Today is Martin Luther King Day. This was a man who was strong in his convictions and had beliefs that helped change America today. My post today has nothing to do with this. In fact, when inspiration hit me I didn’t even consider what today was. This post may seem a bit contradictory at times, but I’ll risk it anyways and hope that it makes sense. When I was younger and attending religious classes to make my Confirmation, I was put in a place of personal moral dilemmas. They were telling me about how homosexuality was a sin, but I didn’t believe it. They couldn’t tell me that God was infallible but yet made a mistake in people I believed he created. Now, I tell my son who is attending religious classes that being a good Catholic means two things: question everything and only God is allowed to pass judgement. It isn’t our place. Luckily, he listened.
We all have different beliefs. If we didn’t, this world would be such a boring place. Our beliefs is what makes us do what we do. One of our biggest problems in America is also our best asset and it’s all about beliefs. Our country was founded on a belief of freedoms to be who we are without the government persecuting us. So you might ask, “I agree that our biggest asset is that we believe, but how is this our downfall?” I’ll tell you why. Because we live in a place of intolerance of people who don’t share our beliefs. Because we live in a place where laws are made based on beliefs that can seem to oppress people. This is where beliefs are a downfall.
I believe that your beliefs shouldn’t dictate my life. I might not agree with people posting sonogram pictures or bath pictures on social media. I believe these are personal and private and the latter is fodder for pedophiles. This doesn’t mean I have a right to tell you that you’re wrong and shouldn’t do it. The great thing about America is we can disagree and it’s okay with us. It’s not our place to judge. My beliefs shouldn’t dictate how you live your life.
This is where the post might become a little contradictory. I believe we have freedoms. I believe that people should be treated as people, no matter how they look or love. I believe what a person does with their body is their own business. Should what I believe be common beliefs? Maybe, but it’s not. We have freedoms though. And amongst those freedoms is that all people have certain unalienable rights and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t say, “except if you’re gay or a minority” at the end of that. So where does a belief have the exception to become a law over someone else’s beliefs? When you consider these unalienable rights that were written by those brave men that created our government because they wanted a place that was better than the state of oppressions they lived in before. They wanted better for us as we want better for our generations to come.
We do pick and chose what beliefs lead to laws in America. I think what makes this right or wrong is what was written in those documents we love to think we follow. We don’t. They would probably spin in their graves if they saw the state of oppression that we currently live. They wanted a land where religion wasn’t a cause to oppress another. They wanted us to be free people. They wanted a place where the government stayed small and not small enough to fit in our bedrooms or female reproductive systems. They wanted people who obeyed the law to live free without worrying about someone coming after them. They wanted a land where people could have a better life. And we have lost that somewhere along the way.