I consider myself a Christian. One of the things we are taught, is that we are not on earth to be the judges of our neighbors. I suppose one of the easiest things to do, is to find the things about other people that we would like to see corrected.
We are undoubtedly much more forgiving and rationalizing about our own behaviors or faults, if we can even conceive of them as such. What a different world this would be if everyone concentrated on what he perceived was right and proper, without excuses for himself, and set about correcting his own life to adhere to such as he was capable of understanding. I thoroughly dislike making such a hypocrite of myself. I can be as guilty as anyone of seeing the things in others I dislike, but also full of rationale as to my own behavior as to what you may seek to correct.
The subject at hand is gay marriage.
Let me assure you to begin that I am as straight as they come. I am completely puzzled as to how any man can become enamored of another man. I have friends, gay men, who I consider good friends, in some cases some of my very best friends. I don't know why they are gay. I don't know what forces brought them to this place, but I do know that some are among the best people I know. They accept me. They don't try to justify their preferences or anything else, we have our association as regards the matters at hand and so be it. I'm only sorry to say that one of my best gay friends would surely make an excellent father. He is very family oriented.
Women are a mystery to me to begin with, so I can't begin to understand or misunderstand them. I know several gay women and all I can say, from the standpoint of a virile male is, what a waste. You may find that a contemptible opinion, but so be it. We all find it difficult to understand viewpoints we do not share, so please, give me some space. Thank you.
Back to the main topic, gay marriage. It does seem strange that in an era when heterosexuals have been disdaining marriage, gay people are struggling to achieve the right. If two people want to legitimize their relationship, I cannot find it in my heart to deny them. It seems to me that it can have a stabilizing effect on society. This is supposed to be a free country where people are free to pursue their lives and goals as their soul dictates.
In growing to adulthood I recall more than one acquaintance who would brag about his encounter with a gay person where he beat him up for the fact that he was gay. In my youth I have been propositioned by more than one gay individual. I never wanted to hurt him, but made excuses to move to a different locale to be free from further consideration. It always seemed to me that someone who took pleasure in pummeling a gay person, felt an unusual impetus to distance himself from consideration, as though he was worried about possible conversion or accusation.
In short, I feel that if gay people want to get married, why not let them. If you think they are sinners, it has nothing to do with you. Don't go to the wedding. Be content to take care of your own soul. Judge not lest ye be so judged. I would hold one reservation. If they should approach a Catholic priest, or anyone else, who because of their belief, did not feel comfortable in performing the service, they should not have a legal suit against him. Let's accept everyone's rights.
Surely they can find someone to perform the rite, who would be glad to do so. To those of you in fear of damnation, I don't believe it will ever come from kindness and understanding.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org