Love Is Love

On the way home from school…

E (my 5-year-old son): When I grow up, I’m going to marry a girl in my class, V. Who are you going to marry N? It’s got to be a boy.

N (my 2-year-old daughter): I want to marry a girl!

E: Well, that’s not allowed.

I pipe up: Yes, it is.

E: No, it’s not. My friends said boys can only marry girls.

Me: If we lived in New York, you could marry whomever you wanted.

E: But we don’t live in New York. We live in Virginia.

Me: True but it’s allow in other states, and it will be allowed here one day.

E: Really?

Me: Yup.

E: How many states allow it?

Me: Six.

E: Why doesn’t Virginia allow it?

Me: Virginia has a bad law. Some people just don’t know that love is love.

E: Yeah, even the head of Virginia, who helps make the laws, doesn’t know that love is love.

Me: Yes.

E: When will it change, Mama?

Me: I hope by the time you and N are ready to marry.

N: I’m going to marry a girl!

E: So I could marry a boy if I wanted to because love is love?

Me: Yes, sweetie.

E: Mama? Maybe we should move somewhere that knows love is love now.

Me: Sometimes I think that, too, but it won’t always be this way. Love is love no matter what.

As we were talking, I worried about my son telling his friends at school about true love and bad laws because their parents may not be happy. Then I realized those parents should be apologizing to me. For being the first people to teach my son prejudice, bigotry and hate.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

58 thoughts on “Love Is Love

  1. Beautifully said, Alex. I like your thought that they should be apologizing to you because love IS love. You will be even prouder as E. and N. grow and make love between anyone normal. My kids have no qualms about speaking their loving thoughts about all people at ages 10 and 7. Bravo to raising a generation of loving and compassionate humans!

  2. I love my friends that are gay. I truly do. But I do not agree with homosexual marriage. I also don’t think I’m raising my children to be prejudice. My kids are taught to love everyone and treat everyone with respect and kindness, no matter their race, socioeconomic condition, or gender – and when old enough to understand, their lifestyle. If they have gay friends that’s fine. If anyone were to be bullied about anything, I hope they will intercede, get help, stand up for them. That’s what we teach. We are called to love. But I don’t agree with marriage. I feel like it’s not God’s best for us and we should strive for that. There are MANY ways to make choices that are not God’s best – finances, healthy lifestyle, priorities….I love, but I don’t agree.

  3. I appreciate the point that you’re trying to make, Alex, but I wanted to offer the other side of the coin as well. Personally, I don’t believe that gay marriage is right and yet I have friends and relatives that are homosexual. Just because I believe what the Bible says concerning homosexuality doesn’t make me hateful or prejudiced, especially because I believe the entirety of that book (what many churches around our nation have forgotten). Just because we don’t agree with the choices of others doesn’t give us an excuse not to love them and see their worth as people too.

    So frequently, churches and anti-gay activists under the “Christian” label get so caught up in condemning the act itself that they end up also condemning the people who are just trying to find love. But there are those of us out there who don’t support homosexuality, but we still love and value those people.

    For me, I will be teaching my children Biblical values- which will include the fact that God does not condone the act of homosexuality. To many people, this automatically makes me a hateful and prejudiced person. But hand-in-hand with that Biblical lesson will be the importance of unconditionally loving one’s neighbor which, in my opinion, is a far more valuable lesson than whom one should or should not marry.

    1. I respect your desire to teach your version of Christianity and the Bible to your children, but to me you are teaching them the equivalent of “God doesn’t like the color of that person’s skin” and saying it isn’t prejudice because you are also teaching your children that they should still love those people.

      1. I do understand where you’re coming from, Alex, and I certainly don’t expect you to change your deeply-rooted convictions based on a single blog commenter. However, the Bible is very clear on the topic of homosexuality and I can’t in good conscience compromise what I believe in order to make other people comfortable. In as much as you believe that I’m doing my children a disservice by teaching them the values that my husband and I share, we believe that compromising those values (and simultaneously picking and choosing what we will believe from the Bible instead of believing all of it) would do them a greater disservice. The best we can do is to teach them the importance of loving everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.

        1. The Bible is also very clear on the subjects of working on a Sunday (Don’t), wearing clothing that is two different fabrics (Don’t), beating your children (go ahead), selling your daughters in to slavery (green light there too), getting a tattoo (Nope, bad)…Should I go on about the entirety of the Bible, or are we done with that?

