Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Love Diversity and My Liberal, New Agey UU / Buddhist Beliefs

Today a former intern at my office called me to refer a client to me.  Over the years that we've known each other, she and I have eaten a lot of lunches together and have talked about all sorts of things.  She's also been my number one referrer of clients.  I consider her a friend, but we don't see each other so much because she lives way north of the border.  No, I don't think Miami is the center of the universe, but West Palm Beach and north of that is far for me.  I felt kind of weird because today is the day that she decided to tell me that she is gay and one of the clients she referred to me was her girlfriend, not her roommate.

Other people tell me that I'm "vanilla" and that I have no gaydar.  They are right.  I totally didn't pick up on the girls' elaborate stories about why they lived together, shared ownership of a car or why my friend was way too interested in the outcome of her roommate's case.  This isn't the first time I've failed to notice a relationship right under my nose.  Some time ago I represented a guy in a domestic violence case that always came to my office and court with his mother-in-law, who was the alleged victim's mother.  Turns out, mom and client had been in a relationship.  I was shocked.

Today made me feel shocked and a little sad because I can't believe that my friend went to such extremes to hide who she is from me.  Knowing that she's gay doesn't change my view of our friendship at all.  But she told me that her parents don't accept that she's gay and that she's really afraid to tell anyone at her new job.  I told her about Maria's intolerance.  Maria would not befriend someone or help a person in need if she knew the person were gay.  My friend seemed shocked and asked if we were talking about the same Maria.  Maria used to be my friend's boss, but I guess my friend didn't share her secret with Maria.

I was really thinking about Maria and other people's hatred toward gays.  Most of the people I know that hate gays are Christians, although I'm not saying that all Christians do that or that Christians are the only people that do that.  I earlier wrote about homosexuality according to Buddhist beliefs, or at least the Dalai Lama's beliefs.  Personally, I think sexual promiscuity is terrible, no matter what your religion, beliefs or sexual orientation are.  But when I look at my friend's long-term, committed lesbian relationship, I have a hard time finding anything wrong with that.  Sadly, I think homosexuality is one of the last areas where it is still somewhat socially acceptable to be hateful and discriminate.

I wonder where Maria gets her hatred toward gays.  The Unitarian Universalist in me says that God is graceful and merciful and doesn't hate.  Actually, the Unitarian Universalist in me questions whether God even belongs in a discussion about homosexuality.  God doesn't hate gays.  But alas, God hates some things, according to the Bible in Proverbs 6:16-19:  
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Would Maria or others be so quick to hate someone that fits into one of the above categories?  A few years ago, when Maria invited me to her church, the sermon was about why Sodom and Gomorrah were evil.  The pastor went right to Ezekiel 16:48-50, where God discusses the problems with Jerusalem:
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

What were the "detestable things"?  Prostituting themselves to false gods.  See Leviticus 20:5, 1 Kings 11:7, 2 Chronicles 21:10-11.  Besides, who made man the judge of sin?  Oh yes, man appointed himself.  See John 8:7. Nevertheless, these messages didn't seem to sink in with Maria, nor with others. Sadly, Buddhism is not immune from hate.  I sometime see gay people at the local Buddhist center that are very cryptic about their relationships and personal lives, even within the sangha, and I know it's because they are afraid that they won't be accepted and loved.  I hope that some time during my lifetime we see a time when all people end the hatred toward gays and allow them to just live.  Somehow, I think this might be a very distant dream.

Posted as part of Blue Monday, Mellow Yellow MondayMuch Love Monday.


♥ Braja said...

Good post. And good points. I too have some very dear friends, a lesbian couple, whose marriage is one of the strongest I know---it's been their only r/ship and they're 21 yrs strong so far. Anyway....

SmilingSally said...

The Bible tells us to "love one another."

Thanks for sharing your blues.

Happy Blue Monday.

♥ Braja said...

Lola, I'm not sure what you've heard of Krishna, but it can't be much if the fact that he's known as "bluish-black" is something you've never heard: that's what he is. It's not "common," it *is.* :) It's the only color he is! The light blue is sandalwood paste; I wrote the explanation. In hot summer months, he is covered in sandalwood paste, and sometimes the paste is colored: this time, it's blue.

Kim, USA said...

I am stunned by other peoples reaction with homosexuals. I don't understand why they have to do that and if asked they will say it's the church teaching..that I have to disagree.
I am a Catholic Christian and I have very good friends who are homosexuals much so my niece is one. Our church thought us to that "they must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These person's are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
Of course, they are called to chastity, just like married people, the religious people. It's not because we are married so we can just be free having sex with others, other than our spouse and so us the priest, nuns who vowed chastity and those people who remain and choose to be single.
Our church never teach us to hate anyone, ever! But if there are people who do that I think they haven't grasp who they are and what God wants us to love! ^_^

As I have said I have friends who are homesexuals and they are truly my friend and I love them dearly. They are the most sincere person I have ever meet and it pains my heart when I knew that what they give is just being abuse by someone they love or close to them (emotionally).
Great post and I appreciate your broad mindedness view of the topic. Thanks for sharing!!

Blue Monday

Fashion Momma said...

Beautiful post.

My Blue Monday is here.

KalpanaS said...

whatever the orientation, spirituality points out to us the perils of co-dependence, jealousy, insecurity and the joys of unconditional love, that characterise human relationships of bonding which can easily become bondage.