Done, Part 2

10338262_10152919842641179_8700559709711379137_nWow. Just….I am overwhelmed. I never imagined, not for one moment, that my last post would receive the kind of attention it has. I am truly, truly blown away. I was simply trying to express what’s in my heart – with some fear & trepidation about the response. That it is speaking to so many people is just humbling.

Before I say anything, I want to say how very, very moved I am by some of the emails I’ve received. People who are crying and so happy that a Christian “gets it” that they are sharing their stories with me. I am MOVED. I am touched by your stories, your pain, your desperate desire to have someone love & support you. Please know that there are those of us that do get it. We get it and we want you to know that you ARE loved. You ARE accepted by people who are Christians. We will support you, stand up for you, and make you feel welcomed and loved.

I wanted to post a part 2 in response to some of the comments I’ve received. By leaps and bounds, the positive outweighs the negative. However, I do think I need to talk about some of the negative I’ve read.

First of all, to those that continue to quote Deuteronomy 22:5 to me (“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”): Jesus Christ came to Earth, worked for 33 years, was crucified, died and rose again AS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW. That means that all of these law requirements were fulfilled by Christ’s sacrifice. If you disagree, may I suggest reading the entirety of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. If what you believe is true, you better be sure you and yours are fulfilling ALL the requirements and punishments listed therein.

Because Jesus did what He did, we no longer are required to adhere to these laws. Do you have a menstrual hut set up on your property to ensure any females in your family are far enough removed from the house during that time to keep the men from becoming unclean? When is the last time you presented an animal offering without blemish for slaughter as sacrifice as indicated in Leviticus 1 & 2? The last time one of your children was rebellious & defiant, did you bring him or her to the elders at the city gate to be stoned to death as in Deuteronomy 21:18-21? If someone finds out their new wife isn’t a virgin, shall they bring her to her inlaw’s house so the men of the town can stone her to death? Deuteronomy 22:20-21. I could go on and on and on. Due to Jesus’ sacrifice, we are free from these laws. If you look in the New Testament, Jesus never said one word about these issues. NOT ONE WORD. Do you think that was something he just forgot? He made sure to tell us that we have a duty to care for widows and orphans. He certainly told us, specifically, things we should do:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’  Matthew 25-31-45

And the only difference between the sheep & the goats, according to the Scripture, is what they did and didn’t do. Feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Caring for the sick & alone. Opening our doors to those who need it. And I would extend that to caring for the homeless. Feeding the children. Providing for the poor and needy. There is nothing in any of Jesus’ words that indicate any position on the issues I’ve discussed at all. The ONLY mention in the New Testament is by Paul. I’m not discounting Paul entirely, but Paul was not Jesus. Paul was a man. Who many believe had his own issues. Paul also stated that women should be silent in the church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35) and that men shouldn’t have long hair & women must cover theirs (1 Corinthians 11:7-16) and that people should, ideally, remain unmarried so they can devote themselves to God and that there should be no divorce and CERTAINLY no remarriage. (1 Corinthians 7:1-14). There could (has been and continues to) be an entire discussion about Paul and about the choosing of what should be included in the Bible by those who did so centuries ago.

The point is, that regarding these issues, I DON’T KNOW. I don’t pretend to know. When my time comes, believe me, I will ask. But until then, if I must err, I will err on the side of being a loving, welcoming, open-hearted person WHO IS NO BETTER AND NO WORSE than anyone else. Like I said before, if I die and I’m not let into heaven because I didn’t let every person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, struggling with gender identity, or WHATEVER know that they are wrong and are going to hell unless they stop it, I’m okay with that. If these things are not part of God’s design (which, since they’ve been around since FOREVER, I find hard to believe), I will admit I was wrong and take the consequences. If He doesn’t want me in His Kingdom because I have loved and accepted those around me, then I don’t want to be there. Oh, and do NOT think I’m saying that lightly. I have struggled with this issue for years now. I have studied the Scripture, prayed about it, talked about it and when I came to my decision, it was not on a whim. It took you 5 minutes to read what I wrote and judge it. It took me almost a decade to process these issues.

Okay. Phew. Secondly, let me address those who chastised me for comparing my son with Down Syndrome to others who are “different”. I’m not an idiot. I know there is no scientific or biological similarity between the two. (Can’t believe I have to explain that) But he is different. Caitlyn Jenner is different. All the people I know who are lesbian, gay, transgender, etc. are different. Why is the “different” my son is, and was from the very beginning, any more acceptable than these other differences that also were there from the very beginning? How on earth can I demand that the world treat my son as equal and not demand the same from myself?