          Now, you are teaching them bigotry, which is your right in this great country. However you’re also teaching discrimination, your right, again, but it is wrong.

          If you’re so set on marriage only being for heterosexual couples, then we need to completely de-couple marriage from any sort of federal and state status and privilege conferment. Getting married by the clergy, without a state and federal witness and contract is just a name. That way everyone can get the same special rights and benefits of being married, and certain groups can continue to exclude people to their heart’s content. Other, more accepting groups, can still marry everyone, and have it called marriage.

          1. Hi Trevor. If you would like to go into the entirety of the Bible, I would be more than happy to discuss that with you, so long as we keep things in context. Many of the items you are referring to are from the Old Testament or the Law and, if you look into the New Testament, you will see that Jesus came for the purpose of fulfilling and freeing us from the Law so things like wearing clothing of two different fabrics, beating your children, etc. are not condoned under the law that Jesus taught. Thank goodness- as I’m quite a fan of pork and it would be a shame to have to give that up.

            So many people are getting caught-up in the fact that the Bible condemns homosexuality and they forget that while it discusses that topic, it condemns so many other things as well like lying, cheating, stealing, and others. It doesn’t paint a picture of homosexuality being the one sin that will send you to hell- it says that ANY sin will do that, which is why if you look at the message of the whole Bible (instead of just bits and pieces), you will see a message of hope and redemption from any sin whether it’s sleeping with someone of your same sex, or telling a little white lie.

            I understand that you have very different ideas about homosexuality than I do, and, as you pointed out, that is your right in our country, but I would urge you not to mistake being uncompromising in one’s beliefs for being bigoted. Refusing to change my beliefs is one thing, but I hardly think that any part of my argument today has shown animosity toward homosexuals as you suggested.

            1. Alyssa, just wanted to say I agree with what you are saying. I also think you are doing a great job of speaking it in love to build others up and not tearing down.

            2. Just out of interest: Why aren’t conservative christians looking to remove the government connection to marriage? Do you support separation of christian marriage from a state defined marriage? If not, why not?

              1. Honestly, I’m not sure why there isn’t a greater push for that. Perhaps it is because conservative Christians largely believe that marriage, whether recognized solely by the church or by the state, should exist solely between a man and a woman.

                Though I too believe this definition of marriage, I have chosen to look at the situation of the law changes (or future law changes) regarding gay marriage from a realistic viewpoint. Eventually, despite the minority that hold my opinion, gay marriage will be legalized in all the states. So while it would seem to make sense to separate Christian marriage from state defined marriage, I truly don’t know that it would do any good. After all, what’s to stop a gay couple from suing the church because they want their marriage recognized religiously as well as through the government? While I’m not saying that it would necessarily happen, there certainly wouldn’t be anything preventing that eventuality and because of this possibility, I am not convinced that separating Christian marriage from state recognition is the wisest course of action.

                1. @Alyssa – Ok, I’m going to quote you here, to make my point. You originally said, “especially because I believe the entirety of that book (what many churches around our nation have forgotten).” So I challenged that by pulling ideas and restrictions from the parts of the Bible that specifically deal with homosexuality, the Old Testament. To which you responded, “If you would like to go into the entirety of the Bible, I would be more than happy to discuss that with you, so long as we keep things in context. Many of the items you are referring to are from the Old Testament or the Law…” and proceeded to try to not have those portions apply to you and your stance on same-sex marriage.

                  So my question is, if you believe in the entire Bible, and think that it’s ok to use it as a basis for discrimination and bigotry, why is it then ok to ignore the parts of it that you don’t like? You can’t, rationally, use what you want, and then discard what is inconvenient to you, yet claim that you believe the entire book.

                  See, no matter how you dress it up, it is bigotry and discriminatory, it just has “official” sanction from a major religion. Underneath, this is no different from people wanting to deny civil rights to people of color in the ’50’s and ’60’s.

                  Like I said, I respect your right to hold those beliefs, but I also hope that people can be honest about them, or at least consistent.

