When asked about my religion, I openly identify as a Christian. With this admission come the stigmas and accusatory questions often associated with being one: Why don’t you believe in same sex marriages? Who are you to decide whom we can and can’t love? I always give the same answer. I believe in same sex marriages, love whoever you want; I have no say in what goes on in your life.
I thought you said you were a Christian? I am.
Growing up in a fairly liberal, Christian household in San Francisco, it’s never been an issue to have seemingly conflicting values. I attended Christian private schools from preschool through 8th grade, learning and memorizing Bible verses and parables until I was able to recite on demand. Though thoroughly educated in the principles of Christianity, I was raised under the belief that I had the right to make my own decisions, uninhibited by the confines of the religion I was educated in. As a result, I only grasped onto what I felt were the most important components of Christianity. I believe in God. I believe Jesus died for our sins. I believe God is not a hateful God, and I believe that we are all equal under Him.
It was not until after my first few years of college that I came into contact with someone who could not fathom nor accept a Christian who believed in same sex marriages. In response, I divulged that I could not fathom a person condemning another for simply loving the person of their choice. It is true that the Bible states that God meant for a man to wed a woman, and I respect that and I will not personally go against this, but I do not criticize others for choosing otherwise. I see nothing immoral with someone loving another, and do not understand why more radical, conservative Christians feel the need to target this “sin” in particular. The belief that violating God’s wish that man love a woman is more immoral than that of stealing, lying, or adultery, especially when homosexuality is completely without malicious intent, is incomprehensible to me. I will not deny a person their right to love freely. I’ve seen, and still see, some of my closest friends struggle with homosexuality and the repercussions of coming out, and hold the deepest respect for them and those alike who have endured regardless. So, if some question my Christianity simply because I choose not to hate another for loving unreservedly, then so be it. I am a Christian regardless of what others will think me to be, and I do not fault them for being as narrow minded as they believe I should be.