I was watching a film in which one of the characters, Ralph, had mounted a belligerent homophobic campaign against gays by using Bible verses as his justification for his vitriolic words. Further on in the film we see Ralph in a mens room negotiating for sex with another man! Knowing who Ralph is because of the notoriety given to his campaign by the press, the man asks, “If you want sex with me, why are you out to crucify gays?” Ralph replies, “You have to give people something to hate. It brings them together.”
The real issue at the heart of this interchange has nothing to do with homosexuality and everything to do with personal integrity or the lack thereof! Without integrity we will say whatever serves our current agenda and without regard for Truth! But without integrity we are unable to know or be Truth! Without integrity we are unable to participate in friendship since we are unable to allow others glimpses of our shameful inner life. Without integrity we cheat on Life’s demands and are certain that we are getting away with something!
Integrity is an interior mirror in which we recognize the disparity between how we live and what we say we believe! All too often you see those without integrity blaming this or that group for their misery. A spiritually healthy person does not waste time blaming others for the difficulties in the life that they are living! Instead they seek answers from within about how to address those difficulties. It takes SO much energy to hide what we don’t want others to know about our inner life! A life lived without integrity is a life guided by an overall sense of shame and even as one continues to indulge in shameful behavior it is almost as if they are desperate to have something to feel shameful about!
I recently watched an episode of “Hoarding” in which a woman whose home is filled to the ceiling with things looks around in puzzlement and then says to the clinician, “How can this be? I’m not like this!” Despite the mountains of evidence around her she refuses to accept that she indeed IS “that way.” Ralph, by mounting his homophobic campaign expended enormous energy in hoping to prove that he too is “not that way.” Are there areas or issues in our life in which we are energetically protesting the way that we ARE? Have we the integrity in us with which we would dare to reveal and see how we actually are? “But I’m not that way!” you might say! Really?