                  1. Trevor, please believe me when I say that I do understand how you are approaching this. I understand how the Bible must look to you and I have no interest in “beating you over the head” with it. That said, this is the book that I’ve based my life from. I have literally dedicated years to studying it and have read it from cover to cover. I’m not saying this out of pride or to prove that I know more about it than you- this is certainly not a contest. I’m laying this out there in an attempt to show you that I’m not just someone who learned John 3:16 in a Sunday School class and decided to get her undies in a bundle over gay marriage. I certainly don’t know everything about the Bible, but I do know what I’m talking about when it comes to the Law, the Prophets, and Jesus’ fulfillment thereof.

                    Yesterday, I attempted to make the point that I believe the entire Bible. This is true. I also pointed out that Jesus (whom Christians today believe was the Messiah) came to fulfill the Law. Somehow, whether it was me not being clear enough or you glossing over that fact, it was missed and I find myself attempting to explain it in another way today.

                    Jesus came to fulfill the Law (no tattoos, no pork, various washing and cleansing rules, etc.). He didn’t come to abolish it because many of those rules are still good to follow (don’t murder, don’t steal, etc.) but he came to fulfill it- his words, not mine (Matthew 5:17). Once something has been fulfilled, by it’s very definition, it has been completed. Therefore, some of the laws in the Old Testament no longer apply to modern life. If you would like me to explain more about why that is and why some of those laws were given in the first place, I would be happy to do that, but I will try to be as brief as I can so as not to completely hijack Alex’s comment thread!

                    Just because something has been completed doesn’t mean that it cannot be believed, but it’s important to look at the context of how it was written to have a full understanding of it. That’s why I can honestly say that I believe every word of the Bible. I don’t always follow every word because I’m only human and I’m no better than anybody else, but I do the best I can to follow those words and apply them to my life.

                    I hope that this has, at the very least, demonstrated a little more consistency for you. I know that many Christians today are painted as hypocrites for saying one thing and doing another, and though I’m far from perfect, I try to be as open and genuine as I possibly can.

                    Finally, with regards to your point about bigotry and discrimination, I understand how it looks to you as well. It’s very easy to put myself in your shoes and to see how intolerant Christians must look when we refuse to accept something that’s considered to be an innate trait in people. To that end, I wanted to share that I don’t believe that being born with homosexual tendencies to be a sin. It isn’t the tendency or the urge that I take issue with, but rather the homosexual acts in themselves, whether they are marriage, a committed relationship, or a casual encounter. The reason that I can’t support that in good conscience is because the Bible is very clear on that topic (1 Timothy 1). While there are some places in the Bible that are left open to interpretation, this is one area that is laid out black and white- just the same way we are commanded not to steal, murder, lie, etc.

                    I know that I’ve tried to show you many points this morning that come directly from the Bible, but I also wanted to share something on a personal level. Because I have friends and relatives who are homosexual, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know several individuals who live a different lifestyle than my own. From my heart, I truly wish that I could change my beliefs. I wish that I could embrace this lifestyle, hang a rainbow flag outside of my house, and march in a gay-rights parade because, ultimately, the important thing isn’t arguing over whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry- it’s showing people that there is a loving God who genuinely cares about them. But in the end, some things can’t be compromised. As you said, I cannot just pick and choose what to obey from the Bible; it’s an all or nothing kind of proposition. For the better or worse, my family and I are all-in.

                    1. The full set of lines from the Bible goes on to say, from Jesus, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19), where he implies that just because he has come, does in no way lessen the laws from the old testament; that you should in fact continue to follow them.

                      Where do you pull from the Bible that homosexuality is wrong, if you don’t pull from the Old Testament?

                      You say that we should follow the 10 Commandments, but aren’t those Old Testament too, and as such, since Jesus fulfilled them, no longer valid? Unless the full text of Matthew still applies, that is. You say you can’t pick and choose what to follow in the bible, and then proceed to do so.

                      Do you follow the New Testament then? Including things like 1 Timothy 2:11-14?

                      I agree that we should show people that there is love in the universe, and that they are embraced, which is why I have a hard time denying people the recognition and joy that I have in my marriage.

                      I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to respond to my questions and challenges, and even more so that you do so very eloquently. I understand your viewpoint, but can’t reconcile it with a loving being, as well as equality for all people in this country.

