Hello to you, and welcome.
This is not one of my usual posts. There is no intent here to be funny, I won’t be taking my usual sideways look at the world around me, be it a game or the ‘real’ world.
No, this is a serious post. This comes from my heart, and I wish I weren’t writing it. But I am, and I fully intend to publish it, in the hopes that once it’s out and gone from my head, so will be all of the bad things that have been building up in my brain all day.
I’ve had the desire to write about this for months, and I haven’t done so, because it just wasn’t appropriate for a ‘gaming blog’.
Yes, I know, I’ve always said this blog is for me to write about whatever I want to write about, and you’re all welcome to come along for the ride, hating it or liking it as you wish.
Along the way, one thing that I’ve tried to do is avoid anything that was confrontational.
The heart of the reason why is, I know full well that anything I say, any argument I may make or reasoning I may frame will do nothing to change someones mind. All I would be doing would be making noise, and hurting people.
Hurting people? Yes, indeed. Nobody wants to hear someone else criticize their opinions or beliefs. If I weigh in on a serious topic, someone else will feel strongly about it and feel hurt that I said things they did not agree with. Plus, hey, I am not that smart, and my position may very well be wrong. Why hurt someone else AND be wrong? Better if I stay silent and have the chance to continue to learn and grow.
So, faced with no positive result from a post, and the surety of hurting someone, why do it now?
I’m doing it now because I can’t take it anymore. I have to say something, I have to get it out of my head. I have never felt quite so helpless before, so powerless, as I have done earlier today, and as pointless and ineffectual as this forum is to actually accomplish anything, one thing it will do; it’ll get this crap out of my head and out there where I can feel that I did something.
At least I won’t have done nothing about it, nothing at all.
Gay marriage. Specifically, the fight against legalizing gay marriage.
I’m a married white straight man that attends Catholic church every Sunday morning. I declare that up front because people who believe in labeling people care about that shit. There are a lot of people who, after reading that, will undoubtedly feel confident that they know everything there is to know about my opinion on any subject worthy of discussion.
Fine, think what you want, while I get on with this.
I and my family went to church this morning.
I grabbed the bulletin of announcements on the way in, and read it a bit while sitting in the pew, waiting for the service to begin.
The section of the bulletin that the pastor uses to write his weekly message was titled “Supporting Marriage: The Responsibility of All The Faithful.”
Within this section, I read the following, which I have re-typed exactly as it was published, except where I noted to preserve anonymity;
This past Thursday Archbishop Nienstedt gathered the priests and deacons of the archdiocese for a teaching day. One thing that the Archbishop wanted to stress is the importance of supporting the Marriage Amendment that will be on the ballot in Minnesota in November 2012. The archbishop is asking all priests, deacons, and indeed all the faithful to work for this cause. The amendment will ensure that marriage remains defined as between one man and one woman. As your pastor I fully support the archbishop and this effort and I greatly appreciate his courage, vision and leadership on this issue of our time.
Eric (last name withheld) has volunteered to head up a committee in our parish to work on this effort. The committee will serve to first reflect on marriage and its purpose and then to inform, and coordinate our parish efforts to support marriage. I thank Eric for stepping forward to serve in this important role. (Information on volunteering for the committee withheld)
At the teaching day last Thursday, it was noted that the ultimate goal is not simply a victory at the ballot box next November, but rather a deeper understanding and appreciation for ourselves and society of the true nature and purpose of marriage. I look forward to the next twelve months as we as a parish take time to reflect on marriage and its role in society and the importance it has on all of us.
That is what I read in the bulletin this morning, written by the pastor that was about to speak to us.
When I read those words, my brain kind of froze for a bit. I was trying to get my brain moving, but it felt like I was a light truck with bald tires on an icy surface, lots of spinning and movement going on, none of it going anywhere.
I lasted like that until the pastor got to his sermon. I pretty much went on automatic pilot until he started to speak.
The sermon he gave today was about the two most important commandments that all the faithful should obey; To love god with all of our soul, heart and mind, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
That was the sermon. That was the message.
And that sermon went into my brain, a brain that was still trying to digest the words this pastor had written.
