Dana Martin Writing

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Dana Martin Writing

“X” is for (Not so) X-rated Love

A-Z Blogging Challenge

Yes, I know it’s getting tiresome, my stringing along April’s A-Z Blogging Challenge. The month is, what?—almost July now—but I still feel enormous pressure to finish this challenge for a couple reasons. One, I don’t like abandoning such a great, fun exercise meant for my benefit. Two, I suffer extreme guilt because my writing club, positive their president would finish the task, prematurely awarded me this fantastic new coffee mug for accomplishing the A-Z writing challenge. I accepted it in the way of a person who’d just gotten credit for a dozen flowers she didn’t send. “Uh, wow… yes. Well, great,” I murmured as I snatched the gift and ran from the stage.

Talk about motivation.

So it’s with guilt and a sense of urgency that I push forward, setting aside paid writing and editing assignments, housework, washing my car, cleaning the litter box and shopping for food so that I may earn this coffee mug. I am on the letter “X” and so I give you… (Not so) X-Rated Love.

No, this isn’t a blog post about porn or affairs (though I suspect there’s a flight attendant somewhere who will manage to contrive her own meaning from this essay—she knows who she is); this is a story about homosexuals and, most specifically, how I, a Christian, feel about same-sex love (not X-rated, but many people treat it this way and I NEED a word for the letter “x”).

This essay can’t be reinforced with scripture and what the bible says about same-sex love because anyone who knows me well knows I’m still inching my way through “God’s love letter” to us and have not yet mastered the art of using scripture to prove points. But my ignorance, specifically, is what makes this so easy to write because biblical knowledge is not confusing two very simple truths lost among the wealth of other good information provided in the Christian bible.

I know this about Jesus: I know that He came here roughly 2,000 years ago and left us with a couple of directives. He said, and I’m paraphrasing because I wasn’t there when He said it, “Love each other and follow Me.”

Love. Each. Other.

If you know nothing else about Jesus, know that. He said a lot of other great things, too, about worrying and trusting and His Father’s plans for me (yadda, yadda), but the love each other and follow Him part has helped to answer a very big question that surfaced after I’d been on earth about 39 years.

If birds of a feather flock together, my Facebook page is dominated by Christian Republican Fiscal Conservatives. Who write. And haunt. Therefore, my eyes are inundated daily with reminders about abortion, prayers, gay marriage, and our president’s failings, and the diametrically opposite: Halloween costumes, bloody props, and the excitement of the upcoming haunted house season.

Can you say d-i-c-h-o-t-o-m-y?

Social media is important because it identifies what my friends are talking about… and it helped me discover who I am.

In 2008, when Prop 8 (the gay marriage proposition in California) was on the ballot, I voted just like my peers, and it passed. Californians, no matter how liberal we seem, did not want gay marriage. My friends online celebrated as if we had discovered cancer’s cure. I read their status updates with mixed emotions. Their public protestations identified them as being on the winning team, but these were people who shared my faith—Was rejoicing the right thing to do?

I didn’t know much about my religion in 2008, but I was sensitive to the alarms that went off in my belly. Something was wrong with my thinking.

It wasn’t long after the vote that I began to feel my heart change. I did not discuss this change with anyone because it was a tiny seed just beginning to grow—not yet a bud, still small and confused and not ready for scrutiny. Sort of like my Christianity—slow to grow but getting heartier and healthier with each year.

I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that the closer I get to Jesus, the clearer my beliefs are becoming. He is the farmer planting the seed, after all.

It’s now five years later and proposition 8 is before the U.S. Supreme Court, a fact I did not consider when I sat down to write this post. I don’t get behind a lot of agendas or profess my political stances. It isn’t that I don’t have an opinion; it’s that I believe everyone has a right to their opinion and would rather not subject mine to ridicule.

Instead, I’ve quietly and spiritually come to the conclusion that I love all people, regardless of who they go to sleep with at night. And I didn’t arrive here alone: my teacher, the Farmer, is cultivating something that is growing strong and powerful within me, and I know it’s healthy because I can feel Him smile at the seeds He has sown.

It is not up to me whether being gay is a sin. We all sin. It isn’t my business to judge and is the farthest concern from my mind. And I don’t believe Jesus wants me to judge it, either. Remember, He said two things: follow me and love each other. He did not say condemn, hate, judge, make war on those who are different, or be ugly. He said love. L.O.V.E.

I know that hardcore, longtime, evangelical Christians will not understand how I can feel this way. They will point to the Good Book to convince me that I’m wrong. I love them, too, but I respectfully decline their evidence for this reason: If I am in college and have a question, I’m not going to rely on another student for answers. I will go straight to the instructor to find the truth (the way, and the life).

I submit my questions to our Teacher, and His words alone are answer enough for me.


