Sunday, August 8, 2010

Isn't It Better To Love Than To Hate...?

My good friend Russell has done a wonderful blog post this week about intolerance, and I thought, my goodness great minds think alike -- or perhaps fools seldom differ -- whichever way you happen to view it.  In any case, unless you have been living on the dark side of the moon, you know by now that California's Proposition 8 has been overturned for being unconstitutional.  I was shocked when Proposition 8 was passed during the last election, and I was pleased to hear it has been overturned.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since July 2005, and it's no longer an issue here.  All of us in Canada have friends and acquaintances in same-sex marriages, and it is openly accepted.  Same-sex marriage in Canada has not caused the world to end, and has not destroyed the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, and in fact, same-sex marriage has a much lower divorce rate than heterosexual marriage.  In addition, a recent study reported in New Scientist has concluded that "The children of lesbian parents outscore their peers on academic and social tests, according to results from the longest-running study of same-sex families.  ... Compared with a group of control adolescents born to heterosexual parents with similar educational and financial backgrounds, the children of lesbian couples scored better on academic and social tests and lower on measures of rule-breaking and aggression." So what is everyone afraid of?  Why is there so much opposition to it?

Anyone who finds someone to love, and who loves them, should be counted as very fortunate.  Not everyone finds love like that, so who are we to tell those folks who they should love?  I don't think homosexuality is an anomaly of nature, and I don't think it's a choice.  I think it's the way a certain percentage of folks are created, and that percentage may be higher than we know.  I personally don't understand homosexuality because I am what is referred to as "straight".  But then again, I don't understand people who like rice pudding, although some folks think it's wonderful.  However, far be it from me to tell people they shouldn't like rice pudding, just because I personally don't care for it.

People often quote the Bible and say that gays and lesbians are breaking God's laws.  But the Bible also says it's okay to have slaves.  According to the Bible, it's even okay to sell your children into slavery, or to buy other people's children as slaves.  There are several rules and regulations set out in the Bible as to when and how to do this.  The Bible also sets out when people shall be stoned to death.

"A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them."  Leviticus 20:27  In fact, according to the Bible, a woman should be stoned to death for not being a virgin on her wedding night.

What the heck...!?

Okay, how many of you would be alive today if that practice were still in place. Can I see a show of hands?

I'm not a big fan of organized religion -- any religion.  It has caused so much trouble through the centuries, and continues to do so now in the 21st century.   However, I was raised to believe in God, and I would like to think that if He does exist, He prefers love of any type over hate -- of any type.  But, I have a problem understanding why people think it's okay to tell other people how to live, or whom to love.  Is it really anyone's business, especially if it's not hurting anyone else? What am I missing...?

Just don't get me started on rice pudding.  It's ghastly stuff.  There should be a law against it...


heartinsanfrancisco said...

Well, thankfully the rice pudding police haven't yet passed any laws forcing people to eat it.

I agree with all your points here, about organized religion and about not trying to dictate whom a person should love. I am also straight, but I believe that we really fall in love with another's spirit or soul, and that even gender is secondary. (It's just that most of us are conditioned to look for love with either men or women.) It is far more important to love and be loved than anything else, and I feel sorry for those who can't love at all.

One final point for those who believe that God is offended by gays - if God made all of us, He/She made some of us gay on purpose. And that's quite good enough for me.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

P.S. I share your loathing for rice pudding although I love tapioca.

Rosaria Williams said...

Well put,and graciously too.

The Bug said...

Ooh - I'm more tolerant than Jo! I agree that same-sex marriages are ok AND I like rice pudding! Ha!

@ly said...

Very well stated. I live in the U.S. & I do not understand what all the fuss is about. People need to wake up and get real and stop thinking their way of life is the ONLY way.

By the way, rice pudding is good stuff in my opinion. :-)

Sam Liu said...

I completely agree, Jo. I was so happy when I learned that Proposition 8 had been overturned, it was a triumph for equality and fairness.

As you may know, I am against organised religion and do not believe in God(s). I simply cannot stand it when people quote from the Bible to support their narrow-minded views. You make the point excellently. This is the same book, after all, that promotes slavery and female subjugation. And it's also the book that says it's a sin to eat "unclean beasts". But I bet the majority of the fundamental Christians who are against homosexuality don't limit themselves to eating only Kosher foods.

It is indeed hypocrisy to the highest degree. Homosexual marriages are not a threat to the family and the study you shared with us was very interesting. I shall have to look into it a bit more.

Thank you for this post, Jo. It is so refreshing to read something rational and true.

DJan said...

The children and grandchildren of most of the people who are against it already know many openly gay people and don't have nearly the problem with it that the older generation does. They will be gone one day and people will wonder what the fuss was all about. Can I be Canadian? Huh? Please?

joanne said...

I too loathe rice pudding but don't believe it is an abomination...same with same-sex marriage...Thank (my) God.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Jo, you gave a very convincing argument until you revealed your true colors by suggesting there be a law against rice pudding.

I think I will be a minority amongst your readers but here goes. Firstly, it should not be a question of whether it is better to love or hate. People who hate gays are wrong. Of course, love is better than hate.

