Thursday, May 10, 2012

The "Golden Rule" (Redefined) Caution: political post

The "golden rule"...

..."love your neighbor as yourself"...

...every mother's measure for her child's treatment of others, right?

I was reading an article today where President Obama was quoted as saying that the "golden rule" was his basis for supporting same-sex marriage.  That he believed he should love everyone and therefore grant everyone marriage.  Just after reading the article I came across a blog post on facebook on the same issue. I thought the topic was worth a post, so here are my thoughts.

Let's put aside the highly controversial issue of same-sex marriage for the purpose of this post and focus on the thought process to arrive at his conclusion.  I love everyone...therefore I should give them what they want.  If I don't give them what they want, I don't truly love them.  What?  This is what my kids (and the makers of children's toys) are hoping for...haha.  But seriously, I don't give myself everything I want...even when that donut is calling my name:)

One of the issues that I have with President Obama's claim is the presumption that love means agreeing with whatever choice another makes.  As I thought about it, I realized that it is a prevalent philosophy in modern culture.  We have all been raised in an instant gratification society and with the misconception that our Constitution grants us the right to have what we want.  Ask any school kid and he will tell you "I can do what I want, it's a free country".  Haha.  How many times did you say this as a child?  Hollywood also has played a huge roll in teaching us and our children that we don't truly love someone unless we applaud, encourage, and embrace whatever decision that they make...even in their cartoons aimed at young children...just look at The Little Mermaid or Nemo.

From the very core of my being, I have to disagree.

I believe that we can love someone while disagreeing with their choices. 

Jesus did. 

We have many examples in scripture of Jesus loving and yet disagreeing with lifestyle choices.  He loved Zacchaeus who was different than most in his culture and making choices that were against the law of the day.  What did Jesus do?  It is quite obvious that Jesus disagreed with the life choices that Zacchaeus was making.  But, Jesus went to Zacchaeus' home. He did not redefine the laws in order to love Zacchaeus, he loved him by developing a relationship with him.  I believe that we can do the same. 

I will give you a less intense example from my life.  I know someone who was offered a free ride at a university in exchange for postponing school one year...this person shall remain nameless in order to protect the innocent...haha.  This person turned down the offer.  Now, as someone who is currently being crushed under a mountain of higher ed. debt, I disagreed with this decision...everything in me wanted to cry out as if I was talking to a younger version of myself. 

I disagree...

...but, I love this person with my whole heart and the choice did in no way alter my love for that individual.  This person will live out the consequences of that decision (good or bad) and I will continue to love that person.  The choice did not alter my love one iota.

I can also disagree with how my boys choose to spend their money (which is almost immediate and on Legos...we will be taking them through Financial Peace University before they graduate from our homeschool...haha), but I love them just the same.  I don't have to applaud, encourage, or embrace these decisions in order to love these people.

So, to say that you support redefining marriage and changing laws because you can't love people unless you do, just seems to be a very limited understanding of love...and I would suggest...not love at all. 


  1. I wholeheartedly agree! and I would add that most people think that because we are not accepting someone's behavior, we are not loving them. I have a brother who I love very much, but I cannot accept the choices he's made. The hard question is "How do we communicate love to them, without accepting (or pretending) what they do"? Thank you for the post, Allison! - Anna

  2. OH my GOSH this is such a great post it should be published!!!!! I get this all the time in CA there is a huge debate and push and petitions request every where we go. There is always well you have no love remark from someone when we politely disagree. You said this so well I will have to read it to my husband! I love your politics :)