In the Name of Love

In my last post, I wrote about “possibility” in terms of quantum mechanics, but at the back of my mind I was really thinking about possibility in general.  I was thinking about how we live in a society where virtually anything is within our reach, where every human being has a right to go after whatever dreams he or she hold dear.  I’ve seen lots of evidence that this sentiment is growing.  And, then again, for every step forward, we seem to take two steps back.

A few weeks ago, when Meg I were painting Hubby’s store windows, there was a group of picketers at the 7-11 next door.  I couldn’t hear everything they were saying, but at one point I did hear the words “abomination in the eyes of God” and I had a pretty good guess.  Last week’s anti-gay comments from Chick-fil-A president, Dan Cathy, seem to echo what I heard on the corner that day and, while the LGBT community is furious and boycotting Chick-fil-A, the company reported record sales on August 1 (declared “Chick-fil-A Day” by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, as a token of support for Cathy’s comments).

Some are saying Cathy has a right to his opinion and a right to voice it out loud under the first amendment.  I honestly can’t disagree with that – he certainly can say or think whatever he wants.  The thing is, when a respected business leader like Cathy makes such comments, it tends to fuel the hatred that’s already brewing and make it okay for everyone to start spouting preposterous hate-filled things.

It’s no secret that I fall on the side of LGBT rights, but to be honest that’s not really even what upsets me about the whole controversy – it’s the fact that so many people are rallying behind it so vocally – everything from religious leaders pounding the pulpit about the ‘morale threat to our children’, to teenagers beating the hell out of a gay neighbor, to fundamental Christians lining up to buy chicken sandwiches and waffle fries in the name of hate.

I can’t help but think the whole thing springs from close-mindedness – the inability to accept anything different and going on the attack the moment we see something that differs from our own experience.  It’s actually kind of interesting to note what Cathy actually said…

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”

Seems Mr. Cathy isn’t too big on any kind of family beyond the traditional kind.

Someone asked me once if I felt “guilty” about my daughter’s sexual orientation.  Infuriated as I was by the question, I basically told the woman that I am completely and totally supportive of my daughter and her lifestyle.  I wish she had an easier path and I sometimes worry for her and her partner’s safety (especially lately), but the fact that she has found love and a deep and lasting friendship with someone she’s committed to, why on earth would I feel guilty about that?!  I’m proud that I was able to raise my daughter in such a way that she could openly embrace her feelings in a world that would prefer she hid them until a “cure” could be found.  I’m proud to have a daughter who has the courage to be with the person she loves in spite of what the fundamentalist community in our state believes.  And I’m grateful that my own world view has expanded in such a way that I can actively participate in the civil rights battle ahead of us.  Because that’s exactly what this is – it’s the human rights issue of our time and I truly want to believe that love will prevail.

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One Comment on “In the Name of Love

  1. you know, this whole issue is like a burr under a saddle for me. when people hear “gay,” so often they picture the drag queen in the easter parade. which is about as representative of all gay people, as the Real Housewives of New York is of all caucasian women. And aren’t all gay men rabid pedophiles just waiting to “convert” your children? Let me say here: pedophiles are pedophiles, and that particular bag of disgustment comes from any and all orientations. my experience is that the gay community is just as repulsed by that crime as the straight community. that being said: First of all, why is it anyone’s business what goes on in someone’s bedroom between consenting adults? and i address my comments to both sides of the coin – i don’t need anyone’s sexual orientation information in order to decide if i want to hang out with them or not. i am not any more or any less likely to “gel” with a person because they are or aren’t gay. i just don’t care who you sleep with, or who you choose to partner with. it isn’t my business, and i don’t want it to be my business. BUT – i am not a public figure. my words do not hold as much weight as the president of a corporation, or a blogger with the following of a small country. why? because there is something to target with a corporation…there is something tangible to galvanize around, to boycott or picket or support, as the case may be. and each side has their own opportunity to hate, or not hate, as they choose. each person has the opportunity to be their own best selves…or not. and each side has their right to be heard. but with that right comes responsibility. so if i say blah blah blah, chances are that only 10 people will hear it. but when someone who has a following (for whatever reason) speaks their mind, they have to recognize their responsibility…they have to recognize that although they have a right to be heard, their words will carry much farther, and be interpreted and re-interpreted and perhaps twisted to suit the group that decides to use the words for their own podium. I have a strong belief in God – i was previously involved in a fundamentalist type church that did believe that being gay was sinful. i left that church. i went to another fundamentalist type church that believed that love was never wrong, and that it was up to you to decide what God felt about your lifestyle (whether the topic was sexual orientation or any other “hot button” issue). i eventually decided that church wasn’t for me, but my beliefs remain, in their own incarnation. isn’t it interesting that we aren’t galvanized around cheaters and liars and adulterers unless they’re our elected officials. and according to the very same bible some of these speakers quote – all sin has the same weight. so if they consider being gay a sin, then being a hater puts them in the same post-death BBQ. it all comes down to this, in my opinion: mind your own bodega. you are responsible only for your own self. if you don’t want to partner with someone of the same sex, then don’t. but don’t hate someone who does. they don’t hate you for partnering with someone of the opposite sex, right? i may be going a bit long, and off track, but my central point is: it isn’t your business…if it doesn’t hurt you or others, let it be…just love – there’s so much work to do on that front already. just love.

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