A Different Corner

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Was there any childhood moment, actually scratch that… was there any series of childhood moments, more awkward than the time spent in Confession? No? Okay. Maybe not for you, but that was the case with me.

Going through the motions? Not a problem. I knew to do my cross before kissing the icons, and knew that you needed to give a donation when you went to light a candle. I figured that with everybody else giving God money, I was probably the more worthy charity case…

That’s when the real fun began. I’d slide in to the pew and wait for my turn with Father John or Father Michael… or whichever priest was unlucky enough to be dealing with me that day, and not say… an alter boy…

Behind my pristine white dress, mess of dark curls, and soft-spoken mini Jackie O voice, it’s unlikely that anyone guessed that I was either debating which made up confession I was going to use that day or thinking impure thoughts about Jesus who was hanging on the cross nearby and how maybe someday he could be my boyfriend. After all… I was taught that Jesus loved me more than anything and I loved him…

Unless you require life support, it should go without saying that my views on religion were a bit, uh… different…

Fast-forward 20-ish years and you’ll find I’m not super religious, but definitely spiritual. I believe in fate, science, and in making my own rules. True fiscal conservative (none of this GOP poseur fiscal BS) who doesn’t believe that social issues like marriage and abortion are issues that should be sent to voters. To be brutally honest, I hate being put in a position to have to defend certain issues solely because the rights of certain citizens are being threatened.

With that out in the open, I also have to express that the following opinion is one, which I’ve hesitated to state… or rather, state publicly. I’ve often questioned whether such a thing could do more harm than good to the fight for marriage equality. In the end, I’ll let you decide.

As most are aware, Dan Cathy, Founder and COO of fast food giant, Chick-Fil-A reiterated what was never a secret: he does not agree with same-sex marriage. If you live under a rock, Google it; you should find about 77,300,000+ results.

I’m sure you know the rest. Public outcry. Disgust. Surprise (Uh, not sure how…) Backlash. Protests… you get the idea.

Look, I’ll be the first to tell you I find Mr. Cathy’s view to be misguided, uneducated, and extremely sad… Yet here’s the thing: he’s entitled to donate his money as he sees fit. Rather than channeling energy in to staging protests that involve same-sex kissing, or in some more extreme cases, suggesting with 100% sincerity that a gay orgy is the way to go, a hell of a lot of people need to take a step back.

Take what you know: you have an extremely religious man + an extremely devout group of supporters. They hold these beliefs, however tragic or misguided to you and me. Throwing romantic touching, kisses, or other uh, extracurricular activities in their faces as a form of protest will not help the cause. Think about it… if something made you severely uncomfortable and someone zeroed in on that and used it to help make their point, your natural reaction is going to be to get defensive. You can be 100% right about all of it, but at the end of the day, not only will a defensive person be unlikely to listen to you, they’re also likely to cite such an instance as being another example as to why they’re against something many of us as so eager to get them to accept.

If gay rights are truly something you feel passionate about, speak with currency and with your pen. Take the cold hard cash, your laptop, iPad, a pen and paper if you’re unfamiliar with The Google, and hunker down in another unhealthy fast food restaurant. While you enjoy their version of whatever artery-clogging heart attack in a bun you shouldn’t be eat anyway, you can donate to the Human Rights Campaign. If you’re really in the mood to live on the edge, you can even use their free wi-fi to write your representatives… You know, those people in congress who may actually be able to begin changing the laws?

I understand why many people feel betrayed and hurt. In an ideal world, equality would not be a myth that’s to be trotted out in context of political debate or America’s latest feel-good message, but let’s be real: we’re not there yet. More than that, we have one hell of a long way to go.

What Dan Cathy said cannot be undone and his beliefs are highly unlikely to change. What can change is how we react to such a thing. If you feel that a massive PDA packed protest is the best way to go, great. If not, that’s great too. Either way, it is our duty as activists to consider, seriously consider, the POV from the other side. Flies. Honey. No vinegar… And all that jazz.

And because this is about as much controversy as I can handle on a Tuesday night, I’m now turning off the seatbelt sign. You’re now free to pray for my soul or wander about the cabin and refill your wine…

(Just for the record? I’d choose option two.)

 

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