Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a new civil rights movement…part 2

so i know that i said in my next post in this series that i would discuss the separation of church & state...it's coming, but something has been pressing my heart more lately. we as a church, and me as an individual, have talked about the need to put a face to this fight/movement/"issue." this movement is about human beings - not religion, not faith, not legislation. it is about people made in the image of God, children of God equal and loved in His eyes...just not apparently in the eyes of a majority of His followers.

john smulo posted about our billboard and emailed me a note of encouragement. this led to him asking if i would do an interview. the entire interview can be viewed here, but i wanted to post a relevant part of it:

John: In one of our emails you said something that you wished people would stop talking about this as an “issue”, and instead see that they are actual people that are impacted here. Can you expand what you mean by this?

Alex: There was a very real sense for me, and several members of our community, that the Prop 8 campaign was very “us vs. them.” The gay agenda is out to corrupt children, destroy the church, break up families....which is all false. When we first got a postcard at our offices about The Call at Qualcomm, our volunteer coordinator (straight, 19 yo female) immediately wanted to be there with a group of people wearing shirts that said, “I am the face of those you hate.” She felt the need to put a face to this fight. If they say we are out to destroy families and corrupt children, what about the countless straight families who brought their kids to the candlelight vigil? What about the young girl standing on the sidewalk during an equal rights march with a sign that says, “I love my two mommies”? This “issue” within the church does have scholarship and texts to understand...but it is also real human beings made in the image of God earnestly seeking to live a life more like Christ. And outside of the church it is real human beings with the created need for companionship who are wanting to COMMIT to one another in devoted love, and that is something that should be celebrated. Beyond that, I could spend a few pages talking about the need for the separation of church and state and legislating morality (see my blog for more thoughts on that).

From my experience, many conservative Christians do not have relationships with gay & lesbian men and women, or they do and don’t know that their friends are gay. When someone close to them comes out, they are forced to deal with real life, not just words and arguments. Look at the story in Acts of the Church in Antioch...the Gentiles who were choosing to follow Jesus were being asked to subscribe to Jewish laws and customs, but Paul presented the fact that without living under that law they were still showing signs and fruit of the Spirit. The Council of Jerusalem could not argue with the living proof of God’s presence in their lives. When you begin to deal with people instead of an “issue” it does get messy, but you have the opportunity to learn from their experience and witness the presence of God in their lives...or in the context outside of the church you see couples that have been together 20+ years who simply want to have their commitment recognized and be afforded the same rights as straight couples, rights as basic as hospital visitation. Throughout Scripture we see how God constantly sought to redeem people not an institution. Jesus was about people not about religion.

i challenge all of us to remember that we, on both sides of this "issue," are dealing with real live human beings - with brains, lives, emotions, experiences...if you are reading this and don't know someone directly affected by this movement (which i would honestly find hard to believe), then check out this link and see the faces of many - gay and straight - who are simply asking to be treated as an equal...as a human being. ~aroll

1 comment:

John Smulo said...

Thank you again for doing the interview. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for what you guys are doing. Hope to meet in person one day.