I so agree and appreciate Delegates Barshinger and Emanuel's intelligent and conscious input within our Constitutional Convention's discussion on the issue of how we will treat our gay citizens.
I was particularly struck with a deep sadness by Delegate Wilma Monsanto's statement: "I am speaking on behalf of the church of these Virgin Islands, and the Christian community is looking forward to having something in the constitution that addresses this. Same-sex marriage is an abomination unto God."
I recall Wilma Monsanto writing a letter to a St. John newspaper many years ago about the then Christ of The Caribbean statue, one of our most beautiful sites at Peace Hill on the north shore of St. John where so many of us sat to reconnect with our hearts and souls, and pray, when times were confusing.
Ms. Monsanto called this statue an abomination and sacrileges to God Fearing Christians–after hurricane Marilyn took it down in 1995.
I consider myself a Christian who attempts to live my life as Christ demonstrated on earth through how I think, say and act. I have come to believe that everything is about the Love in your heart…and "Love thy Neighbor with thy whole heart and Soul."
Ms. Monsanto does not speak for me or for many other Christians who feel as I do.
Let's consider and remember a few facts about history and human rights:
At one time judgment and fear of other human beings was so strong that woman who spoke out about wrongs were burned at the stake and called witches; Jews, in the middle ages, were greatly feared and seen as killers of Christian babies, resulting in hatred and persecution–and we all know where that led in time; and the one that really hurts my heart, and I can personally see and feel in my life in the Caribbean, is that black skinned human beings were sold as slaves, treated like animals and lynched in the south of our great Nation. We continue to struggle to this day with this heavily impacted emotional issue and the consequences. Why? Because some people believed, wrongly, and held deep fears in their hearts that blacks did not have human rights; they were animals, sub-humans. Black skin was feared…you saw a black person and negative feelings surfaced hard and fast, and grave injustices resulted. We have learned, the hard way, what an awful impact this judgment and fearful thinking had on every one of us.
How can people having been so greatly oppressed be oppressors of others, right? You can totally disagree with the acts of homosexuality; you can stand firm on these opinions if it is right for you, but to deny human rights…is to oppress other human beings.
Rigid, judgmental thinking is the real sin here…and let's remember where the word "sin" originated from. It is an old archery term and to sin…is "to miss the mark."
Delegates Barshinger and Emanuel hit the mark on this subject beautifully; Miss Monsanto needs to reconsider her aim and bring more compassion and understanding to the plight of gay citizens in the Virgin Islands. They are human beings and deserve rights as such.
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