Friday, March 14, 2008

Coffee For A Gay Day

A friend sent me a website to join the movement to protest a protest. I protested!

It's called the Day of Silence, a day to end the silence against the abuse and bullying of GLBTs (Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenders) in schools. So, teenagers spend April 25th with their traps shut while immersed in their studies...maybe not a bad thing? So, of course, there is outcry from the other side. Parents are organizing to keep their kids home that day in protest.

So, here's the choice: protest by keeping quiet, or protest the protest by staying home. There's got to be another option. What could it be? Coffee came to mind, naturally.

A day of silence just seems a little silly to me. So does sitting on my couch watching the 700 Club. Jesus taught us to hate the sin and love the sinner, love the person--all people. I think a day of taking a gay person out for coffee would be better. Buy coffee for a gay day! I think I'll start a movement.

Now, you must know that I have befriended many gay people. They are family members and life-long friends. I lived in San Francisco, fer cryin' out loud. Hard to walk down the street there and not bump into "them." Ahem. So, there's my disclaimer. I know that they are humans, capable of a full range of emotions. They are not a movement and they are not anti-christs. They are people.

And, I think that's the point. Getting to know someone, not just spending a day in protest, is a much better salve for our society. Protesting accomplishes nothing. As my pastor says, "knowing the poor" (or the sinner) lends to action (love is verb not a noun!). You can't ignore the poor when you know them. You can't ignore gays, or embezzlers, or prostitutes, or alcoholics if you know them. I don't advocate letting dangerous people into your life; you have to be judicious in your actions. I mean, it's never a good idea to let a drug addict have access to your kids or bank account. But, how well do we know the people we rail against?

We can't spread God's hope for everyone to have a good life if our mouths are shut, or if we're not reaching people who need help the most. If more people talked, we might have less problems in our society. We might not agree, obviously, but at least we'd understand differing points of view. And perhaps, those of us inclined would be able to spread the word of God when we talk and interact...rather than move about in silent protest for one view, or hole up at home for another.

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