I woke up this morning and had a brief look at the news
There were a couple of stories that drew my attention. The usual debate over Muslims and gay marriage, and another story of a black girl Jose in Cairns who’s services where refused in a Gloria Jeans because of the colour of her skin.
As most of you know I am married to my partner Rebekah and we have twin girls who are the joy and light of our lives.
What you may not know is that besides being gay, our brother-in-law and nieces are black and my sister-in-law is Muslim.
These subjects are very close to our hearts yet we have never felt the inspired urge to comment until now.
Rebekah and I love to celebrate the diversity of humanity. We love meeting different people everyday and exchanging experiences, and learning and evolving by striving to understand different points of view that enhance our wonderful life journey.
It has always been our belief that segregation is so senseless. We have many friends and loved ones from all types of religious and ethnic backgrounds, and we value this as the cornerstone of our life experience and growth. It is so wonderfully exciting to learn about things that are different and we celebrate human diversity in every way that we can.
That is why today we feel impelled to write.
We as humans look at the world today and are up in arms about how much intolerance is taking place, about the amount of bullying in our schools, work places, and congregations.
About how this world seems to lack the core values of love, respect and compassion.
We don’t need to look far to see why this is taking place.
It’s hurtful to see that a young black woman would be treated with so much disrespect because of the colour of her skin. Jose did not have an issue serving a white woman in a wheelchair – she didn’t even think twice about it, yet this woman felt that it was completely acceptable to refuse service from Jose because her skin tone was different to her own. We could blame this woman, slap her wrists and move on our merry little way, yet the reality is, does this woman feel that this behaviour is acceptable because she has other like minded people in her circle who support her view?
Much like the heated debate on Muslims. My sister-in-law is Muslim, and her family are some of the kindest, generous, most loving, helpful and supportive people that I have met. They have always shown love and kindness to us and even though I know that our lifestyle is not in line with their religious beliefs, they have never allowed our differences to affect the love shared between us as a family and visa versa. Instead they have always displayed what we know as the true core value of godly, spiritual, love and compassion. Yet, despite them getting it right and being the true reflection of Gods love, they have to bare the social consequences of the actions of a select group of people who do not represent the true value of the faith.
The dictionary definition of terrorism is “the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims’ (source: Google) and it goes on every day in many different forms.
As for marriage equality, the cornerstone of opposition’s argument is their resolve “to protect the children”, as they believe that gay marriage will create an environment that will affect children in an extremely negative way.
Most of the people using this excuse are advertising that they are from a Christian or religious background and they have even gone so far as to pay for a young woman who came from a same sex family, to publically support them.
Everyone has different experiences with their up bringing, no matter what household you come from. Parent’s do their very best to shield their children from anything harmful, but ultimately you can’t cotton wool them forever and sometimes the things that you think are absolutely benign can be the most hurtful or damaging. Both Rebekah and I came from heavily religious backgrounds that as children, affected us in a very destructive way. Yet as adults, realizing our parents were doing what they felt was best for us, we worked through our issues surrounding this and turned our so called negative experiences into ones of discovery and a passion, and a willingness to learn about views that are different to our own. This has helped us find some peace with our negative experiences.
In response to this tactic – and it is a hate tactic; suggesting that children are at risk because they are being brought up in a same sex family is blatantly cruel and unfounded. Unfortunately there are many children who suffer abuse and negative experiences in a diverse range of families – both straight and gay. This occurs in families with straight couples, single parent homes, same sex households, foster care, and orphanages – and even under the care of churches and religious organisations. It is a very serious problem that we all need to unite on.
So to use children in order to drum up fear and hate towards a group of people who have just as much of a right to having families as anyone else and are equally capable of providing healthy and loving homes, is completely unacceptable and has no moral or spiritual fiber within its action.
In-fact some of the most shocking abuse of children has come at the hands of religious organizations. It is a very real and saddening issue that is definitely not confined to one group of people and a far too serious issue an issue to be used as mud in a slinging match to further a political stance. Yet, this type of degrading ammunition is deemed ok to use as a punch line because again there is a section of people who encourage the viewpoint.
We understand that some religious organizations and individuals are fighting for something that they wholeheartedly believe in, and something that they value and love …
But so are we…
So instead of fighting, instead of segregation, instead of inflicting hate to each other, why don’t we stop and start listen to each other and come to a solution were everyone gets what they need and deserve without impeding on each other?
Terrorism, Racism, segregation, bullying, and equality – it’s all part of a much larger issue.
The irony is, that within all of our diversity of skin colour and religious beliefs, to gender and same sex relationships, there is one factor that no one seems to be truly listening to:
We are all HUMAN… every human being deserves the same rights, every human being deserves to be treated with respect, and every human being deserves EQUALITY – free of torment, judgment segregation and bullying.
ALL actions and laws that promote inequality in any form are a human rights issue.
It is time to ban together as a human race and refuse to stand idly by when we see intolerance of this kind to any human being.
It’s time to support government members who have it right, for if we cannot get our government right, then how can we expect things to change in our society when we are electing and putting in power the very people who are inflicting segregation?
It’s time to start communicating with each other instead of causing destruction in each others lives, for we all need and deserve the same thing; a right to be who we all are. The right to share in the very unique and divine creation of who we are as individuals and embrace how wonderfully and magnificently diverse we all are.
To you Jose, to the Muslim community, to all LGBTQ and to everyone being bullied, segregated, judged, harassed or made to feel less than for being who you are, we hope that by putting pen to paper today you feel supported, encouraged, validated and loved.
To all who read this post today, may you feel inspired to be pro-humanity in any way that you can, and may we as a human race find our way back to the true expression of spirituality by divinely sharing compassion, respect and above all LOVE.