                      I was a religion minor in college, and studied the bible, as well as some other religions, fairly extensively. The “some laws apply, others don’t” is one of the things that really stuck for me. It’s an easy way for people to absolve themselves of having to follow the inconvenient laws, while still managing to hold on to their prejudices and beliefs.

                  2. First of all, this is in response to your most recent comment below, but because the website won’t allow me to respond there, I was forced to take things out of order and do so here.

                    I will do my best to respond to you from my perspective, with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the years, and yet with the full disclosure that this is my personal opinion. As I said before, I have studied Scripture extensively, but I am no pastor and I have much yet to learn about the Bible as a whole.

                    You went on to quote the rest of Matthew 5:19 and asked why I omitted that part. I did so, not because I’m trying to twist anything to fit my needs in our discussion, but rather because it seemed impractical to post very large portions of text (in addition to what I knew would already be a long post) as a response. Yes, in that piece of text, Jesus is saying that it is vital that we continue to follow God’s laws. However, that must be reconciled with other parts of the Bible. For example, John 1:29 calls Jesus “the Lamb of God” and paints a picture of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb who “takes away the sin of the world”. In the Old Testament, as I’m sure you know, lambs were used as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the Israelites. So does this mean that after Jesus died on the cross and rose again (as the sacrificial lamb), that we should continue sacrificing lambs for our sin? Or was that part of the fulfillment that he referred to in Matthew 5?

                    My understanding of the message of Matthew 5 is that we are to follow the commands of God which are laid out for us in Matthew 22 of loving God with all of our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves since “all the Law and Prophets [including the ten commandments, which you referred to] hang on these two commandments.” When I look at the message portrayed here, I don’t see a God who nit-picks about what fabrics our clothes are woven from or what type of meat we may or may not eat. I see a God whose message is love and redemption. Could I be misinterpreting this passage? Possibly. But we have all been called to serve and obey to the best of our abilities and, if I am wrong, then when I stand before God one day, I will be judged for that.

                    With regards to your question about homosexuality in the New Testament, I would refer you back to the verse I previously used in 1 Timothy 1.

                    You also asked my opinion on 1 Timothy 2. I know that many people of my gender have struggled to reconcile this verse to their lives and, in all honesty, there are times when I do as well. Just because I do my best to follow these teachings doesn’t mean that it’s always the easy thing to do. In my personal life, I do my best to submit to my husband, knowing that because he is commanded to love me as much as he loves himself, that he will give my thoughts and opinions equal weight with his own. I admit that I have and continue to struggle with this, especially in conflict- it certainly isn’t in my nature to back down from a fight (as I’m sure we’ve established over the past couple days).

                    As for women in authority in other venues than the home, I freely admit that I have mixed feelings on it. The church that my husband and I have been part of for the last several years has a female pastor, but she works in submission to the head pastor (in the same way that all of the other pastors such as the youth pastor, music pastor, and others do in relationship to the head pastor). What about a female governor? Or president? Once again, we are back to looking at the context of when 1 Timothy was written. At that time, it was extremely socially unacceptable for women to be in authority over men so Paul wrote that letter, advising that men could be teaching to both sexes and women should only be teaching to other women in order to avoid pushing people away from the message by creating a social rift. In our modern age, this is clearly not the same situation, as women are (in most cases) afforded the same status as men in public. We can vote, run for office, and teach others- male or female. So while the lesson of Paul’s message is the same (not doing anything to intentionally push people away from the Gospel unless that “something” goes against the Gospel itself), the situation is different. Many people feel that this makes it acceptable, while others of a more traditional viewpoint still feel that men were created to be in authority.

                    I wish I could give you a cut and dry answer to that question but the best I can do is to explain that I do believe that men were created to be in authority. Does that mean that I take issue with our church having a female pastor? No, as she works in submission to the lead pastor and, ultimately, in submission to God. Once again, this opinion is highly unpopular and is considered antiquated in many social circles, but it all comes back down to not picking and choosing pieces of the Bible to create a “religion of convenience”.

                    I earnestly hope that I have been able to communicate clearly while explaining all of this since I find that things get muddled quickly when examining theology and, as I expressed earlier, much of this is my personal understanding of the Bible. If you were to ask someone with a different background or denomination, I’m sure you would receive a different answer.

