I promise you it doesn’t matter what you believe, how strongly you live your beliefs, or how true your beliefs are. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks you are in the wrong. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks your beliefs are senseless or illogical. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks you have it all wrong. In fact, there are a lot of people in this world who do.

We each understand that. We already know that. It’s the world we live in and we’re not naïve. We’re not stupid. We get it.

Yet, we expect and want love anyway. We expect and want understanding. We expect and want tolerance. We expect and want humanity. We expect and want respect for our beliefs, even from those who don’t believe the same things we do. Even from those who think we’re wrong, unwise, or incorrect.

We expect all of that from the people who disagree with us and who disagree with our lifestyles and beliefs because, let’s be honest, nothing we do is actually bad enough to be worthy of disgust, anger, hatred, or cold-shouldering. Right? None of the ways in which we live our lives would warrant such behavior. Right? None of our beliefs are worthy of ugly disdain from others.

Right?

No, we’re all… perfect. Freaking, amazingly, impossibly… perfect.

But the gays… well, shoot.

[sigh]

You know what I think?

Let this sink in for a minute…

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I think it doesn’t matter if you or I or anybody else thinks homosexuality is a sin. It doesn’t matter if you or I think anything is a sin. It doesn’t matter if homosexuality is a sin or not. In fact, it doesn’t matter if anything anybody else does is a sin or not.

Because sin is a very personal thing! It always has been and it always will be!

And it has nothing to do with love.

Absolutely nothing.

Disparity and difference have nothing to do with love.

We shouldn’t choose who we will love and who we won’t.

“I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.”

That’s the message we’re sending, you know.

“I’m Christian, unless I’m hotter than you.”

“I’m Christian, unless I’m uglier than you.”

“I’m Christian, unless I found out you cheated on your income taxes.”

“I’m Christian, unless you cut me off in traffic.”

“I’m Christian, unless you fall in love with the person I once fell in love with.”

“I’m Christian, unless you’re that guy who smells like crap on the subway.”

“I’m Christian, unless you’re of a different religion.”

“Oh, but you’re not gay? You’re clean, and well dressed, and you have a job? You look the way I think you should look? You act the way I think you should act? You believe the things I think you should believe? Then I’m definitely a Christian. To you, today, I’m a Christian. You’ve earned it.”

I bet you’ve heard that message coming from others. Maybe you’ve given that message to others.

Either way, I hope we all can agree that we mustn’t live that message. We just shouldn’t.

But many of us do.

And we do it all the time.

For some of us, it might as well be tattooed across our necks and foreheads.

Maybe not in those words, but the message is clear to those who hear and are listening. It’s clear to those who are watching and seeing.

The message has been very clear to my friend Jacob.

“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone. They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”

“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”

Jacob is a dear friend. He’s my brother. He’s a damn good human being. He’s absolutely incredible.

He’s also gay.

But why does that make any difference at all?

It doesn’t. Not to me.

And I wish with everything inside of me that it didn’t make any difference to others. I wish we didn’t all have to find ways that we’re better than others or more holy and saintly than others in order to feel better about our own messy selves. I wish people wouldn’t cluster entire groups of people together and declare the whole lot unworthy of any love and respect.

But that is the point of such thinking and action, isn’t it? I mean, it’s simpler that way. It makes it easier for us to justify our thoughts, words, and prejudices that way.

All these people become clumped together. And in the process, they all somehow become less than human.

They become unworthy of our love.

And what a great thing it is when that happens, right? I mean, it helps us to free ourselves from the very directives that have been passed down for millennia from the greatest teachers and philosophers in history. It makes our rationalization for hatred, bigotry, and abhorrence so easily justifiable; so maskable.

So right.

It gives us the golden chance to look at ourselves and not be disgusted by what the glass reflects back at us.

Then, sadly and ultimately, it pushes us to that point where we no longer have any sort of arm to put around others at all. We no longer have a hand to offer our fellow human beings. We no longer have a need to.

And why would we?

Why the hell should we?

Unless, of course, we actually want to live what we all so often claim that we “believe.”

My dear friends…

This has to stop. We have to put our ugly picket signs down. We have to be the examples that help make it happen in our own lives and in the lives of the people that surround us.

We have to be that voice. We each must be that voice.

We must tell others that we will not accept or listen to such hurtful and hateful sentiments.