    Comments

  • Kym Showers


    This is beautiful & honest & brave. Just like you, my friend. "I will go straight to the instructor to find the truth." Me too. I do this, too. He is faithful. This subject is tender&important.
    Love. Much Love.
    (see you Thursday:))))

  • Robin


    I think you said it very well. ::applause::

  • Craig Edwards


    Awesome. You are a terrific person and I'm pleased to know you.

  • Dana Martin


    Hi Robin! Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words and ::applause:: Gosh! I haven't seen that in a lonnnnng time! ::smile:: Craig, your words are very special to me, and sweet Kym… soul sister of my heart, thank you for always picking out my favorite parts! Can't wait until lunch! xo

  • Frances Stiles


    Great post, Dana. I am like you in that I try not to vent my feelings about things on Facebook or on my blog. I'm frustrated by the people I know on Facebook for being such sore winners. Have a great day!

  • tredman2013


    When I read this last evening my initial thought was, "I could have written that, or a companion piece." In 2008 I leaned toward voting no but was then sitting on a board at church. At one of the meetings the announcement was made that we were expected to vote yes, I assented with the rest of the board and cast a yes vote. By the next day I was questioning my vote; that evolved quickly into wishing I had voted no. I was not surprised by the decision today, the justices are rubbing shoulders with interns and staff who are gay or have gay friends. Like almost everyone in the country. I can't see the harm of gay marriage, and I know that being gay is not a choice some 4 year old makes. It is genetic–the way God designed him/her. Dana, I agree–we are commanded to love, not to love only some. great post. TR

  • Joan Raymond


    Dana,
    I love this post and it speaks so much truth. I also agree with Terry. I voted on Prop 8 the way I was 'expected' to vote, later regretting not standing up for what I believed. We do need to accept and love each other for who they are and not make judgements based on someone else's rules based on their own feelings.
    Thank you for speaking your mind in such a loving and caring way.
    Joan

  • Kathy Wiechman


    Such a brave post, Dana! I salute you! If we find "sin" in homosexuals, is it because they have been forced to "live in sin" instead of enjoying the sanctioned marriage bond that can bless our heterosexual relationships?

  • Annis Cassells


    Another thoughtful, honest, and loving post, Dana. Thank you. Keep the mug. xoA

  • meldrm


    Dana-
    This sounds like a conversation I had with my editor not so very long ago…the beauty of the Christian message is "God is love." For the purpose of this subject, even the most cynical of true Christians should look in the mirror and recall these words, "Judge not, lest you be judged." I, for one, am not ready for judgement day.

    BTW–I also applaud Kathy W.'s comment above.

  • mare ball


    I might regret I commented here 🙂 However, the argument is not whether or not we should love people. We are commanded to love all people, yes. No one should be mistreated, maligned, condemned. Only God can judge the human heart. Having said that, God's design for human sexual behavior is one man/one woman – marriage. No, humans don't always follow that, and most of us have some sexual sin in our past. The problem is that redefining "marriage" opens up a pandora's box for society's health. when same sex marriage is legalized, it won't be long before one man/two women arrangements are wanting to be recognized. Then, why not two men/two women? Why not three men/three women? Sadly, it will not be long before some adults will be wanting to lower the age of consent and work adult/children into the equation. This is the proverbial slippery slope. It's not that two individual people should be condemned for loving one another…they should not be. But expanding the legal definition of marriage – sanctioning deviations by the state – will slowly erode the strength of a society. Sexual deviations from God's design, once started, will tear down, OVER TIME, a strong society. This is the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the immediate, people want to be supportive and "evolving", but we need to be long-sighted, and sadly, most people aren't. Just something to think about. 🙂

  • Dana Martin


    @Mare…. don't ever hesitate to comment and post your opinion. I appreciate it and all of the comments I get here! I thank you for posting your thoughts on the subject. I know most Christians believe the way you do. I see it all the time on my Facebook wall… and they are all people I love and respect. I can't do anything to change their minds, nor do I want to — and I also know that nothing Christians say will change the way same-sex couples feel on the topic, either. It's one side against the other, and both sides think they are right and won't budge on their thinking. Therefore, instead of arguing and taking sides, I am of the belief that our God is so great, big, and in control that none of this comes as a surprise to Him and He already has it all figured out. Not a lot of Christians will come to the conclusion I have because it goes against everything they were taught in church. But if my goal (if the goal of any Christian) is to emulate Jesus, then I ask myself, "If Jesus were sitting in my office right now and I could ask Him how we should handle this, what would He say?" –And without question, I feel in my heart He would command me to love and let Him square away anything that is outside of my jurisdiction. 🙂

    If the goal is to show people (all people) the spectacular love of Jesus, I believe it's my job to get the ball rolling. Why would anyone be open to the Good Word if all they ever experience is negativity? I'm afraid we are turning people from Christ instead of showing them the Way. In other words, my one voice will not change this evolution. However, my small voice filled with love and no condemnation might just bring people to the kingdom of heaven, people who never considered it before… and I like that job WAY better! 🙂 🙂

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