I work to live the life that I believe is best FOR ME. That life is based on a combination of my spiritual beliefs, what I was raised to believe, what I learn as I move through my adult experiences as well as the examples that I want to set for my children. None of those will ever make me perfect but I’m confident that they craft the best individual that I can be while keeping in mind that I have to reevaluate daily.
This may be why DOMA didn’t create the furor in my heart or home the way that it seems to for many others. Do I have opinions? Yes. Do I believe that others have a “right to their opinion”? Of course. Actually, respecting the right for others to lead their lives as they see fit is exactly what prevented me from chiming in on something that I may have an opinion about but that doesn’t truly impact me. I was so busy studying up on the Voters Rights Act being overturned and the potential ramification to me, people who look like me, other minorities, and future generations that I couldn’t be bothered to fight against individuals that wanted to have the right to do something that would never directly change the course of MY life. I also don’t believe that God placed me here with the mission to be the keeper of the keys to Heaven, I tend to think that it’s my job to make sure that I get there and that I put forth the examples and lessons that I believe will help my children get there as well as others around me.
Basically, I sweep around my own backyard instead of pointing at yours. An adult in my past, pointed fingers at the decisions that I made as an 18 year old girl since they didn’t jive well with his belief of how life should be lived. I remembered the feeling that this elder didn’t love me and I never really could understand him afterward. As a parent and mentor to young people, I still struggle to understand the finger pointing that he and his progeny leveled at me. He was attempting to sweep a judgmental broom around the backyard of my youthful errors and ultimately he left his own untended. Today, as a parent, I realize that I never want to spend my time with fingers pointing at the mistakes that people make since I have two children that have plenty of life left to lead and many potential errors to make.
So, what happened to make me focus on DOMA besides the reminder of judgment in my own past? A story was relayed about someone being because she is lesbian, white and has recently adopted a 2.5 year old brown boy. People have not been afraid to send her threats because there was public support for their hate ironically since it was in the name of God and I have found that hell hath no fury like a Christian believed to be scorned. She now has to move and relocate to what she calls a “less tumultuous” environment to protect her son. I wondered where that would be. The people that are angry at her “lifestyle” are on Facebook representing all 50 states so surely she will bump into likeminded people no matter where she goes. They are black and saved. They are white and small minded. They are black and small minded; white and saved. They are religious and non-religious. They are male and female. They are working within the walls that her son will be educated in. They are working in the doctors’ offices that will have to treat him—without prejudice. Where will she go?
The more I pondered it, I began to realize that judging her was not in my scope of ability because it would be wrong. Her path and whether it is wrong would be hers to answer for on Judgment Day. (Yes, I believe there’s a JD, a tribulation, a resurrection and all of the other words that my agnostic and atheist friends would scoff at. And yes, Christian friends and family, I have atheist and agnostic friends that I discuss these issues with, mostly because I find them more willing to have an educated conversation filled with questions and the occasional acknowledgment that “you make a good point”.)
So again, I pondered, where will she go? Where is this mythical place with less tumult and less tumultuous people? It doesn’t exist is what I’m thinking. But what if we could create it? What if WE could be the “bigger people” and admit that we don’t know everything. That being Christian might make you right in your mind but that being Muslim and a follower of Allah makes someone else right in their espoused beliefs. My teenage daughter said, “It would never happen”….maybe not, so I’ll take a more tongue in cheek approach to it.
Not that many years ago there were established norms, things that the majority accepted that we now believe are wrong. There are also additional norms for portions of society now based on religion, moral, and learned value systems. If you can answer “no” to all of these things, you are free of judgment and therefore will earn a day of protest against DOMA with me as your companion. If you answer “yes” to any, consider the parity in the correlating punishments:
-Are you divorced? Did you get remarried? Conservatives of both parties will be levying a tax against you for dissolving a marriage that God put together and by the way, your new spouse is an adulterer.
-Do you live in a household with a partner of any sex that you are not legally married to? This would be considered shacking up, so if you do, we’re going to have to remove you from participation with any religious group since most of them have the expectation of purity before marriage. It could be worse, not too long ago in American history you would have been shunned in your city and even refused service based on your low moral.
-Have you entered into marriage outside of your race? There’s a small fringe of American society that doesn’t want you or I imposing this norm on them and actually have a problem with your children engaging with theirs. You see, being unequally yoked to some “believers” means more than with a non-Christian.
-Have you or a family member ever received a financial benefit from the government? This could mean a Small Business Loan, Welfare, student loans, etc. If you have, this goes against someone else’s norm that we are responsible for our personal upkeep and societal progression and also should be taking care of familial needs within our core unit. You must repay every bit of what you took.
-Have you ever considered abortion? No, not actually had one that would be too personal but have you ever THOUGHT of it? There’s a small contingent of people who take the Old Testament literally, therefore, if you thought of the sin, you’ve committed it in your heart.
-Do you serve in the armed forces? Have you taken a life in the service of what some perceive to be a broken govenrment? The Westboro Baptist Church has a norm and they should be able to celebrate your downfall since it goes against what they believe.
-Are you by chance wearing a pair of slacks right now or walking around without your head fully covered? Deuteronomy 22:5, you just broke a significant rule regarding the differences between male and female.
-Have you had children outside of marriage? Lou Dobbs questions your ability to parent while working but he also believes that your situation is BAD FOR SOCIETY. One other thing, he’s socially and fiscally conservative so he would deny you any assistance because you chose to live outside of God’s law. Additionally it’s believed, a good home is constituted of a mother AND a father. National conservative parenting groups don’t believe that your children will fare as well as others, therefore, they will determine what jobs they will be capable of performing and assign them accordingly.
-Do you occasionally engage in little white lies? Remember that time your bestie asked if her butt looked too big in that dress…..? You should have told her the truth and since you can’t be trusted to impart truth we can’t trust you to vote or hold positions of leadership (teaching, mentoring, etc).
-What kind of music do you like? What kind of books are you reading lately? If the music doesn’t directly celebrate God and/or His mission, you are living outside of Biblical guidelines.
You get my point don’t you? This isn’t about how much better I am than you. This really is just that simple for me….I can’t judge because my life isn’t sinless and I’m choosing to love. It feels good over here, you should join me.