Thursday, November 04, 2004

Moral? Reaaallllyyy?

Here's something you might not know about me:
I go to church. Every Sunday. I pray. My faith informs my decisions, including for whom and how to vote. I look forward to bringing up the baby I am expecting grounded in God's word.

And you know what? I voted against the gay marriage ban and have been spending much of today on the verge of tears because it passed and well over half of the voters in my state are bigoted enough to pass this. I genuinely do not understand how anyone can read the Gospels and hear the teaching of Jesus and somehow believe God condones hatred and discrimination against anyone. God created gay and lesbian people, and all of us, ALL of us, are children of God. We were all created and nurtured by him and everyone, George W Bush, John Kerry, my asshat neighbor, are His beloved works and beautiful in His sight. And I do a disservice to the faith I profess if I don't let that be my guiding principle in every aspect of my life.
This claim that Bush won because of “moral” issues is the biggest thing I have to choke on in the wake of these election results. In what way is discrimination moral? Please point me to the part in the Gospels where Jesus says it’s acceptable to favor the rich, to discriminate against people, to put innocent people in harm’s way over an unjust war waged under false pretenses. Strangely, he seems to be saying exactly the opposite.
To presume that somehow my faith does not inform my vote and that I lack some sort of moral fiber by not voting for Bush sickens me. One of the things I liked about Kerry is that he is Catholic, which I am, and yet can see the nuances in issues like abortion and gay rights.
One thing that draws me to Catholicism is that we are not trained to go around thumping the Bible and proclaiming our faith. Instead, we are expected to live our lives for others, to exercise our option for the poor, and to do good works. We are expected to lead by example rather than by exhortation. Do lots of Catholics fall short? Sure, I do, every day, but I don’t stop trying. And I don't think going to church and praying makes me morally superior to those facing that same struggle and tyring to just be as good a persnas they can be in their world. It's my own guide star and it works for me.
Unfortunately, we seem to be living in a very simplistic era, when the old-money, Yale-educated George Bush can convince people that he is a regular guy because he doesn’t speak English all that well, and that he somehow has the edge on “morality” because he can throw around code words and talk about prayer.
To the posters who hijacked Melissa’s blog: Please don't presume that all Christians are your kind of Christians. The hymn is "They will know we are Christians by our love" not "by our smugness." And if you want to be a moral example, get off your high horse and start treating people with some Christlike compassion.


Raisingirl said...

I certainly share in your disappointment, Amy. You know I do. And your entry was so very heartfelt. I'm sorry this is happening to our country. And I have so much respect for how you approach your faith.

Coming from a Catholic family myself, I hope you don't mind if I share your words with my mom & grandma. Both struggled with a decision, but ultimately voted for Kerry. I think hearing a Catholic perspective on all of this will help them feel even MORE proud of their decision and will give them peace knowing that they did indeed vote for the right person (even if he is pro-choice!).

We'll survive the next 4 years. And I am hopeful that change will come... I am also hopeful the terrible decisions in various states to ban gay marriage will be challenged and overturned. Our country was established to protect our freedoms, not to legislate morality.

bekahmo said...

I have to agree with most of your post. I struggled with voting for Bush because of all those people out there that try to make me feel bad for voting for Kerry, like it takes away from my moral base...but it doesn't. Plus, who's to say that Bush is some great moral leader? Not me. The only issue that I was really worried about when voting for Kerry was abortion and that was not enough to make me vote for Bush. There were so many things wrong with him. I just hope that somehow this second term is different.