Every now and then, I hear something that calls me to write it down and stick it in my minivan right there behind the wheel. I read it over and over again at every stop light, or when I park the car, or get in it and buckle up. I keep it there until I have it memorized.  Here’s a couple of what I’ve had in the past:

“When you can still laugh, you know you’re alive.”

“When you have no limits, you don’t know what they are. And so you fly, because you never knew you couldn’t.”

But today, I’m washing the ole Stow-N-Go and treating myself to a new note behind my steering wheel from Darkwood Brew Skype Guest Bishop Gene Robinson: (loosely quoted as I was writing it down quickly)

“Nowhere in the Bible are we told to like our enemies. We are told to love them. We are called upon to treat that other person that we dislike, to treat them as the child of God that they are. No matter how they are treating us.”

This recent action of sticking inspiring reminders and quotes in my car was for selfish reasons. However, sure enough, a minivan necessitates curious kids – which provokes some pretty good conversations while chauffeuring to and fro.

When my kids were about 7 or 8 years old, And then last night I’m sitting outside – while my kids play at the neighbor kids’ house – making my grocery list and menu when I hear the kids next door calling stupid things of current discussion “gay.” I think to myself – my kids know better. They know better than to use a word they don’t understand. Then Max chimes in “You’re gay!” Then Lucy. My heart breaks.

I scratch popsicles off the list and call them over back to our house. They thought it was cool because the new neighbor kids’ MOTHER was right there hanging out on the back porch while the kids play and didn’t admonish their uh YOUNGER kids for such language use. Max and Lucy walk slowly. They now see my face and know they are in deep trouble. I’m really just panicking. I mean, explaining gay is way down on the progression list of the sex talk, don’t you think? If they don’t know what sex is…I’m interrupted by their arrival.

“Did you use the word gay?”
“Are you allowed to call people any names?”
“No ma’am” oh wow – they are kissing up with the ma’am gig too.
“Do you know what gay means?” This is where I think I’m real smarter than them. They will say they do not know what it means and I will remind them to not use words they don’t understand. And then that will be it and I can continue my procrastination about any level simple or complex to do with sex.
But instead I am challenged. Lucy answers “Yes.”
“Uh, okay, then you tell me in your own words what gay means.” Bracing myself while remembering the butt bump = sex in her world.
“It means when a girl is in love with another girl. Or a boy is in love with another boy.”
We’re not dealing with chumps here. Quick Leslie, think!
“That’s right, baby. And is that bad or wrong?” Just wanted to get a feel for what else she thought she knew.
“Okay – tell me why.” Max is standing beside her with total confidence that Lucy will happily speak on his behalf. And she does.
“Because when you love someone – you just love them.”
“Yes baby. That’s right. So please don’t use that term to call someone a bad name when you don’t think its bad?”

I’m not some great Mother Leslie equal rights advocate. I’m a mom – who probably learned more about my own flippant remarks and their effects than what my kids learned that day. My point is, when we explain something to our kids, we’re actually seeking more understanding for ourselves. But hopefully the kids catch a lesson as well.

As for same-sex marriage laws passing, I think Dr. Elnes sums it up in his book The Phoenix Affirmations – with Affirmation #7: “Preserving religious freedom and the church’s ability to speak prophetically to government by resisting the commingling of church and state.”

What’s stopping same-sex marriage is the merging back together of Church and State. Countless times we hear from our lawmakers, “I don’t believe in same-sex marriage.” And it’s time we start questioning what that has to do with the price of tea in China. Because it’s a simple red herring fallacy. So, when our politicians suggest they don’t believe in same sex marriage, it’s fair to bring to point, “But your beliefs are to be separate from your state. Church and state are separate, remember?”

If you take the “I don’t believe in it” out of it – you really have to look at what the core reason for such argument for same-sex marriage really is. It’s money. It’s benefits and insurance and pensions to name a few. So, in my opinion, it’s the lobbyists out there yapping in the law makers’ ears on this issue. It’s very very little to do with beliefs when it comes down to it. Major corporations don’t want to lose money on employees any more than they have to. We legalize same sex marriage, and then we have to insure Bob AND his partner Jim. Can you IMAGINE all the logistics of that!? As a matter of fact, I can.

It’s hard to fight the man. Or is it? Because what’s happening all over America is that companies are offering benefits to same sex couples, on their own merit. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-28/ebay-marriott-among-companies-supporting-gay-marriage-rights.html

I think our future is catching up with us. Just like what was discussed on Darkwood Brew with Dr. Elnes and Bishop Robinson – LGBT (and us straight folk too) want to know when this fight for equal rights will end. And when it does end, there will be another group who will need voice to be heard.

And hopefully we’ll take what we’ve learned of our own compassion and grace and speak out for it.  And if it’s not my generation, I hope above all else, my kids understand, know that everyone is a child of God and speak up.

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