Recently a colleague of mine “unfriended” me from Facebook and refuses to speak to me or even acknowledge me when I am in their presence, all because they discovered that we hold diametrically opposing views on the subject of homosexuality.
I realize that for some people, the issue of homosexuality in their lives plays itself out as a deep betrayal. Homosexuals are seen as obtruders or trespassers. Homosexuals are family members and friends, who they know and love, and then one day, either accidentally or intentionally, they reveal themselves and the person who is operating at a lower level is presented with a choice. Do they continue to love this person or do they reject them? I find it so interesting that the person who is doing the rejecting often feels like they are the one who has been betrayed!
One thing I have learned from all of this is that people can’t give what they don’t have. You can’t expect them to give what they are incapable of giving. It doesn’t matter what you’re asking for or how badly you need it. For some people their capacity to love is extremely limited. Their ability and willingness to be accepting, understanding, and to forgive and empathize with others is entirely conditional.
You might purchase a car so that you can get to and from work, but that doesn’t mean that is the only time you drive it.I try to look for something positive in everyone I meet. And I can almost always find something.
Where I go wrong is that I then focus on that one thing I find and then I extrapolate from that to other aspects of that person. As I do that, because this person is funny and we laugh a lot whenever we are together, my expectations of how much that person is capable of loving rises proportionately to how much I like them. In essence, I begin to create an image of that person that doesn’t exist.
Most recently, this colleague of mine of the past 15 years stopped associating with me entirely after they tried to justify their bigotry by using the Bible, saying that homosexuality was wrong because God said be “fruitful and multiply” and homosexuals can’t do that.
Everything started going down hill the moment I pointed out that if my colleague was implying that homosexuals shouldn’t have sex because they can’t be fruitful and multiply did that also mean that after menopause women should quit having sex? What if a woman has “bad eggs” or a man has a low “sperm count” and can’t get a woman pregnant, does that mean they should stop having sex? But more importantly, does be fruitful and multiply mean that the ONLY reason for sex is to have children?
You might purchase a car so that you can get to and from work but that doesn’t mean that is the only time you drive it.
I pointed out that my colleague has two children but hasn’t had child in 24 years, was I to assume that they haven’t had sex with their spouse for all of that time or that they have taken zero precautions towards preventing pregnancy in the past 24 years and have just been on an extremely long hitless streak? I also pointed out that if being fruitful and multiplying also served as the basis for being against homosexuals marrying, do they also stand against heterosexual married couples who could be fruitful and multiply but choose not to have children? I asked if they would support revoking marriage licenses from heterosexual couples if they fail to produce offspring after so many years or denying older couples the opportunity to marry when they are obviously beyond the age where producing a child is feasible? I mean seriously, if having children is the purpose of marriage then why not make it illegal for a married couple to even be in possession of a contraceptive?
I was rejected. I did not spontaneously combust. I did not melt into a puddle. I did not fade out of existence. Was it unpleasant? Yes. But I think will live.I pointed out to my colleague that it was only in 1967 that interracial marriage was made legal in the United States of America and that at the time, when the Supreme Court put an end to anti-miscegenation laws in the United States some 70% of Americans disagreed with the verdict. 7 out of 10 Americans viewed interracial marriage as unnatural and were of the opinion that they should be illegal. In fact, the judge for the Caroline County Circuit Court, Leon Bazile, that had originally convicted the Lovings, the interracial couple that took the case before the United States Supreme Court of violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law, also cited the intent of God as the reason behind his support of anti-miscegenation laws, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
Knowing that I am married to a white woman my colleague just looked at me and said, “Well maybe God did.”