I love this symbol. It has not, to my knowledge ever been made the symbol of a cause or religion. It is so beautiful I have often wondered why. I have also wondered why my fascination with this beautiful mark that simply signifies et cetera, all that other stuff. Except that I am an amateur calligrapher and have been since I was 12. That would probably explain loving the beauty of it, but there’s more to my love than that.
The very meaning of sacred is to set apart, as in no longer common or profane but held in high regard. The ampersand is a bridge; its meaning is inclusion, not exclusion. It ties things together: Black & White; Red, White, & Blue; You & Me. There is nothing exclusionary about the ampersand. If it became a holy symbol it would be because there was a group of people that understood that God loves everyone, red & yellow, black & white, they are precious in his sight, and it’s not just the little children of the world, it’s the workers, & the aged, & the moms & the dads, it’s the bus boy in the restaurant & the owner, & the waitress, & the waiter, & the customer, the straight & the gay. Oops, did I say that? Yeah, I did.
There are those who would point out Sodom & Gomorrah to me and say, hey, God doesn’t like gays! And I would have to say to you that you haven’t studied this tale nearly well enough to even begin to preach to me if you take that as the message. I want to know a couple of things. Have you seen groups of gay men going around and raping other men? Have people come knocking on your door insisting you give them your guests to appease their sexual appetites? If that is the case, then, maybe God does need to come around with fire and brimstone. I’m glad that’s not my call, but, as a woman, I really detest the idea of rape, and I cannot believe it would be any easier on a man.
As far as I can tell forcing others into a sexual byplay is not what being gay is all about. I have had the honor of having been befriended by some very honorable men who happened also to be gay. They wouldn’t think of forcing a partner. So, where is your comparison, really? Does it even come close to holding? I don’t think so. And that only works for me if you take seriously the idea of stoning your children if they refuse to clean up their room, or stone a stranger for walking through your church when uninvited, now there’s a church that forgot the message for falling in love with the messenger. Go for it, sing Hallelujah, Glory to God, and when the stranger comes in your midst and doesn’t wipe his feet, (yes folks that is in the OT!) you stone him. That would make the headlines
To adopt the Ampersand as a holy symbol requires that we see ourselves as being “in the soup,” as it were, with everyone else. It requires that we drop the us and them perspective. It requires that we love God, and love our fellow man; even when our fellow man isn’t from our social club.