We are to go out and vote to define marriage as between one man and one woman, AND we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
They just kept hitting, colliding in my brain. They still are.
I wanted to shout at the pastor right there in the church, “You mean love all our neighbors, as long as they are straight? But to hell with the gays, is that it?”
But of course I didn’t. What would it accomplish? Will I change his mind? No, of course not. Either he truly believes that this is what God wants, or he will do exactly as he is ordered by his superior the archbishop regardless of what he actually believes is right or wrong.
Either way, I’m not going to change his mind, I’m just going to cause a scene and hurt a lot of people who feel that this is somehow right, or just, or Gods will.
I know, I’m not saying this well.
Let me try and take this through how I see this.
Right now, are marriages between one man and one woman forbidden, denied or blocked? No.
If one man and one woman, of any faith, requests their union to be recognised as a legal marriage, it is a simple series of legal steps to make it happen.
So, is an Amendment necessary to ensure that keeps happening in the future?
Such an Amendment would not give any additional benefits to one man and one woman seeking a legal marriage bond.
So what would this new Amendment do?
It’s purpose would be to add an extra layer of legal bullshit preventing same-sex marriages from being accepted. See, right now the existing laws are being challenged, so if there is a second law on the books, then if the first law gets overturned, there will still be a second one that has to be fought.
It is an Amendment not to provide but to deny, and really, to stick the boot in, too.
It is an Amendment aimed directly towards one goal; to provide an additional layer of legal defense to continue to discriminate against same-sex marriage, both sexes still being composed of PEOPLE. American citizens. You know, people.
If you are singled out or excluded, you feel hurt, don’t you? You feel rejected, unwanted, even hated depending on the lengths someone is willing to go to just to exclude you.
That is what this is. In my mind and heart that is how I see this. I can’t find any OTHER way to see it. And for that, I am truly grateful.
This proposed Amendment is a tool of hate, because it has no purpose other than to single out and exclude an entire group of people from enjoying the same legal benefits under our government that others take for granted.
Or, as Governor Mark Dayton is quoted as saying, “I’m here to support those Minnesotans and Americans who want the same rights, freedoms, opportunity, respect, dignity and legal protections and legal opportunities as every other one of their fellow citizens… which is the founding principle of this country!”
Notice please that I vote Republican and Mark Dayton is a Democrat. I mention this to point out that this isn’t a political discussion, it’s discrimination against people. Discrimination is discrimination. Period.
And yet, the message of the pastor in our church this morning is that we are to love our neighbors as we do ourselves.
Is it that gay people are evil? Is that the message I’m supposed to be getting here? Would the very existence of same-sex marriage sunder the bonds that hold families together?
But are we not supposed to turn our cheek, to give no offense, to embrace others and show them love and compassion?
Are we not all people, regardless of our race, our religion, our philosophy or our chosen nation? Are we not all people regardless of whether we are atrtracted to the same sex, the opposite sex, both or none of the above?
How can someone that truly believes that ‘God is love’ be capable of showing so much determined hate towards other people?
How does denying same sex partners the right to legally marry in any way affect the quality of the marriage between one man and one woman?
That is a rhetorical question. I can tell you right now, the entire rest of the world can be engaged in same-sex marriages, and it will not affect my personal marriage with my wife one bit. However, if I don’t stop spending so much time playing WoW and more time fixing the house, I am going to be in trouble.
If one man and one woman engage in a marriage and it falls apart, the blame cannot be laid to rest at the feet of same-sex marriages. It can be blamed on the couple.
This is how I feel. I look at this… this bullshit going on, and what I see is our generations’ future shame.
Right now, we, our generation, can look back on the civil rights wars of the 1960s, and we can wonder, “How the hell could anyone be so racist and so hateful that they would try to make it a law that black people and white people could not drink from the same water fountain, or go to the same school, or eat in the same diners. How fucked up did those people have to be to have that much hate, to want to exclude an entire people, and who the hell would stand up in any meeting hall and have the guts to try and pass laws like that.”
We can say that now, but guess what? Those people, many of them, are still alive. They are still around. And when we wonder this aloud, they keep their mouths shut, but inside, they are still the people who were there back then. Those folks didn’t just vanish into the mists of time. They hear their grandchildren wonder about racism, and who could be so stupid and wrong, and they keep their mouths shut.
