Speaking on Equality and Tolerance…

The SCOTUS has been rather busy this week, issuing opinions on a myriad of cases including Obamacare and Marriage Equality. So in speaking on equality and tolerance… I think about my values, where I sit, where I stand, what is worth my argument and fight and what is not.tolerance

tolerance

[tol-er-uh ns]
noun
1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc.,  differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one’s own.
3. interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
4. the act or capacity of enduring; endurance: My tolerance of noise is limited.

Tolerance is one of those words I think we love to throw around, A LOT, and yet, I think it’s a concept that few can truly embrace and put into practice. And so if we’re going to be honest, which is one of the values I hold above any other, I feel like we should be really look inward and see where our prejudices and limitations live. Tolerance is one of those crazy things, we talk it and talk it well, until someone’s opinion differs from our own.

Honestly, my faith in my Creator, the way  I was brought up leads me to the conclusion that marriage is between a man and a woman for the purposes of creating a family.  For me, it’s not condemnation of a lifestyle, it’s just a matter of my faith. That is not to say that I don’t believe that same sex couples should have the same accessibility to tax benefits, homownership, and medical decision making, to feel love and express love, to feel and express heart break.  I know amazing homosexual couples they’re good and kind people, amazing big hearted generous people.  I have no animus toward them in any respect, simply a divergence of belief.  By many, I’d be labeled homophobic, bigoted, or any other number of slurs. And really, I think I’m a good and decent person. 16193_10154099275211959_4721179569942249835_n Of course, I think I am a good and decent person that things our government shouldn’t be in the marriage business.

Flip side, I see (in social media circles more than anywhere else) detractors of marriage equality condemning and hurling slurs to the gay community.  And you know what? It’s all wrong.  All of it.  I don’t think that I should be no more labeled for living my Christian faith, than someone else living a faith or lifestyle that differs from mine.  And that brings me back to tolerance.  Who are we to call someone else mean hateful names? A difference of opinion, I get it.  Being mean and hateful, I don’t.

When I first read the definition I got caught up in definition number one — a fair objective and permissive attitude…  And then a little self check.  Permissive that’s the word that hooked into my craw.  I think it is because I am linking permissive to celebratory.  I think.  So here’s my thing.  I am a person who is a work in progress. I mess up, daily.  At the end of the day, I need to reconcile my beliefs and this is what I think will work best to help keep me in check, be responsible with and for my judgements and hopefully be a better person in the process. And truth… are my sins and shortcomings and better or worse than anyone else?  Of course this could go a million directions from murder to any other number of violent crime.  For the purpose of this blog, my sins and your sins are those little wrong doings, the ones we commit daily, often without even realizing it.

For me, my judgement will come when I take my last breath and am no longer of this earth.  My God and Creator will look at the totality of my life, and will know if I have made my very human attempt at living a life that follows HIS direction.  And truth, for me, I think it’s about how I live my life more than the judgements  I can make on another’s. And whatever and wherever your belief systems take you, you will face a time or not, that you will confront the life you’ve lived and was it worthy and decent?  I hope so for me… and I hope so for you too.

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