Today, it was brought to my attention that there was a bill floating around Texas A&M arguing that students should have the option to “opt out” of paying certain students fees which are allocated for the GLBT Center, due to the center offending their religion.
Although eventually vetoed by the Student Body President (thankfully!) I’m embarrassed that this was even considered.
Now, I don’t care whether or not you find homosexuality to be a “sin against nature” or morally offensive. I don’t care if you believe in nature or nurture or some gay fairy that goes around bopping children on the head. I don’t care, because the issue here is not with the GLBT center. It’s no more “offensive” in it’s nature than the Young Men’s Christian Association. They are inanimate; each exists for their members alone and therefore cannot innately take a stance. The issue is what the center represents, which is a group of people that, by living their lives and making their own decisions, are “offending” other people.
What bothers me is the amount of hate I’m seeing on behalf of religion. I realize that people are just doing the best they can, but it seems that when they wrote the Bible, the left out the Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself clause that explicitly states, “unless your neighbor is gay.”
You can fight with verses all day. But the truth of the matter is that the Bible was inspired by God and written by men doing the best they could to share God’s word in such a way that would apply to their audience in a different time, dealing with different issues and cultural influences. When Jesus was questioned about the most important teachings of God’s laws, he responded with “Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love others as yourself.” He also noted that every other scripture hangs on this one.
I don’t care if someone’s nature offends you. If it does, dismiss it, as you should dismiss anything that insults your soul. But by “dismissing it,” you refuse to accept that nature as your nature, you don’t lash out to hurt other people. Lashing out does not reflect love. Lashing out does not teach anyone anything, other than hate.
I reflect back on my thoughts on someone’s beliefs. I think they’re inseparable from the person as they shape the way they see the world, but I also think that this is a country in which all are welcome. It was founded on the grounds that religion would be separate from law, and therefore the opinions on “what defines marriage” or whether or not student fees should fund a public institution’s center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students don’t matter, unless they are formed by explicitly examining the law.
I wish these students that formed the bill would take a second and think about how it affects the people it targeted. I imagine there were a lot of hurt GLBT and Ally students who didn’t ask for this.
Student fees are student fees. Suck it up and pay them, like the rest of us.
Then go love your neighbor, even if they’re gay.