Henry didn’t choose to have Down Syndrome. (And, contrary to the statement of one commenter, I would no more have given him a pill to “cure” his DS than I would have aborted him if I’d discovered it in utero. How dare you suggest otherwise and accuse me of lying if I said no.) Caitlyn Jenner did not choose to be born with male genitalia, but identify as a woman. No one I know chose to abandon “the norm” and find love in their same gender. Let me ask you this: if you are straight, can you CHOOSE to be gay? Think about it. Could you decide one day to be different than what you are? NEITHER CAN THEY. Nothing any of these people do with their lives affects you in any way, shape, or form. No one is asking you to do anything differently – other than maybe treat other humans with the same respect you want. They are grown adults forming lives with other grown adults. They are grown adults deciding not to live a lie anymore. They are grown adults who are finally accepting who they are and simply asking for the space to do that. HOW DOES THAT IMPACT YOU?

Also, to the commenter who insisted that I shouldn’t “speak for God” when I commented on God’s love of differences: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I don’t need to speak for Him on this issue. He has SHOUTED, SCREAMED, DANCED, AND BLOWN A TRUMPET about it Himself. Have you ever looked outside? Have you ever met a person? NOTHING in this world is the same as anything else. How do explain hundreds and thousands of different species within every different genus? How do you explain that every sunset is different? How do you explain that not even 2 trees of the same kind are identical? How are there BILLIONS of people on the planet and none of them are the same? There aren’t just “cows”. There are over EIGHT HUNDRED breeds of cattle recognized worldwide. There aren’t just “trees”. There are over TWENTY-THREE THOUSAND types of trees in the world.  Now either you believe God created all these things or you don’t. If you do, and you can still claim that God doesn’t LOVE differences, variety, and diversity, then you are blind. I don’t have to claim to speak for God. I think He’s done a pretty darn good job doing that Himself.

Okay. That’s it for now. I want to send a HUGE thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read the rambled thoughts of a dumpy, middle-aged housewife and think enough of those thoughts to pass them on. I’ve never experienced “going viral”, but I’m overwhelmed. You have all blessed me beyond measure and I thank you for your time.

One last thought. Love somebody today. Somebody who you might not normally show love to – at the grocery store, on the train, in your carpool, at work. Freak them out with a kind word or a compliment or just asking them how they are. Everybody is going through a struggle and none of us know what each others’ is. We can only create more love if we show more love. And, I love all of you.

  • Rebecca McCaskill Desch

    You. Are. Phenomenal!! Thank you for writing what is in my heart and mind. 🙂

  • You are too kind. I’m just talking. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I am absolutely humbled.

  • Amydh

    Loved the first post, love this follow up!
    I have the link to the post I wrote about this, if you are interested. 🙂

  • I would love it!

  • David Ice

    I am reminded of a story that actor Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace” next door neighbor) told me. One of his friends was among the first to die of AIDS. His friend was near the end, in severe dementia and incoherent. Suddenly he opened his eyes and clearly said, “Leslie, I’ve been talking to God.” Leslie Jordan said “Oooookay….what did God tell you?” Jordan told of how his friend was, at that moment, totally coherent, sane, and lucid. “God told me that the only thing that matters is love. We are to love each other. And the soul has no gender. The only thing that matters is love.” And his friends closed his eyes, and went back into a non-responsive coma, passing away shortly afterwards. Those words always stun me…and I think that they truly were directly from God.

  • Amydh
  • Kyra Faith

    Hello Christy! I want to thank you for sharing your point of view. I love forums that allow people of all backgrounds to come together and communicate about issues. To me, forums like this are much more helpful than sensationalized news and perpetual stereotypes of different communities. The more we understand, the more we grow, and I feel like I’ve grown by reading what you wrote.

