In the last week, two institutions that I have put a lot of faith in have let me down in rather dramatic ways. First, the United Methodist Church voted to keep divisive and hurtful language in the Discipline (their rulebook) that says
“While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church”.
In fact, the conservative majority refused even to allow an amendment that said the whole church doesn’t agree on this. All in all, I think it’s a most unChristian stance; so much so that yesterday I gave up my membership in the UMC, saying “I love the UMC, the teachings of Wesley and it’s commitment to social justice. But, I cannot in good conscience continue to belong to an organization that discriminates.” Would that I could the same with the other institution.
If there was a way to give up citizenship in North Carolina and just walk away, at this moment, I would. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. I’m tied to the state familially, financially, mentally and emotionally. The other day, on The God Article, Rev. Mark Sandlin starts out by stealing a line from an North Carolina PSA “I like calling North Carolina home”. Normally, I agree; hell, I’d even one up him and say I love calling it home. Not so much today, though. You see, yesterday the citizens of the state I love calling home deciding to codify division, discrimination and hate into our constitution with that abomination, Amendment One. If you’ve been out of the loop (or under a rock), this discourse of hate says:
“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
Sounds rather innocuous, doesn’t it. At least, it does until you realize that as long it’s on the books same-sex couples will be denied the rights that straight couples take for granted. Things like covering your spouse (and their children) on your insurance, protection against domestic violence, making health care decisions concerning their spouse, even visiting them in the hospital. While this hateful turd was supposedly aimed at LGBT people, the shit splatters other places too. Like on unmarried straight couples; the amendment specifically says “marriage… is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” Nobody is really sure how this will go, because no other state has an amendment with that language. I’m guessing it won’t go well, though. Now, North Carolina has joined the haters and has shit all over a significant portion of the population. See why I want to just walk away?
But, I can’t. My family is here, my job is here, my life is here. The family part is the hardest, because my youngest daughter (17) has recently come out as gay. It wasn’t enough that churches and “Christians” (I use that term very loosely), including some family members, tell her she’s a sinner, an abomination, that she’s going to hell, etc., now the state has weighed in to say that she’s unworthy of basic human rights. That’s just fucking great.
I saw a post on Facebook yesterday that was looking forward to today because they thought they wouldn’t hear anymore about Amendment One. I hate to disappoint them, but we’re not going away and we’re not shutting up about it.