In light of recent news, I’m re-posting something that I wrote in March of 2013. I’m making a few changes but leaving it mostly as it originally appeared.
My God loves gay people. And lots of other people, too.
One of the first conversations I had with my then future mother-in-law was when she told me that “the homos” were going to Hell. “God does not believe that homosexuality is okay,” she said. She said that she’d been converted from sinning and that until the end of her days, she’d try to convert, educate, and spread the word that “God doesn’t love the homos.”
I wanted to cry. The God that I grew up knowing loves everybody. My God loves gay people.
I know that He (or She) loves the rest of us dipshits, too. One thing that I’ve learned through my limited education of a variety of religions is that we are solely responsible for our actions. We are the ones who are required to do the right thing in life. It is up to us to find a meaningful place here on earth and to do something that matters while we’re granted the gift of breathing.
What matters is acceptance. Acceptance and love. It is not your job to hate gay people, and God doesn’t grant you more grace if you do. In fact, I’m pretty sure that God isn’t cool with hate, ever. It is not our collective job to define what love and marriage are. They just are. Already. I see absolutely no reason why gay couples should not share in the legal benefits of marriage and family. Who are we to define what family is?
I think that my mother-in-law and I reached a place of acceptance, prior to her death. She never believed that gay people deserved to marry, but she believed in the right to smoke cigarettes, on her porch, her chemo port hanging from her chest, and most of me gets that, because she could be me, minus the gay marriage not being okay part. She never really made a will, convinced that Jesus would make it so that she wouldn’t have to.
She died loved, if not agreed with.
I should say now that this is not a conversation about my faith, anybody’s belief in God, Science or which, if any, religion is right.
So if this post isn’t about religion, what is it about? It’s about FAMILY! Let’s talk about what’s really important in this messy, crazy, beautiful and humbling life we’ve been given.
What defines a family? Family is defined by love. I know more than one person who has grown up in a traditional family and has no contact with her mother, or her brother or maybe her father. Pick one. I know that somebody can have the best-conceived notions of a family and still have it amaze her with its brilliance alongside its dysfunction.
Family is love. Family is who raises you with love. Family is the people that give a shit when you fall down and choose to pick you up or choose to leave you lying there because they know when you need to learn to pick yourself up.
Family is family and it’s not conventional, ideal or anything other than unique. I was adopted. My husband was raised by his grandmother. My son was born to parents who are old enough to be his grandparents.
And guess what? We are all fine.
So for those of you who think that your “traditional” family is threatened by a non-traditional family, I ask you this. Why are you threatened? Why do you care? Why oh why does the next door neighbor who consists of a family of two moms and two sons or two dads raising a daughter or one grandma and whatever…matter to you? Why? Why are you offended?
I don’t get it.
You’ve got religious values to maintain that taught you that being gay or being different or being divorced is wrong? Great. Teach those values to your children if you must. And ask yourself what you’ll do if one of your children is born gay.
Ask yourself what matters. Ask yourself what family means. I am not the first person to write about this. I will not be the last. And I will most certainly not be the best. But I will be loud. I will shout that if two people are in love and want to make a family that they ARE a family and that they deserve the legal benefits just as much as the rest of us do. I will yell until I lose my voice, screaming that it is not our right to define what family is. It just is.
I will argue that when a mother gives birth and chooses to allow others to raise her child, that her biological kid has parents, and they are not the ones who biologically created him. I will climb to the rooftops with my megaphone and ask you why you care about God and homosexuals. I will ask you to just let them be. They are capable of making a family as much as you are. Maybe more so, as they are not spending time trying to explain to their children that sometimes love is wrong while simultaneously teaching them that love is always right.
Family is built on love. Love is love.
Here is a family:
Grandma and baby have just as much love as mom, dad and baby do. See?
Dad and dad also have just as much love. Look:
So do mom and mom and baby as they are a family just as much as the others.
This, also, is a family. It’s grandma and grandpa with baby. They look happy and baby is loved here, too:
These are all real families. Full of love and teaching and messy living rooms and crayon markings on the sofa. They’re all family, like your family is. So focus on your own. I’m pretty sure that God is more worried about us dumping plastic bags in rivers than He is about who our neighbors, our sons, our daughters, our sisters and our co-workers marry.
But that’s just my opinion. You have yours. I just hope you’ll think about why you have it. Thinking about it is worth it. I promise.
Oh. And did you notice all of my families’ skin colors are clear? That’s because skin color doesn’t matter in any of these equations either.
I’m thankful for this country passing the law that means that Love is Love.
This is a Thankful Post. Because I’m thankful for the laws passed this week.
This is a video that Kenya told me about. I think it’s amazing.
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