I feel that is where we are right now.
Right now, all across America, all this hate, this same stupid hate and fear is all out in the open, and people are actually standing up and proud of their efforts to exclude the gays, and to block them from the legal rights straight people enjoy.
But someday soon, gay people will see the justice they deserve. They have to. It is inevitable. There are too many of us in this country that are continuing to grow with an open mind and an open heart, and are raising our children the same way. We grew up with a lifetime of accepting and understanding that discriminating against a people based on the color of their skin is wrong, and discriminating against a people based on the religion they practise is wrong…
Is it any wonder that with the lessons of the past to show us the evil of such discrimination, the civil rights movement and the Holocaust just to name TWO in the last century, that we find it ever harder to understand how those types of discrimination were evil, but discriminating against someone on the basis of gender or sexual orientation is just fine and dandy?
The hate is still alive now, but within 40 years there will be teens wondering aloud how fucking stupid and evil and hateful people had to be to try and prevent people from being legally acknowledged as married just because they were bith the same sex, instead of understanding that it’s what a person has in their heart that counts.
And these people now, these people we see right in front of us, they will be the ones that hold their past in their hearts and keep their mouths shut, because they don’t want to look like a hate filled bigot in front of the grandkids.
But why do we have to wait 40 years? Why? Why do we have to be able to see this so damn clearly right now, how FUCKED UP this is, without being able to speed it up?
I said to Cassie, I don’t know how I can even argue this with someone. I start with, “I hold this truth to be self-evident. That people are people, and intentionally hurting people is wrong.”
I don’t know where to go from there. If you don’t get that intentionally hurting other people is wrong when they are doing nothing to hurt you, when their actions have no affect on your life, if you just can’t get that key point, then where do I go in convincing you?
I don’t know. I’ve never felt so powerless. I know, nothing I say can change even one mind. Sure, I can live my own life, and I can raise my children to keep an open mind and see people as people, but that does nothing to change how other people are raising their kids… and how long this whole struggle to stop the hatred will continue.
I’m sorry, as I said. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, and I don’t want to be controversial. I don’t even see this as controversial, that it is is just… stupid. I’m not very articulate about speaking my heart, it’s not like writing some cool story. But this shit… this stuff going on in my mind, it’s really bothering me. I just don’t get how people can’t see what it is they’re doing. I can’t get it through my head how anyone can be that full of hate, or worse yet, so uncaring of the affects of what they do if they just blindly go along with it.
Cassie tells me it’s not just the Catholic Church, it’s a lot of Churches, and I understand that. I also understand a lot of the arguments are made that it’s in the Bible and is the will of God.
Well, there is a lot that is in the Bible that isn’t acted on because we understand the Bible was written by men, not God directly. Or has anyone noticed all the banks being forbidden to charge interest on loans all of a sudden? Anyone? I know my mortgage has interest payments, I don’t know about anyone else.
If the basis for an argument is that God said so in the Bible, then every single thing God decreed in the Bible better be in place, or fought for equally hard. You don’t get to pick just the bits to enforce as Gods will that let you be a hate-filled bigot. If you do that, then you are acknowledging that you don’t agree with God on everything, just the bits you think he was right on. Now you’re picking and choosing… and we’re back to this bullshit being about what people do to other people, looking for a justification, and has nothing to do with Gods will.
I don’t know. Hopefully when I push publish, I’ll get that cathartic cleansing that means all this is now dumped on someone elses id.
Tomorrow will be a new day. Every day is a gift, and I don’t want to be walking around tomorrow still pissed off at the hate of a bunch of stupid people.
I do know one thing. Singling people out and hurting them because they are different than you is wrong. It doesn’t matter what the ‘different’ is. Gay, black, jewish, space alien, I don’t care, it’s wrong.
I don’t know much else in this life, but that I know, and I WILL stand by it.
I say, it’s not enough to block this stupid Marriage Amendment. No, we need to go further, and pull back the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act AND the federal level Defense of Marriage Act.
Huh. How about that. I really do feel better now. And yet, I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. Go figure.