–There is perhaps only one motivator greater than fear–
Fear is not always panic – it can be steadfast and determined. The No campaign is not made up solely of ignorant people. Many who fill this camp harbour genuine fears. Genuine, in regards to the fear being real, not in regards to it being rational. They are not afraid of gays, they are afraid that their understanding of the world could be in danger – is in danger!
We all crave stability, it makes us feel safe – so, we create or adopt structures (beliefs) that provide it.
For many – the bible offers stability and safety. It offers an explanation of our existence and an understanding of a complicated world. It’s common for those of the Christian faith to believe that the bible is inerrant and infallible (holds no errors, and is eternally reliable). This rigidity offers the illusion of increased safety.
For such Christian’s, accepting gay marriage is to either decide the bible is wrong in regards to homosexuality, or that the interpretation and resulting translation of some passages are grossly off the mark. Either option challenges the notion of the bible being eternally reliable.
The faith of these Christians is reliant on the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. As this belief is a bedrock of their faith, without it the stability of their entire world is removed. There is not enough ‘give’ to allow the core message to stand on its own if any of it falls, the whole thing falls and their faith becomes useless – no wonder they are so afraid. The very fabric of their world is at stake.
So, we are left with a group of people running around like madmen, defending their walls from any perceived threat to its stability – the gays and their many merry supporters being the most potent threat of the moment.
I make this judgement not only by observation but also from reflection on myself. It was once me behind those walls. I didn’t know I was afraid, I thought I was standing up for my beliefs. I didn’t stop to consider the implications of my stance.
I haven’t written this to convince these No voters to change their minds. I’m not foolish enough to think I could. Fear is too powerful a motivator. This change can only happen if everything does crumble and has to be built again. And, this hurts!
I was fortunate enough to have my world collapse. Anxiety and depression crushed my stability – however, it gave me the opportunity to build again, to empathise with the struggles of others and the devastation of being excluded. Excluded from life, excluded from love. To understand that too much rigidity excludes life and forces us to grasp to strange beliefs. It can even make us lose sight of the only thing more powerful than fear, and the overarching message of the Bible – Love!
Many Christians claim that their opposition is out of a position of love – that they are concerned for the souls of their “lost” friends. Another overarching theme in the bible is that you can judge something by its fruit. In my opinion, it doesn’t take much for someone not motivated by fear to realise the ‘fruit” of the devastation and deep hurt that their opposition brings to other humans can never be considered good.
As I said, I’m not writing this to change the view of No voters. I’m writing this because this whole ordeal has made me stop and think. What in my life is motivated by fear?