What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. This guest post is by an anonymous reader.
I come from a Christian family. I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was in middle school and pretty much grew up in the church.
I also come from a politically divided family: my mom’s side is left-leaning, while my dad’s side is as conservative as you can get. Like Let’s-Get-Together-Every-Election-Year-And-Watch-The-Republican-National-Convention conservative. And Let’s-Post-Conservative-Things-on-Facebook-Every-Five-Minutes conservative. And Let’s-“Like”-Twenty-Different-Conservative-Pages-on-Facebook-Within-the-Span-of-Ten-Minutes-Just-To-Prove-How-Conservative-We-Are conservative.
I want you to know that it IS possible to be a Christian and a Democrat.
What I want you to know is that it’s okay to be a Christian and still think abortion should be legal. While I would not choose that for myself, I think everyone deserves the right to have control over their own bodies. And I think it’s preposterous for anybody, whether that be a politician or a pastor, to make the assertion that Christians MUST vote a certain way (I kid you not, I once had to sit through a sermon on this by one of my pastors).
I want you to know that you shouldn’t assume that just because I’m a Christian, I think that if gay people can get married that the “definition” or “meaning” of marriage will instantaneously deteriorate, polygamy will become the norm, and the world will erupt into chaos. I want the LGTBQ community to know that you don’t need to be scared that I’m against you or constantly judging you because I’m a Christian. I want the gay people I know not to feel like they need to be careful about what they talk about around me out of fear that I will lecture them on the “evils” of their “lifestyle.” I want them to know that I don’t think homosexuality is a choice. I understand that they were born that way, and I love them for who they are. I want them to know how sorry I am for how many people of my faith have treated them.
I want you to know that to me, “traditional family values” means believing that every child deserves a loving home where they feel safe, whether that be in a home with one parent, a mom and dad, two moms, or two dads.
I want my conservative family members to know that it annoys me when at every family gathering we have to have a “come-to-Jesus” discussion about why I really should vote Republican when I vote for the first time this November. I want you to know that despite your best efforts, it’s not gonna happen. And I also want you to know that it’s ridiculous for you to think that my political beliefs are my way of “rebelling” against your side of the family. Or that I just believe this way because I’m a young college student, and I’ll see the “error” of my ways and get over it eventually.
I want people to know that I’m not worse Christian for being a liberal. I’m not a better one, either. I just want you to know that I can still love Jesus at the same time.