There are places I won’t go with my daughter.
For example, coming out of Whole Foods tonight around 5pm with my girls, I noticed a helicopter hovering up in the sky near us. I remarked to Lyd, “There must be an accident on the freeway – good thing we don’t have to go home that way.” A woman passing by heard me and said, “Actually, there’s a protest going on at the corner.”
Sure enough. A few rainbow flags were waving, and lit candles were held. I noticed about 10 people on the corner where I was, and I noticed more people on the corner across the street. Guessing by the rainbow flags and the uproar that the passage of Prop 8 has caused, I’m guessing it was an anti-Prop 8 demonstration. But the protest was very peaceful and rather subdued. I wouldn’t have even noticed it if that woman hadn’t pointed it out, as my route home didn’t take me in that direction.
Lyd asked me, “Momma, what’s a protest?”
Hmm. I told Lyd that I would tell her once I had unloaded the groceries and buckled in her and her sister. That bought me a little time to formulate an age-appropriate answer. Once we were on the road, I told her, “There are rules that grown-ups have to follow, just like there are rules that children have to follow. When grown-ups don’t like the rules that other grown-ups have made, they protest. A protest is a calm and peaceful way of saying that we don’t like the rules that other people have made, and we think those rules should be changed.”
She accepted that. She did not ask the question I feared she would ask, namely, “What rules don’t they like?”
I thought of telling her myself, thought of telling her that some people think that boys should be able to marry boys, and that girls should be able to marry girls, and just last week a rule was passed that says that only boys and girls can marry each other, but some people don’t like that rule, so they’re protesting.
But, I didn’t go there.
Homosexuality is a big concept for a little person to understand, especially a sensitive little girl like my daughter. I have taken great pains to teach her that “boys can only marry girls, and girls can only marry boys.” It’s always been done in the context of play, always done with laughter and silliness. But I have put that message in her ear again and again as the opportunities presented themselves, and I will continue to do so in the future. But I’ve never brought up homosexuality. I want her to be in the dark about that as long as possible. Because she WILL learn about it. Oh, yes, she WILL learn, and probably sooner than I’d like.
The battle ensuing over the passage of Prop 8 makes me incredibly sad. It saddens me to think that people hate me for voting Yes on Prop 8. It saddens me to think that people think I’m full of anger and am a homophobe for voting Yes on Prop 8. It saddens me that on some of the liberal blogs that I occasionally read, bloggers have taken pictures of themselves sticking up their middle finger at people who voted Yes on Prop 8. People like me. And it saddens me that people living a gay lifestyle feel invalidated as persons because of the passage of Prop 8.
But, in spite of that sadness, I believe that I must vote for what I feel is best. Besides the religious/moral aspect, I believe that homosexuality is not beneficial for a healthy society in the long run. I know there are many loving, long-term gay partnerships out there, many that have adopted children who have been in horrible situations and who now are safe and fed and cared for and loved in their new home with their gay parents, instead of growing up shuttled from foster home to foster home to group homes to finally the streets. I know that. And, honestly, I don’t have a good answer when people bring up those kinds of situations, other than to say that two wrongs don’t make a right.
And to also say the fact that I believe the Bible to be the final word on everything. If the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, no matter how unpopular that stance is, then I believe that, too. Those are my answers. Emotionally, those answers feel — inadaquate in this current situation, but I believe they are correct. I logically know they are correct. I trust God that they are correct, and I trust that holding fast to the teachings of God is how I show God that I love him above everything else, how I say “thank you” for the gift of salvation that I have been given, the gift of heaven won for me.
I have always tried to be one who “speaks the truth in love.” Filling in the box next to “yes” on my ballot seems to fall more on the “truth” side than the “love,” and I wish there was someway to have accomplished both goals at the same time.
Meanwhile, I am incredibly sad. Sad for poor souls mired in a life of sin who closely clutch the chains that bind them. Sad for poor souls who truly feel they were born that way. Sad for poor, poor souls who have grown up in lives of abuse and neglect to the point where homosexuality becomes the only way to cope, where an actual “normal” was so abnormal that homosexuality becomes “normal.” Sad for people who, in trying to support their homosexual loved ones, have abandoned “truth” in an attempt to fulfill “love.” Sad for people who voted the same as me, but who have forgotten “love” in their quest to uphold “truth.” Sad to find myself unable to take the stand I truly want to. And sad that people hate me for my beliefs.
I know, I know, Jesus said this would happen near the end. “All men will hate you for being my disciples.” I can accept that. But it doesn’t make it fun. Even Jesus, knowing the cross lay before him, cried out to his Father that the cup be taken from him, cried out for another way. But there was no other way.
It seems there’s no other way for me, either. But I still wish there could be.
It’s such a big topic, and one that my beautiful, high-spirited, thought-full daughter is, still, blessedly unaware of. She will someday have to deal with it even more than me, of that I am sure.
But not today. Not yet.
There are places I still won’t go with my daughter. Until I have to. I pray I don’t have to for quite some time.