Thursday, April 02, 2015

NO SOUP FOR YOU! Or Cake...or Pizza...or Flowers

Miserable people. What makes them so discontent with life and everyone around them? There's a lot of truth when they say that misery loves company. Some feel jaded that their lives are so miserable, that they want to make yours miserable as well. I find that more people come together when they hate something more than they do when they like something. Maybe it's addicting to be a miserable bastard. I learned that most miserable people don't like themselves at all. Their love tank is on "E" and there is nothing left for them to give to anybody else. It's also true that whatever you hate in somebody else, is what you hate about yourself. There has to be some connection you relate to in order for those intense feelings to surface. Why are Christians so incredibly angry at gays and lesbians? Fear and intimidation has a lot to do with avoidance or just being aloof, in order to to lash out at those who are perhaps a bit different than you -- maybe a deep seated issue that was never resolved. I'm no psychologist, but lately I have seen a ton of miserable people rise up to the surface to display their hatred. Sadly, they're all Christians.

Memories Pizza is just a memory for now...
Honestly, I don't care if you won't sell me a cake, or arrange flowers for my wedding -- I'll just take my business elsewhere. I would not spend my time or waste my energy into trying to sue someone who doesn't want to have anything to do with me. But the sad thing is, that store will pay a high price anyway by the way they treat others without me even suing them. A pizzeria called, Memories Pizza in Indiana was forced to shut their doors after telling a reporter that he would refuse to cater to a gay or lesbian wedding. The owner, Kevin O'Connor (who by the way doesn't sound Italian) was flooded by threatening phone calls and blasted to smithereens on social media. So three questions: how good can this pizzeria be if it's not authentically Italian (there's a touch of bigotry in that question) and why in the world would any wedding (straight or gay) want pizza as their wedding entree? Also, do you think that this was just one big set up? Maybe someone knew that Kevin was against gay marriage and did this just to prove it to others? That has me wondering a bit. 

What about the soup nazi on Seinfeld? "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" He is actually based upon a real 'soup nazi'. You could just look at him the wrong way and he would fling you out the door. If you didn't make a decision in 3.2 seconds, you're outa' there. So in a way, he blasted people out of his shop, but not because of who they were, but how annoying the typical customer can be. As I think about this law more and more, I start to wonder about the guilt factor on the owners who refuse service for gay weddings -- guilt in terms of, 'if I serve you, will I be disobeying my god' type of quandary. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not about denying sales or service -- it now seems more about not participating in events that go against their religion. Many Christians will compare it to serving the KKK or real nazi sympathizers, but serving two people of the same gender who want to get married is quite different. So how about a better comparison, like asking a rabbi to perform a Christian wedding in "the name of Jesus"? Maybe if you gave us that sort of example, we would appreciate the explanation better. But to compare gay people who love one another to people who murder each other, is just wrong and hurtful. 

A rabbi at a lesbian wedding. 
I took the liberty to read more about the law. The thing is, yes you're going to have some business owners who will feel like they have that opportunity to display their "freedom of religion" and not serve you a slice of cake, or pizza, or whatever. That's not what the bill is about. They'll serve you. I mean, do you typically say before ordering a slice of pizza, "Hey, I'm a lesbian, can I get a slice with mushrooms?" Of course not. But maybe they feel uncomfortable with attending an "event" -- a "ceremony" that goes against their religion? And maybe, they should have that right. Even though it saddens me to see that we still have a long way to go as far as progress, it saddens me even more that there are so many bigots coming out of the woodwork making gays and lesbians feel like complete dirt. I'm starting to see that there are much more hateful people out there than I initially thought. I'm not even talking about the business owners anymore -- I'm talking about the millions of comments I have read with derogatory statements saying that we feel entitled to everything and that we're the 'gay mafia' who bully Christians. Another kicker is, many said that once business owners start catering to gay marriages, they'll end up catering to a father and daughter who wants to get married too. And what's next? Sally wants to marry her goat -- bake them a cake ASAP! 

It goes that far.

And it can go even further. 

Biblically speaking as a Christian myself, the book talks about many sins. I just want to put this out there and you can disagree all you'd like -- but this is what the Bible reads to "me". So, when I flip back to Leviticus (The Old Testament to which the Jews rely on), it speaks about homosexuality, eating crustaceans of the sea (shellfish), shaving your beard, getting tattoos, sitting next to a woman who is menstruating and on and on. 

Ironic that he's against homosexuality since he has a tattoo. That's in Leviticus too.
More Leviticus sins...

  • Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (Actually, she’s unclean a week, and then another 33 days. Then she has to offer up a sacrifice.)
  • Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (Actually, she’s unclean a week, and then another 66 days. Then she has to offer up a sacrifice.)
  • Mixing fabrics in your clothing.
  • Eating fruit from a tree within 4 years of planting it.
  • Cutting your hair at the sides.
  • Turning to mediums or spiritualists.
  • Marrying a prostitute, a divorcee or a widow.
  • Selling land permanently.
  • Messy hair.
  • Drinking alcohol in holy places.
  • Tearing your clothes.
  • Eating fat.
  • And of course, homosexuality.

"Let me put it in another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God. But now that faith in Christ has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. **There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are ALL Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus.**   And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you." ~Galatians 3:24-29

There is a huge difference between sinning and a sinful heart. Sinning is simply being human. A sinful heart desires to sin – it wants to hurt people and deliberately wants to steal your joy. A human that sins is natural. We repent and have faith in God. We no longer go by the laws of Moses. This is why God gave us His only son. We are freed from the law.