    I am moved by your love for people with “differences.” I am very moved by your call for people (Christians in particular) to love people. I only wish I could see you demonstrating that kind of love to other Christians, even those who don’t share your views. Many of your remarks towards Christians and the church are snide, rude, condescending and judgmental. In a post that is so overwhelmingly passionate and loving, those comments really stand out. While your statement is powerful, I think it would be even more powerful if you didn’t feel the need to attack one “side” in the defense of another. Jenner’s identity speaks to one of many aspects of life that are multi-dimensional and not easily “sided.” Opinions are opinions, and there will never be 100% agreement, but I think your post, more than any I’ve read, suggests that there should be 100% love. I was disappointed to find that your posts seem to reserve that love for everyone who shares your view. Christ suffered and died for everyone, past and present, including the ones who would deny he even existed. I think that is the love you reference, and I agree with you that love like that, unconditional and unrestrained, is what Christ would have anyone who claims him demonstrate to the world. The church is in need of that love too.

    I saw in one of your comments that you said love is “the only way we’ll change things.” I hope soon that you will come to all people with love, including the Christians that you don’t find very loving. I also hope that you abandon the “us against them” mentality and embrace love across the board, the way that Jesus did. I hope that more people read your posts and are encouraged by your message, and I hope that your posts evolve so that they are lovingly directed to the Christians you feel have missed the mark of what it truly means to love and follow Christ. I hope you can find a loving way to talk to those people instead of at them. I love what one person said in a response to a comment on your last post: “I do not ‘fall back’ on love. I start with love…” I think that is the key, for all of us. Love is the starting point, and all of who God is, including his power, righteousness, compassion, mercy and grace, is what will reach and change hearts and lives.

    Thanks again Christy! I have grown by what you shared. I hope you will receive what I’ve said in a way that adds to your growth too.

  • Christy

    Kyra, I’m sorry that you thought I was snide & rude. I didn’t mean to be, but perhaps my frustration with the hypocrisy in the church & from believers has colored my language. I do love others – all others. I may not like what they’re saying, but I do love them. I apologize for coming across that way. I am passionate about my viewpoint and am tired of people who believe they are “right” feeling they get to belittle and crush the spirits of those they do not like. If I was doing that in reverse, I’m sorry.
    I don’t feel I have an “us vs. them” mentality. I think we are all on this journey together.

  • Angela Yoder

    “If He doesn’t want me in His Kingdom because I have loved and accepted those around me, then I don’t want to be there.”

    Same. I spent more than half my life in the Bible Belt and met so many un-Christian Christians that I have been completely put off organized religion. Bless you for showing me there are Christians who are good and kind.

    Also, the last paragraph had me in tears. I wrote an anonymous kind note for someone and left it under their wiper blade; some of my family thought it was creepy or wrong which hurts and saddens me. Your words have reassured me that I did the right thing. Thank you.

  • SurvivorGirl

    BAM!!!! 🙂

  • barb6984

    Thank you for your eloquent exploration of this issue from a Christian point of view. God bless you for using your gift for words in a positive and helpful manner. My own older child is transgender, and it is personally comforting to hear my own thoughts so beautifully confirmed.

  • Susan Cain

    Thank-you again and again. I can’t say thank-you enough. I’ve been told that I’m upsetting people when I post stuff like this on Facebook and I’m really struggling with this. I already feel isolated and I’m so afraid of upsetting the people (family) who have been helping me out but then I want to be morally courageous and stand up for what I feel is right. I’m still struggling because I feel alone and surrounded by hostility. I’m ashamed that I’m not posting as much as I should and I’m burdened by this. Thank-you for being a great example. I shall continue to wrestle with my fears.

  • Lianne Simon

    Thank you, Christy. In Isaiah 54, God makes a special promise to barren women, some of whom might well have been intersex. In Isaiah 56, God says he’ll give to godly eunuchs a name better than that of sons and daughters. In Matthew 19:12, Jesus says some eunuchs were so from their mother’s womb. And he says that some males choose to alter their genitals/gonads to become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom. In Acts 8, Philip baptizes the Ethiopian eunuch, requiring nothing beyond faith in Christ. And Philip, who performed miracles earlier in that chapter doesn’t heal the eunuch. Perhaps being a eunuch wasn’t something that needed to be fixed. God created all this sexual diversity. And he blesses it. Those who are different need the love of God–need the Gospel–as much as anyone else.

  • ivonne

    Both of your posts are beautiful. And I hope the non-human beings are included in that circle of love and compassion. Jesus was a vegetarian.

  • andrea

    Thank you. Both of these were beautiful. The important thing is, we are made however we are made. If God has an issue, he will take it up with me in good time, I presume. <3

  • nooneofconsequence

    There is hope. Thank you.

  • Milton

    With all the Bible talk, why no mention of Romans 1?