Monday, September 22, 2008

In response

It appears that blog readers come in all forms and fashions. It seems touchy issues bring out a deeper side of ourselves, one that is quick to judge, defend or feels compelled to educate. I'm grateful for the comments that have been shared here. I'm grateful for the thoughts they have provoked.

I found when reading this particular post that some readers are particularly unkind. If you feel the desire to comment on this particular blog (and please do so) please make your best attempt to keep them respectful.

To Randi Sue: Thank you for your thoughts. I believe that the issues you brought up are completely valid and definitely something to think about. While working in a health care clinic in lower Manhattan, I saw first hand the heartache and pain that is possible when immersed in the homosexual culture. My clients dealt with health issues on a consistent basis due to the lifestyle they were living. Due to the tightness of the culture, death and illness revolving around STDs and AIDS seemed ever present. This combined with the criticism and discrimination makes it very hard for me to understand why one would think that lifestyle is chosen. It's not an easy one.

To those who seem concerned with my salvation: Please know that to the best of my knowledge, your God and my God are the same. I have a great relationship with Him and find comfort in the fact that He and I are on the same page. I have had the occasion to be a little at odds with the church organization now and then, but my understanding and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is one that is sure and unshakable. And is sacred to me.

To my dear friends who have had open minds and hearts as we mull over the issues this political season has brought to light, thank you. Thank you for the stimulating conversations and the ability and willingness to discuss topics you feel passionately about without placing being critical of those affected by the topic at hand. Thank you for caring about your families and their well-being and for the openness to see the potential for greatness our country holds. The judgment of close friends can be suffocating and the irony of it all baffling. To those of you who have been able to withhold judgment while expressing your opinion when interacting with myself and my husband, thank you.

11 comments:

Kelly said...

You are obviously a compassionate, intelligent woman, and you have every right to express your thoughts here without fear of judgment or unkind responses. I hope you'll continue to do so, because I think it's refreshing to read. Carry on, my friend!

citymama1 said...

I agree, carry on. Discussion is healthy when done respectively and I enjoy reading your thoughts as well as the comments of other.

Kari Ann said...

I think that 80% disapproval is often due to special interest groups pushing their agendas through big government programs and allegiances more than what any President can influence.
I prefer to have our options in the open and be given the respect to choose for ourselves, even when that means accepting the consequences of those choices.
Specifically, I enjoy a good debate among adults. I respect the choices of those that do not agree with me. However, I am livid about political* and social** agendas pushed onto our children and what I see as a violation of the most fundamental parental rights to direct the upbringing of their children. On this issue, Mr. Obama and I are polar opposites.

*http://townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2008/07/28/the_nea_spells_out_its_policies

**http://americansfortruth.com/news/nea-teaching-tolerance-or-attacking-religion.html

kari said...

Eek...I hope that your comment about 'those concerned for my salvation' isn't referring to the comment I made earlier about the gay marriage issue. If it is, I apologize. I'm the first to admit that I'm not good at expressing my opinion eloquently and I have a tendency to say things without thinking. So sorry if I offended you and/or your readers.

Kendra said...

I read your earlier post and wanted to comment, but didn't have the time to produce the thoughtful response I would like.

If I were running for political office, the topic of gay marriage is one I would be accused of flip-flopping on, and rightfully so. I am trying to listen to church leaders and follow their counsel on this one, but I am not totally at peace about it. I found the article you referred to interesting, because it seems like there has to be some way to show compassion and love for those who are living an alternative lifestyle, without giving the impression that the church condones their choices. So much of the propaganda feels more like an attack on the gay community than the defense of the family that it is supposed to be. I would probably favor the Civil Union option, and think it should be considered to apply to anyone who needs access to those rights (i.e. widowed siblings living together, etc.).

Many of these questions boil down to what should be legislated. We know what is right and wrong because we have the gospel (basically), but does it follow that we should vote to enact legislation that applies to those who don't have the same understanding? I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know that the Saviour taught His Gospel with such love and compassion for the sinner, by teaching, not by controlling.

This is a little longer and more political than I intended it to be. My main reason for commenting is to let you know that I do know what it is like to see the disbelief in my friends' faces when I don't immediately and whole-heartedly agree with an issue that they see as being completely clear-cut. I think when you know someone (or ones) on the other side of the issue the complexities of the issues become more clear. I admire your bravery in bringing up topics that you know will not be popular among your peer-set. While I love a healthy battle of the wits, I hate conflict that can hurt feelings and tear apart friendships, so I often shy away from political discussions, since people most often vote with their emotions, rather than their minds.

Hopefully, you'll continue to give us things to think about, so that we can ponder and come to our own conclusions, rather than follow the crowd, blindly.

Stephens Family said...

Amberly,

I very much admire your honesty and openness. I certainly have thoughts on the issue, but because I know my opinions tend to be towards the left end of the spectrum, I don't voice them much for fear of judgement. An irony I think...I fear judgement from people who, if they are truly listening and heeding the words of our Lord, should not judge at all! Not that having a difference of opinion is a judgement, but it is when that difference of opinion leads to putting others down or refusing to listen, that is where I see the problem. I read the article "The Divine Institution of Marriage" and I wanted to post this part...the part that I think many of us tend to forget...

"As Church members decide their own appropriate level of involvement in protecting marriage between a man and a woman, they should approach this issue with respect for others, understanding, honesty, and civility."

Just my thoughts and I have enjoyed yours! : )

Amy said...

Ah Amberly! I've loved the discussion & your thought provoking choice of topics! We might not always agree, but I suppose that is the beauty of it! We've had different life experiences that have formed our opinions & outlooks & thus direct our thought process.

While I agree with protecting marriage between a man & woman, I also agree with being respectful of others. I don't assume to know what it is like in the homosexual community, but as you said, it's not necessarily easy.

I too have struggled with feelings of supporting marriage & that of compassion for others -- there has to be a balance. But initially I am willing to go on blind faith & look to see the Lord's hand.

Keep on bloggity blog bloggin!

Croslands said...

Wow, looks like I've missed out on a lot of serious opinions. I tend to avoid these topics because I'm not a fan of the "judgemental" folks who have hateful opinions of homosexuality. (fortunately none of your friends comments are "that" kind of persons)

I love the Lord and the gospel but I have a really hard time believing that someone would choose to hurt their families, be hated, made fun of and ridiculed by others. I just don't believe they've conciously chosen that. I'll end it there with a love for all humans.

Sandi said...

Amberly, anyone who has put your salvation in question, better look at their own judgmental selves first. I love you.

Nancy said...

amberly, i have no doubts about your salvation. but since a i'm a raving hippie lunatic, perhaps my endorsement may not mean too much.

Kristi said...

I hope my comments didn't upset you. These are very touchy issues that we all are passionate about, but my opinion on those issues does not change my opinion of you. I think you are a very peaceful, open-minded person that is willing to listen to all sides and opinions. I guess that's why I felt it so easy to respond. Thanks for giving us that opportunity and a place to do so, but really my comments were not directed at you as much as just spewing my feelings. Thanks!!!