This week, a ten-year-old boy was ratted out by a substitute teacher after he refused repeatedly to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He refused because, in the good ol’ USA, the rights of his tax-paying gay and lesbian fellow citizens have been repeatedly assailed and compromised and, to him, that did not add up to “liberty and justice for all.”
Out of the mouths of babes!
How many people have conveniently forgotten that this country was founded by rebels? They came here to basically form a country where everybody could keep out of everyone else’s private business; things were legislated toward those ends and, the Christian, God-fearing Puritans and the witch-hunters notwithstanding (just to name two early instances), the model has worked well. Of course heads had to be broken and bodies mutilated after being wrung dry in the name of “Biblically sanctioned” slavery, but you know what? It only took a couple of hundred years before our black brothers and sisters were afforded full citizenship. And of course every immigrant group that has come here to slave over railroad-building and Empire-growing has had to be put through the mill of hatred, racism, ignorance, and misunderstanding before the powers-that-be decided that they, just like the people who got here first, should be able to pay taxes just like everyone else.
So, on paper, everyone is equal. However, gay people aren’t equal. Every year, laws are put into place preventing us from actually achieving our full due regarding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We’re legislated against and told that we CAN’T do this and we CAN’T do that. Our rights are boiled down into initiatives that the lovely, educated masses get to march into a voting booth and vote against. Though many municipalities have voted otherwise, and the progress appears excellent on that level, there still remain many flies in the ointment.
This is nice? Hasn’t anyone in this country learned anything? Judging by today’s level of education, I would have to say no. People are encouraged toward hatred, toward divisiveness, and toward indifference. And these emotional issues are played out within the sacred confines of the voting booth.
Who do I blame? I blame politicians who appeal to the ignorant and to the ill-educated– the sort of politicians who lick the thighs of their constituencies, cajoling and playing up fears within the guise of feel-good, anti-intellectual Americanism. You don’t agree with them? Then you’re a communist, or– these days– a socialist. Does anyone even KNOW what socialism is? Apparently not, because millions of our citizens enjoy the benefits of socialism without even realizing it.
And what gets me– and what everlastingly shames me– is that these attitudes are fed to the people by their religious leaders. Something like “equal rights for all our gay citizens” has been forcibly and horribly twisted into “those perverts want SPECIAL rights!” And “those perverts want to force the churches to marry them at the altars!” And “those perverts want to assail and cheapen the sanctity of the marriage sacrament!”
They are entitled to their opinions, of course. But you see, it’s not just a matter of having an opinion anymore– these opinions have been allowed to fester into active discrimination and, in many cases, murderous violence. These, therefore, are no longer people with opinions– because their opinions have succeeded in prevenmting me from living my life fully. And I’m angry!
You know what? Most, if not all of the gay people I know scratch their heads at all this. Storm the altars? No way. The opposition has decided that this issue be called “gay marriage” in order to appeal emotionally to its constituency. More thigh licking, in other words. What’s wrong with “equal rights for all?” I pay taxes toward that end, or I am missing something? My taxes go to fund wars and shenanigans much as they go toward helping the disadvantaged, but I don’t get to choose exactly where my dollars go. I end up paying to keep myself rooted in my second-class status because I don’t see the Feds protecting my rights. Hear that, Mr. President? Can you say “executive order?” I know you’ve got more pressing matters on your mind, but you need to make it a point to ensure that ALL your taxpayers are enjoying ALL the liberties that these endless wars are supposedly being fought for overseas. (And how ironic that forcibly closeted brothers and sisters are sent to Iraq to free the population… don’t ask, don’t tell? How about don’t get me started?!)
I’m grateful for the segment of the population that actually sits down to consider these issues, and who decide that it is 100% wrong to deny gay citizens the rights we were born to. This is NOT a religious issue; if the churches want to become actively involved in politics that foster discrimination, then tax the hell out of them. I include my own Church within that group, most especially. It’s a cross I bear, ha ha… but I send the eMails and write the letters because they have to know how I feel. And I hear back, and, while it’s always good and encouraging, why can’t it be universal?
Ten years old… out of the mouths of babes, indeed…
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it ?