We must show love where love right now doesn’t exist.

Will you please join me?

My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even [gulp…] hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home.

Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by.

Reach your arm out and put it around them.

And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them.

If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start.

Every. Single. Time.

Because what you’ll find, and I promise you this, is that the more you put your arm around those that you might naturally look down on, the more you will love yourself. And the more you love yourself, the less need you’ll ever have to find fault or be better than others.  And the less we all find fault or have a need to be better than others, the quicker this world becomes a far better place to live.

And don’t we all want to live in a better world? Don’t we all want our kids to grow up in a better, less hateful, more beautiful world?

I know I do.

So let’s be that voice. Let’s offer that arm to others. Because, the honest truth is… there’s gonna come a day when you or I are going to need that same courtesy. There’s going to come a day that we are desperate for that same arm to be put around us. We’ll be desperate for that same friendship. We’ll be desperate for that same love.

Life will make sure of it. For you. For me. For everyone.

It always does because… as it turns out… there’s not a damn person on earth who’s perfect.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I would love your comments and thoughts today. More than anything, I’d really like to hear people’s individual struggles. I’d like to hear your struggles. I believe that everybody will benefit as we all share that which hurts us and haunts us.

When have you seen or experienced this? What effects has it had in your life or the lives of others that are close to you? Have you ever seen positive results as people become more loving toward those who are different? How have you felt along the way?

There are those who have struggled because they have been on the receiving end of it. And there are those who have struggled as they work to overcome it. I’ve grappled on both sides.

This message is so important to me; among the most important that this faulted blogger has ever written and because of that I have no hesitation asking you to share it. If it’s important to you, too, please share it. If you believe its message needs to be spread, please share it. Use your voice for that which it was meant.

Use your voice to embolden the world. Use your voice to say, “enough is enough.” Use your voice to stand up and declare that there is no other way besides love.

With all my heart. Please.

NOTE: Please use the like button here which will send people to page one instead of to page three. :)

Since publishing this last November, I have posted several follow-up posts that I would encourage you to read. Please take a moment to read them as I believe they’re 100 times more powerful than anything I could ever write.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than half a million daily subscribers as of 2015. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!
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25256 comments
Tim Roberson
Tim Roberson

Opinions on marriage will always vary. Moreso when you mix in relgion. Good thing we have a separation of church and state huh.....

Devon Love Mau
Devon Love Mau

Because men and women have set a great example of marriage, right!

Devon Love Mau
Devon Love Mau

Great post quickly backed up by a Christian who will hide behind a book to her death as she is right.

N Dom W
N Dom W

As a non-gay queer, as someone who has struggled with organized religion AND atheism


Thank you so much. God bless you.

Best wishes to Jacob.

Melissa Seif Rogers
Melissa Seif Rogers

Jacob has my love and I'm glad he has at least one true friend in you, Dan. Sometimes that's enough and when it's not he has a friend right here. Xoxoxo.

Bill Pelini
Bill Pelini

Carol Baker-Murray - at this point, what's being done is that Bible verses are being slung around, and all that is being proven is that the bible says many things, but all the people on here self-identifying as Christian and followers of the word of the Bible are only hypocrites who pick and choose what they want to follow and what applies to them. Since you and others keep on repeating the parts of the Bible that you ALLEDGE decry homosexuality (after numerous and differing translations over thousands of years), I will repeat over and over: the bible in clear words states that God hates divorce, and that the person who divorces and remarries then is committing adultery and is an adulterer. God, we are told, did not seem to think homosexuality was important enough - despite the obsession some Christians seem to have with it - to mention it on these, but the ONLY thing we know that the Bible says God actually wrote with his fiery finger onto the stone tablets were those commandments, among which is "Thou shalt not commit adultery". It is a fact that the divorce rate and remarriage of self-identified Christians is just as high as anyone else. Not only do I not see any self-identified Christians calling for the laws of the United States and the individual states to stop supporting this sin by making remarriage or divorce illegal, or adultery a criminal offence, but I see that you and every other person quoting bible verse and scripture ignoring most of the sins that apply to yourselves, while attempting to judge others - and I haven't even touched on fornication yet. I think what you aren't comprehending is that people are tired of being judged, bullied and controlled by hypocrites who empower themselves to interpret and apply the bible as they like. And by the Bible you follow, you propse to instruct men which is forbidden from a woman and you are lying, which is also sin, and we all know that lying results in even more wickedness. You prove the reason why it is dangerous and destructive to allow rule by religion - someone is always appointing themselves as interpreter and judge while exempting themselves from all kinds of laws and restrictions. Go on qouting what the bible's limited sections may or may not have said regarding homosexuality - for every verse you throw out, 100 can be pointed out that you commit sin against by not following it, and even if I'm the only person on this planet who will stand up and say it I will continue to say: you don't get to appoint yourself interpreter and judge of sin and you don't get to tell me what rights I have in this United States of America.

