Things I wish I could post to Facebook without causing relatives to go bananas…
I get so tired of reading the melodramatic laments for the good old days. You know what? It was only peaceful and happy if you lived in the right neighborhoods, had the right skin color, went to socially approved churches, hid away your true self for fear of being beaten to death for being gay (for instance). And also, if you weren’t a man, it was only peaceful and happy so long as you had the protection of a man who wasn’t a wife-beater, et cetera.
The funny thing is, despite what these people have been led to believe, crime rates of all kinds in the U.S. are lower than they have been for more than 150 years. So, maybe these folks need to stop watching Fox News and reading and believing every email from their friends about the latest outrage against “real americans.”
Also, if god didn’t “withdraw his protection” from the U.S. over incidents like intentionally infecting Native American women and children with small pox (which was not the most horrible thing we did to Native Americans), then he sure as heck isn’t going to do so now simply because we’re going to give a few more people equal rights.
I love my country. I literally get tears in my eyes when I play songs such as the old Kate Smith recording of “God Bless America.” I will go on and on about why Thomas Jefferson is my favorite Founding Father (with very specific examples), or why James Madison is my second favorite. I support liberal politicians because I am patriotic and I want my country to live up to the ideals expressed in those founding documents about liberty and justice. We aren’t there yet, by a long shot. But we keep getting closer. We keep getting better.
And at every step along the way, we have gotten better over the objections of people who claimed that the Bible forbids women to have equal rights; or the bible says slaves should be happy to be owned, used, and abused like cattle; or the bible says that the races should be kept separate; or the bible says that gay people are abominations. The bible doesn’t quite say most of those things, but it most definitely says that left-handed people are abominations (mentioned 25 separate times, as opposed to the 3 mentions of same sex activities, and the 4 other mentions of things we aren’t quite sure what the original writer meant but in very modern translations have been twisted to be about homosexuality). Funny, no one is calling for us to pray for god’s forgiveness that we don’t criminalize the left-handed.
I’m not saying you don’t have a right to your beliefs. I am also well aware that there are many christians who don’t feel that invoking the bible should give them a free pass to oppress, discriminate against, and vilify whole swaths of the population.
I am saying that, if you feel the need to constantly decry and lament the fact that I now have the legal right to marry my husband, or campaign against my legal right not to get fired just for being gay, or my legal right to buy things at stores open to the public without being refused just because I’m gay, then you are not my friend. This isn’t about me rejecting you, it is a statement of fact. You are actively engaged in trying to take away my rights. You are actively engaged in trying to hurt me.
Friends don’t do that.
And if you feel the need to consistently insist that god is going to punish this land for no other reason than the civil laws have finally started to recognize gay people as actual people who have the same rights as everyone else, you are also not my friend. Again, this isn’t about me rejecting you. You are saying that me living my life as a productive member of society—not hurting anyone else, just refusing to hide who I love—is somehow so terrible that it justifies the creator of the entire universe ignoring everything else happening on trillions of planets circling billions of stars in the millions and millions of galaxies in the known universe and wipe out a country? My existence is so awful, that the creator of the entire universe is going to punish everyone (including babies and animals and other living things that have done nothing wrong) by wiping us out? If you think my existence is that terrible, that is neither love or respect. And again, friends don’t think that way about people they actually love and respect.
Keep posting those hurtful, hateful things. I’m not going to stop you or call you names. But I’m also not going to sit here and keep reading rants that say these horrible things about me and people like me. I’m not going to silently let you salve your conscience with the occasional assurance that you still love me, sandwiched between your posts about what an abomination I am. Or what heroes people who discriminate against people like me are.
That isn’t love.
And you don’t get to say those kinds of things and still call yourself my friend.