“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
― Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver writes sensitive, life-filled poetry. She challenges and inspires. She is also a lesbian.
The friend who introduced me to Mary Oliver’s poetry does not condone marriage equality… at least, last time we talked. This friend who finds Oliver’s poetry so lovely is prepared to prohibit Oliver from marrying the person she wants to marry.
Ironic, isn’t it? Mary Oliver’s poetry is good enough to inspire, admire and recommend, but her human rights are subject to approval.
I recall stories of slaveowners who had sex with their slaves, yet those slaves were considered as three-fifths of a person. Slaves are good enough to share life’s most intimate interaction with but not good enough to consider a whole person.
Whatever societal reasons we may use to deny human rights, whether race or orientation or simply personal taste, is just semantics. It’s self-interest. It’s wrong.
Whether equality supposedly threatens a slave owner’s commerce, or threatens our current perception of marriage (‘current’ because marriage has changed several times — here and here and here), those reasons do not justify, nothing justifies relegating entire groups of people to second-class citizenship.
This has got to break now. It is breaking now. In society. In the church. In our hearts.
The time has come for marriage equality. Because it’s right. Because it’s time.
Life is too short not to spend it loving and being loved.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
* To read more from Susan Cottrell, visit www.FreedHearts.org
SUSAN COTTRELL is a national speaker, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Her books include: Mom, I’m Gay – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith, as well as How Not to Lose Your Teen and The Marriage Renovation. Through her nonprofit organization – FreedHearts.org – Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that “loving God and loving others” are the foundation of the rest of the scripture, just as Jesus said.
She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”
She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at FreedHearts.org and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHearts and Jesus Blog columns.