Soulforce - Day 3
Jul 20, 2006
These Soulforce road miles of marching toward Colorado Spring are giving me all the hours I need to remember why I ride and I write. We are two days marching distance from Focus On The Family Headquarters. Soon Davey and Goliath and two very different versions of the world will meet.
In a Jan 7 article published on CNN, James Dobson wrote,
If the battle to protect marriage takes even five more years, liberal judges and activists will have destroyed this 5,000-year-old institution, which was designed by the Creator, Himself. Even now, they are close to achieving that coveted objective.
What? These past two days I've been marching alongside of two-dad families and two-mom families, and couples that have been together 7 years, 16 years, 25 years, 34 years. I've been hanging with the diaper changing activists.
A truly surprising number of these diaper changing soccer dad, kid-loving men and women have conscientiously tried the traditional one man, one woman marriage route, having kids and all. Typically, when the spouse discovered the partners homosexual orientation, the marriage ended.
We're not in danger of destroying a 5,000 year old institution. That institution is so strong that otherwise sane gay and lesbian people are covering up their identity to play the marriage game, at a huge cost to themselves, to their spouses, and ultimately to the destruction of their families.
These people believe so strongly in marriage and family that many of them are finally finding same sex partners, committing their lives, and raising loved and lovely children. There are no unwanted or accidental children in gay or lesbian families. Every family and every child is a conscious decision of love. There are no shotgun weddings. In fact, there are no federally recognized weddings at all. It's all about love, and the research shows that these families are doing well by all standards. In some areas even better--most gay and lesbian families have greater equality between members, more humor, and greater communication skills than many heterosexual marriages.
Love. That would be a good thing to remember. I watched a man putting socks and shoes on his triplet children this morning before his turn to march. He and his partner were there. They wanted two kids, so they adopted one, and arranged for a conception for their second child, except that the birth was triplets. Now they have four kids, and they're loving it.
As we walked I heard his story.
"Jehovah's Witness. When I was 13 I got caught playing around with another boy. The church formally shunned me. Which meant my family shunned me. Which meant my family didn't say a single word to me for eight months until the church reinstated me. I was just a kid."
"Yeah, I've been married to a woman. I did it for my Jehovah's Witness family. It lasted two years."
"My mom hasn't talked to me since I left home and started living as a gay man. She's never said a word to her four grandsons."
We're not threatening the institution of marraige by recognizing these existing families. But, by forgetting to speak up for love, and for the institution of respect, we're still threatening individuals all the time. Eight months without a word. Years without a word. This is the evil, the loss of human connection. For what gain?
Thank goodness for the 19-year old who came to the Soulforce movie tonight, and spoke of being an activist from "an early age." (My own age is showing) A straight woman whose a strong ally for lgbt people, she was organizing her first group at the time of 9-11. She called it SLAG Straight Lesbian and Gay Awareness. "9-11," she tells me, "and I'm Arab. I received death threats." 19 years old. The world keeps blessing us with gifts, with places to place our hope.
Two more days of marching until the worldviews come face to face. No formal exchange is planned. On Saturday night, though, the street in front of Focus On The Family will be closed and turned into a stage for a highly anticipated equality concert. Besides the music, Matthew Shepherds mother will be a speaker. www.soulforce.org