For many people, conformity and repetition feel right and safe. Such people view non-conformists troublemakers or rebels who are challenging the social order. As a way of validating their values, beliefs and practices, conservative thinkers will often fall back on religion and God as the being the ultimate source of the “rules” they want everyone to live by.
For those with limited exposure to diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, social-sexual orientation, anything that strikes them as different from what they are familiar with, is frightening and in turn, unacceptable.
Just as NO ONE has the capacity to define God’s actual being, the Biblical charge we see each person as having been created in the Image of God (Breshit 1: 26) demands that we be respectful and accepting of all. And no, that doesn’t mean we have to accept individuals who mean us harm or refuse to obey laws established to protect human rights and freedoms. But recognizing the uniqueness and the holiness in each person should ideally, discourage us from allowing anger and fear to dehumanize others.
Different is not automatically bad. God is NOT male, female, of any particular race; God is not straight, gay, of a particular nationality, political point of view, etc. Are you so sure of who or what God is that you are willing to say that another person is not holy, is not created in the Divine Image and not worthy of you love and respect? If your answer is yes, please think again.
This short, sweet video drives this homily of unconditional love home through the eyes of two parents who want their kids to do and be whoever they are or want to be, not who society says they must be. That’s not tantamount to destroying the social order! That’s celebrating and accepting the God who made each person distinct and special.