Can love save the day?

Can love save the day?

It’s a weird thing – to be in another country when a national tragedy strikes and feeling so far removed from everyone and all I can think is fuuuuuuck. Not again. At this point what arguments can be constructed against the very reasonable idea behind implementing background checks and not making guns accessible for everyone. What are the arguments again for the country not regulating guns like everything else they regulate and treating them like the killing machines they are. And how do gun lobbyists account for the senseless slaughter of so many people for reasons that are beyond me, beyond most of the country? And that these base killings are happening for reasons that do not exist in the realm of understanding of most people. And that we’re all so angry and feel so completely helpless.

Okay, I get it, people don’t like things that are unfamiliar, people don’t like things they might find annoying. I don’t like tour groups but you know what, when I see a tour group I walk around it, I might say, ugh a tour group but I still don’t make the tour group feel bad by pointing a finger at it and yelling go home tourists.  And I certainly don’t spend any time wishing they were dead because I know the tour group is made up of individuals and just because they’re annoying as a group doesn’t mean that each individual isn’t a worthy human being. And to be honest, that tour group doesn’t know they’re annoying me, they’re just busy doing their tour group thing.

But the fact that some people can find justification in their belief system that allows them to go and enforce their steadfast beliefs on whomever, in whatever way they deem seems to go against everything this country is supposed to stand for. And even worse the fact that some people use the banner (or more correctly the excuse) of religion to maintain these beliefs and these actions is absurd. Isn’t one of the founding beliefs of our country the idea of separation of church and state. So how about we all stop using God as an excuse to limit the rights and respect of certain people.

It’s just a guess here, but I’m guessing the people who hate gays, who don’t support equal rights, their parents didn’t support civil rights, they’re the same people who don’t think women should earn as much as men and that the end of the world will come when a woman is elected as president of the USA. And as they were taught as children, that some people don’t deserve the same respect as others, so are they teaching their own children.

Gun regulation aside, here’s where I get caught up. Somehow, for some reason, all these fundamentalist religions including Christians and Jews and Mormons and Muslims, somehow, as individual FUNDAMENTALIST (please if you’re reading this I am not saying all religious people) groups, they’ve all decided that gay people don’t deserve God’s love and mercy. And that this is somehow based on ancient texts from religion that were written by man, because as far as I know, God didn’t come and actually write anything down, texts that also say things like don’t eat fat (Leviticus 3:17) or cut your beard (Leviticus 19:27) or wear ripped clothing (Leviticus 10:6). And that somehow it’s their right to go out and tell the gay community, people that they don’t know, don’t want to know and wouldn’t even bother to try to know, that they’re not accepted, is ludicrous.

Because God doesn’t work that way. I’m not a religious woman, but I know for a fact that that is not the way God does it. As far as I can tell it’s all the same God, right. Do we agree on that? There’s not a Jewish God and a Christian God and a Muslim God, there’s just GOD, because to believe otherwise would be polytheistic and I know that’s not a fundamentalist belief and I’m pretty sure nobody thinks that there are a bunch of Gods up there, each one playing to a different fan base.

And so let’s go with this one overarching GOD that all believers answer to, is GOD really going to pick favorites. And let’s say even if GOD does have a favorite, does that mean he loves anyone else less?

Oh, and look, here we are back at love. I’m not going to be a fool and say the Beatles were right, that all we need is love, because we also need water and food, and shelter helps. But love does make the world go round. How often does the love of a child or a partner or a parent and yes, I’ll admit, love of God make us do things we never thought we would do. And how having someone to love makes it worth it to go and do what you have to do each and every day, even if that thing is super hard and horrible, because you know that at the end of the day, you’ll have someone to go home to. And how love makes room in your heart for other possibilities. And how there is solidarity in love. And love can be scary, but it’s the best kind of scary, not being in a packed nightclub while a deranged maniac is opening fire on you and your friends scary. That guy did not have love.

And here’s where I tie it all back to motherhood. Parenthood, I guess. It’s that we as parents need to step it up. Maybe let’s start thinking collectively about how we can all tie into one another just a little bit more, tie into humanity and expose our kids to different things, cultures, people, experiences. Maybe let’s teach them that just because we’re unfamiliar with something doesn’t make it bad. And maybe we need to stop glorifying violence. Because I’m so tired of telling my kids what to do if they ever see anyone with a gun pointed at anyone else. And I’m even more tired of the follow up questions like what if we see a man with a gun and we’re all together?  What if I see a man with a gun and I’m alone? What if I see a man with a gun and he shoots you but not me, and I don’t want to leave you, then what do I do?

Because honestly, baby, I just don’t have an answer to that.

 

If you’re fed up, please know that your dollars and your vote can speak volumes – donate to Moms Demand Action.  http://momsdemandaction.org/, a campaign for Everytown for Gun Safety http://everytown.org/

 

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