                    Before I wrap up though, I wanted to share that I really appreciate this conversation. I know that you were extremely upset when you responded initially and I wanted to say that I’m very grateful that we’ve been able to continue our conversation in a way that is both intelligent and respectful- truth be told, there is not enough of that in our society today.

                    If you would like to continue this discussion, I welcome it, but I would suggest that perhaps Alex’s blog isn’t necessarily the best place to do so (since it’s getting difficult to work around the “reply” restrictions). I will include my email address for you and invite any further questions or comments that you may have (or any others reading this thread) to be directed there.

                    Best, Alyssa ([email protected])

                    1. Here, this is an extreme example, but it’s what happens when you teach children that something that is natural is wrong.

                      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

                      Yes, this comes from an extremely religious area of MN, and these kids, teachers, and administrators are taught and learned the same things you did Alyssa. This is one of the problems with teaching that people who are homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed the same rights and protections, this is what makes my wife and I angry.

                      We can debate biblical theory all day long, and that’s something I’ve engaged in plenty of times. But when you teach bigotry and discrimination, it doesn’t matter how you dress it up.

                    2. Trevor, I’m actually familiar with that article as I read it when it was first published. What you are showing is certainly an extreme example and when I first read through it, I was appalled by how those teenagers were treating each other- but instead of being left with the assumption that all people who are anti-gay marriage are hateful and bigots (as it seems that you were), I was left with the impression that the parents of the children doing the harassing had failed in a way that was not only troubling, but in this case, deadly.

                      Were those parents sitting at home around the dinner table, bashing homosexuals for their lifestyle? Were they encouraging their children to mistreat the gay kids at school? We’ll probably never know for sure, but I do understand how it would be a small leap for someone who is pro-gay rights to see all of us who have taken a stand against it as teaching our children that it is terrible, hateful, and the people involved should be shunned.

                      I want to be perfectly clear about this- in our house, that is not the case. I certainly can’t speak to the situation in that article because I have no idea how other parents are choosing to deal with this issue in their own homes, but under MY roof, we are teaching the importance of loving one’s neighbor, whether that person is gay, straight, bi, or any other variation thereof. The same applies to other cultures, different religions, and anything else that makes us unique from one another as human beings. Does that mean that we have to embrace everyone else’s lifestyle and put our stamp of approval on it? Certainly not. But it does mean that I will be instilling in my children the firm belief that they should honor their peers and stand up for others who are being persecuted- even if they themselves can’t agree with how that person is living. Everyone deserves respect and no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, I’m sure we can all agree about that.

                      Throughout this entire conversation, the one thing that we have both reiterated is how we have the right to believe whatever we want in this country. You’ve repeatedly stated that my beliefs make me a bigot and if you choose to look at it that way, then so be it. I’ve done my utmost to explain to you that I have nothing against homosexuals in general or as individuals; it’s the lifestyle that I take issue with, not the people themselves. I have never in the past harassed or been derogatory toward a homosexual individual because I don’t agree with them, and I won’t be doing so in the future. To the contrary, I’ve explained that I believe that demonstrating love to everyone is far more important than arguing over our differences.

                      It’s true that I remain unwilling to compromise something that is laid out as black-and-white in the Bible and though you have eloquently and passionately fought your side of the argument, I have yet to hear a compelling reason that I should compromise my beliefs if I am going to truly “love my neighbor.” Going back to your example of the article, if I genuinely care about the people in my life that are homosexuals, I’m going to live that out and my kids are going to see it and learn from it. They are going to hear my husband and I discuss our beliefs in a manner that reflects that love and, when the time comes, if we have done our jobs as parents, they too will do the right thing- whether it’s showing love to someone different than themselves or standing up for someone who is being bullied.

                      In light of how we are living our lives and raising our children, I ask you- why should we have to compromise our beliefs?

  4. Just awesome. I hope to be able to teach my son the same, though I hope by that time the bad laws and hatred are gone. A girl can dream, right?

  5. I love this post! What an awesome mom you are for having such an open and honest convesation with your kiddos. I like how you easily brought it down to their level.

  6. I’ve been confused ever since my bible-study group read Romans… Is it o.k. to be a little gay? To have a little gay sex, but not take it to an extreme like getting married? Most christians think it IS o.k. to be a little proud of your self. It is o.k. to talk about others as long as it isn’t for bad intentions. etc. I just reread a bunch of it and saw this:

    “They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” – Romans NIV.

