This post is part of the Love Wins series – a series of posts covering topics within the issue of gay marriage (post 1, post 2, and post 3). The goal of these posts is not to convince anyone to think what I think, but to create a conversation and explore the topics together. I am not an authority figure on this issue, and will not always approach this from a highly academic perspective, but am writing as a Catholic young voice seeking the truth. I hope you’ll follow along and be part of the conversation!
In the immediate aftermath of the recent decision by the supreme court, I was mostly relieved to see that people I know weren’t being haters on social media. As time went on, though, some things came up that kind of made me cringe.
Exhibit A: Comparing gay people to unborn babies (or vice versa, or comparing the issue to abortion at all)
Exhibit B: Whining about being a victim
Exhibit C: Trying to prove your point with a fancy graphic.
Here are some pointers for people who stand behind traditional marriage on how to not be a crazy person moving forward:
1. Be a witness to the truth about love and marriage. It’s not all butterflies and unicorns, but it’s always worth it. Unless people can see that through you, posting articles and saying things isn’t going to help very much. Actions speak louder than words.
2. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power. Literally. You’re representing a lot of people, so represent well! I recommend reading a lot, paying attention to laws and studies, and becoming well versed in the why behind our beliefs.
3. Defy the stereotype of bigot and homophobe by . . . not being a bigot or homophobe. Love people, even if they disagree. And if people call you names for just believing in traditional marriage, respond gracefully. Nobody can make you a bigot unless you’re actually being one.
4. Remain open to conversation. And make sure that when conversations come up, you lovingly offer what might be a unique perspective.
5. Listen to people’s concerns on both sides, and don’t discount them. Everyone needs to be heard, valued, and responded to lovingly.
6. Have more of a response than JESUS for why you believe what you do. Sure, you could quote the Bible, but how relevant is that to people who don’t share your Christian beliefs? This goes back to #1 and the need to be educated. We’ll talk more about it tomorrow!
7. Keep the hope alive. In the end, no person or legal institution can change the sacrament of marriage, or the biology of men and women. Our society is changing. The way traditional marriage is treated is changing. But have hope, and don’t despair! Know that God is all about second chances. No one is beyond His mercy and love. Let no one be beyond ours.
If you can’t already tell, I think the most important thing on both sides of this debate is to love our neighbors – even when we disagree. That’s why this series is called “Love Wins”.
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ or by email to follow along during this series. And help spread the conversation by sharing this post!
Image via Hartwig HKD on Flickr.