Friday, May 26, 2006

A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small

I know there are all sorts of folks out there, and I know that for every person reading, there is a different attitude, understanding, belief, or bias. Some issues are universal, some issues are contraversial, yet all issues are personal in terms of how we view them.

I'm taking an online Catholic Social Teaching course (seemed like a good idea at the time ...) that started last weekend (and so now I have a week's worth of work to catch up on tomorrow); the things going through my mind as I try to submit some of my comments involve our need to constantly remind ourselves that these people that we stereotype, judge, condemn, or otherwise label are in fact that. People. Beloved children of God, created in God's image and likeness, that God found to be very good. Despite whatever we may think of their actions or choices, we need to remember, first and foremost, that these are people too.

So what's my point?

Tomorrow (or today, probably, by the time you read this ... or perhaps yesterday, or last week, or ...), Amy Kellogg and Kendra Lee are getting married.

There are many people out there who will take great issue with this event. There are many people out there who will have all sorts of things to say about "these people" ... and perhaps even about me, for not saying them. But do the things we say about "these people" actually reflect who "these people" are?

I have not met either of these two, though I had toyed with the 75-mile bike trip (and am glad I didn't, after reading Kiker's account!); however, I have been following their blogs for a while now, and exchanging various e-mails back and forth as well.

To read their blogs, there would be nothing to signify their classification as "those" people, except the occasional reference to "girlfriend." Other than that, there nothing out of the ordinary about them. Well, Amy does have this thing about dinosaurs and Sesame Street and other bits of silliness, but who doesn't flick boogers? And Kendra might have issues like baby sicknesses (baby sickni?) and eats four-year-old food (no, the food is not four years old, nor did she steal it from a four-year-old, merely that it's typically consumed by four year-olds.), but who doesn't have childish moments now and then?

So, really, they're just your perfectly normal, everyday kind of ....

OK, so maybe Amy's not quite able to be classified as normal, but she's definitely no weirder than I sometimes am. And Kendra is amazingly supportive and even puts up with the silliness ... which is pretty much on track with how my best friend tolerates my bizarreness.

So, tomorrow, they'll be locking that best-friendness in just a little bit more. Whether you like the idea or not on a global scale, what is to be gained through a condemnation of these two individuals?

Like I said, I've never met either one, but they seem like a lot of fun and people I'd love to hang out with. But even if I didn't, would that still give me the right to wish unhappiness on them and all other sorts of evil thoughts?

And so, Kikerfly & Kellogg, I wish you both much happiness, joy, peace, love, and everything else. Best wishes to you, and blessings as you continue on your journeys.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. People are made in God's image (that whole imago Dei thing) and God doesn't make junk, to mix some theology with a popular expression. Best wishes to the couple on their special day, and thanks for having the courage to say what you really think, Steph.

5/27/2006 8:41 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

"But do the things we say about 'these people' actually reflect who 'these people' are?"

That's an interesting question, because it's more true to say they are in the image and likeness of God than to say anything else about them. You know, of course, that there are whole theologies of marriage built around that idea. The most satisfying one runs like this.

God is communion of persons. Marriage is also a commuion of persons, and that communion is expressed spiritually, physically, biologically. We are not just spiritual beings because we are embodied.

An equally interesting question is not just whether something says something about "these people" (and by "these people," I take it that you mean the proverbial "those people" that "polite people" like to put in little boxes for more convenient labeling)... equally interesting is what a marriage between two women tries to say about communion, marriage, and truth.

But in theory, if two friends want to exchange vows of friendship and promise loyalty, I've got no specific problem. God bless them. I hope he leads them to deeper communion into his divine life through their faithfulness to one another.

5/27/2006 9:03 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Good reflection - you're right on, Steph.

5/27/2006 5:54 PM  
Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

I work with a woman who actually married her partner two years ago - in Canada. They refer to each other as 'wife' and family as 'in-laws' etc. She told me that when they crossed the border the customs agent asked the purpose of their visit, and when they told the woman the agent said 'I never could see what the big deal was aboot.' The minister, whom they'd never met before, got the congregation together and threw them a reception in the church basement. And as soon as my coworker and her new wife came back to the States, she says that within an hour someone was calling them 'dykes' and being disdainful. She says that it made them miss Canada all the more.

I wish Kendra and Amy a very Canadian-type life together, full of warmth and welcoming from everyone they meet, wherever they may go and live.

5/28/2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger the tentmaker said...

Steph, we all are God's children. We all are on our own journey to find God and His love. No matter what others think about our chosen path, it is still our journey. We choose our path in relation to how we understand the way God has set before us.

I'm glad you chose to love your friends instead of judging them. That's certainly what Jesus would do.

5/28/2006 7:05 PM  

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