Don't pressure someone into doing what you think is right

Accept Me For Who I Am, Or Leave

Not all friends are meant to stay.

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Recently, I've lost a friend due to the lack of respect. I am openly bisexual and a religious friend of mine knows that. I do not mind if she doesn't agree with who I love because my feelings are my own. Of course, she couldn't understand. What I do not agree with is her trying so hard to change me.

As I said, she is a Christian and I enjoy her passion to speak about the Lord/God/Holy Spirit. I could hear the excitement and love she has for Him. Every time she talks about Him, you could see the sparkle in her eye. She takes the Bible wherever she goes and would sit down to speak about the passages in the Bible. I love understanding different religions. I have also felt a spiritual pull between Buddhist and Christianity and I choose to follow both, at least for right now. It is what feels good for me.

She's the type to go to church every Sunday. She would invite me along and I'd go to Bible study with her and the Christian songs make me feel safe. I suppose that's why I love it so. I have immense respect for her and her beliefs but she doesn't feel the same about mine.

Of course, she feels her God is the truth but she also takes the Bible literally. It says homosexuality is a sin and I don't agree with that because my love feels natural. I know how my feelings are with a guy and a girl, they are both the same. We don't see things eye to eye and again, that's normal but she wouldn't stop talking about homosexuality and how it is a sin. She'd pulled up scriptures after scriptures and each time my feelings are a bit hurt.

I understand it is in the Bible, but when I asked her to stop talking about it and bringing up scriptures for that topic, she wouldn't.

I told her, "Let's talk about any other scriptures in the Bible. Literally, anything else." But alas, she would not. My faith in God and Buddha started in high school. My faith has only gotten stronger and I want a closer relationship to God and Buddha but she keeps telling me that what I'm doing or believe in is wrong.

If I want to believe in two religions because that's where my faith lies, she would tell me that God would not allow it because He is jealous after all. She would always quote the Bible like it's her lifeline. She said I should surrender and give my life to Him and when she put her hands on me to find God, I believed she wanted me to seek Him as He has done wonders for her. I wanted to feel that love as well.

I thought I would be well upon my spiritual journey for both religions but that joy was quickly swiped away from me. This past week, I have felt emotional because she would not give up. She wouldn't stop with the scriptures about gayness and said, "God can't be with sin in heaven."

It's like she's telling me how I'm living is wrong and that I should live in His image. If you'd hear the kind of life I should be living instead, like not being myself and changing myself, I would not be a happy person.

Funny thing is she told me happiness is a fleeting emotion. So, in order to prove that I want God to love me, I should change who I am? This one "friend" compared my sexuality to having sex before marriage. The difference is, you have the option to have sex but with feelings, it's something that can't be stopped but can only be strengthened. The temptations for having sex seems easier than controlling your feelings for the same sex.

Also, didn't it say in the Bible, "Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets" Matthew 7:12. it also says “Love thy neighbor," but people like to pick and choose to make an excuse by using the Bible. It is possible to be in the LGBTQ+ community and be a person of faith, there are many around. I'd like to believe God and Buddha loves me no matter what.

It is not the Bible that scares me away but the people who pressure me.

She told me to try and put my strength in God. It's like, if I put all my strength in Him, it'll make me more "normal." If she were in my shoes, perhaps it would be more different and she'd be more understanding. First off, homosexuality isn't a sin, it's natural in my eyes. If I apologize for it, I would create another sin by lying. I can only live my truth. I will no longer live in fear nor will I keep someone in my life who tries to change and won't respect my decisions. The frustrating thing is she feels like she's right and she would rather be right and speak on her beliefs but not respecting me, my space or my spirituality.

I will not apologize for being angry. I have every right to be angry. I will try to forgive but, I have given up my faith in her as a human being. It's not a very Christian thing to try to pressure people to change. I will continue to go to church but I shall go alone.

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48 Of The Best Catholic Mass Songs

Check out this list of some of my favorites!
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I love to sing.

But, I am very bad at singing. One thing I love about Mass is that I get to sing as loud and as terrible as I want, and that is a beautiful thing. I've compiled a list of what was originally going to be 10 of my favorite songs to sing at Mass, but as you can see, my list quickly became 5 times longer. Enjoy!


1. "All are Welcome"

A great reminder that we are to love our neighbors, no matter how different we are.

2. "All is Well With My Soul"

A refreshing reminder that God forgives our sins, and we are in good hands.

3."Amazing Grace"

A classic, powerful song that shows just how much grace means to us.

4. "Ave Maria"

A beautiful song honoring the Virgin Mary, a role model for all women.

5. "Be Not Afraid"

A reminder that no matter what we're going through, God is with us through it all.

6. "Blest Are They"

A guide on how to live out the Beatitudes.

7. "Canticle of the Sun"

A joyful tribute to God's Creation.

8. "Center of My Life"

A reminder to put God first, a reminder which is always necessary in this materialistic and egocentric world.

9. "Change Our Hearts"

An uplifting song reminding us that God saves even the most disobedient of his people if they give their hearts to Him.

10. "Christ Be Our Light"

A classic song that reminds us even in our darkest of days, Christ will light the path.

11. "City of God"

A song inspiring the building of God's Kingdom- something we should strive to do as Christians.