Here… Look at Galatians chapter two verses 17 through 21:

"But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! Rather, I make myself guilty if rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me an gave himself for me. I am not one for those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die."

Pretty huge statement if you think about it. “For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.”

See, when I read the bible, it teaches me that we are all connected as Christians of the same faith. We follow the trinity and we pardon "sins" as well as not judging another's sins. I was also taught that homosexuality referred in Corinthians was a past tense reference.

For instance:

Here is my interpretation of the cherry picked version of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11…

“Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t you fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers---none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God.”

Now, most homosexuals will say to that verse that’s been thrown at them by other judgmental people, “Oh wow! I’m going to hell if I continue being gay!”

Wrong. Read the next verse, which most Christians fail to provide for you…

“There was a time when some of you were just like that, (before Christ), but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.”

This image will enrage some people...
When Christ died for our sins, he paid the full price. It’s up to us whether or not we fully believe that our sins are washed away. It’s the old law. People are so bound by the old law that the guilt, shame of the old ways of the written word are still imbedded in them. Their upbringing due to what others thought was “immoral” or “not right in God’s eyes” are those people who lived a different lifestyle. There are people in this world who aren’t going to want a mate of the opposite sex. Some don’t want children, and others can adopt, just as those heterosexuals who cannot produce, and adopt themselves. I’m no theologian, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the bible has clear references that are made, which states we are no longer bound to the old written laws. We are free, because Jesus saved us. I fully believe that. I'm not insinuating that we should do “evil” things, such as killing people or hurting others. There’s a huge difference between “evilness” and wanting to have a life full of love, regardless of what gender we fall for. Galatians specifically states that there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. Who we love isn’t based on gender.

The Bible was written over 2,000 years ago. It was written by man, inspired by God and translated and interpreted a million and one different ways. When I read the Bible, I read something entirely different than say another Christian would. People who are just "religious" with no spirit will read the text 'as is' without fully understanding it. But when you have the spirit within you -- you can read it, understand it, absorb it and decipher its true meaning. How many versions of the Bible can we pick from?

"Well, what about the Bible condemning homosexuals in the book of Romans?"

The book of Romans was based on promiscuity for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. They engaged in immoral orgies and had sex with anybody. You cannot compare the relationship between two people who love one another to some random orgy.  My friend and pastor Nick explained what the term "homosexuality" meant in its raw definition.

“The passage in the ancient Hebrew is clearly talking about male-male sex acts, specifically anal sex. The issue was penetrating an anus with a penis, this making the penis literally 'unclean' to the point of forbidding entry into a vagina.”

You can literally say that having anal sex with the opposite sex would be considered "homosexuality". But the term morphed into a male-oriented type of homosexuality -- but says nothing about the lesbian nature of homosexuality.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, there is no concrete proof that homosexuality was even referenced as a "sin" -- and when I say "homosexuality" -- I mean two people of the same gender loving one another, who want to grow old with one another just like anybody else. Why do Christians debate over their own book? Why do they tear one another down? They're not doing it to "save you" or trying to show you tough love -- they're displaying their prejudice in the disguise of a faithful Christian. It's so far from the truth. Actions speak louder than words.

Back to The Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- I get it. You just don't want to participate in our events. That's too bad because you know what? We have the most fun! You're missing out. But I understand your distress because the Bible is so confusing. And I promise you -- you won't go to hell by catering to a gay wedding. You're not doing something evil -- you're giving of yourself to people who you think are sinful. You're not participating in "gay sex" or going to turn gay just by doing business with them. But it's your loss. Now you suffer the consequences when other businesses refuse to service you. How does it feel? Some companies and stores closed up. Is it worth it? And it only takes a bit of kindness, understanding and an open mind to make things happen.

I also promise you, that if you decide to put a sign on your store window that says, "Sorry, no gays allowed, " I will abide to it. I will not walk into your establishment. I will walk into a place where I'm welcomed. It just feels better. I'm not going to sue you or slander you online. I'm going to boast about the beautiful experience I had with the business who opened their door to me. That's what I want to brag about.

Will this be your child? 
Keep in mind that if you have children, they will adapt to your preferences. They will learn to hate what you hate, to like what you like and to love what you love. So when you bash gays and lesbians, you are telling your child that it's okay to do this. There are so many of our LGBT youth committing suicide just because they were bullied by some kid calling them a faggot or mocking them because they're gay. Just this past week, I learned about so many people I personally know and those I don't know who are antigay. They're coming out of the woodwork with this Indiana and Arkansas fiasco. They make their opinions known on social media, not thinking their friends can see what they comment on and it just leaves you with this horrible feeling. How many others are closeted bigots? How many friends are secretly scowling at your gay marriage? How many of your own family members are against everything you may stand for? It kinda hurts. And that's not "Christian" to me -- that's just being miserable. My question is: why does this topic enrage you? Why would you be so involved in gay and lesbian politics? How would my marriage ruin your life? Why are we so invested over other people's relationships? Is it because you feel we're forcing you to 'bake a cake' due to your misinterpreted understanding of what the Bible says? And since the Bible isn't 100% concrete, why wouldn't you want to do what Jesus would have done and accept all of us? "WWJD" means nothing to you because you do not understand the full meaning of what Jesus actually did for us. It's IN your BIBLES! Once Jesus died on that cross, the old law was abolished. If you still don't think so, please reread the scriptures that I have given you previously in this article.

Most important commandment of all...per Jesus.
So let me just remind you of what's most important, per Jesus.
The Most Important Commandment: "One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the discussion. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?'
Jesus replied, 'The most important commandment is this: Here, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.'" ~Matthew 22:34-40

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!