To the editor: Gov. Beverly Perdue stated that passing the marriage amendment makes North Carolina look like Mississippi?
I say that accepting homosexual marriages would have made us look more like pagan Rome!” — Carol Jaeger, Blue Ridge Now in a letter to the editor
As of late, I have been thinking of Meshach Taylor who played Anthony Bouvier on the CBS comedy series “Designing Women.” Whenever the ladies of the show had a question about the black community, they would turn to him. In turn, his response would start with something along the lines of, “Speaking for the entire African American community…,” with such sarcasm dripping from his voice as if he was publicly question why his one opinion was going to be the word for an entire population.
That’s been me as of late as I have been asked numerous times to put my sexual orientation (not to mention gay marriage) into perspective with my Christian upbringing and what is now classified as “spiritual, not religious” beliefs.
I go back to Matthew 19:14 where Jesus says to suffer the children unto him for they shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Nowhere does he exclude anyone from this teaching by race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation.
At the same time, I refer people back to some of the other rules and laws the Bible decreed that people don’t pay attention to:
If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. ~ Deuteronomy 25:11-12
Any person who curseth his father or mother must be killed ~ Leviticus 20:9
If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be cut off from their people ~ Leviticus 20:18
People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God ~ Leviticus 21:17-18
Stubborn children were to be stoned, and the stoning was to be instigated by their parents ~ Deuteronomy 21:18-21
False prophets are to be killed by their own parents ~ Zechariah 13:3
If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property ~ Exodus 21:20-21
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives ~ Deuteronomy 22:28-29
Of course, my favorite biblical laws command that you cannot eat shrimp as it has neither fins nor scales or bacon because a pig is cloven hoofed and chews its cud. I am reminded of a vampire themed play by Duncan Pflaster called “Suckers” where the head vampire question one person by asking “Do you eat bacon? Do you eat shrimp? Do you eat bacon wrapped shrimp?”
Long story short, you can’t pick and choose which biblical teachings you want to follow and which are bunk. Most importantly, those who are most heated in their anger and rhetoric are forgetting and not living by the two most important biblical commandments:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
It has been one week since what I once mentally termed the “Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day” when I took a wrecking ball to the facade I had created for myself and destroyed it for good.
I cried for three, four days in a row… not straight through mind you, because I would be dehydrated, but many a tear was shed. Then I woke up Sunday morning and I noticed something. I felt lighter. I felt more aware. The burdens and shackles I had placed on myself by living in shame and fear of not living up to the expectations of being the “Golden Child/Boy/Man/Person” to everyone was gone. And everyone (as far as I can tell) is still here. The world didn’t come to an end, I didn’t melt like the Wicked Witch of the West, and I received an amazing amount of love and support - sometimes from unexpected quarters, but given openly, freely, and with no expectation of anything but giving me a shoulder to lean on in that moment.
What I once thought was a moment of weakness by exposing the dark underbelly of who I was has made me so much stronger than I ever imagined. It wasn’t the Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day.
It was a new birthday. The day I reclaimed me.