Zach Wahls Speech About His Family

“Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.

The fight to keep marriage equality in Iowa continues, help us support Iowans like Zach.” from YouTube

A link to this video was posted in my Twitter feed this morning as something inspirational to watch today.  I clicked through out of curiosity, it’s always interesting to me to see what other people find inspiring. What inspires a person says a lot about them, I think.

I paused a long minute before posting this video here.

I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about it. No doubt, Zach’s speech is moving, it moved me… But I don’t think it moved me in quite the way it was meant to.

You see, I understand Zach’s position. I know what it’s like to feel passionately about the family who made me into the person I am today, I know the burning desire to defend and protect that family, and I know how it feels to have people invalidate my family, to tell me that my family, and ultimately that I, should not exist.

While my understanding doesn’t waver my personal position on gay marriage, it does move me to an even greater realization that what we’re doing (us, the church), it’s not working. I think sometimes, a lot of times, our attention is focused so much on what we’re fighting against, that we forget what we’re fighting for, and it doing so, we forget that the people on the “other side” are people.

People love, even in spite of themselves sometimes, we love. It’s what we were created to do. Satan’s found a million ways to corrupt how love manifests itself, but the manifestation doesn’t change the fact that at its roots, it’s still love.  Love is a big thing… it justifies, it reasons, you can present it with all the facts you want, but facts can’t break through the bond of love.  If you were in an argument with my sister, you could give me all the evidence in the world that she is wrong, but at the end of the day I’m going to be on her side, I’m going to defend her, because I love her.

So this battle we’re fighting, it’s about love, but we’re mostly fighting it with facts and that doesn’t work. What they hear in our message is “stop loving” stop loving your partner, stop loving your child, your parent, your friend, your neighbor, your aunt, your uncle, you brother, your sister…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never chosen the people I love, so if you were to tell me to stop, I’d tell you that wasn’t an option, because it flows through me without asking my permission, it just is. I can only imagine that this is how Zach feels about the women who raised him, who’ve nurtured and mothered him his entire life.

Now, I don’t claim to have all the answers to how we need to change in order to do this right, but I do know two things for certain: 1.) Change, we must,  and 2.) the only thing that can challenge love is Greater Love.

We’ve spent an awfully long time drawing a line between us and The World in an attempt to set apart. I think it’s time for this to stop. Jesus was definitely set apart, and yet, he was busy getting his hands dirty the entire time he was walking the planet. He was having meals with the people we’re constantly trying to distance ourselves from.

We don’t need a line to stand behind, we need new eyes to see with, and then we need to get in there and LOVE.


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