Sunday, May 13, 2012

Soapbox Sunday

Last night, after the kiddos were asleep, I opened my unified inbox. For those unfamiliar – a unified inbox is an electronic version of your grandmother’s purse; equal parts vital necessities (emails, FB, Twitter) and junk (coupons, singles ads, SPAM-canned or virtual).

At first click I anticipated posts galore regarding the recent vote in North Carolina. I did not, however, expect 73 messages asking if I planned on writing about the outcome here; or in an editorial for the Day Job. Believe it or not – my managing editor made that last suggestion, but we quickly agreed my, umhealthy opinions would impede objectivity.

Like many, I was disappointed in the outcome in NC. I support same sex marriage, openly and without hesitation.  I’m also a Christian, and the vote tally did not anger me nearly as much as those individuals claiming it were a “victory for God.”

Ignorance at its worst.

A little backstory: I was raised in a loving and supportive Roman Catholic family. My parents, RC to the bone, blessed me with values, compassion and a deep respect for the faith. They scrimped and saved so I could attend 16 years of exemplary parochial school, and to this day - I count the friends from those plaid and knee sock wearing years among the greatest gifts in my life.  

But, (you saw this coming, right?) as I aged, my inner liberal emerged. (THUMP = Grandfather rolling in grave). Actually, I call myself LL – Liberal Light; a feminist with a Christian base and pinch of capitalist.  I wrestled with a host (pun intended) of the RC practices – the largest being the church’s stance on homosexuality. 

I use this example:  Once, I had a pair of comfy, old size 4 Levis (Catholicism) – a good, familiar fit. But somewhere along the road I blossomed into a size 10 (OK, 12), and the woman I became could no longer squeeze her values into the old pair without a certain level of discomfort.

Hubby, also raised RC, shared my dilemma, and unlike many of our friends we refused to abandon church altogether. We have kids -  kids with…adventurous spirits…they need God (and a good HMO), so over the course of a year we “auditioned” religions – landing in a welcoming faith community, similar to our RC roots, but on par with our progressive lifestyle. (And in the words of my 11 year old, – “The coffee hour donuts rock!”) I say this with a humor, but the decision to leave the RC church was extremely difficult; we struggled.

Where am I going with all this?

My family had a choice – and we chose to align our religious beliefs with our lifestyle – Freedom of Religion . 

Equally, NC residents voting in accordance with their faith have every right to do so. 

Citizens of the US, (Straight, Gay, Christian, Atheist, Democrat, Republican, Vegan, Carnivore) will NEVER agree on the “big issues”  - we are so multi-faceted the Hope Diamond looks like a chunk of glass, and that’s OK! (See US Constitution) We have the right to disagree, but my hope, as Pollyanna as it sounds, is that somewhere along the way we lose the ignorance, extinguish the hatred and somehow, somewhere realize equality is more than a word -  it’s a right.

And…I’m off the soapbox! Happy Mother’s Day!


Anonymous said...

With you girlfriend. Some of my fellow "Christians" make my hair stand on end and my stomach hurt.

Kathryn Elliott said...

Hi Jane & thanks for checking in. This just breaks my heart - in so many ways. :-(

Mr.Gag said...

Went to your blog and read the Mother's Day message. I am 64 years old and struggle with the RC thing. It seems to me that if JC was full of love as I used to hear in the Vatican II church, that we should care about the plight of the poor, disadvantaged and those who feel alone and betrayed. And, yet, that is not the message I hear every Sunday. I feel that the President would not be welcomed in my church and the is unsettling. I am still trying to figure it out. And through all this the former Bishops of Boston and Springfield are in hiding in the Vatican and a special home in Maryland. Makes me angry.

Kathryn Elliott said...

Hi there Mr.Gags, & thanks for checking in. Lots of food for thought on this one. Glad I'm not the only one with questions.