While skimming Facebook yesterday, amid all of the Chick-fil-A squabbling, I happened upon a note written by one of my former teachers. She is a heterosexual Christian woman, a middle school teacher, and in her own words, a jack of all trades. I think you may enjoy hearing her perspective on this week’s events. Her article is posted below, with her permission. Enjoy!
Opinions… Like Behinds, Everyone Has One. Well, Here’s Mine.
by Holly Ross
I apologize in advance for those I’m going to offend….please stop reading if it offends you. That’s your right, just as it’s mine to state my opinion on the matter. Seems that everyone is exercising that Freedom of Speech right lately. I’m not trying to stir controversy, but sitting back saying nothing is not always the best plan. I’ve tried hard to ignore all the hoopla on facebook/news regarding Chick fil A. But obviously, I haven’t been able to do that very well. Those who know me well will understand that.
First, I love Chick fil A, (who’s making a lot of bank deposits today!) regardless of what anyone in the company says. They’re the best fast food around…polite, and correct most of the time! They have the right to exercise freedom of speech (and, according to one post I read, Obama is trying to take that away…REALLY?! He’s going to change the Bill of Rights??) And I’m not trying to get into a ‘scripture debate’. I can pull things from the Bible to support my thoughts with the best of ’em. But I digress.
My real point here relates to the subject of gays… I, a heterosexual Christian woman, have gay friends. And family. GASP! I’m not a betting woman, but I bet if I asked any one of them if they could CHOOSE to be gay, the answer would be no. Who in their right mind would subject themselves to the scrutiny and judgement afforded to those who are gay? I choose to be skinny, but I’m not. I eat too much on a regular basis, committing the sin of gluttony willingly. I’m not going to protest Weight Watchers or Body by Vi.
Now, I want to share a story. One of my very best friends in the whole world is gay. We’ve been friends for years, but she only told me this about a year ago. Did I know before then? Yes. But it was never discussed. I’m guessing fear of being judged prevented that discussion. And I’m sorry she worried about that. It didn’t affect our friendship at any time. I didn’t really care, and didn’t dwell on it. Still don’t. I love her, my family loves her. And she loves us. Unconditionally. She knows what the bible says. She attends church more regularly than I do. No one needs to tell her what it says. It’s not my job to judge her, or anyone for that matter. Nor is it anyone’s job here on earth to judge others. Period. She’s done more for me and my kids than many in my own family. She’s a friend at all times, and regularly gives more of herself than she ever takes. Not just to me, but to MANY who are in need, and most are not even related to her. My point is, she is so much more than ‘gay’. That one little word does not define who she is.
Until you LOVE someone who lives as a gay person, you really have a worthless opinion about it. Seeing them hurt by some of the ridiculous comments I’ve read on facebook forced me to open my big mouth. That’s my opinion.
One more thought….I’ve watched over the years as kids have been made fun of for a variety of reasons. They’re too fat, too skinny, too poor, too feminine, too masculine, too dark, the wrong religion, too gay, too dirty, and on and on and on. Kids make fun of other kids because of what they’re taught or hear at home (most of the time). I’ve seen kids ready to ruin their lives based on remarks made by others. Let me just say, if you are young enough to someday have grandkids, your biases may come back to haunt you. I’ve seen it happen. I, for one, am not willing to turn away anyone I love based on any of those biases. I work hard at eliminating those both in myself and in my classroom. I try to live my life as an example to my children… ALL of them. Until we as a human race accept ALL people, we will never put an end to bullying, just as we will never put an end to war. We are like quick draw McGraw when it comes to judgement. And like molasses on a winter’s day when it comes to acceptance and tolerance. I prefer to work at being the person who would be the Christian example, even though it’s work for the best of us at times. Just a little food for thought.
Think I’ll go have a cupcake now.
Love to all.
I hope this post gives you hope, love, and warm fuzzies in the midst of this week’s polarized and heated debates. Rather than head out to the “kiss-in” protests today, why not engage in some loving discussion instead? Be sure you leave some love for Holly in the comment section below! Have a blessed and beautiful weekend! -Mandy