Paula Huffman Reed
Paula Huffman Reed

Dirk Neill I've preached this exact same thing and I am a very outspoken believer in God and love. But you are right, we cannot constitutionally deny freedoms. Great job posting it without shame!!'Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence WE ARE ALL EQUAL AND HAVE INALIENABLE RIGHTS....everyone needs to get over themselves and just let people love and live. With peace of course. I'm not meaning lawlessness or anarchy. They have their own soul and lives to answer for. Tell of God's mercy, stand by your beliefs and let God do his job. Lord knows I don't have permission or time to do it for him. Lastly, most all of the original laws originated from God's laws. So really, if we wanted to trace the "big ones" back, it would all trace to religion of some sort. We have always had a touch of religion in our "state." Therefore we can never truly be separate.

Carol Baker-Murray
Carol Baker-Murray

This in in answer to Marie Kueny: The Bible consistently tells us that homosexual activity is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Romans 1:26-27 teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief, God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin in order to show them the futility and hopelessness of life apart from God. 1 Corinthians 6:9 proclaims that homosexual “offenders” will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Tinalarsen
Tinalarsen

The bible wasn't even interpreted correctly.. 

Carrieo924
Carrieo924

I absolutely love your blog, but this one really hit home. I try really hard to always let my actions be lead by kindness but recently there have been a couple people that have been hurting someone I care about, mentally and emotionally. This post has helped me to make them more human in my mind, so thank you so much 


Dorothee Moethe
Dorothee Moethe

its not a chosen lifestyle. did you choose hetero? is your marriage and family a lifestyle for you?

Dorothee Moethe
Dorothee Moethe

im not hateful. i find you highly entertaining in your ridiculousness.

Kathryn Palmer Howard
Kathryn Palmer Howard

GOD has already won the battle. The final score is already on the score board. The wickedness and deception of this mortal life is something we all must endure until our time on earth is done, but our choice to endure with faith and loving kindness will make all the difference while we are here.

David Carter
David Carter

We enlightened Europeans just don't understand the fussOr the need for magic and superstition among supposedly intelligent and advanced civilisationsGrow up America the world is leaving you behind

Tinalarsen
Tinalarsen

lol... Yes, European's are so enlightened... Good stuff... Thanks..

Paul Cottingham
Paul Cottingham

Lisa Roose "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I read that somewhere, look it up. All snark aside, if it wasn't for Gods grace, we would all be hosed. Not just Gay folks.

LeighJefcoatMollet
LeighJefcoatMollet

Thank you for your heartfelt, humane and very touching article.  I am a Christian.  Meaning...I believe that the bible is the inspired Word of God, and that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ to be crucified and die for the sins of ALL humans.  I believe that Christ conquered death, ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of the One True God.  With that being stated, I believe that Christians accept a major task to be missionaries of the promise of salvation through faith in Christ.  I believe that the disconnect between those of Faith and others is that if we are to "love others", we are to love in TRUTH.  Not in disingenuous acceptance of whatever makes them "happy" at this moment.  Am I to "love" someone into eternal destruction by not sharing the Gospel to support their temporal existence in this life?  Christ came to save the sinner, but will return to judge those that have hardened their hearts to his love and gift of eternal salvation.  I Pray that all will come to the Life giving Knowledge of Salvation by Grace and Faith in Christ.    

Kaatje Murakami
Kaatje Murakami

@LeighJefcoatMollet We have heard the 'gospel' millions of times. My soul is MY responsibility and NOT yours. My spirituality is none of your business. Why cant you leave others alone? 

KristinLaurandeau
KristinLaurandeau

@LeighJefcoatMollet Leigh on the one hand you thank the writer for his "heartfelt, humane and very touching article" and then with the other you take that away by saying his acceptance is "a disingenuous" acceptance of others for who they are, so thank you for your comment on this article as you very poignantly highlighted EXACTLY what the writer was trying to get across. 

