Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Agree to Disagree?

As you all know by now, I'm not one who is shy about voicing my opinions and beliefs.  I have never had a problem speaking up or speaking out about things that I feel strongly about.  In fact, when I was younger, that “attribute” got me in a bit of trouble throughout the years!  I always felt that it was more important to speak up about what you believe in then to worry about getting in trouble.  Needless to say, I was in trouble a lot! Just ask my parents. Wait, no, on second thought…don’t!  Who knows what they will reveal!  =)

Recently, I had separate conversations with different family members that left each one of us at opposite ends of the “opinion spectrum.”  Ironically, both conversations had to do with gay marriage.  I don’t even remember how the topic came up, but I do remember, very clearly, how each of us felt about the subject.  It was prop 8 all over again, but this time in my house.

The first conversation was interesting because the family member I was talking to felt that gay rights should cover everything but marriage.  I didn’t get it.  Why everything but? I used the example of my marriage being against the law back in the 60’s and asked them how they would feel if Jamie and I could not legally be married today.  They said that was totally different.  I said no it wasn’t.  They said yes it was.  Back and forth we went.  I said it was about the right to marry.  They said marriage is between a man and a woman.  Interracial marriage, gay marriage….rights are rights as far as I’m concerned.  As this banter went on, I could see that neither of us was EVER going to change the other’s mind, so I finally said, “Look, I love you, I totally disagree with you, and clearly we are just going to have to agree to disagree.”

Then came conversation number two.  This time with a totally different family member.  Once again the topic of gay marriage came up. Go figure.  We were discussing current events on the news and one of the stories was about gay marriage.  This conversation wasn’t so much of a back and forth, but more of a; there is no way in hell you are ever going to change my mind, kind of conversation.  The exact words from this family member were, “I hope they realize they are not going to heaven.”  Okay, are your eyes popping out of your head yet? Mine sure were! I said, “Do you seriously believe that!?”  The answer was a very, very strong yes! I couldn’t believe it. Tensions were rising, and at this point even my daughter was getting uncomfortable.  She is about as open minded as they come and she was visibly upset that a relative could feel this way about someone else’s right to marry.  She finally said, “Can we not talk about this right now!”  We were all “enjoying” a family meal and the mood had quickly gone South.  Straight to hell, apparently.

Opinions shrouded in religion drive me nuts.  “Gay people aren’t going to heaven?”  Really?  Who decided that?  Ohhhh religion…..why do you have to be so mean?  Against my norm we changed the subject and moved on.  Mind you, I’m not done…I will talk to this relative again and ask them if they really believe that gay people are “banned” from heaven.  I will ask them if they really believe God is that mean.  I know He’s not, and it breaks my heart that people are being taught this in the very churches that are supposed to teach love.  I don’t get it.

So in the end, I will love my “opposite opinioned" relatives with all my heart. I will agree to disagree.  For now.

8 comments:

Judy B said...

Hi Amy...love your article...I so wish people would let differences be...just accept that they exist without it turning into a power struggle of right vs wrong...
I'd like to think differences aren't the foundation for "love" ...
I like to look at like looking at different facets of a crystal-each adds its own uniqueness to its beauty...
Just wish there was more getting to the "heart" of our being with each other...
Great article my friend...I look forward to reading some more of your thoughts...love ya Judy

Madgew said...

You are more tolerant than I am as I would have argued until I was so upset I would leave. I just don't see why this is such a big concern. Who does it hurt? No one. And as far as religion count me out in discussions. I want to live in happyland. Love you sister/friend.

Hollye Dexter said...

I was kicked out of a band because of this very reason. It was the most amazing band, and we worked about 3 nights a week. I was happy, making good money, and then came Prop 8. The band leader was Mormon. I have two gay brothers. He told me my brothers would not go to Heaven. I told him where HE could go.

I got canned.

Now I'm broke and barely working, but hey...I have my integrity.

Amy Wise said...

Judy, Thank you! It really is so simple isn't it. It's all about thinking with the heart and letting go of old issues. Hugs and love!

Madge,

I'm so not about arguing anymore. That gets us nowhere fast. It's like the racist client I wrote about months ago. I spent time with her over and over talking to her about racism and little by little she started changing her views. It doesn't always happen but sometimes it is reteaching what has been ingrained in people's heads since childhood. Patience grasshopper! =) Love you right back!

Hollye,

Are you kidding me?!!!!! Wow! Talk about religion interfering with a job! That is so sad to me that he would say that to you, especially when it was directed at people you love. It's bad enough when it's general conversation about a topic, but when it's loved one's....well that just hurts even more! I'm sooooo sorry to hear it ended that way. Look at all the amazingness that is happening for you now! Love you trial Sister!!

Anonymous said...

I will admit this, my first contact with a person who was gay (when I was young and stupid) made me believe that a majority of gay people were promiscuous and just looking to have sex just because of his behavior. But then I looked at straight people and said that we have same type of people just out there to have a good time.

I had met some people who were gay but in a committed relationship to reverse that stupid way of thinking.

If you can maintain a committed relationship and be a true partner in every sense of the word, then go right ahead and tie that knot.

Now the issue that I have a problem with in regards of this whole situation is passing some US Constituational amendment on the matter. It is a states' right issue and needs to stay that way.

Daryl

Amy Wise said...

Daryl,

You are a perfect example of getting to know someone and THEN forming an opinion vs. assuming how someone is based on stereotypes. I'm so glad that you changed your mind after realizing it is really a couple by couple issue when crazy things arise or don't. So many people need to start thinking in that direction and makes me smile that you are now more open minded. Hello....you have to be...Mr. interracial couple! =) A.

Anonymous said...

I agree everything you are saying. when 2 human being are in love (not many can say they are) why not embrace this love as much as we can. How can any man say Gay people do not go to heaven. I didn't know they was was on speed dial with Higher power. Lets look little deeper in this. No better feeling then when you see your child for the first time. But guess what some illness and many drugs have the side fact the affect the child brain. Like we know we all start as a female fetus later in pregnancy or in the end of 1 moth the we will be either male or female. The it is up to our body to keep things okay. However only little thing can happen for the brain to start to change, male or female, mental handicap. learning disability or even depression. So if people are gay or Trance gender, can not change there brain function just because people don't agree of there life style. Never Judge before you know all the facts. Amy thank for fantastic Article. Solrun

Amy Wise said...

Solrun...exactly! No judging is the way to always go! Thank you for always reading! Hugs and love....A.