April 30, 2004
On the Attack
Today I was talking with a friend about the laws concerning Gay marriages. She was criticizing those who wanted to see gay marriages made legal. In her belief system, it is immoral and violates the Laws of God. I began to think about what she said, and dig a little deeper into my soul, and I asked God to show me some rays of truth and love in all of this. The debate outside rages on. People have polarized into two groups, one supporting Gay marriages and gay rights, the other directly opposed. One group attacks another, and then there is retaliation. Attacks and condemnations are made on both sides. Truths are manipulated to support each groupís view on life. One group claims the other is too narrow minded. The other group claims the other has lost their mind. This kind of Mob mentality creates and breeds a kind of hate toward others who do not believe the same things we do. It is also based in Fear.
I heard once that most people do not purposely attack another person. That those that feel like they are being attacked begin to go on the defensive, and then become offensive. If someone attacks our beliefs, our moral codes, our view of life, we naturally want to support our own view. We also want to belong to the group that is right. When we finally settle on a truth, and accept it as truth, we want others to accept us and our beliefs. Whether it is moral or not, or whether it is good for the other person or not, often is not the underlying motive behind our attacks. Often it is our own defense that motivates our attacks, and fear that what we believe in is being challenged and could be stripped from us.
This thought can be applied to all of us. We are all guilty of going on the attack when we feel like we are being challenged and coming under attack. Looking beyond the attack of the other, and trying to see their fears and frustrations is more challenging. Really seeing other people requires us to recognize our own fears and get beyond them to a place where we can love each other.
Today when I talked to my friend about Gay marriages, I might have just been ostracized from the group of people who are polarized against Gay marriages or even being gay.
Because I oppose any kind of government regulation on who can and cannot be considered married, I may be considered Ďone of themí or worse yet going to hell because Iím supporting and defending sin. But thatís missing the point. And it is an attempt at attacking my beliefs because my beliefs donít fit into her belief system. I could respond by calling her narrow-minded. I could respond by saying she is blind and ignorant and attack her religion. I could try to get others to see that her religion promotes hate and bias against other human beings. I could attack her to make my views known, and try to convince others to get onto my side, to support my views.
But I love her too. And I know how much her beliefs help her find meaning and purpose in her own life. I also witness the good work her church and others are doing in our city. I also know that she deserves to have her beliefs just as I do. We all eventually figure out life for ourselves and form our own opinion about things and that others really canít change us unless we change ourselves.
What we can do if we find ourselves going on the attack:
Recognize the source of our attack. Is it fear of losing something, or having our beliefs taken from us?
Recognize the other person as someone we love. Jesus said, love our enemies. If we turn those we love into enemies we are still obligated to love them. If we recognize them as a human being just like us, we can see their fears and their basic need to be loved and find meaning and purpose in their own lives and we can love them.
We can stick to our own truth for our own life. Our life cannot be lived by anyone else. Ultimately we are each responsible for our own attitudes and actions. If our way or belief is challenged, then it is up to us to use that challenge or discard it. If we are a light, and our way is the truth, then others will see it. Our actions will prove it. Build our house on a solid foundation of Love, and we will not be washed away by the rising sea of hatred. Stick to our own truth and use everything as a teacher. If we need to change ourselves and are willing to, then we will. If we are doing this, then when other people condemn us we can walk our talk and know itís the best we can do without fearing that someone else is going to change our minds or hearts.
We can believe that there is always a way to love each other. If we expend our energy in trying to find that way, and not on the attack, we will be investing our energy for a greater return.
I remember back to December this year, at our Christmas day family gathering, sharing gifts and our love for each other. If I were to go on the attack, I would never have had the opportunity and experience of sharing our family and true, unconditional love with the two Gay men who came to our table that did not have family to share it with. I would not strip from them their need to love and be loved. I never would have experienced what sharing of this kind could do for the soul of another human being. When they left, we were all thankful for the God that created us and loves us.
When we find ourselves going on the attack, or being attacked, we can choose to look beyond our fears, and beyond the attack and come to a place where we can love each other.
Posted by carl1236 at April 30, 2004 12:02 PM | Love your Neighbor
Posted by: www at August 1, 2005 5:30 AM