Thousands have rallied to the support of Chik-Fil-A, whose CEO Dan Cathy recently affirmed his and the company’s stance on traditional marriage. Gov. Mike Huckabee, among others, have called for a day of support to Chik-Fil-A (the Governor’s is on Aug. 1st, sign up here).
“No human can call another “bigot” since the word fundamentally means “intolerant of another’s opinions.” Say “bigot,”be a bigot.” John G. Miller (@QBQGuy) via Twitter on 7/28/12
This tweet I read this morning says what I wanted to say in this post so clearly and pointedly, that I had to include it.
In the first post of this series I wrote about absolute truth based on the Bible, which is denied by those who have the view that we should accept any and all lifestyles as valid, homosexuality being at the fore of the news these days. In regard to truth, it is all about absolutes- something is either true, or it is not. But in society today, my view of truth has to be out on the same plane as others who have different versions of “truth” or who deny the truth I believe all together.
To call oneself tolerant, then to turn around and reject a person for their differing views, it to become intolerant. Pretty simple for me to see.
While TRUTH provides the basis for my beliefs regarding homosexuality and gay marriage, it’s JUSTICE that guides the way I live with and among people of differing views from mine, even when they are radically different. Justice has in many ways been distorted as a concept, but I have written a lot about what the Bible presents as being just elsewhere on this blog (see the category on “Justice” or read this old post.
Justice is all about right relationships. The way I relate to my wife, my family, my coworkers, and to God- all of it is spelled out in the Bible. The Bible itself is about God repairing His relationship with us, which was broken by sin. I dealt with a situation in a professional setting recently that refreshed my thinking on the subject of justice and how I relate to others.
In a recent training, in a group of about 13 others, mostly mental health and social service professionals, we were asked to explore our attitudes about suicide. I was in the minority (in fact, the only one) who stated that suicide is wrong and no one has the right to take their own life, with the rationale being that it is against my personal beliefs. There was a hint, just a hint, from the from the facilitator, that someone with strong belief that suicide is wrong would have to be careful not to be hindered by such a belief in working with people who want to end their own lives. While the topic of religious belief was not brought into the group discussion, I had the chance to share with a coworker that my belief in and value for life is based in religious beliefs and moral understanding. And as for me and my house, my children will have a strong direction in life and a sense of right and wrong that is based on the Bible and will make them stronger, more confident adults.
I get asked all the time by students how I reconcile my Christian beliefs with what I do as a social worker- a field which has adopted a lot of “tolerant” and “social justice” views that are not aligned with Christian values. The answer is a matter of true justice- I am there to benefit hurting people by being the hands and feet of Jesus, even if I can’t preach to them in that context. When I meet a teen who wants to commit suicide, I am there to help stop that, not argue the merits of it. And I am driven to do so by the very personal beliefs and convictions I have just described. I am working within the role of helper, and I can’t do that by alienating them with harshness or arguing. But I embody my belief that life is precious, given by God, and should be preserved.
To have a conversation with me in a different context, I would be direct but kind in stating that I believe suicide is wrong. I believe homosexuality is wrong. Abortion is wrong. Not because I have decided that they are wrong, but because my Creator has declared them to be wrong. I have an objective standard; I’m not alone. And I hope, not through my words, but by the grace of Jesus Christ, that you can find the truth that I have found. Until then, I love you, and Jesus loves you. If you pray, pray for me. And I’ll certainly pray for you. That’s tolerance and justice.
What do you think? Let me know! And look for part 3- The American Way.