You are more than welcome to whatever your belief system is, but to call someone else's belief system and acceptance disingenuous because it does not fit in with yours is rather sad and may I say "unchristianlike"- good luck in your Christianity teachings and beliefs (whichever of the 35+ Christian churches it may be from)  I wish you well.

LeighJefcoatMollet
LeighJefcoatMollet

@KristinLaurandeau

My sincerest apology for any misunderstanding read into my comment.  As stated above, I was not claiming that the author of the article was expressing "disingenuous love", but the support of "non-believers" claiming "live and let live, love and let love" without regard to the eternal ramifications.  For non- believers, my beliefs are inconsequential.  For some believes, my views may be inconsequential.  One thing we all have in common is the passion for our beliefs.  I hope to not personally attack or demonize anyone for theirs.  I want to share my belief as I feel that I am called to do, to God's glory.

KristinLaurandeau
KristinLaurandeau

this is one of the best articles I have read in a long time, well said!


Patty Lyons
Patty Lyons

It's hard enough to find a soul mate, someone you can really love and want to spend your life with. I'm a love failure and it's the biggest disappointment of my life. I'm not gay but consenting adults should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit , as long as they're not hurting themselves or others.

Jason Edward Jones
Jason Edward Jones

Lisa Parsons marriage was never a protected RIGHT, neither was dignity. I don't want to argue with you about the legality of their decision. I highly suggest your read the constitution cover to cover a few times though.

Connie Crew
Connie Crew

Thank you Dirk, as a Christian I agree and believe the same.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

It won't. Churches have always had the right to refuse to marry people.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

Ninth Amendment + 14th Amendment = they didn't do what you claim

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

They didn't make a law, they affirmed that the Constitution included gays and lesbians and that the state laws against them marrying were a violation of that.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

Sodom was destroyed because they treated poor people horribly and had no charity. Sounds like a certain political group in a number of countries.Ezekiel 16:49 KJV: Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. ISV: Look! This was the sin of your sister Sodom and her daughters: Pride, too much food, undisturbed peace, and failure to help the poor and needy.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

Whoever told you you have any right to "allow" or not other adults to do anything? You have no right to decide what other consenting adults do in their lives. Treating competent adults as infants who need you to make their choices is absolutely NOT in any way, shape or form loving.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

No, it's distracting people from the TPP, which contains provisions that would allow corporations to get rid of consumer protection laws in all the countries which sign that are "'damaging" to the company, like say...GMO labeling or even GMO bans. http://www.exposethetpp.org/TPPImpactsYou.html

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

How can god be love and hate anything? That makes no sense. But then, Christians seem to be very good at holding completely opposing ideas at the same time. I'd have to turn off my brain to manage that trick.

davidacobb
davidacobb

An extremely well written post. The only thing I don't agree with is the idea that by showing love to someone else, we can learn to love ourselves more. For each and everyone of us, it starts with us, with me. To be able to truly love another in spite of their differences or beliefs, we first have to love ourselves. It's not easy and all of the good books say we should love each other and they tell us why, but they don't tell us how. It has been said, that which we dislike in others is only a reflection of what we don't like about ourselves. I don't know if that is true, but I do know that once I learned to love myself, because of my faults rather than in spite of them, I found a way to truly love my fellow man.


Thank You for sharing.

David

Ono
Ono

@davidacobb That is what I believe too. From my own experience, learning to love myself, my imperfections, and stay on a path of healing helps me love others more than I ever thought I was capable of. Once you experience this, it truly is eye-opening. Doesn't make me perfect, but it sure helps the heart let go of a lot of needless garbage.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

The next big fight SHOULD be for adoptee rights. I fear though (and see articles it's already happening) that instead of standing up for adoptee rights, gay couples just want the right to discriminate against adoptees the same way straight people do.Adoptees are legally discriminated against. They are the only citizens who have no automatic right to their own birth certificate. The only people whose birth certificates contain lies. Birth certificates should be a legal record of biological parentage, not ownership papers, which is what the adoption and surrogacy industries have turned them into.Every birth certificate should be a factual record of the biological origins of the person the record belongs to. Hint: It doesn't belong to adoptive parents. Since our culture has long since insisted that the birth certificate include legal parents, instead of erasing the biological parents and replacing them with legal parents, why can we not have both?No more secrecy, no more closed adoptions, no more anonymous donors. No more "amended" birth certificates. Every child has the right to know their biological origins. Change birth certificates to include genetic father, genetic mother, surrogate (if different from mother), legal parent 1, legal parent 2.At the same time, unseal the records for every adult adoptee, in every state. It's long past time to give adoptees their civil rights back.I truly hope that everyone who fought for equality for gays will join together to fight for equality for adoptees. Many are dying of old age never knowing who they come from. The discrimination against adoptees is also a violation of the 14th amendment.