    HOLY CRAP! I hope that is a wrong translation. “they disobey their parents” = deserve death. I’ve never noticed that before. [ -> no its in KJV too. ] Sorry Paul – you haven’t met my parents. really.

    Pretty sure this is another one of those time I will have to teach the kids that some laws should definitely be questioned. And unless God hands you a book Himself and asks you to take a look – don’t take every word as law.

    Conveniently – my God is big enough that he can Love the sinner who misunderstands His love and not the sin (thinking gay love isn’t o.k.) Love is Love and unfortunately Hate is Hate -no matter how you sugar coat it.

  7. I’ve had a similar conversation with mine. It hurts because a year ago, I wouldn’t have even had to explain. Joseph would have just assumed a boy can marry a boy and a girl can marry a girl. Now, though, with the outside influence of school friends, he’s questioning the things I’ve taught him and it worries me that it’s going to be an uphill path until people understand love is love.

  8. Wonderful post! Love IS love … My 5 year relationship with my girlfriend is much healthier and more filled with love than several straight couples I know. So when the time comes for us to get married (which we luckily can do as we live in new York), I’ll be glad there are people like you teaching love and acceptance instead of ignorance and hate

  9. i just recently had to have this conversation with my boys, because they just realized that my biological mom has a wife, as does my dad. my parents divorced from each other 20 some years ago, and after years of therapy, my mom finally realized why she was never happy before.

    anyway, it took my boys talking with kids at school to realize that most kids don’t have three grandmothers and one grandfather. and after explaining to them that marriage was a sign of commitment between two people that love each other very much, i asked if they understood. my oldest (he’s 8) said that he thinks you should get married if you love somebody, and you should love somebody that makes you happy, and it doesn’t matter to him if he doesn’t marry a girl, he wants somebody to make him happy. he also said he thinks marrying a t-rex would make him most happy, so we’ll have to see how that works out for him.

  10. Thank you for a wonderfully simple example of how to make that point to your children. Children ask such surprising, disarming questions sometimes and I, personally, don’t know how to answer them in a simple, straightforward manner. This is a beautiful.

  11. Alex, this may surprise you, but I’m a church goer, a Christian, and I read my Bible and pray everyday. In fact, at lunch, I needed some guidance and I lowered my head, humbled myself and spoke to the God I believe in.

    I also teach my 3 daughters that love in unconditional and unstoppable between people of the same sex as well as opposite sexes, like mommy and daddy.

    The Bible, while a great book, isn’t the only book. The problem is societal evolution. It’s behind schedule. We should beyond arguing about this topic.

    We are friends with same sex couples. My daughters, 16, 8, and 7, see love, not gay.

    Before my talk with God, earlier, I saw the prop 8 ban had been slapped down by the California courts. As part of my prayer I asked God for tolerance among all of his childrne so they could the error in hate and judgement.

    Thank you for raising your children with open minds. That’s more important than anything else you will do today. You have my word, I will do the same when i go home tonight.

    *neurotic fist pump*

    1. I feel like we should be beyond arguing about this as well. The idea that God sent us the Bible in all its translations as the only way to know Him is making God very small.
      It’s so nice to have another God-loving liberal around.

      1. Thank you! This is the main issue I have always had with going to church – if for some reason I don’t agree with someone else’s interpretation of the Bible then I’m obviously doing something “wrong”. I think God is much bigger than any one person’s views. Love the post 🙂

  12. wonderful! I really like your last statement. I 100% believe that love is love regardless of gender. I do believe that everyone has the right to share their beliefs with their children, however when those beliefs are pushed on to my children I just pray that I have raised my girls to know that bigotry and hate are one of the biggest sins. Love is Love..

  13. As a former Catholic and confirmed agnostic, I am of the opinion that it’s better for the universe if people are allowed to love whomever they want. My question to people who equate homosexual marriage with sin – who does it hurt? Stealing, lying, cheating, they all hurt other people. But there’s no way my gay friends in committed relationships raising their kids with love are hurting anyone. So why can’t they get married? I’m honestly asking, because I don’t see why it’s a big deal.

  14. See, now this is one of those posts from me that makes me that much sadder that we aren’t neighbors. We would have so much fun!

