This Rant is Brought to You by the Tremendous Outpouring of Hate Attributed to Yesterday’s Supreme Court Decision
Let me preface the upcoming rant by saying that I, myself am not Gay. Although I may, on occasion, notice something attractive about another woman, it is in a purely objective, non-sexual, appreciative way. However, I respect the right of people (man, woman, black, white, purple, green, Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Buddhist…all of those differences some people seem to find important) to fall in love with whoever they find themselves attracted to. After all, when have we ever been able to control who we are attracted to? Honestly! Admittedly, some of this rant was spurred by someone who tried to tell me that a particular trades person was automatically honest and trustworthy because he was a “good, church-going Christian.” My question to that statement is always “How does that make them honest and trustworthy? And how does simply attending church on Sunday make them a good, honest person Monday through Saturday?” I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been screwed over enough times by people who are in a church pew every Sunday morning, and frankly, I believe they give those who truly do practice their faith every day a bad name!
Our great United States was formed (or if you ask the indigenous Indians, taken over) by people who sought a place where they could practice their religious beliefs freely without fear of reprisal from their government. Despite the fact that most of the people who fled their homes to come here practiced some form of Christianity at the time, other faiths came and worked hard to prosper in this untamed land as well. Each of those faiths, as well as those of the indigenous people, shared some beliefs and differed in others. Yet, by hook or by crook, they worked together to build the land we now call home.
The results of their efforts are far from perfect, but then, what man-created concoction ever is? Instead, it is a series of compromises, false starts, tearing down and rebuilding so it’s better and stronger, and even discussions which escalated into arguments on occasion. The true beauty is not only in its imperfections, but in its diversity.
Honoring and Respecting Diversity
So what is the latest Supreme Court decision but that very mindset which created this country saying “Yes, we honor and respect diversity, and uphold the right to exercise that diversity”? The very last thing it represents is a spitting in the eye of certain religious factions, nor is it an order for them to allow or encourage their particular believers to immediately start indulging in gay marriage. It is simply saying that those who do believe it is acceptable for them may now do so without fear of legal strife and may also enjoy the benefits of any other married couple. How, may I ask, is this hurting anyone? How is it undermining your religious beliefs? And for the love of God, why does it give you the right to spew hatred and vitriol all over social media, lambasting everyone from the President all the way down to some underpaid clerk far down in the court system?
Last time I checked, religious texts encourage love and acceptance, not hatred and judgement. How is sharing posts of people lambasting the President, questioning the parentage of the Supreme Court Justices or comparing homosexuals and their behavior to that of lowly and maligned animals an act of love and acceptance? Furthermore, how is it that one group’s set of religious beliefs is more important…more right than any other group’s? How is it anyone’s right to insist that others live by the moral standards they, themselves follow, and often follow blindly?
Yes, we live in a country in which free speech is one of our rights. In fact, here is the text for Article 3 of the Bill of Rights:
Article the third… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Let’s dissect this a little. First of all, denying people the right to marry on pretty much any of the bases I mentioned above (gender, race, religion) and doing so by law violates Article 3 because it prohibits “free exercise thereof”. Freedom of speech assumes (in many cases, erroneously) that we are respectful, compassionate human beings and would not use that right to belittle, defame or otherwise abuse another person or group of people. While it is certainly acceptable to disagree with someone, something, a cause or a belief, it is not OK to judge someone, abuse them or otherwise hurt them for believing differently that you do.
And yet, otherwise intelligent, compassionate individuals are writing or sharing such hateful words it makes me cringe. Some have been so awful I couldn’t click “hide” fast enough to avoid singing my eyes with their outpourings of hate. I ask that before we post anything abusive or hateful, and regardless of our religious beliefs, we spend a moment or two thinking about what this image is trying to convey.
Do we really need to shed more blood, invoke more dissension or separate ourselves from each other over something which simply allows us to be individuals and create a more interesting world? Think how boring it would be if everyone had exactly the same beliefs. We’d live in a colorless, odorless world; sterile to the point of stark and unaware of where true beauty lies. It is in our differences, not our samenesses that we are beautiful.
My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that I live in a country where we can express ourselves, even hurtfully. From those who feel they must be hurtful will we truly learn kindness and compassion.
2. I am grateful that at least a majority of our Supreme Court justices has read and absorbed our Bill of Rights and Constitution which they are tasked to uphold.
3. I am grateful for the diversity which allows ingenuity to shine rather than hide itself from the light.
4. I am grateful that I can and will continue to question people’s motives when they are made simply in the name of one religion or another.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, faith, trust, respect, devotion, caring, sharing, peace, harmony, hope, health, prosperity and philanthropy.
I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!