I’ve often said, “Any individual has a basic and human right to express any opinion they’d like. But, we all have the same reward or consequence: If our speech puts another individual down or attempts to strip them of their basic human rights, it warrants discussion.”


It all started last evening when I read a status from Natalie Grant. She left the Grammy’s early and didn’t state why, which led to wild speculation from fans and commentators.


 

Natalie Grant

We left the Grammy’s early. I’ve many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I’ll say this: I’ve never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I’ve never been more sure of the path I’ve chosen.



 

While some comments praised Grant for her steadfast commitment to her beliefs, the comment section slowly morphed into speculation, homophobic slurs and downright nastiness. No one was monitoring Grant’s feed, so the comments slowly grew worse and worse. I posted a link on my wall after marveling at how awkward and belittling it all seemed. During the Grammy mass marriage, was there certainly a ratings angle? You bet. However, looking at the couples and seeing the happy tears, I knew it held a sacred moment for each pair. I’ve long debated Christianity and the exclusion of certain individuals because their lifestyle choices were not in agreement with particular religious values.
I don’t identify with the term, “Christian” and haven’t for some time. My father used to call it, “Cafeteria Catholicism.” I say, find me a religion that focuses on good, acceptance and love and the opportunity to help change the world, and I’m IN. For now, I’m sticking with, “Chumanism.” A decidedly Christian take on Humanism, without the judgement, but with the fun Jesus stuff. When a theology major can’t find a religion that I can identify with, you KNOW something is problematic.



 

 Kate-Madonna Hindes shared Natalie Grant‘s status.

“Christian” artist leaves Grammy’s early because of “unchristian show”. Comments condemn same sex marriage. Too sad for words. Hoping there’d be more LOVE.



 

This brings me to my own comments. I love my father, because there are moments when his kindness and patience glows like a halo around my childhood. But, when someone loves you as much as they do, it’s even harder to continuously be called, “intolerant,” for not understanding why some of those that affiliate themselves with the Christian population or religion, continuously condemn life choices or individuals. Last night, there was a beat-down of epic proportions. My father, (like many times before) decried my intolerance towards Christianity and an individual’s right to express their opinion.

It’s difficult to think that I’m intolerant for questioning the practice of belittling others because they choose to marry a partner of the same sex. The religion I grew up in taught that judgement should be left to the creator, but guilt could easily be piled on from everyone around you. I clung to my Theology teaching for so long because, I loved investigating the grey. But suddenly, the grey seems dirty and cruel. I’m allowed an opinion, but not if it asks questions of others. I’m allowed to live my own life, but not if it goes against the Bible. It seems impossible, doesn’t it? Tolerance is a two-way street, I’m told. And, I’m intolerant for questioning intolerance. It seems wrong.

Intolerance is everywhere. This morning, a certain hashtag was making the rounds at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After reading in horror, I came to the conclusion that there is no difference between homophobia, racism and sexism. Case in point, prepare yourself and click here to read a story from the Huffington Post about the anti-gay tweets from last evening. It stings all the same.

This is where I tell you, I just don’t understand any part of it and it’s everywhere. I’m often told by my parents that I’ve alienated myself from members of my family because of speaking out for #NoH8MN or my pro-choice stances. I wonder sometimes, if my parents are ashamed that I took the exact opposite path from what they’ve wanted. No matter who we become, we always look to those that have raised us to hear that we’re still making them proud, but it becomes distinctly-scarier when we start to question if they are making us proud. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. At the end of the day, we’re all just human.