I feel conflicted.
Due to the whole Caitlyn Jenner/ESPY and gay marriage in the USA thing last week, my dad wrote a lamenting post on Facebook about “the state of things” for Christians in America and got equally applauded and attacked.
The big surprise for me was that some of his attackers were my childhood friends. I’m not surprised they disagree with my dad; I’m surprised they were surprised by his post. I mean, my dad is the most conservative Christian I know. The fact that he considers gay marriage, nationwide, to be a bad thing should go without saying.
His post inspired a conversation between Jake and me. The conversation we had was a bit worrying, because we both realized it feels as though Christians can’t disagree with gay marriage without being vilified, which means people are being vilified for having an opinion, and we all have a right to our opinions … even if that opinion isn’t the cool, new trend on Twitter.
I know how I identify. I am:
An erotica author
A prison rights advocate
The proud owner of a .38 special named Annie Oakley
I’ve long since realized I’m not a republican or a democrat. I’m not liberal or conservative. I’m a Benedict Cumberbatch-loving geeky writer with a husband and two dogs. I dance in rainstorms and make people laugh with my creative usage of the f-word.
My most famous story to date is “Don’t Ball the Boss,” nominated for the much-coveted 2015 Pushcart Prize. It was about a highly inappropriate and hilarious gay man and his sexual fixation with his straight male boss, which got me (like my father) equally applauded and attacked. And I was writing fiction!
I know where I stand, philosophically and creatively, but I’m wary about discussing it. I’m getting a little shaky about being honest and having a voice—and what the hell is a writer without a voice? For instance, I wrote an article about Lana Del Rey fans months ago and was bludgeoned to death by cries of “slut shaming!” and “women’s rights!” and “you’re just old and bitter!”
Damn. I was just making a point about idol worship.
Despite negative feedback, I can’t shut up. I can’t keep my politically incorrect mouth restrained. I have an opinion, and I’m allowed to have my opinion. So is everyone else, even if I think it’s wrong. It’s an opinion. Without opinions, we’d live in a world of peace and harmony and … boredom.
I realize that someday soon, one of my labels—the Christian one—will become a minority. In fact, someday, I might be locked up because I pray every day and think God is a pretty cool dude. Like Daniel with the lions, I’ll be added to the menu, but not yet.
For now, I still have a voice. So with that voice, I’ll say, congrats on gay marriage, but let’s not slander people who are against it. Remember: it’s not Christian versus gay; it’s about all of us listening to and respecting each other.
A final word from the Man upstairs: “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. … Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation.”