Secondly,I think the law should stay out of the bedroom. I never believe in laws trying to control behaviour. This should fall under personal freedom and choices provided it is not detrimental to others.

But third, I do believe that it is a choice. Just as some people may be biologically more susceptible to drug addiction but they can still make a choice not to become an addict. just as eating rice pudding is a choice.

And it is a choice that I personally do not think is right because of my faith. Just as being a smoker is not the right choice based on my knowledge of medical evidence.

Still, using that analogy, I do not think there should be a law against smokers. But I appreciate smokers not smoking in front of my family and myself and I think young children should not be exposed to ads that entice them to smoke for all the wrong reasons.

I think that analogy also holds that I do not hate smokers but I do not agree with smoking. I can have smokers as friends but still hold that belief.

To make myself even less popular,.....I like rice pudding. Am I doomed?

SparkleFarkel said...

*raises hand high in the air* I second that!

Take it away, John!: "All you need is loove, all you need is loove, ,
All you need is loove, loove, loove is all you need.
All you need is loove (all together now)
All you need is loove (everybody)
All you need is loove, loove, loove is all you need!

(Paul: She looves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She looves you, yeah, yeah, yeah...!)

You know, with love like that
you know we should be glad!

Unknown said...

Terrific post! You couldn't be more on the target :)

Russell said...

With all due respect to those who believe being gay is a choice ....

Being a member of a particular political party is a choice.

Being a member of a particular religious group is a choice.

Liking red or blue more than yellow or green is a choice.

Choosing fall as your favorite season is a choice.

Having a favorite sports team is a choice.

Being gay or hetrosexual is NOT a choice. Both are life styles and both are good.

Someone who claims one life style is superior to another is making a judgment call -- and that is not a good choice.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Jo, once again you have hit one out of the ballpark! I love this post and I've shared it on my Facebook wall. Hope that's okay. And I love Russell's comment.

I hate it when people quote the bible to me. Starting with the Old Testament, I've tried and tried to read the bible. Never get far, because it's too bloody and violent.

Jo said...

Susan, oh, yes, we definitely fall in love with another person's spirit or soul. There is no question about that. And yes, if God made us all, he made some folks gay for a reason. We're all God's creatures.

Rosaria, thank you. :-)

Dana, you like rice pudding? Oh, how could you...? *heh*

@ly, CNN did a poll, and 83% of Americans think same-sex marriage is completely acceptable. So, you are in the majority.

Sam, oh, goodness, yes. Same-sex marriages are not a threat to anyone, nor is homosexuality. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. I don't understand such negativity towards it.

DJan, thank goodness the next generation is much more liberal and accepting than the previous generations. We have come a long way, even in the last couple of decades. And yes, you can definitely be Canadian...!

JoJo, oh, trust me, rice pudding is an abomination. *heh* But no, same-sex marriage doesn't hurt anyone, does it?

Calvin, I honestly don't think homosexuality is a choice. Why else then would so many people stay closeted and not act upon their natural inclination, but rather feel guilty and bad about it, and live a life of a lie? I think it is as natural as the difference between being born with blue eyes or brown eyes. Smoking on the other hand is harmful not only to the smoker but to people around them. We don't choose whom we love. Life would be so much easier if we did, but even heterosexuals don't choose whom they love. And believe me, I don't choose to dislike rice pudding. Ghastly stuff ... *shudder*

Sparkle, you always manage to make me chuckle. And yes, love is all you need. Who are we to tell other people whom they should love, either gay or straight? I have never understood that...!

Aubrey, thank you...! :-)

Russell, omigoodness, you couldn't be more right. There are some things in life over which folks have no choices. The last thing people should do is to make other folks feel guilty or bad.

Carla, you shared it? Gosh...! No, I don't mind, I'm honored. Goodness. And yes, the Bible is filled with more violence and pornography than any other book. It's also filled with good examples and morals, so it's what we take from it that counts.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, it just hit me that I used the word "hate" in a comment about a post which is all about tolerance and love. So let's just say it makes me uncomfortable when people quote the bible to me. But I will try again to read it. And maybe I'll start with the New Testament this time. And Jo, this won't be the last time I share one of your posts on FB.

TC said...

As one who has had more religious prejudice in her life than is normal or even livable @ times I agree wholeheartedly. The gay thing? I'm not sure if choice or orientation is even a question, I'm not quite as comfortable with it as you but I see NO reason why gays can't be married etc..
It's not rice pudding with me, it's licorice, why that flavor was even invented is beyond me.

Kathryn said...

Well, licorice wasn't "invented" - it is something natural. Never been one of my favorites, either.

I stand with Calvin, Mr Grey Squirrel, on this, mostly.

I am all for "domestic partnerships" with the same rights as any family. I've long believed that we should have the freedom to "create our own families" however that comes about. I have trouble with calling it "marriage." Semantics perhaps, but that is my feeling.

I'm surprised that the political correctness is the over-riding theme here. It doesn't concern anyone that something the majority of voters passed was overturned by a COURT? This opens the door to overturning anything in the future, no matter how the voters feel. Oh, right, that is already being done left & right by our Congress. One more step down that path.