12. "Come Back to Me"

A song all about repentance and forgiveness- God is waiting for us with open arms every time we fail him.

13. "Companions on the Journey"

A reminder that we are not alone in our journey to spread the Good News, and we can work together to spread His Word.

14. "Eye Has Not Seen"

A reminder of the joy and happiness that awaits us in Heaven.

15. "Fly Like a Bird"

A comforting song reminding us that we will always be in God's care.

16. "For the Beauty of the Earth"

A song that captures the essence of how wondrous Creation is.

17. "Glory and Praise to Our God"

A song full of thanksgiving and praise to God who showers us with blessings every day.

18. "Go Out Go Out"

One of the favorites at my school- essentially a "pump up" song to go spread the Gospel.

19. "Here I am Lord"

A encouraging song, inspiring us to serve the Lord with all the talents we have.

20. "Here I am to Worship"

One of my all time favorite gathering songs that inspire me to give all the glory to God.

21. "How Can I Keep From Singing"

A reminder that God's works are wondrous and He is deserving of all our praise.

22. "How Great Thou Art"

A classic song inspiring us to look around and see God in everything and everyone.

23. "I Am the Bread of Life"

A comforting song telling us that if we live our lives in Christ, we will be reunited with God when death comes.

24. "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"

A song that tells us Jesus is alive, and He has redeemed us by his death.

25. "I Will Choose Christ"

A song inspiring us to recommit ourselves to Christ each and every day.

26. "In Every Age"

A reminder of the timelessness of God- He has always been there, and He will always be there for us.

27. "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today"

An Easter song which joyfully celebrates the Resurrection and the defeat of death.

28. "Lead Me Lord"


A reminder that if we seek God, He will lead us.

29. "Let There Be Peace On Earth"

Always a song that inspires us to act for justice and peace among all people.

30. "Like a Shepherd"

A reminder that God cares for us as his own because we are his own.

31. "Litany of Saints"

A beautiful song, often sang on Easter, in which we ask the Saints to intercede for us.

32. "Lord of All Hopefulness"

A prayer asking God for the strength to get through the day.

33. "Loving and Forgiving"

A reminder that God is always wanting to forgive us of our wrongdoing and heal our pain.

34. "Only a Shadow"

A reminder that we have seen just a glimpse of the love God has for us, and there is much more in store for us.

35. "On Eagle's Wings"

One of the saddest, yet happiest songs of all time- although we die, we will be raised up and be with Him forever.

36. "Our God is Here"

A reminder of the true presence of God in all things.

37. "Prayer of St. Francis"

A beautiful song that makes the prayer feel even more powerful.

38. "Rain Down"

A reminder of the endless love of God.

39. "Roll Away the Stone"

My favorite Easter song of all time. HE IS RISEN!

40. "Shepherd Me O God"

A popular song serving as a reminder to put our wants aside and follow God's will.

41. "Sing to the Mountains"

A song of thanksgiving to God for the abounding gifts he has bestowed on us.

42. "The Summons"

A great song for those who are discerning their calling.

43. "Ubi Caritas"

A song all about the love of Christ.

44. "Unless a Grain of Wheat"

A reminder that without God we have no life.

44. "We Are Called"

A call to service and justice.

45. "We Are Many Parts"

A reminder that although we are many people, we are all part of the Body of Christ, and we all need to work toward peace together.

46. "You Alone"

A reminder of how although we are undeserving, God still loves us and should be praised.

47. "You Are Mine"

God has called us each by name- He knows YOUR name, and you belong to Him.

48. "Your Grace Is Enough"

A necessary reminder that God IS more than enough for us! We don't need to be consumed with this world because we have HIM, and an eternity of happiness awaits.


Singing, although I am terrible at it, has really improved my prayer life. It could do the same for you!

Cover Image Credit: Allie Daniel

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Calling People Hateful Is Not A Productive Dialogue

Universities have become a breeding ground for intolerance.

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The political climate is rough. I don't enjoy commenting on it because of how controversial it has become. Every once in a while, however, I come across something that rubs me the wrong way.

As I was walking through campus the other day, chalked on the side of a cement wall was a phrase claiming the College Republican club on campus was a hate group. I don't know anything about the person who wrote this statement or anything about the College Republican group on campus, but I do know one thing: this statement is false.

Universities have become a breeding ground for intolerance.

Just because someone has a different opinion from you doesn't mean they are hateful. There is room for disagreement.

A psychology professor of mine once said something that impacted my perspective toward both political parties: "Both sides think they're right, but both sides can't be right." Both sides make decisions based on what they think is right. A person's opinion is not "wrong" if it differs from yours. It's just different.

It's important to recognize that people won't always agree with you, and that's okay. That doesn't give you the right to call them mean or hateful. It allows an entrance into discussion. Besides, if you want to persuade someone that your belief is more accurate, name calling won't get you anywhere. It will only cause the other person to view you as inconsiderate and unwilling to understand.

How can you convince someone to believe you when you won't listen to their perspective? How can you expect people to listen to you when you won't do the same in return? Not only is it important to recognize a person's beliefs, it's important to understand why they believe what they do.

In order for people to engage in productive dialogue, both sides need to listen to each other and respect each other. Tossing labels around progresses nowhere and doesn't benefit anyone.

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