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#ToleranceMeans The Measure You Use Will Be Measured To You

Updated: Apr 8

Shannon McNamara, Undergraduate, TMD Alabama

I grew up in a small sleepy town in North Carolina. From the time I was about four years old, I was already very confused. I attended a tiny Presbyterian pre-school, directly attached to the church. My teachers were nurturing, attentive, and beyond patient. But I couldn’t help wonder why I could be sent to time out for kissing a boy, and not a girl. How was it different? I’d never receive a straightforward answer. And I was confused when I told my 2nd grade teacher at Catholic school that I wanted to marry my best friend, a girl, because what I got in response was a nervous chuckle and quick subject change.

These seem harmless. And there was probably no ill will intended. But have you ever seen a little snowball race down a hill, becoming bigger and bigger? By the time I was in high school, breaking news detailed a nun’s speech that was given to a large Catholic high school in my area. She told the students why same sex attraction was not normal or natural, and pointed an accusing finger at negligent parents and excessive viewing of pornography as the real gateway drugs to homosexuality and all related impure thoughts.

I used to see “We are ALL God’s Children!” bumper stickers and snicker to myself because it sounded so juvenile, like something that would have been painted on my old preschool’s walls. But it appears that even such a simple statement is still very hard to comprehend for some educated adults. It may be uncomfortable for some to talk about, and others will say it doesn’t affect them so it’s none of their business, they’ll sit this one out. It is not enough to sit idly by and silently nod. It’s 2018 and we are past that. Parents should cry when a son or daughter comes out to them. Tears of joy should roll down their faces, because their child somehow managed to find the courage to become a potential target in the face of an outdated but ever present adversity. If you do not identify on the LGBTQ spectrum, be an advocate and a voice! Neither party has to be demonized if one would only control their bubbling passion or anger. Just breathe, and speak slowly.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Matthew 7:1-2. There is a serious problem when the measure you use is hate. I believe that is something most rational minded beings can agree on, regardless of one’s religious background, political party, or sexual identification. Replace hate with love, compassion, ambition for progress and peace. Now begin the conversation.


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