simply can’t tolerate intolerance

I don’t know exactly what it is that set me off today in the first place, but I can surely tell you what has kept me fiery today. I’ve been poking around Facebook and random news sites and there’s this theme of homophobia that just keeps arising and it’s driving me crazy.

It started with this… This is a short but sweet article about a father who threatened to whoop his probably 11 year old son because he wanted to buy a game with a girl as the main character and a purple controller to go with it. Good thing this kid has a graceful, strong, and understanding older brother. Give it a read and see what you think.

Then I came across this article… There are so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to start. I suppose most of this is based on my dislike for organized religion. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, just not my thing. I just can’t stand the fact that the Vatican still tries to act like they are superior to everyone in the world. Now – as this article mentions the Roman Catholic Church is 1.3 billion strong so I suppose I can see why they think this way. Still I have a hard time with this. Homosexual acts have been occurring throughout the existence of man…it was a right of passage in Sparta was it not? It exists in society and it’s not something we can suppress or ‘wipe out’. Quite frankly who cares? It’s a way of life that may not be mine or yours, but it is for some. Maybe this is just the liberal in me but shouldn’t we all approach things with an open mind? Again though, take a look at this story and formulate your own opinions.

This takes me to something else. A theater group I have belonged to for the past 4 years will be mounting a production of The Laramie Project this spring. A very good friend of mine is directing and I know it will be a very powerful piece. 14 years ago Matthew Shepard died because a couple of guys in Wyoming were uncomfortable with him being gay. Homosexually intolerant acts happen all over the world and this play helps shine some light on how these acts can affect individuals and even entire communities. I know people who are secretly (and some not so secretly) hoping that Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church show up to protest this production as they do with others throughout the country, and now apparently overseas as well. Part of me hopes this happens as well…it gives a real depiction of the hate portrayed in the play. Though the rest of me hopes that for their own good they don’t show. I know a few folks who could stir a whole bunch of controversy with their hatred of this group…and honestly this isn’t how it should be. I disagree with WBC greatly. I think they are awful people. But I’m not the guy that’s going to stop them from doing what they are doing…they’re pretty old and Phelps isn’t going to be around much longer so just let them look like the idiots that they are.

I’m also not the guy to go down to the south and tell people that they shouldn’t be waving confederate flags and sitting on their porch with a shotgun…but maybe that’s just because I’ll probably take a shotgun blast to the head a la Zombieland. Anyway that’s a whole other discussion…

Regardless. I plead for tolerance. Just because someone is different from you does not mean they are wrong and you are right. A lot of my friends are gay and they are some of the best people I know. They are valuable members of society. They are brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, cousins, grandchildren, friends, doctors, co-workers, etc. They are people. Treat them as such.

Take a deep breath. Walk away from the situation. Just accept it.

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