THINK about it....

This morning when I got home from work, I turned on the latest episode of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List. I love her show and normally it gets me laughing so hard I about pee my pants, but today I found myself sitting on my couch crying.

This episode she tackled the issue of becoming an activist and naturally, she chose gay rights and fighting against the ridiculous prop-8 in California. In the process, she befriended and recruited some young gay people to march with her, etc. One of her major points was that young people these days (and older people as well; ALL people I suppose) have become complacent. They have no idea what they're really fighting for or why and most of the time they don't fight at all. She tried to inspire them by talking about the tragic story of Matthew Shepard and they stared at her blankly, not knowing who she was talking about.

Are you staring at THIS blankly,

not knowing who I am talking about?

If so,

I am so sad.

For those who don't know, Matthew Shepard was a young man of 21 years who was lured from a bar with promises of receiving a ride home from two guys who had purposed themselves to kill a gay person that night. They didn't care who. They only knew that they were full of hate and wanted to act on it. And they did.

They drug him to the middle of nowhere, severely beat him and then tied him to a cattle fence and left him hanging there to die. He was found about 18 hours later, unconscious, and was taken to a hospital where he never regained consciousness and died a few days later.

All because he was gay.

And all because someone...

parents? church? schoolmates?

taught these other men that being gay

is so wrong that it's ok to KILL someone for it.

When I first heard about this in 1998, I have to say that I think it was my very first exposure to hate crimes. I may have heard of them before, but this was the first time the lightbulb came on for me and my heart was broken over it. Not long after, Melissa Etheridge came out with the song called "Scarecrow" (which I will put down below) where she talked about the thought of him left hanging there like a scarecrow haunts her mind and it has haunted mine ever since as well. I just CANNOT understand it.

I can't wrap my mind around the concept of hating and hurting someone like that. I think perhaps living with the evil one and all of his rage and cruelty created in me a person that has absolutely zero tolerance for hatred that hurts other people. I can't fathom it and church, say what you will to me, there will never come a day that I have breath in my body that I will ever teach my children to hate someone just because they are gay. It will never happen. God does NOT hate gay people. At least not MY God; the one true God. It doesn't matter what your beliefs are or what the Bible says, this isn't a matter of sin or of good vs. evil. This is a matter of a human heart...and God is love.
And moreover, this is America...

and if they can tell me my kids can't pray in school...

and that abortion is legal...

then I will stand strong in the conviction

that religion (even if it is MY religion)

should not dictate whether gay people deserve the right

to be happy, fulfilled and protected

under the same rights that everyone eles is afforded

simply because they are straight.

Think about it. No really... THINK about it. How, in ANY way, would your life...your PERSONAL, EVERYDAY life, be affected if gay people were allowed to marry? Probably not at all. But there are people all over the place that are not only opposed to it, but are willing to HURT someone...even KILL them...for wanting what almost all of us want. To fall in love, settle down and have a stable family life.

This has nothing to do with sin, because we are ALL sinners. It just makes me so sad that we are still not past this and that people are still being hurt over it.