    The way we say it here at Casa de Jones is, “God loves love.”

    Someday, the law will recognize my sister’s marriage to a woman just the way it recognizes my marriage to a man, even if some people can’t. But that’s why we have rule of law instead of majority rule: it ain’t perfect, but it’s more just.

  15. I agree… they should be apologizing to you. I have always taught my kids that anyone can be in love and that families consist of all kinds of combinations. Some have two mommies or two daddies and some families have step moms and dads… etc.
    When my daughter asked me about gay marriage (back when the first states were legalizing it), I just told her that some people don’t get what marriage is about. Marriage is about loving someone so much that you want to tell the Government (and sometimes whoever that you pray to) that you promise to stick by them no matter what. If boy wants to make that commitment with a boy, then they should be able to. That is what the people on TV are fighting for…freedom to make commitments to whoever they choose.

  16. This is interesting because our son says the same thing and he just turned four. My husband nor I have NEVER told him he can’t marry a boy or is “supposed” to marry a girl. I wonder if it is just his natural response right now since all he really sees are “mommies and daddies” together? We don’t have any close homosexual friends, so he doesn’t get that exposure.

    In regards to politics and religion, I am a liberal Christian. I have no problem with homosexuality nor do I feel like I can pass judgement because after all I am not God. I also believe the government should not be involved in marriage in the first place whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. If the government wasn’t involved in heterosexual marriage then homosexual marriage would be a moot point. In general, I am just an advocate of minimal government involvement in my life all around. I don’t need my government to tell me who I can and can’t marry, punish me if I don’t buy their health insurance, etc. My government doesn’t need to protect me from myself or make decisions for me.

    Our son will know that there are all types of families and nothing is right or wrong as long as there is love.

    1. Love this “Our son will know that there are all types of families and nothing is right or wrong as long as there is love.”

      My son definitely learned it from friends at school. He was pretty specific about that. I guess the plus side is that it opened the door to this conversation and we were able to celebrate the overturning of Prop 8 together.

  17. LOVE this. Seriously, when I have kids can I just have them live with you so you raise them with your beautiful explanations for things.

  18. Alex, another beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes this evening. Thank you for being the mother, woman and spiritual being you are.

  19. I have come back to this post over and over trying to post a wonderful comment based on the commenters here and the post.

    But all I got is: In an effort to not over-complicate things in my brain or life, I would rather go with love than hate. I would rather go with acceptance than exclusion.

    And the way I understand God? I think I am picking the right choice. I think my choosing love over anything else will ALWAYS save me from condemnation. If that is what happens when you “choose wrongly”.

  20. It saddens me to read/hear Alyssa’s words. Actually, I feel worse for the children who are being taught this way, thus carrying on another generation of prejudice.

    Alyssa, you chose your words very carefully, but you are most definitely teaching your children hatred and bigotry.

    It does not matter how pretty a bow you attach to the lessons you teach your offspring. Inside the package there’s judgement and arrogance.

    I’m sorry. It just cuts deep to my core knowing that perfect souls (I say perfect cause God makes NO MISTAKES, NO JUNK) will continue to face discrimination, be spat upon, tormented, ridiculed, emotionally and physically harmed, because parents told them so…

    Very sad. For me.

  21. Nowadays, it is going on conversations about homosexuality; some are against it and some on behalf of it. The right answer we can find from the word of God (the Bible).

    The Lord Jesus is the Messiah, Redeemer from sins and the Saviour. Jesus’ must fulfilled the whole law of God and believed all what the Old Testament taught, that He could be the Saviour. He did fulfill and believe all the law. In the Old Testament were commandments, which teach that homosexuality is a sin. Because the Lord Jesus had to believe all commandments of the Old Testament, so He also believed that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible teaches that homosexuality was a sin in the order of the Old Covenant and is valid in the order of the New Covenant. Like this way Jesus also believed that homosexuality is a sin, and He also condemned homosexuality by this way.

