Love Wins

shutterstock_291443777This week my home country made a stunning leap forward in becoming a saner and safer place to live. The supreme court recognized that gay couples have the right to marry and supported the country’s imperfect attempt to give every person access to health care. In other news, another court undercut a previous ruling that allowed one’s boss to dictate whether you can have insurance that gives you access to birth control. It was a very good week for those who want to be free. It was a great week for finding happiness and reducing suffering in our own way. It was a terrible week for hatred, judgement, and shame.

As a person writing about meditation and awakening I often don’t touch on politics. These are usually such divisive topics. For those who are looking for spiritual solutions to life’s problems (likely a lot of people who read what I write) politics can seem like a waste of time, as if worldly concerns drag us away from the path.

They don’t have to.

Social causes can reduce real suffering in the world, and as long as we keep our eye on reducing suffering (including our own), being involved in politics and social causes can be a skillful part of a spiritual path. I thought about this a lot this week. As a person who works in psychology, and especially with families in crisis, this week has been especially poignant for me. I am lucky enough to see the public in private, so to speak, and that means abstract social problems that make headlines often make up a big part of my workday, even if they don’t impact my private life. It is a privileged position (I am fortunate beyond all reason), and so this week I reflected on all the gay teens that I have worked with who were terrified to come out, and those who faced terrible consequences when they did. I thought about all the broke working families that I treated virtually for free because their insurance wouldn’t cover the necessary therapy. I thought about all the unnecessary suffering I’d been privy to, and those who allowed me to witness it. This week meant something very real to these families. If a person is on the path of awakening and focused on reducing suffering, then working to create the kind of week that just happened should be part of a full practice. A vast amount of suffering has been erased from the future. I hope that it inspires more people to become active.

Posted on June 30, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Amen.
    Hearing the LGBT community sing (beautifully) the national anthem of the country that has marginalized them for so long … on the steps of the Supreme Court… brought tears to my eyes.

  2. I actually feel this decision was a dire mistake for humanity. If accurate and precise language were used here instead of innocent sounding pseudonyms like “gay”, we might readily have acknowledged that the core issue is about sodomy. My oldest and dearest friend is a homosexual, so I can honestly say that I have no problem with homosexuals marrying, nor do I have an opinion about homosexuality or anyone who chooses it as their sexual preference. I do have a problem with the fact that we have basically sanctified sodomy as a way of life equal to that between man and woman.

    This issue is not a freedom, it is not a right, it is not a moral issue, it is not the pursuit of happiness, it has nothing to do with protection or equality, privacy, right to vote, right to petition….in short, it does not come under the jurisprudence of the First Amendment rights.

    In terms of our future evolution as a race, it is a biological issue bordering on “genetic modification and evolutionary mutations. It reeks of a paradigm shift in the sexual nature of the human race if it becomes entrenched in humanity…..and obviously it has only failed to do so because we have used our common sense in shunning it since the beginning of the human race…for obvious reasons.

    This issue has not been thought through properly. We need to rethink it.

  3. Hi Patsy, I want to reply to you, just to make sure you know you are heard, even if disagreed with. As you can read from above, we see this very differently. I assume you are a kind and compassionate person, and I suspect that you are also afraid of where all this is going to lead. While comment sections of websites are usually the place where compassion and good intentions go to die, I think it is possible to have reasoned discussion if you are willing.

    It seems that you know and love homosexual people and you say you have no problem with them marrying. I assume that you understand that they have loving relationships every bit as strong and committed as any other. That they are parents. That they work to pay off homes together, have stress and argue like everyone, and need someone to love who understands them, someone who they can go home to each day and complain about work. Someone they look forward to seeing at the end of a hard day. Someone who drives them crazy but also really gets them. It seems like you get this…

    …but you have some ambivalence about what is happening and are worried about unforeseen consequences. Is that right?

    • Sentimentally and compassionately, all those issues you mention are important and I agree with you on them. However, we are naïve to believe we can make our laws based on that. We are not just black and white and yellow…….homosexual or heterosexual……we are much more than that. As a species, we are a miracle of nature. We have a responsibility to see that future generations of all color will survive and flourish…….procreation is primary. We should know better than to make a law that threatens that primacy.

      You may believe, like many do, that we have laws in place to handle pedophilia, but all you need do is look around you to see that the laws don’t actually stop a person who wants to rob, murder or steal…or molest. Our choice to be moral is in the mindset. Children mimic what they see in adults. If the supreme law of the land rules that sodomy is no different from heterosexual sex, they change the mindset of our youth. That will change the world dramatically in the future.

      It seems to me we have been swept away by our passions, and have failed to actually think this issue through. There are other ways to give gays the same legal rights we have. A marriage license is just a small part of that. We have to change the way we feel…open our hearts. This is already happening.

  4. I realize something interesting about marriage and this whole circus. Marriage for gays is somewhat superfluous….there will most likely be more divorces than marriages…….but more interesting is the fact that what the Supreme Court has done is undermine it’s sacred position much as the sacred position of the church and god have been undermined. The whole tamale is on its way out. It is just taking 200 years. The Supreme Court simply accelerated the dissolution of the marriage institution by making a mockery of it in the same way the Protestantism and Catholicism are now just shells of what they once were, and all they stood for has become a mockery. But, in the long run, it is all actually inconsequential.

    The world is changing so much with the ending of the Age of Pisces (the “fish” of Christianity). The change carries with it the ending of the Age of Christianity and all the institutions that were created to support it, including “Royalty”. It is a part of our natural evolution. All that is happening is according to the natural plan of the universe. There is nothing to lament, really. The gays have their lollipop and now we won’t have to listen to them argue with the heterosexuals, who, hopefully, will quit beating up on them.

    I also think it is interesting there is no “marriage ceremony” in Buddhism: the stronghold of wisdom.

    This world is going to be so different…..I only regret I won’t be around to see it.

  5. I think we may need to end our exchange here. I wish you all the best.

    • The courts did their job: they gave us what many people believed to be in our best interest. But the majority of people are like those guys who used up all the water in West Texas (where I was raised on an irrigated cotton farm)…… if we don’t look too far ahead, everything’s just fine.

      Do take care.

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