I don't care if you're an alcoholic, a smoker, a drug or sex or eating disorder or caffeine addict.
I don't care if you're black or white or Asian or Native American or Arabic or whatever.
I don't care if you're gay or straight or bisexual or transgender or asexual.
I don't give a darn if you're male or female or intersex.
I care that you're a person. If your race, gender, experiences and ideas shape you into who you are, be they good or bad, then I care about them because I care about what's part of your life.
Sometimes it's easy to get all caught up in the issues - Stop gay pride! Stop celebrating teen mothers! Let's be color blind! Stop the Atheists/Catholics/Muslims/Evangelicals/whoever's-religious-views-don't-mesh-with-mine! And, my personal favorite, stop the judgmental people - by judging them!!!!!! (Obviously, I've never done this one, oh no, not me. Ahem).
But - but - people, you guys. It's so very, very easy to see only the issues, to see only the actions and ideas of people, rather than the people themselves.
It's scary to see people, sure. It's scary to acknowledge that we're terribly similar but with different viewpoints - because what if I'm the one who's wrong? I don't want to think that I might be wrong on what actually matters.
It's scary to acknowledge that if other people are real people, then their experiences and decisions and ideas are actual, as real and concrete as mine.
I think sometimes we, or at least I, dismiss people in the name of truth! and morality! Because truth and morality and goodness matter.
But truth also involves seeing people as real.
Moreover, truth involves love, because love is good, and if I'm just viewing people as issues and problems, that's not loving and it's not true.
God has made those people, same as me, in His image. They're as intricate and paradoxical and valuable as me, and how dare I blaspheme them by reducing them to nothing more than issues?