So I want to share something with all of you that happened this week. Often times conservative Christians are labeled as being bigoted, intolerant, backward monsters incapable of any sort of co-existence with anyone that disagrees with them. My dad, a Baptist preacher and staunch conservative is proof that this is not the case.
My best friend growing up has a child who is transgender. We have known him since he was a baby girl in diapers. Our lives have been intertwined forever. A few years ago, she began transition and is now currently on hormone replacement therapy when she transitioned to male. He has a boyfriend who is also transgender. From the moral perspective my dad inhabits, this is immoral on many levels and he disagrees with the lifestyle. And yet, this weekend These two transgendered men came to their house and helped them move. My father treated them as he would any other man, calling them "gentlemen" and "boys" and not shying away from asking them to pick up heavy items or jump up in the truck to help move things around. The entire time...he treated them in the manner that they wished to be treated.
I think that this is the example that needs to be elevated as the RIGHT way of doing things. My dad does not agree with them and has issues with their choices, but he treated them with the respect that they deserved and acknowledged their own agency. If they would have asked him his thoughts in the matter, he would have told them that he didn't agree with their choices, but that he still absolutely loved them and that they were still family.
In this climate of forced affirmation (You WILL agree with me, or I will call you out as a homophobe, sexist, bigot, etc...) we don't often hear about things like this. Dad was not grudgingly accommodating; he was earnestly treating them with respect from his heart. For some, this is not enough. For some, they not only want to be treated the way that they want to be treated, but they want to control how others think, feel, and believe. I think that this is very unfortunate and takes us backward. People should have every right to disagree with the choices of others, and should only be judged on HOW they act towards others. It is possible to not agree...and still love.