I'm a native Hoosier. I lived in Indiana for more than 50 of my 63 years. Even though I now live in North Carolina, I love Indiana. I LOVE INDIANA. I love our passion for basketball, I love the beauty of southern Indiana, where I was born and raised. I love our friendliness and hospitality. I don't always love the politics; I'm one of the more liberal folks to come out of my hometown. I'm also a devoted follower of Jesus, like a lot of my fellow Hoosiers.
It's confusing to be a Hoosier right now, as it is confusing to be a follower of Jesus there. I'm reluctant to use the word "Christian" because I'm more of a follower of Jesus than I am of what seems to be the agenda of many Christians I know and love. But let's not allow the terminology get in the way here. I just love Jesus.
My confusion as a Hoosier and follower of Jesus centers around what is happening in my beloved home state. Let's just say it: we aren't loving each other very well.
What I mean is that we aren't disagreeing in healthy ways. We are throwing words and names around -- both sides, all sides. When someone disagrees with us, we make them out to be evil and kick them to the curb. Right now I am speaking to all people, even those I agree with on this particular issue -- the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I'm sure you've heard about it. It is easy to read about here on Huffington Post.
I disagree with the act and am gratified to hear that others inside and outside the state have decided to use their money and clout to let the governor and legislature know of their displeasure. However, I hurt for those whose jobs and lives are going to be deeply affected because of the tourism dollars that will now detour our state. I hurt for the cooks, servers, the cleaners, the restaurants and shops and others who will lose money because the NCAA and others might pull their business from our wonderful state, and in particular, a city I love -- Indianapolis.
Still, I understand that only through the loud voices with money and clout will this bill be changed to ban discrimination. As I write, conversations are happening to change the wording and the intent. I'm praying we can come to consensus on this particular subject.
I'm aware, though, that this consensus in the legislature won't change the way people think and feel. I get that. So let's work on this loving each other thing -- because Jesus said so. We followers of Jesus say that Jesus is important, right? So let's follow him. Let's love each other.
Let's not threaten to burn down a pizza shop when the owners say they won't serve pizza at a gay wedding. Let's not yell at each other. Let's talk.
Let's remember that before this started we had our disagreements, but we found ways to get along.
Feel free to take your business away from a store or restaurant, but being abusive or threatening is never, never, never the answer. We have to love each other, whether we feel like it or not. Jesus says so.
P.S. This works in other states, too.