later on as I drove home, we moved on to the purpose of our meeting, a discussion of my work throughout the course. Her opinion of my views did not negatively affect her evaluation of my work. I suffered no injustice because she and I disagreed. We have since had other meetings, always pleasant.
She may consider me somewhat of a friend. If she does, I am her anti-abortion, anti-gay friend.
It’s hard to convince others that we deserve a label that  positively states a principle instead of one that negatively threatens to restrict a freedom. Rather than simply wanting to end women’s freedom to choose abortion, we want women to be free of the nightmare memories of having killed their own children, free from the physical ramifications, such as infertility that sometimes result from abortion. We do care for mother, child, father, siblings, grandparents.
We want to be free from the sin of not speaking up on behalf of the innocent.
We also want to be free from the sin of not speaking up on behalf of the family. It is our duty to speak up in favor of children having two parents of opposite sexes. We want people’s relationships to be holy and healthy. Even if there are those who disagree with us. Even if we would rather not, Even if they call us hateful bigots.
It is our duty to speak up on behalf of holiness and to do so in love.
We may not be able to change the opinions of those who disagree with us, of those who put wrong labels on us. But the burden is not on those who look at us through a skewed worldview lens. It is on us to show love, speak love, live the love of Christ, so that they see Him instead of us.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

0 Replies to “BLOGPOST: What We Are For Is More Than What We Are Against”

  1. You are right that what we are for is more important than what we are against, but in your case what you are against poisons what you are for. You claim to be pro-family, but you condemn people in love forming families, simply because we are gay.
    Is this hate? Well, yes. You would have us deny who we are, deny the way we relate to others, and be celibate and alone. If its results are the same as hate’s, than it is Hate. You Hate, whatever you think about your attitude to me.
    And so your hate vitiates what you claim to be for. You cannot be for Christ, because of your hate.
    May God save you from your delusions about gay people. Stop rejecting God’s good creation, and turn to Christ!

    1. I love enough to speak truth. Celibate isn’t always alone. I had a time of alone and celibate. God helped me through. You choose to define hate as ‘anyone who disagrees with me.’ That is a fallacy. God bless you with tolerance for those who disagree with you.

      1. If it were mere disagreement, it would not matter. It is hate. Judge yourself by the results of the thinking of you, and those like you. Failed marriages of people forced to deny their sexuality. Homelessness of young people rejected by their parents. Suicide. All your fault, and that of those who parrot the same evil that you do. Not disagreement. Hate. You hate our very essence, so that you deny it exists, and we suffer because of your hate. Wake up, and turn to Christ!

        1. I’m not sure how you can insist that I hate when you don’t know what is in my heart. I will own that the Church, me included, needs to be the Church more. I love the homeless; I give to them. I support the food pantry that a local Catholic church sponsors. I work with others in my church to help those in need.
          I have been poor and hungry. I have a passion for the poor and hungry.
          I have not walked in your shoes, but I have walked a troublesome journey.
          Perhaps you think my life is only about ‘hating’. I do not deny for one minute what your essence is. You seem to want to deny that mine can embrace a loving desire to speak truth.
          I love you. I see you as an eternal, sacred soul. You are not my enemy. He commands you to love me, even if you believe I am your enemy.
          He tells us that love “is patient, love is kind” (I Cor 13: 4a).
          My call (the purpose of my blog) to the Church is to love each other, to love those outside the Church. In my as yet unpublished book, I criticize the Church for not being more accepting of gay people. We need to minister to people with this essence (your term). You need to feel loved and treasured.
          But if I am committing a sin, the Church needs to talk to me about it. Christians need to love you and me. Love isn’t always going to say, “Here’s just who you are. Go ahead and act on that.”
          Love says, “Come as you are and we can work to glorify God together.”
          I am praying for you. You may never come to see that I love you.
          May He help you see holiness. May He help me live it too.

          1. Thank you for proving my point. You hate me so much, that you deny my very being. You imagine that I am made in the image of a homophobic God, and that the reality, which the real God created and saw was good, is mere sin.
            You deny God’s good creation. You tell people it is sin. You blaspheme. You hate me, whether or not you imagine that you “love” some impossible simulacrum that you would demand that I be.
            How dare you imagine that I see holiness less than you? You do not know what you pray. If you “lived holiness”, you would not preach hate like in your last comment.

          2. What you call “a loving desire to speak truth” is an abominable desire to deny, denigrate and destroy what God calls good. By your fruits I know you.

          3. I’ll keep loving and praying for you. I hope you can find a way to let go of your anger. Know me by my fruits. And read the Word and what it says about how we are to live. Blessings to you.

          4. When you are not angry with the persecutors, you join the persecution. God has made your heart dull, and blinded your eyes, or you would turn and hear the truth. What you call “love” is abomination.

          5. You wanted me to “see Christ rather than [you]”. I do, I assure you. Christ is my saviour. Beside Christ, you are nothing. All your hatred, all your will towards my destruction, all your lies dripping false sweetness, are nothing.

  2. In point of fact, we have defined ourselves by our knee-jerk reactions to the issues of the day. In typically human fashion, we choose to focus on the negative rather than the positive. When we look at, for example, the 10 Commandments, we tend to look at what we are forbidden, rather than what we are being saved from. Eve did the same in the garden of Eden: rather than focus on all the fruits of which she had ample choice, she focused on the one tree that was forbidden to her. Our children do the same, and often when people are contemplating “becoming a Christian,” their focus is on what they will “have to give up.” When limits are proscribed by a holy God, He does so for our benefit and protection, not to deprive us of some pleasure or happiness. Had we from the outset defined ourselves as pro-life, pro-family, pro-whatever, we might be seen in a more positive light.

    1. It’s blindness from Satan that tells us we will miss out instead of reaping the benefits of abstinence. And that abstinence is from stealing, killing, coveting, and worshiping the wrong things. Oh, and sexual immorality. He wants to bless us if we will get out of our own way so He can.

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