I am currently in a STATS class. There are days I love and days I wish I were willing to just drop out. There are concepts I get easily and some that I struggle with. One thing that is perfectly clear is the idea that shows the difference between an “equality” and an “inequality.” The following equation shows an equality.
What that is really saying is that the total of what is on one side of that “equality” means exactly the same thing that is on the other side.
An “inequality” would look something like one of the following.
x/=/y (That is not actually how this symbol should look, but I don’t have time tonight to go figure out how to insert a real “not equal” sign. Sorry – I hope you can picture an equal sign with a slash through the middle of it rather than one on each end as you look at this one.)
Either one of those comes close to an equality, but ends up missing the mark all together. It does not matter if the total of the right side is greater than or less than or simply totally different than the left side. Either way, it is not something equal. Even with the x and y example, were we do not even know what the two numbers really are, we know that they are not equal.
I feel like the discussion about “marriage equality” is an exercise in attempting to force x and y to be equal, simply by changing the symbol between them. Or like attempting to say that 2+5 is perfectly “equal” to 4. The change of sign from the equation 2+5>4 to 2+5=4 does not change the reality that what is on the right side of the equation is simple not the same thing that is on the left. With an “equality” you can rearrange things and still find equality. For instance, you can say all of the following and be accurate (as well as numerous other swaps of numbers).
You can rearrange this equation a host of different ways that might end up looking nothing alike, but in the end they are really all equal. If I rearrange it, does that mean that one number is more important or better than any other number? Nope. The 7 was just as important as the 1 in that second example right there. If I had swapped an 8 for the 7, everything gets out of wack.
OK, so what does that have to do with “marriage equality” in any way shape or form? Well. I will just say that I saw the best use of the equal sign I have seen in the last two days on a blog that I heartily enjoy reading. He (the blog writer) showed where the actual equality in this marriage equation can be found. That is this in essence. Marriage=man+woman. His graphic was better than my mathematical representation, but I didn’t want to steal his image and don’t have time to make my own (plus, this method matched my other mathematical ramblings here tonight). The catch is, men and women are not the same, so you can’t just substitute one for the other in the equation. That means writing marriage=man+man or marriage=woman+woman is about as effective as writing 8-3=3+1. It just isn’t accurate.
I could try to explain why I believe what I just wrote (although this is a much simpler principle in my head that the ramblings above may make it seem), but I will instead direct you to three other places that say it better than I could ever hope to. First, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted this news release from the Church in 2010. (And yes, please do notice the date on that. This is not new – the idea or the video. But it is just as relevant today as it was in 2010.) Some of my favorite lines are these…
“Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ’s second great commandment – to love one another…God’s universal fatherhood and love charges each of us with an innate and reverent acknowledgement of our shared human dignity. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another. We hope and firmly believe that within this community, and in others, kindness, persuasion and goodwill can prevail.”
I am so far from being perfect – of even close to perfect – with loving everyone. I have posts on this very blog that were written in the heat of frustration and were much more filled with that frustration than anything that resembles His kind of love – in other words – Charity. I sometimes get angry with my kids and even on occasion my sweet HUBBY. I get upset and filled with way less love for myself than what I know God has for me. But, I am trying to get there and LOVE hearing these inspiring and encouraging words about love in the midst of differences and challenges. I have friends – some of which are entirely dear to my heart and others that are more remote – as well as family members that are gay. I honestly and sincerely love them. Do I fully understand what it is like to be in their shoes? No. Do I fully understand what it’s like to be in my adorable neighbor’s shoes that manages to keep her house clean, her girls well dressed, cook like a gourmet, and help out in the elementary school where both of our kids attend every week? No. Do I understand what it is like in my big sisters’ shoes that is going to school, working to start her own business, trying desperately to be a good mom, and still attempting to maintain a clean home and a sane mind? No – and I have two of them that fit that list of factors every bit as much as I do! Does that mean I don’t love them? Heck no!
Now, let me add here, that I am not a huge fan of people attempting to tell me what I should do with my time or how I should live my life or what choices are best for me. I don’t like it because those well-meaning people can’t possibly know what it is like to be in my shoes. But. Jesus Christ knows full well all the things that I suffer – you see, He felt it too – even before I did – for me – for all of it. Heavenly Father also knows exactly what is in store and how best to help me grow and develop into the woman He knows I have the potential to become. I don’t mind when He tells me what to do – at least not after I take a pause and get over my preconceived ideas about what I had in mind. I don’t mind it because I know He loves me perfectly and would not ask me to do anything that is not in my best eternal interest. I feel just the same way about this “marriage equality” idea. I don’t like other people telling me what I should or shouldn’t think about any of it. But when I hear it from God’s mouthpieces, I am all too happy to listen.
The next thing I want to share is a link to some absolutely incredible and informative sources of some inspiring information about same gender attraction. I especially wanted to share Elder Oaks’ video from there. It is so loving and simple and he seems so full of optimism. It just inspired me with peace.
The last thing I want to share is the blog post I mentioned earlier. It comes from the blog Middle-aged Mormon Man. I concur with everything he wrote, but wish to add here the thing that caught my attention the most and made me consider his words more deeply. He wrote, “I know that next week, during General Conference, I will be able to raise my hand to the square when asked if I sustain these brethren. Without hesitation.” He added some things about that idea that were so poignant as well, but I will leave you to read that (or not) on his own blog. I will also mention that he did talk about what he does know and what he does not know and I love that. There are so many things I don’t know, but I want to write just one more thing that I do know. I know that something that is perfectly incredible to me is that God can love us all perfectly and equally, even though we are not equal (or in other words “exactly the same”). I love knowing of His endless and perfect love for me and for everyone else. Knowing that makes it so much easier for me to also love others – including my children when they dump an entire 25 lb bag of flour on the floor.
These words are my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and interpretations of things. They are NOT written intending to offend, but neither were they written with a goal to avoid causing offense at all costs. It is what it is and I hope that my love for all those who are similar to me (or those that are not) shines forth from me. Please avoid any rude comments, I will delete them or simply not post them. I do not avoid tough questions or constructive criticism, but if you post something that will offend the spirit of respect that I am trying to build, then that would likely be removed. Some say “Boooo banner of free speech.” To which I respond, “this is my own personal blog, you may take it or leave it. So, if you choose to comment, please make sure that you are doing it in a respectful manner. Respect includes towards me, my God, my church, other people, and so forth. Just please play nice. 🙂