Jo said...

Carla, oh gosh, don't feel bad. I have used the word "hate" too, more often than not...!

TC, I think it is definitely a part of nature. I think society has "moralized" human sexuality, which is just a part of nature, and homosexuality is as natural for some people as breathing. And I agree with you about licorice -- especially red licorice. Why would anyone invent such an awful thing? :-)

Kathryn, I guess the court decided it was unconstitutional, which is one of the functions of the court, but you're right, that is crossing over into very dangerous territory. When CNN did a poll, 83% of Americans believed same-sex marriage was okay. I think my point is, why do people care how other people live? The whole thing should really be moot.

Russell said...

To the person who seems so astonished that a COURT (as she put it -- as though that is some how shocking) would overturn a vote of the people, you do have a lot of company.

However, such people who advocate that COURTS leave legislative enactments alone are usually good at cherry picking their causes.

The people who created our Constitution had a specific role in mind for the judiciary -- to serve as a third branch of government and to make sure the intent of the Constitution was, in fact, carried out.

Often COURT decisions are contrary to public opinion, especially in matters of free speech and other emotional matters.

It is when people wish to graph on their particular religious beliefs, for example, to our system of government that they unlawfully interfere with the rights of others - even if others happen to be the majority at a given point in time.

The COURTS see past the emotion and biases and render rulings that, for the most part, objective and right - even if not popular.

And keep in mind that those same COURTS allow for people to voice their opinions along with taking advantage of many other rights they take for granted.

Jo said...

Russell, I can see you are a lawyer. :-) I have always felt the responsibility of the court was to sort of act as a referee, in an unbiased way. I have heard it described as sort of a police force to ensure that the two elected branches, the legislature and the executive, did not overstep their bounds. I think in this particular case, the court acted correctly.

Wolynski said...

The U.S. is very backwards when it comes to religion (Prop 8 was funded by Mormons). There's also a huge amount of mainly older men who think their wives should cook, clean and do their laundry, while they watch football.

All this marriage business is about control, as is religion.

Personally, I'm against marriage for anyone. If you like someone, live with them - who needs a piece of paper? I'm for civil unions for everyone.

But then the wedding industry is huge business...

CS said...

Lovely post, Jo. The God I believe in values love. There are so many horrible, truly evil things in the world -- why not focus on those, instead of judging and criticizing and going after individuals who want nothing other than to live their lives with someone they love.

However, Jo, I'm afraid your views on rice pudding are quite incomprehensible. Sigh.

Cheers from Sydney xxoo

A human kind of human said...

As you probably know by now Jo, I am a committed Christian who also have issues with organised religion as you put it. The Bible can be interpreted to support just about any way of thinking and it is sad that so many people do just that. Conveniently they forget the true and central message of the Bible, which is love firstly and forgiveness equally, not to mention the many bits about the fact that judgement is reserved for God only, who after all see much deeper, higher and wider than any human being can ever do. Personally I know some gay people who live a much more "godly" life than most of their straight counterparts. Whether and to what extend choice is involved, I do not know, but I do know that gays are as much part of God's creation as I am, so who am I to judge?

Jo said...

Wolynski, omigosh, you are so right. Can there be any more controlling institution than marriage? Even the good ones are about control. Oh, goodness ... yes.

Carolyn, I know...! I don't understand what the focus is on same-sex marriage, when there are so many really serious social issues that are being ignored, such as people being homeless. I completely agree with you. :-)

Anna, yes...! Doesn't the Bible say something about not judging other people? So, why do people do it? Especially when it's something that doesn't even concern them...!? I just don't understand it at all.

Kathryn said...

Well, i'm obviously not a fan of our court system. It is not up to the courts to make law, but i suppose it is their job to determine whether or not something is "constitutional." From my limited experience, the courts are far more biased than they should be & political correctness rules the day.

My question, however, is that if the courts are now making/determining laws, why on earth did they ask the people to vote on it in the first place? That to me is the system thumbing their noses at the people who vote & saying, "It doesn't really matter what you think anyway." Which is exactly how the government seems to function these days anyway. "The people are far to stupid to understand & vote on this."

Jo said...

Kathryn, from what I have read, the three branches of the American government are as follows:

"The first three articles of the U.S. Constitution call for the powers of the federal government to be divided among three separate branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary branch. Under the separation of powers, each branch is independent, has a separate function, and may not usurp the functions of another branch. However, the branches are interrelated. They cooperate with one another and also prevent one another from attempting to assume too much power. This relationship is described as one of checks and balances, where the functions of one branch serve to contain and modify the power of another. Through this elaborate system of safeguards, the Framers of the Constitution sought to protect the nation against tyranny.

Under the separation of powers, each branch of government has a specific function. The legislative branch — the Congress — makes the laws. The executive branch — the president — implements the laws. The judiciary — the court system — interprets the laws and decides legal controversies."

So that is how the court got involved in that situation.

Carl said...

I never understood why it was such an issue. Glad to see the tide turning here in the states a bit. If two people love each other and want to spend their lives together great. same sex couples can be just as married and just as good parents as anyone else.