This past week the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal and available nationwide in the United States. This has been a heated topic over the past few years, and now many people who have wanted to see equality for all couples straight or gay have been celebrating this historic event.
As for me, I cannot say that I wanted it, but I also cannot say that I did not want it. Yes, I am a Mormon. I do believe in traditional marriage and family. I do believe that men and women were created to have distinct divine rolls that help unify each other and their family. I do not believe that acting on same-sex attraction is morally right. Do those beliefs make me a bad person?
Say I supported the opinion that "love is love" and every one should have the right to marry who they choose. Again, I cannot say that I do not want this or support this. I think it's great that same-sex couples now can have the benefits that straight couples have. They are no longer deprived of those rights, and I am very happy for them. While I do not agree or believe the same way that they do, I am happy for them.
Now this blog post is not meant to offend anyone or cause some sort of storm and uproar. It is not meant for people to tell me that I am wrong, and list all of the reasons why. It is simply to advise people to do just the opposite.
Countless times this week I have seen someone post their opinion or belief on social media. I can almost guarantee that in the comments there are people opposing their post, and degrading said person. Most people comment or post because they want to convince the other person that they are wrong or that their beliefs are false. Most people who post on social media on heated issues, have strong opinions for or against the issue. Do you think that they can be convinced that their strong opinion or belief is false? Someone with said strong opinion is going to defend their opinion no matter what you say.
I am not saying that no one should express their opinions or views. We all have the freedom of speech. What I am saying is that we should respect other's opinions or views, even if they are different than our own. So what if you believe that same-sex couples should or should not marry? Traditional marriages are still taking place. Same-sex marriages will start to more abundantly take place. Anything that we say is not going to change that. We all now have the same rights, despite our difference in beliefs. We are all able to live in this country that has given us the right to believe differently and reap the benefits. I believe the founding fathers wanted us to respect each others beliefs. They gave us the right to believe what we wanted, and still live in the same country and be neighbors. Isn't that wonderful to live with such a diverse group of people?
Here is the thing - there is no way that the population of the earth will ever agree. We need to celebrate our differences and love each other despite our differences. Why do we have to express so much hate for someone and their beliefs? The only thing that we are accomplishing here is anger, hatred, and disgust.
I have not only seen this through the past week, but I have seen it for years and am speaking up now because it is getting a little too intense. We are definitely living in the "age of debates" as it has become so easy to express our opinions for the world to see. Sadly, I think these opinions are doing more harm than good. I am sure that there are plenty of people out there that are scared to share their beliefs and opinions because of the negativity that they are going to receive in return. It is almost inevitable. Can we just celebrate our differences? Can we be able to share our opinions and beliefs and receive the respect back that we deserve? I think everyone wants respect, but how can we expect it when we are not respecting others in return.
Mormon children sing the following short song and it's a simple, but strong statement.
"Jesus said love everyone; Treat them kindly too.
When your heart is filled with love, Others will love you."
Whether you are a Christian or not, I am sure we can all agree that we should love and treat others kindly. Yes, I am Mormon. Yes, I believe in traditional marriage. Yes, I may believe differently than you. Does that make me a bad person? Can we all just get along?