Friday, July 3, 2015

Rainbows Bright

In the attic of my house are tubs of my old toys from when I was a a kid. He-Man, GI Joe, and Star Wars. Superpowers and Secret Wars. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and M.A.S.K. When I became a parent, I couldn't wait to pass them down to my own kids and I looked forward to letting them experience what it was like to love them as much as I did.

As they got older I worried more about the kids losing their parts and keeping them intact, so I organized them into bins and labelled them and kept them apart in the attic for as long as I could manage.

The first time I let them play with my Star Wars figures, I almost had a panic attack. I didn't want them mixing up the G.I. Joes with the Star Wars figures in my Darth Vader case. No matter what I did they found a way to bring them together. I could never understand why they would want Scarlet driving the Barbie car with She Ra.

Maybe I became so attached to my old ways that my insecurities got the better of me. I wanted them to enjoy playing with them as much as I did so what is so wrong with He-Man playing with Iron Man? Why should I care if GI Joe's Flint and Luke Skywalker just moved into the Fisher Price Dollhouse together?  In one scenario set up by my daughters, Michelangelo and Dusty Hayes are driving the Turtle Van to Barbie's Dreamhouse. Then they are going to pickup Grizzlor and meet up with Grimlock for dinner. In the ultimate crossover experience, my children have taught me that bringing all of these toys together in a Toy Story sort of way, is the best way to play. The toys shouldn't be apart if it makes them happy.

When it comes to mixing up different toys, kids just don't see size differences or types. They see toys and they love them all just the same. Love is love, there is no difference.

In a momentous civil rights win for America, SCOTUS announced recently that same sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. Instantly, my Facebook page list of friends looked like Rainbow Brite and Rainbow Sparkle met up with Cheer Bear and had a rave. Ever spot a rainbow after a dark and stormy time? It's a glorious thing to witness a rainbow spreading across the land.

As a Christian myself I support this decision and I hope the way we are raising our children to deny prejudices and embrace acceptance of all people. We have encouraged our children to love one another as they want to be loved. Isn't that a lesson worth living in your own life?

Have you ever witnessed two children meeting on the playground for the first time? It doesn't take long before they become friends. It may all start because of a toy they both like and BOOM! they become pals.

It's because they are taught to be open and accept others almost instantaneously. It's too bad that fades as we get older and not necessarily wiser.  We want our children to learn about accepting everyone and not excluding anyone yet in our own government, we have been doing that very thing by denying this basic right. Thanks to the Supreme Court all of that has changed.

Here's where my children really will learn that love is love and that including everyone is the best way to be. They will not only live in a time where there has been a black president (I wish you could have seen it Tupac) but my kids also get to live in a time where people regardless of whether they are gay or straight can marry legally without jumping through hoops to do so.

My kids will look back on this day in history and wonder "Why did it take so long to get there?" Why shouldn't all people be considered equal? I personally think it comes down to fear. Fear that gay marriage will somehow ruin straight marriages. Fear that if we allow this, what will happen next? Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria?

Nope. I'm still married to my wife and so are all my other straight friends. My gay friends who have been together for years waiting for their state to pass a law just became like everyone else who wants to get married to their partner. Just two people in love who want to be together forever. Double rainbows all the way!

Of course, not everyone agrees that it is so great. We have Christians who are using the Bible to explain it all away. They think gay marriage is an abomination. This is shameful and goes against everything you learn as a believer, that love is everything. As a Christian myself I get upset when those railing against the change use the Bible to explain why something should not be in existence.

It's not just gay marriage though. Religious fanatics have tried to demonstrate to me that I am a sinner because I am a stay at home dad. According to parts of The Bible it says that the only way to provide for your family is to make money with a job and that raising the children is woman's work.

The Bible had slavery people! Let's take the lessons God is trying to teach us and use some common sense.  I assume these prejudiced people must have no hands because according to Mark 9:43 it is better to cut off your hand than sin. Are we still doing that? Is that not a thing?

Of course it isn't a thing because it is a different time and how would I be able to write this blog post with no hands? Use the teachings in the Bible as a guide to live your life not for the intent to ruin other's lives.

Excuse me Mr.Attorney General in Texas that publicly announces that he supports any clerk's decision to deny same sex couples a marriage license because of "religious freedom". You must be reminded that we must not judge others. Maybe you should read up on James 4:11-12 : Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

The highest court in the land has determined that this right should be available to all people. It's hypocritical to say it is okay to judge based on "religious freedom" If you're judging homosexuals based on who they love then you are by definition sinning because there is only one who can judge.
God doesn't support your argument, your judgement is based in bigotry, not love for your neighbor.

More importantly this decision for future generations was a day that has changed history. In much the same way the civil rights movement gave voting rights to women and the fight against segregation freed people from opression, these changes better our nation. It's the acceptance of everyone getting along together without judgement for who they love.

It's a win for love whether we are Donatello and Duke, Barbie and Ken, or Princess Leia and April O'Neill.  For me, I'm going to bask in the glory of those rainbows not for gay marriage but for the simple fact that I am teaching my children that I accept them no matter who they love and that's the way it should be for everyone.

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