Thursday, October 14, 2010

Recent Occurrences: It's Not Homophobia.

I will write tonight on something I have no control over. I have no authority but my own in which to state my opinion on a matter of extreme sensitivity. Having said thus, I hope I may, through my typical effort (or lack thereof) justify myself and my view of the world.

Recently, bullying against homosexuals (and those thought to be homosexual) has been a huge issue in the news, on my college's campus, and nearly everywhere else. For me, this speaks not of an issue of people not accepting this particular group or their lifestyle- homosexuals and homosexuality- but in a more pervasive issue that is what truly demands attention, thought, and action.

I hear, day in and day out, in other's words and my own, in my thoughts and other's writings, in songs, movies, books, and articles, hate. We are today incredibly adept at demeaning others (to their face and behind of it) with no qualms or second thoughts. It seems that we all begin on a simple level- thoughtless reactions to preconceived feelings about alternative beliefs, lifestyles, etc. We thoughtlessly make fun of what might be another's most sacred concept. Because the progression of lack of respect for others at this point is not too advanced, we are able to feel guilt if the wrongness of our action somehow strikes us; we might even regret our actions or words. Soon, however, such inhibitions slip away. The modern man-" free" of their own "judgmental tendencies"- I.E., religion and belief in core values- is set loose to ridicule whatever and whomever we desire (and how alluring it is!). It becomes second nature to lack empathy... And then...

We easily- gladly, sometimes- arrive at the logical end of all this: we become murderers. Yes, murderers. Those who drove any of those teenagers/young adults to kill themselves are, for all intents and purposes, their very murderers. They supplied the ammo to what may have already been a depressive personality's "gun," they feared not the consequences of their heartlessness, and they show no remorse for the blood splattered all over their hands, heart, and mouth. They brought them there, they left them there, and then, most cruelly of all, felt no guilt over the loss of a precious human.

This problem is UNIVERSAL. It cannot be solved only by promoting tolerance for gays. It must be combated, as much as possible, individually. We must choose to love others; we must try with all we have to survive the hardships we inflict upon each other so that one day we may conquer those tendencies and lead another to do the same. It's not a perfect solution... But nothing on this Earth was ever perfect since about 33 AD.

And it's about time we really began to look into the message that perfect man had. Life is not quite life if you lack the most basic human quality: love.

1 comment:

Marvin the Martian said...

I agree, bullying has no excuse. And the bullied need to respond with force to the bullies. Bullies don't understand anything BUT force. Love isn't going to solve anything, with a bully. You can be loving after you have defeated them, but you can only defeat them with force, not love.

But I also think you can have tolerance without acceptance. Just because I'm friends with and coworkers with gay people doesn't mean I think that practicing homosexuality is right. I don't. I wouldn't do it myself. I can't tell them they can't do it, but if they flaunt it in my face, I can walk away. If they insist that they can get married just like heterosexual people, I can disagree. If it comes to a vote, I can vote against it. When they call it "hate speech," I can laugh. Because it's not hate speech. There's no such thing as hate speech. There is only speech with which they disagree. Calling it "hate" makes them feel justified in their rage about it, but it doesn't change anything, and it doesn't make that speech wrong. The speech is still there. The opposition is still there.
I don't agree, and they can't make me agree. ;-)

Nevertheless, I'm happy to call them "friend," to have them over for dinner, to work side-by-side with them. But my thoughts and opinions are my own. I don't seek to convert them, and they cannot, must not seek to convert me. We simply agree to disagree. That's tolerance without acceptance. That's a hallmark of a functioning civilization, the ability to disagree with someone, and not kill them to eliminate the disagreement. ;-)

And finally, I don't think this world was perfect in 33 AD, or at any other time. This world's imperfections expelled Jesus because He didn't fit in. He served as a symbol of what we could be, but not what we are.