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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Death Threats are NOT the Answer

I know what is like to get death threats because of something you do.  My husband, David, and I got a number of death threats after our wedding photos were leaked to the Nigeria press.  To say that it was disheartening is the understatement of the century.  We were threatened with torture and death, and had curses put on us that we get cancer and die.  Why?  Because we are two men who fell in love and got married in front of our family and friends by a pastor who blessed us.



You might wonder why I'm bringing this up now.  Recently, I've been having a debate with my best friend who happens to be a straight, conservative, Christian, Republican.  We've been best friends forever even though our political and religious views don't always align.  My friend is concerned that the law is forcing people to do things that are against their personal religious beliefs.  I do agree that the law is forcing people to provide equal services to people regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.  This issue has blown up in the case of the couple who are bakers (and other cases) that refused to make a gay wedding cake.

When I brought up that this was the same as not providing a wedding cake to an interracial marriage, my friend said that he disagreed.  I explained that religion and personal beliefs were also used to deny service to black people for many years.  Most business folks today are much more sly if they personally don't want to serve you and instead just make you uncomfortable, raise the prices, or provide sub-par service to discourage you, but some stand by their religion and beliefs to deny service.

When we started having this discussion, my friend said that the people were being "killed" for their religious beliefs.  I challenged that assumption saying that they were by no means killed, but might have lost their business b/c of refusing to serve gay people the same way they would serve straight people.  He explained that the couple in question received death threats from the gay community because of what they had done.  

I wasn't aware of that, but to me it is the same as me receiving death threats for marrying David.  NEITHER ONE IS RIGHT! 

I implore any of you who think that violence and threats are an answer to ANY problem you are facing to look into the long history of conflicts to see that it rarely if ever has ANY positive impact.

If you are a Christian like me, or my friend, you know that we have to love each other even when we disagree; to respond to hate with love.  Jesus said if someone hits you, turn the other cheek.  That can be interpreted a lot of ways.  I choose to walk away from violence and pray peace and blessings on anyone who wishes it on me, usually.  Every time I respond by yelling back or snapping at people, I only regret it later.  Regardless of your religion or beliefs, anger and hate only make things worse. 

WE CAN BE BETTER THAN THEM.  Anyone who is violent is losing at life.  We need to do our best to either stay out of it or respond in love.  If nothing else, walk away from any violence or hate.  If someone won't bake your cake, do your flowers, or host your wedding, pray that God give them guidance and open their hearts and minds AND find a place that will do whatever you want in a LOVING way.  You don't want any part of your marriage or your life to be tainted by the hate and curses of others.

Thanks to the people who have shown me and David love in our lives.  We keep you close and hope you are blessed 10 fold.  We won't respond in hate to haters.


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