I’ve been told I can be pretty liberal for a Christian. My husband often pokes fun at how passionate I get over issues that don’t even involve me, especially issues that many Christians stand against, (like giving service to gay couples at bakeries), and he will shake his head and smile at how loudly opinionated I get.
I have several gay friends who I absolutely love, atheist friends I have fun having conversations with, and co-workers I’d die for despite their very opposite line of beliefs. I don’t protest in the streets against civil rights, I don’t gawk at tattoos and piercings or judge those who drink wine at work functions. I believe in women’s rights in the workplace and respect for all races. I believe that everyone has the right to worship however, even if those religions contradict with mine. Liberal? Fine. I like to call it human.
And because that’s who I am, some will expect me to applaud Bruce–or Caitlyn–Jenner.
Consider me on the other side of the fence with this one.
Vanity Fair just published this magazine, with Bruce Jenner completely dolled up and feminized now, announcing that he’s a woman named Caitlyn, and that he’s always felt it within himself to become a woman.
Bloggers, journalists, and the whole of social media has already been blood thirsty over this subject. I’m kind of late to the party, I know. I’m sure that as soon as that picture hit the shelves there were thousands of writers and commentators and Jane Doe’s salivating at the chance to shoot down the first Conservative that sauntered into the opinion party with a line of thinking sure to ruffle some feathers. Because in this day and age, don’t you DARE call something wrong if that something makes someone out there HAPPY. Because happy is the name of the game nowadays, no matter what.
Just do what makes you happy….right?
Now I’m not dismissing the fact that we should love–always. We should be tolerant and kind and understanding of pain or difference in beliefs. There’s no excuse to not love every single person who graces this earth.
But here’s the question we come to. Where do we draw the line?
When does our obligation to be politically correct and tolerant cross the boundaries into celebration of wickedness or the absurd turning away from what’s moral and right? When do we lose our right to freedom of religion or morality simply because those who don’t have religion get offended or call us bigots and bully us into silence? Where do we draw the line?
Like I said, I have friends from all backgrounds and belief systems and my favorite part about each of them is how much they respect my beliefs and my ways of stating what I think without hurting them in the process. But unfortunately not everyone in today’s world is like that. We are nervous to offend. Scared to hurt. Absolutely terrified to be a bigot, or to be intolerant, or heartless. I live in a world where “I’m a Christian” or “I’m Mormon” or “I’m conservative” pretty much sounds like, “I’m a gun-toting, ignorant hypocrite who hates anyone who doesn’t go to church on Sundays.” Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it’s truer than you think.
We are slowly transforming and changing as a society. Our entertainment industry cheers for those who step outside of traditional values, heralding those who change their genders or advocate for the freedom to do “whatever one chooses to do” as “heroes”. Because we’re told that those kinds of people are “real” and “honest” and “brave”. And the rest of us, who feel that the things Bruce Jenner is going through might be a need for intervention or help or might simply just be wrong–we’re just bigots, or religious nuts, or pigs or…shall I go on?
It’s a real illness in our world. But we won’t heal it, simply because too many people feel that there’s nothing to heal. As long as everyone is happy–even superficially happy–what’s the need to butt in?
Jesus himself butt into the lives of others, calling people out when they walked a crooked path, yet breaking bread with them at the same time and reminding them of His Father’s love. Jesus himself cared so much about those around him that he couldn’t bear to be silent. He loved his friends too much to just accept things as they are or to hide His light from them.
We need to love like that.
I refuse to applaud for anything and everything because that’s not being true to what is right.
Those who have a crisis of identity or a crisis of self image needs more than public approval. I refuse to applaud for those who have lost sight of who they truly are, much like an anorexic sees a falsely overweight reflection. I refuse to clap my hands when my rights are smothered to appease the feelings of those who have lost their way all for self-gratification in the here and now. I’d rather advocate for help to those who need it. I’d rather urge people to look out for those who might need prayer or guidance or assurance in their self worth. I’d rather see certain things as a terrible trial of this life and love and understand those who literally have the burden of that on their shoulders until they die. And if that makes me a bigot, then consider me the most heartfelt, well-meaning, honest bigot you’ve ever known.
I’m called to love Bruce Jenner. But I’m not called to give a standing ovation to whatever he chooses to do.
Of course we have the duty to love. But love is much greater than standing idly by or not expressing an opinion in fear of being called unkind or hypocritical.
Love has a light.
And for as long as I’m breathing I’ll believe it also has a voice.