By Richard E. Bleil, Ph.D.
4Many years ago, the Methodist church defrocked three ministers for overseeing same-sex marriages. This was the moment that I changed my verbiage from saying that “I am a Methodist” to “I was raised Methodist.”
I’ll never understand how an organization that preaches love and acceptance practices intolerance and bigotry.
Here’s the reality. I don’t care if you believe homosexuality is a sin. I care if you believe your ethnicity is the best. I don’t care if you believe everybody outside of your faith is going to hell. I don’t care if you believe the opposite gender is only ornamental. I don’t even care if you express your opinion. You won’t change me, and you don’t have to agree with me. The reality is that everybody has the right to their own opinion. Let me reiterate that.
EVERYBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO THEIR OWN OPINION.
If you agree with this sentiment, I mean truly agree with it, then you will understand that it is a two-way street. You have the right to your own opinion, I have the right to my own opinion, and they have the right to their own opinion.
There comes a point when there is a transition from stating an opinion to harassment or worse. For anybody still reading this, no doubt I’m “preaching to the choir”, but if you disagree with me and have the courage and fortitude to still be reading, then I’m proud of you. But the point is, if you feel you must state your opinion, then state it and move on. If I want to know your reasoning, believe me, I will ask for it, but if you do feel the urge to state your logic, then you’d better be prepared to listen to mine.
The reality is that tolerance and acceptance is just easier than intolerance and bigotry.
Yes, it’s easier.
What is easier, stating your belief that God believes homosexuality is a sin once, or trying to change their sexual orientation?
What is easier, letting people use the restroom of their choice, or passing legislation?
What is easier, working together or keeping people from helping because of race?
Yes, there is a lot of struggle right now. People are fighting hard for their rights, which might seem like a lot of work, but they are only working hard because of the people working so hard to make our society hostile towards them. They wouldn’t be fighting if people were not fighting them.
Here’s my general rule of thumb: if it doesn’t affect me, then let it go.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
I’m not homosexual, but the sexual orientation of others does not threaten me or my orientation. So what does it matter?
I was married, and held that marriage sacred. The people that others are marrying was no threat to the opinion I held of my marriage. So what does it matter?
I’m educated and well-trained in my field. The people wanting to immigrate to this nation is no threat to that experience. So what does it matter?
The Declaration of Independence contains the line “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It’s time that we remember this.