On February 15, 2011, the Nashville Metro Council passed bill that extends the existing non discrimination code to include sexual orientation. You can read more about the vote on the Nashville Public Radio web site.
The cause of Christ was defended when council member Jim Hodge spoke on behalf of many Christians everywhere and said:
“Jesus said it. Love your neighbor. He didn’t say endorse their lifestyle.”
Neighbor Hodge? I’m not feelin’ the love.
Isn’t it presumptuous for politicians to speak on behalf of Christians? On the other hand, if Christians allow politicians (or other Christians) to make statements like that on their behalf without protest or with passive silence, then I guess that makes it okay.
“What difference does it make,” you may ask? “The bill pass, didn’t it? What is there to get worked up about?”
I’m glad you asked. You see, this thing isn’t over. On the state level, Franklin Representative Glen Casada has filed a state bill to prevent local governments from passing non discrimination bills like the one the metro council passed. As I understand it, the bill is retroactive. You can read that proposed bill, here. Casada’s sponsorship of the bill makes his beliefs clear as he sits as chair of the State’s Health and Human Resources Committee.
On a personal note (as if none of this has been personal so far), while researching this post I discovered I can no longer in good conscious take my Toyota to Beaman to get an oil change. Let me explain.
On January 12, “a group of conservative business and political leaders gathered this morning for an informational meeting about the ‘homosexual agenda.'” They met to see what they could do about the impending expansion of the metro council’s non discrimination policy to include sexual orientation. Among those in attendance were Lee Beaman, Stan Hardaway, Walter Strickland, William Morgan, and Tom Smith. Rep. Jim Gotto and state Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin. Also in attendance was David Fowler, who leads a conservative activist group.
I haven’t looked up any of the other businessman names yet. But Beaman I recognized. He owns the dealership where I get my car serviced. How can I keep taking my car there? Surely he doesn’t want my gay money!
I can live with that. I really should be changing my own oil anyway. Doing it myself will save me money, and it’s so butch! But how far do I take this? I also learned that this anti non discrimination meeting took place at the LifeWay building in downtown Nashville. I workout at a local Baptist church because its got a fantastic gym and the membership fee is amazingly cheap. Now, LifeWay is God central for the Southern Baptist Church. Do I have to quit going to my gym now, too?
I’m going to keep going for now, however, because I have a plan. Several weeks ago, I contributed to the It Gets Better Project. For my contribution, I’m supposed to get a t-shirt with the campaign logo on it. When the t-shirt finally arrives, I’m going to wear it to the Baptist church gym. I’m going to wear it as often as I can. If nothing happens, cool. If one day I’m escorted from the building, even cooler.
This post has gotten crazy long. But I have to point out, just in case you missed it, what has happened here. I’ve gone from being mildly concerned about a statement a politician made regarding a piece of legislation in a city where I don’t even live (I’m in a neighboring county), to boycotting a car dealership, to potentially leaving the gym I’ve gone to five days a week for over four years.
This stuff matters. It matters a great deal. But it only matters when somebody else starts this crap! Give me rights like everyone else, and I’ll shut up.
After I had my car worked on at Beaman they called to see how I like the service. I gave the service great marks, but then told them that I didn’t like the hate towards the gay community that Beaman was supporting. I like my RAV, but I will not buy my next one at Beaman unless Beaman is open to all members of the community.
You’re comment reminds me that it’s not enough to only stop taking my car to Beaman. I also have to let them know why. Thanks, Deen.
When will the ridiculousness end? I just don’t understand why people are so judgmental about differences in sexual orientation. Not surprised to hear that LifeWay was the location of the meeting.
For a long time I dealt with all of this just by being silent. Now I’m much more forthcoming about what I believe. I’m finding that I can understand and accept folks who outright disagree. It’s harder to accept people who are silent like I used to be.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it this way: “Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection.”
I greatly appreciate your willingness to say what you believe, Anne. For the rest of it, I need to reach a place of love and patience.