Monday, May 12, 2014

Ring the bells

The Bells

And so it goes
The old, old story made new
Two hearts, bound together true
Today forever ended and began

Ring the bells

So nothing more
Than what was promised all
The promise of equality
Made perfect in a blink

Ring the bells

And so it goes
The whole world not ending
The world not pretending
That love depends on whom you love

Ring the bells

My love, my love
Kiss me and begin
To show the world an end
To hate in the human heart

Ring the bells

So ring the bells
Join and never part
The future now can start
The story isn't fully written yet


The stories coming out of clerks' offices in various places around Arkansas are heart-warming.  It may come to an end soon, if the ruling invalidating the same-sex marriage ban is stayed, but that end will be temporary.  The writing is on the wall.

On Friday, as I read Judge Piazza's opinion, tears of joy were streaming down my face.  I don't cry very often, but the feeling I was feeling was one I'd felt before.  In fact, I can remember exactly when and where I was--it was 2 p.m. on August 9, 1997, in the sanctuary of the Olive Hill Missionary Baptist Church near Little Rock.  The door to the narthex had just opened, and I saw Michelle for the first time decked out in her wedding dress.  She was so beautiful, and her beauty and the gravity of the moment transported me practically out of my skin.  It took a minute to re-compose myself.  She still takes my breath away.

I have read countless negative comments of the most hateful and ignorant kind in response to this ruling.  I won't dignify them by highlighting them.  What they boil down to is the unjustified belief in the superiority of heterosexuals.  These are messages of hate, and despite being delivered by people who claim Christianity, they are most un-Christian.

How do I know this?  Because the Gospel, the essence of Christianity, is full of messages of love, not hate.  The case for Christianity appears in John 3:16:  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever lives and believes in Him shall never die, but have everlasting life."  And in John 13:34:  "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

It is not necessary to accept Christianity to recognize the raw power of these two statements.  

So instead I choose to focus on the joy of this moment.  And what a joyous moment it is, and a relief.  I don't know whether the messages of love and hope outnumber the messages of hate, but I know they surely outweigh them.  Every time we expand our general freedom, our Union becomes a little more perfect.  I am proud to be an American and an Arkansan today.   Freedom marches on, an unstoppable force.  Ring the bells.

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