A word on values, tolerance, and our ever vanishing civil liberties.
I do not care what personal belief system anyone subscribes to, except at the point that it begins to attack or infringe on what I consider to be personal liberties. Any ideology that endorses and promotes intolerance or repression is unacceptable to me. Prior to that line in the sand, I love the prerogative of the denizens of this country to pursue their faith and beliefs. It is a great and beautiful thing. Unfortunately I see far, far too many instances of personal faith and ideals becoming public faith and ideals. If you really feel that you must forcibly shoehorn every person you meet by sanctions and legislation into whatever odd shaped cubbyhole your religion happens to reside in……..perhaps you should go home, sit down, and really, really think about your own value system. I think you may have diagnosed the problem correctly, but completely missed the actual source.
I have friends who are gay. I have family members who are gay. I worked with folks who are gay. I find, increasingly, as time goes on, that I am putting that out there in my discussions of tolerance. Why is that, exactly? How is it that a narrow minded and fearful section of our society can force us to make such statements as if they matter? It shouldn’t matter. No more so than the fact that I have family, friends, and acquaintances with brown hair, or blue eyes, or who like jazz. The only reason it even has to be repetitively brought to the forefront is that nobody is trying to criminalize, marginalize, penalize, attack, or shame anyone based on their hair color, eye color, or musical taste.
It’s a damn shame that such basic personal freedoms have to be dragged out into the public forum, like laundry on the line. I want to believe, and I really do believe, that someday down the road nobody will even think to ask if so-and-so is gay, because it won’t matter.
As it should be.
Then we can begin to focus on things that actually matter, such as sustainability of fuel and food, the economy, and so forth.
Yep, that’ll be awesome.
In the meantime, we must yell loud and proud in defense of ourselves and our loved ones. In defense of those we don’t know. In defense of those we don’t particularly like. In defense of everyone. Change never happens because of apathy or inertia. Someone, somewhere, has to get up and start kicking over the conservative dominoes.