Saturday, July 16, 2011

standing on the side of love

"Jesus is all about inclusion, forgiveness, and empowerment. In the light of his compassionate presence, people are set free to live their lives in strength and hope, regardless of whether they be considered outcasts by those in the 'religious know.'" -Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault 

I rarely speak about my spiritual side, perhaps because I find spirituality deeply personal and intimate and would prefer to have the discussion face to face. Occasionally I am moved to share my spiritual feelings in a more public way, and I have been so moved recently. While I'm a little late to join the party (not in my approval but in my post here), I wholeheartedly support the recent decision by New York lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage. And although the vote was resoundingly partisan, I do not consider my opinion to be that of a Democrat but of a Christian. I have sometimes found it difficult to discuss the matter with other Christians, for when they point out the Bible clearly says homosexuality is wrong, I have little retort except to think that as Christians we should not be passing such harsh judgment on others, particularly on those who simply want to declare their love in a lasting way. I just don't personally believe it's what Jesus would do. Last week I read a newsletter published by Gwyneth Paltrow's website GOOP that provided some guidance from Christian ecclesiastics, which I found to be eloquent at putting my emotions into words.

The title of my post is the name of an interfaith public advocacy campaign sponsored by Unitarian Universalism Association, which has been my church of choice for nine years. They welcomed me with open arms despite my frequent doubts and questions, and that unconditional love and support has allowed my compassion to flourish. As I have said before, I am still at times searching for compassion, but it helps to have a support system. Everyone has to find their own way, whether that is through some spiritual faith or not. I'm certainly not asking anyone to "convert" to my way of thinking. But if I've even opened the door a tiny crack toward acceptance and compassion, I will have reached my goal in opening myself up to you in this deeply personal way.

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