Thank you for sharing, but consider this first...
Last night a bit of a debate erupted over something I posted on Facebook. While I thought my small opinion might be controversial, what I didn’t expect was that two people would get into such a snarky religious battle within the thread that it made other friends on both sides of the issue uncomfortable.
Okay, maybe I did foresee that just a little.
But there I was at 2 am, finally ready to settle in for some sleep when I checked my notifications and saw it.
After I woke up, I updated my response and I'm sharing it with all of you in hope that others with similar experiences on social media will hear it as well.
Dear friends …
I am not going to get too involved in this at 2 am. However, if you have been on my "friend" list for any amount of time please let me remind you quite clearly that:
1. I believe in equal rights for all, including homosexuals, bisexuals and trans men and women, including but not limited to those who seek to engage in same-sex marriage and non-traditional relationships.
2. I have spent the majority of my life defending those rights and fighting the injustice of those who would seek to undermine equality.
3. I believe that God creates us as true perfection and loves each of us with infinite wisdom, innate goodness and unconditional love and does not require the exclusion of anyone from the fullness of oneness with the divine.
4. I believe that freedom of consensual sexual expression is a fundamental right and indeed a gift from the divine meant to express connection to others and provide a greater experience of our shared humanity.
5. I respect the right of each individual to experience and share their experience of faith in an equally respectful manner including but not limited to people who identify as Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, Pagans, Taoists, Jews and practitioners of so many other traditions. I welcome all faiths because I find each of your journeys fascinating.
6. That said, remember that you are a GUEST in my space amongst some of my most intimate and respected friends and I ask you kindly treat it as such.
7. As the host of this page, I am unilaterally and unequivocally allowed in MY own space to share my opinions, ideas and observations and will attempt to do so solely as a reflection of my own experience and research.
8. I spent most of my young adulthood studying the bible and later working my way through some of the apocryphal writings and have concluded during my journey that there is not only one way to God, the divine or universal oneness, but many paths that lead in the same direction.
9. If, by some chance, the god of love that I have personally experienced in my upbringing, research and my Calling does not exist and indeed such a vengeful, jealous, emotionally needy, and fearful being will sit in judgment of me upon my death, I will happily risk exclusion from heaven to stand proudly by my beliefs — hopefully having spent my lifetime lending my power to those whose voices have been shamed into silence by needless and destructive emotional, physical and spiritual violence condoned by their earthly brothers and sisters.
10. As an attorney and political activist, I believe strongly in a separation of church and state — something many of our politicians should remember when accepting donations and our churches should stop trying to exploit through the historically blurred lens of religious freedom.
11. And finally — yes, finally — I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated.
You are allowed to disagree, you are allowed to debate, but understand quite clearly that I identify as an active and compassionate member of the LGBTQ community and deeply spiritual woman.
Because I choose not to remain ignorant of either the Catholic faith I was raised in or the moral abundance of teachings from other sources, I cannot be swayed by arguments solely comprised of scripture. I am an intelligent, queer, cisgender woman who has spent over 20 years healing the fractures left in human souls by the improbable demands of religion and the social fear manipulations surrounding among other concepts of sexuality and gender.
Pray for me if you like …
But unless you have lived my life, borne witness to the messages on the hills of Podbrdo and Krisevac, touched the hearts I have and loved as deeply and as fully as I have … then judge not.
And I pray to the god, goddess or entity of my choosing that upon your death you will be greeted by a divine presence who is actually IS unconditional love made manifest through each of us.
I expect this message to suffice for the time being. Unfriend me, block me, rally against me. “Like” it if you wish. Re-post and share as needed.
But do not presume to teach me about my own faith and my god-given life experience any further.
I do reserve the right to limit further commentary in my space. My inspirational playground, my rules.
This is a clear statement of healthy boundaries that I expect you to respect.
This article was originally published at SharpSweetBella. Reprinted with permission from the author.