The soul has greater need of the ideal than the real for it is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ignorance, it's not just for breakfast anymore

I rarely read Joemygod these days, not so much because I don't like the blog, I do, but more because his demographic is not me, therefore I spend my time on other blogs.

But yesterday while looking for news of the Prop 8 decision I ran across a link and thought Joe would have the skinny.  I was right and he had more as well.

He had a link to some conservative website where all the commenters have to do is sit around all day and hate.

Practice makes perfect.

Some of the venomous comments directed toward gay men and women were outrageous!  I'd have been appalled if they didn't seem so ignorant of the very subject they were talking about.

Of course I had to wonder what the comments would have been like if they'd won.  Neener Neener Neener would likely have been the refrain.

There were the usual rants about activist judges and in this case gay judges, but one thread that kept getting picked up was the one that said it was unconscionable that the courts were able to nullify the votes of 7 million Californians (no mention that they were duped) and that we live in a police state.

The religious argument got dragged in as well.  No matter to these people that there's a separation of church and state, nor that the judge specifically states in the decision that the argument here is about civil marriage since the government gives religious organizations the nod to sanction civil marriage not institute it.

The reactions of politico's and celebrities have been predictable.  Nice, but hands off until this is all over.  I will say that Schwarzenegger  was uncharacteristically encouraging toward the gays when he had an assistant twitter his response.  He's out of favor with the  GOP anyway (and most of the rest of us) so what the hell.

Writing all this I have to ask myself if I engage this behavior. If I hate these people back, or if , though I likely can't forgive them their ignorance, I simply pity their small mindedness and the lack of opportunity they've had to actually learn.  Somewhere in their growth they've chosen the easy way out, the less enlightened way of thinking, the way, possibly, of their parents.

I can certainly identify with that notion, I too, was a devotee of the ignorant ideas of my father on race and society as a youth, but I had no other point of view to counter his.  When the time came for me to start thinking for myself I realized how wrong the Prince of Darkness actually was, and that , likely due to the fact that I was gay and discriminated against all the time in the lilly white suburbia I was forced to endure as a child I might try to find it in myself to be a bit more understanding of the plight of others.

Straight White Christian people have hated and feared and lied and hid in the closet for centuries.  To paraphrase Tom Robinson, "Naw, Suh.  I feel right sorry for 'em."

Some of my best friends have been straight.

A few examples of the pitiful ignorance of "heteros", and my unfortunate personal experience with them: 

I've lost the friendship of a  hetero couple I knew since I was a teenager because of our divergent religious views.  Since they no longer read this blog I have no compunction about outing him.  He's gay, was always gay, and in fact broke up with his boyfriend to get married and live in the closet.  The most outrageous travesty he's committed (among countless others) was to become a, um, well let's just say he's religious on a full time basis nowadays.  Talk about living the lie.

I lost another hetero friend who I cared about because he was patronizing, and he didn't realize it.

I hadn't seen him in years and quite by accident, a few years ago when my lunchtime bike ride took me by his office I wondered if I'd ever run into him and I did.  We went to dinner a few weeks later and caught up.  When talk got around to relationships and gayness as it always did.  He informed me that he and his wife attend a Christian church at which the pastor was committed to outreach to the gay community. 

I was reminded why I quit seeing him.  It sounded as though he felt we were these poor souls who were outcast and had to be saved by those, like him, who were more fortunate.  His brother groped me once at a party at his house (twice actually) and he himself silently challenged me to flash him in our dressing room during a show we were in.

There were countless others, the young husband who wants to satisfy his curiosity.  The  guy who posed as  a mentor in my youth, but whose actual intent was to "help me become straight."

and on and on ad nauseum.

The problem here is not that these people act on their own natural desires and/or curiosity, but that they assume that I/we as homosexuals in what is really their heterosexual world are in need of comfort, solace, and that we're destined to either wind up either crazy or dead as we do in movies unless they help us.  AND they're horrified that we don't live in fear.

Who here is actually the one to be pitied?

And so it goes:

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