    For the sake of sodomites’ abomination acts, God destroyed Sodom as Ezekiel 16:49,50 shows for us. Ezekiel uses 16:50 Hebrew word towebah, which is the same Hebrew word in Lev 18:22 (and Lev 20:13) that describes homosexuality as abomination. It is very clear that in Ezekiel 16:50, abomination means homosexuality acts as the reason for destroying of Sodom. Sodomites pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness and hardened hearts towards poor and needy were sins, but destruction came for the sake of homosexuality, and the New Testament confirms this:

    Jude1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    Apostle Paul wrote very clearly that homosexuality (men having sex with other men; women having sex with other women) is a sin. Ro 1:27 is word error, which is in Greek plane, which means error, to deceive, deceit, one led astray from the right way, error which shows itself in action, a wrong mode of acting. In this place, the Bible in the New Testament shows very clearly that same-gender sex is a sin and aberration from the right way. Apostle Paul taught very clearly that homosexuality is unnatural sin.

    Many scientists believe that homosexuality is congenital, a matter and orientation that can’t be changed as heterosexual. Paradoxical is that many scientists don’t believe in God of the Bible, and they proclaim that God of the Bible is not existed. Nevertheless, God of the Bible is capable of change homosexuals individuals to be as heterosexuals.

    Arsenos means male and koiten means bed. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 teach that a man cannot lie (sexual act) with another man as he lies with a woman. The origin of the word arsenokoites means homosexual activity and homosexual. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 prove very clearly that arsenos koitenmeans homosexuality sex, because the Jews scribes translated words’ arsenos koiten to describe men who have sex with another men (homosexuality), which is a sin and against the will of God. Apostle Paul didn’t make up the word arsenokoites, but it was already as the concept in the Old Testament, where it meant homosexuality.

    It is very clear that the words’ arsenos koiten meant homosexuality (man who had sex with another man) to Jews of the Old Covenant era. In the same way arsenokoites meant homosexuality (man who had sex with another man) to Jesus’ disciples in the New Covenant era.

    Jewish philosopher Philo lived in the same time as Jesus Christ and Philo has said that arsenokoites meant shrine prostitute (male temple prostitute), and not homosexual. Some people have made from this a conclusion that the word arsenokoites meant a male temple prostitute. Philo’s interpretation was totally wrong, because the Bible proves this undisputedly and shows that Philo erred.

    Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13 doesn’t use temple prostitute word, but words in which is denied that a man can’t lie sexually with another man. Always when the Bible speaks for temple prostitutes, so the Bible uses words gedeshah and gadesh. If Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13 told for temple prostitutes, so verses would mention them, but there isn’t, because in those verses, the Bible forbids homosexuality. It is very clear and undisputable in the light of the testimony of the Bible, that arsenokoites means homosexuality.

    According to words of the Lord Jesus, Jesus’ disciples can judge righteous judgement. If somebody is stealing, living in adultery or is lying, so we have the right to say sin as a sin. According to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin and so Jesus’ disciples have the right to say what the Bible teaches. Jesus’ disciple has a right to say that living in sins lead people to eternal damnation. Jesus’ disciple doesn’t judge to damnation, but tells that God shall judge sin maker to hell.

    God loves also gay-people, but not sinful act of homosexuality, and therefore, God calls gay-people repentance and receives salvation by believing in the Lord Jesus. In other words, God loves sinners, but not sins. The gospel and its changing power is meant also for gay-people, because the Lord Jesus can set you free you from your sins.

    I don’t condemn homosexuals, but love them by the love of God. The love of God also holds on from the truth, and therefore, I must say that homosexuality is a sin, it is not condemning, but telling the truth. God has authority to judge, not a man. God judges in His word homosexuality as a sin. I can tell about judgements that what God does, and I don’t condemn, but tell who judge.

    I don’t support discrimination of homosexuals, because they are valuable as my neighbors. However, homosexuality is a sin. It is possible to integrate from homosexuality and get rid of it. The Lord Jesus can save and give freedom to you. I recommend for you to read the Bible, because there God teaches for natural sexuality and salvation by believing in the Lord Jesus.

    Reference: http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/homosexual.html

    1. While I appreciate that you interpret the Bible this way and see as the guide principle of your life, this post is about the fact that I don’t agree and my children should not have to be subjected to these beliefs. Your version of the Bible should not govern the US or its people.
      But just as you don’t condemn homosexuals, I don’t condemn you. I pray for you and others, who have chosen an overly literal and convenient interpretation of the Bible, to have the bigotry and hate removed from your heart and eyes so you can be closer to God.

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