Rarely do I comment on political issues. I generally keep my views (on things from universal health care on down) on low key. This blog is about my challenges and joys of a frugal retirement. Its not a financial blog or a political blog. It's not a diary or a business. Occasionally, I feel the need to share my thoughts and opinion on controversial subjects. This is one of those times. I believe on this issue people have an obligation to speak up. As the old saying goes, a vote to abstain is a vote against. In this case against what I consider basic human rights.
I am a devout Episcopalian. Recently when I was making some observations about about life in general, I mentioned how thankful I am for my church. I'm one of those people for whom finding a church is a major component of finding a place to live. A friend once even said about relocation (and I agree) "find the church and then find the house". My faith is a large part of my life. I was married by a priest, in a church. I consider marriage to be both a religious and a secular institution. I consider marriage a lifetime commitment. I do not however, believe that my way of marriage is the only way, or that it should be the only way.
I have a beautiful 22 year old niece who is gay. She has always been gay. She didn't choose "gayness", nor did per parents 'make her that way". God, himself made her who she is. If I believe that God makes us all, and makes us for a purpose (and I do) then I have to believe that she is who she was meant to be. It is my fervent hope, my prayer even, that by the time this beautiful young woman finds a partner, she is able to be married-both in front of God, and in front of the Justice of the peace. When that time comes, I will attend her wedding, and with joy.
Her marriage, in front of God (by a priest) and in the church will in no way diminish me. It will not diminish my faith. I will not make my family less than it is, or more than it is. Rather, her marriage will enrich my family. As a devout, religious young woman, entering into marriage would be a lifetime commitment and introduce a new member to our family (and perhaps more new members).
This is a difficult discussion for me. In general, I respect the opinions of others. My problem in this case is that respect does not seem to be mutual. Others want to force their religion and beliefs onto me and my family. They want to decide the kind of life, the quality of life, that she and we are allowed to have. I would suggest that should not be up to them. I would suggest that faith is an individual thing, that should be kept private and held close. I would suggest that one can live their faith in full without stopping others from living their lives, or participating in a different faith.
Finally, and I realize I may offend here, I would suggest that I am continually amazed that individuals who consistently suggest that the government stay out of our lives seem to have an inordinate need to decide how we live, who we marry, and what we do with our own bodies.
And that's my thought for the day.