Clearing The Air
With respect to that commenter, because I don't want to discourage people from expressing their views in response to something that I've posted...I don't believe that I scoff at Christians.
I hope that those of you who have been reading Blogs Are Stupid for any period of time have realized that I don't paint all Christians with the same brush.
Indeed, I know some Christians who are truly amazing people that I admire and even envy. Why do I admire them? Because they live as they believe with grace and kindness. Why do I envy them? I envy them because they have the solace of a convicted heart.
What I scoff at, is intolerance. And forgive me for saying so, but a large number of Christians that I have encountered are terribly intolerant, hypocritical, and judgemental.
One of my most important and far reaching goals as a mother, is to foster tolerance and even love, for all people. I want to teach my children that a person's heart is their beauty; not their skin, not who or how they love, and not who or how they worship.
As a result of that, I've had to open my own mind. It hasn't always been easy. And because I am and imperfect person, I don't always succeed.
When Diminutive One told me that children in his class were calling him "stupid" for believing in Evolution, I had to bite back a most uncharitable retort about the intelligence of those who place blind faith in fairy tales.
(Not trying to be offensive here, just honest about the fact that I struggle with my own prejudices)
But that would not have been constructive, or honestly, fair. So with Herculean effort, I held my tongue and tried to take a more diplomatic tack.
So I try. And we take the teachable moments as they come.
A while back, when the story first hit the airwaves, Diminutive One came home one day and posed a question.
"Mom....I heard that there's a man who's going to have a baby. Is that true?"
I explained the circumstances of the case as matter of factly as I could and he seemed to accept what I told him without much question.
Tonight on TLC, a program about the "pregnant man" aired, and I thought that it would be a good way to satisfy his curiosity and also let him see that there is nothing freakish about Thomas Beatie.
There was some frank discussion about sexual issues. I know that some people might find the content of the program wholly inappropriate for an 11 year old boy. It's true that these issues are sensitive. But I think that just means we have to handle them conscientiously rather than sweeping them under the rug.
I believe strongly that by hiding things which are awkward to deal with, we confer upon them a sense taboo. I learned that first hand from my own conservative upbringing. There was nothing I longed to know about more than the things of which my mother refused to speak; those that caused her to purse her lips and flush uncomfortably before turning away in stiff shouldered embarassment.
At one point, as I said, the discussion turned to the mechanics of their intimacy. Diminutive One wondered aloud why anyone would tell those kinds of personal private things to the whole world. I explained that they just wanted everyone to see that they are normal people who just want a baby to love.
"Does he seem like a freak to you?" I asked.
"No. He seems pretty nice." answered Diminutive One earnestly.
Later on in the program, Mr. Beatie played a recording of a message he and his wife had recieved. The caller's voice was shaking with rage and his voice had a sharp, clipped sound; as if they were being spoken from behind tightly clenched teeth.
He told Mr. Beatie to ask God's forgiveness for the "slap in God's face". He said he hoped he would get "right with God, or else leave this earth." He called it a sin, with a capital S. Then he expressed that if he did not repent, he would burn in hell for all eterntiy. The caller finished up by telling Mr. Beatie that he was disgusting and had almost caused him, the caller, to lose his lunch.
A kind, gentle, person in a committed relationship; a business owner and productive member of society; a person who desires to have a child and raise it in a stable, loving home...
THAT is grounds for burning in hell?
It is THAT, people, at which I scoff. Scoff loudly.
If there is a God up there, and in my reality, that issue is still open to debate...
I have a hard time accepting that he would consign a person who is essentially good and kind to the fires of hell.
If I am going to believe in a God, it's a kind and loving God. Not a vengeful, jealous God who uses his omnipotence to punish and torment. It's a God who espouses love of all people, not just those who fall in line behind the shining beacon of Christianity.
I can't and won't honor or worship a God who teaches that hatred is ever justified, or one who would sanction the kind of behavior to which Mr. Beatie and his family have been subjected.
Diminutive One asked, "Why is that guy so angry, Mom?"
I wish I had had an answer for him. But I didn't and I don't. I just don't understand that kind of loathing from people who have placed themselves above others because of their religious idealogy; people who use their beliefs to justify the persecution of others.
Nor can I accept their judgement of me or anyone else.
I hope that clears things up a little.
I don't hate Christians simply because they are Christians.
And I'd like the favor returned, please.