Tinalarsen
Tinalarsen

But that is not what this is about.. By posting this, which I didn't even read, because people that are adopted unless they are gay, could get married up until a few days ago.. You are taking away from everyone that fought for gay rights.. 

BeccaMatousek
BeccaMatousek

This post is amazing! I am so glad you did write it! It holds true for mental illness also. I suffer from severe depression/anxiety and was just diagnosed with PTSD and I have experienced some of the same things your friend has. People have just disappeared from my life. It is a bit different because it is hard to handle the swings the moods takes when life is REALLY throwing curve balls, and it has been doing that a LOT the last year and a half, it is really hard for ME to handle them. That is why I need a support system so badly and most just ghosted on me. I am about the lowest I have ever been and I have very few people I can trust to talk to and it is very hard! I can't imagine being hated because of who I love. I know what it's like to be hated because of a disease that causes the chemicals in my brain to be out of whack and even with meds and therapy it is almost impossible to control when life has me pinned down and is drowning me. Some people think I should pray more or just think happy thoughts and it will make it better.....that is the exact same problem as hating someone for one of the other reasons listed. You can't fix mental illness by praying it away or thinking happy thoughts. If you could I would have been cured decades ago. Thanks for letting me get it all out. Hopefully someone else knows what I mean also or is helped by what is said.

Ronni
Ronni

@BeccaMatousek 

I'm right there with you, but hadn't really admitted it to myself until reading this blog and your comment.  I've been sick for almost two years now.  When I worked, I had plenty of friends.  Once I had to quit because of my health, they are all gone.  I'm from an area that when a person is sick/hospitalized/death, people bring them meals, etc.  The ladies group from my church sent me $20 for my hubby to go grab us supper on his way home from work.  I've had one person bring us supper.  Don't misunderstand, I've NEVER expected anyone to cook and bring us anything, it just hurts that no one did.  I'm a Christian and agree with this blog.  I also pray.  I, too, have been told to think happy thoughts; get up and get over it...if only they could walk in my shoes for two days.  I don't know you and I don't have to...please know that I'll pray for you.

Ronni
Ronni

@BeccaMatousek 

I'm right there with you, but hadn't really admitted it to myself until reading this blog and your comment.  I've been sick for almost two years now.  When I worked, I had plenty of friends.  Once I had to quit because of my health, they are all gone.  I'm from an area that when a person is sick/hospitalized/death, people bring them meals, etc.  The ladies group from my church sent me $20 for my hubby to go grab us supper on his way home from work.  I've had one person bring us supper.  Don't misunderstand, I've NEVER expected anyone to cook and bring us anything, it just hurts that no one did.  I'm a Christian and agree with this blog.  I also pray.  I, too, have been told to think happy thoughts; get up and get over it...if only they could walk in my shoes for two days.  I don't know you and I don't have to...please know that I'll pray for you.

di2218
di2218

Dan thank you for this post, i shared it on facebook, i came across it via another friend, I'm glad i read it. I try really hard to teach my children kindness not just for our fellow humans but to animals and all living or non living creatures or things. to me its important to show kindness, i was shown kindness when i was at my lowest and it had a remarkable impact on me that i want to pass on more kindness

Carrie Shulfer
Carrie Shulfer

It'll be interesting to see if the divorce rate goes down. Clearly straight marriages aren't doing too well :-)

Andrew Peter
Andrew Peter

I'd like to meet someone that is ready to take me for whom I am and I take her for whom she is. someone that will make me realize that without her, my life is not complete and who will bring out the good dreams I have being dreaming since the day i was born. someone that will know what i want when i laugh and what i don't want when i'm angry. in one world, i'm really looking for the love of my life, someone to love with all my heart and she love me with all her heart.