Nov. 22, 2017

Odd Woman Out

I was born in the city of Pasadena in the great state of Texas. I am the youngest of four children raised in a devout Christian home. We are a close family and losing my two sisters has been very difficult on all of us. So, with someone born into such conservative roots, why am I so different than most of my neighbors? I asked God that question for most of my life. When I hit 52, I quit asking. 

I think, like most of you, there are some things I tolerate regardless of my own personal belief system in an effort to “live and let live.” There are other issues that I cannot tolerate. I believe it’s called, “standards.” I personally do not think standards reflect an overactive ego. I do not feel I am more “spiritual” than you or above anyone else. I simply believe each of us have a set of standards indicating where we must draw a line in the sand. Each of us possess a moral compass. Again, owning and monitoring a moral compass has nothing to do with ego. It has everything to do with conviction. 

I really don’t think everyone necessarily has to think like me. The opposition of others has never stopped me from following my own moral compass. For example, I believe in hunting and I am not vegetarian. As I examine the bible, I have no doubt that God created the world and mankind to be vegetarian; however, once sin entered the world, God Himself killed an animal to clothe man. I think Christianity has much bigger fish to fry <smile> than to argue about food. The Apostle Paul felt the same way.  

While I believe in hunting and gun ownership, I do not support the NRA. I believe in the law of the jungle: “Kill to eat or if you are going to be eaten.” My standards clear this with my moral compass.

Standards have been a part of my existence and ministry for most of my life. I was the Founder and Director of my church’s women’s ministry in the 1990’s. It was my responsibility to tour and select a venue for the church’s women’s retreat. In agreement with the Pastor and Minister of Family Life, I would not enter into a contractual agreement with a hotel that had the option to stream adult movies into their hotel rooms. (BTW – those were hard to find and limited our options.) 

As soon as I identified a potential hotel, I called and asked the simple question, “Does your hotel endorse pornography through in-room movies?” Their response was typically, “I don’t think we support it, but we do have it available.” To which I replied, “Do you pay for this service? Do your occupants pay to watch the movies?” The answer was always, “Yes.” Well, then you support it.  

During one screening call, I think I reached a new employee (or a dishonest one). I called a major hotel in Houston and asked about the availability of pornography in guest rooms. I was told the hotel did not make pornography available in their guest rooms, but saw the Spectravision box during my scheduled tour. When I explained to the Sales Director of the property that we would not endorse a venue with porn, the lady laughed and said, “Why? Do you think your ladies will watch it?” Clueless. And, that’s okay. My standards weren’t her standards and vice versa. 

Here we are in 2017 and many people still do not get it. As hard as I try, I can’t dance around it. To me, the fall of morality is less about “the lost” and more about “the found” who’ve lost their way. Our light is dim and growing dimmer every day. As a woman and a minister, I don’t get it. Only God knows if that’s okay.