by Jon Worley
I've been avoiding politics this year, but I simply can't this week. I must admit that I'm vexed by the vehemence of those who don't want to allow gay people to get married.
I know why they're upset, of course. The why is simple: Fear of the (perceived) other. And this why has nothing to do with politics. There are plenty of folks who describe themselves as social conservatives and yet support gay marriage. Indeed, there is a very conservative principle behind the gay marriage movement: Government doesn't need to be telling people whom they can or (more to the point) cannot marry.
But even the most principled of people pick and choose their principles when making decisions. A harsh word for this would be "hypocrisy," but I prefer to think of such actions as merely evidence of being human. Every one of us states beliefs that run counter to other of our beliefs, and that's just fine. No one is perfect.
Folks are welcome to their views, but I just don't see the need for the spluttering and fulminating. Gay people have been getting married legally for a while now, and the Devil hasn't become manifest--no matter what you think of the Prez.
As for my opinion, I just don't believe that anyone has the standing to declare one person fit and another unfit. To reference one of the sayings commonly attributed to the big J.C., there are a lot of people throwing stones from their glass houses. The number of divorced (or unmarried) "men of God" (and most of the folks on the forefront are, indeed, men) who have decided that they know exactly how marriage should work is simply astounding. These folks seem to believe that it is more important to rile up a congregation in self-righteous hate than it is to extend the hand of friendship. I'm sure Jesus would be so proud.
Dick Cheney's daughter is gay. He's in favor of gay marriage. That's a simple equation, and that's how it seems to work for old folks. Us youngins have known openly-gay people since high school (if not earlier), and the idea is neither foreign or disgusting to us. Homosexuality simply is. And that's that.
In the end, all this will be about nothing. This fall, it looks increasingly likely that Maryland will usher in gay marriage by popular vote--becoming the first state in the nation to do so. Within ten years, you will see states like North Carolina amend their constitutions to allow gay marriage. Within twenty years our children's children will shake their heads and wonder why we cared so much about this issue.
Fear is the mindkiller. It destroys rather than builds. We live in a society, and as a society we should be building each other up. We should not blindly fear our fellow citizens for any reason--race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever. In truth, despite all the foaming at the mouth of the last week we are getting closer to that goal. We just have a ways yet to roam.
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