I don't expect everyone to agree with my beliefs. And that's okay; in fact, it's good. If everyone agreed, we would have a much greater concern. But I think that, these days, people and their values are constantly being shamed and stereotyped by others. I want to express my opinion in hopes to break some of those stigmas, while extending support to those who may need it.
I am a Christian. I love being a Christian.
I am also liberal. I love being liberal.
And a large part of that is because I support many of the left-wing social ideologies. Not all Christians are the same; not all people are the same.
I was raised in a Christian household and I later chose to accept the faith. During my childhood, I attended church every Sunday. (Which was great, because we always went out to eat afterwards!) We prayed before every family meal. I attended a week-long overnight bible camp every summer for 10 years. I rode my bike three miles during the summer to attend, and later volunteer, at the VBS in my hometown. And I was a part of the food pantry at my church for over seven years. I was surrounded by those who dedicated their lives to the Lord, coming from all different backgrounds and stories.
After graduating and moving out of my parents' house, those habits slightly changed.
By traditional standards, I am by no means the "perfect Christian." I no longer attend a church service every Sunday morning, nor do I read the bible before going to bed or pray before every meal. But that does not degrade my faith. I wholeheartedly believe that there's a God. That has never been, nor will it ever be questioned. But, as I was taught, God is loving, God is caring and God is forgiving. And, if we are to follow His word, we should be too.
I am proud to believe in God; it is not something I hide. But it is not something I use as an excuse to judge others. In fact, it is quite the opposite; I support those whose decisions reflect the stereotypical and traditional definition of "sinning."
I support marrying whomever you love, regardless of gender. I support dressing in what makes you feel confident. I support expressing yourself, instead of hiding behind a mask. I support making mistakes, learning from them and then making that mistake again. I support being true to who you are. And, I support a lot more. As long as your happiness does not directly harm anyone else, then it should not be neglected. Because my God taught me to love others, and, to me, that means supporting others.
If someone is different than yourself, it does not make them wrong. Rather, it makes them human; it makes you human. Different beliefs, values, morals, races, ethnicities, abilities, genders, classes, etc.-- those are normal. And that endless mountain of differences, that is beauty.
As humans, we have no authority to judge or hurt those with whom we disagree. It is not your decision to regulate another's life, especially if it is not affecting yours. If someone's happiness is not harmful to another person's, then they should be free to live their life. It is called equality, not sinning.
Photo Courtesy of Allison Hunsley