Wow. What a week. There has been a lot of fighting in the social networking world about religion, the right to free speech, and the right to eat fried chicken in peace.
To start out, I need to clear something up: I'm a Christian. I know, weird right? I believe there is a God, heaven, hell, angels, a holy trinity and all that stuff!
"But Summer..." I hear you all collectively say, "...you're gay! You like ladies. How can you subscribe to an institution that hates you? Traitor! Let's get her!"
Caalllm down ya'll! Put down your pitchforks and fairy dust, because I'm not one of those self-hating gays who rallies against the rights of my own.
I'll leave that to Rick Santorum.
When I think back to high school, I was more frightened about to come out as a Christian than I was afraid about coming out as a lesbian. It seems that being a Christian rubs some people the wrong way. Aside from believing in "an omnipotent being in the sky that you can't see", Christianity has been linked to some loaded issues: sexuality, gay marriage, women's rights and their rights to choose, and holy wars, to name a few. So, on behalf of all Christians who believe gays should be married, women have the right to decide what to do with their bodies, and don't kill in the name of God, I would like to say the following:
I'm sorry that the few has spoiled the bunch. There are people out there who wear Christian badges on their lapels, and do completely un-Godly things, like preach hate, and hurt others in God's name. Do those people speak for me, or countless other Christians? Absolutely not. They speak for themselves.
I bring this up because one of my favorite websites, The Oatmeal posted the following cartoon last week:
*source: www.theoatmeal.com (please don't sue me)
In it, creator Matthew Inman (from Seattle, holla!), in a nutshell details all the way religious people annoy him. The whole comic struck me as painfully cynical, and it made me sad.
Listen Matthew, I get it! There are people out there who have done, and continue to do, some completely annoying, and sometimes awful, things in the name of God. Do they speak for the populous? Absolutely not. Again, they speak for themselves. There are also a whole bunch of people out there who are doing very good things in the name of God. Does Matthew or I see eye to eye with these people on all the issues? No, probably not. That being said, they win in my book, because I don't see me OR Matthew going to any third world countries and helping the sick and hungry in the name of anyone.
That being said, there are people out there who do some completely awful things in the name of Allah, or Shiva, or Xenu, or in some cases nobody. People just do some awful things and pin them on unwilling beings. Should these beings or the whole of their followers be held accountable? No! So Matthew, cheer the hell up dude. You don't have all the answers and neither does anyone else. Let's all just chill out and have a sandwich.
I don't want to get into a religious debate, I just want to say this: acceptance is a two way street. When I came out to my mother, she was not okay with me being gay. I believe the phrase "you will answer to God for this" was uttered.
"Just WAIT until your Father gets home!"
That conversation did not end well, but after a heart to heart with my partner at the time, I decided I'd rather have my queer-hatin' mother in my life than to not have her at all. She also decided she would rather have her queer daughter in her life than to not have her at all. And guess what? After some time went by, my mother found that her perception of gay people was way off, and she's totes down with the gays now! It turns out we don't go to playgrounds and molest children, and leave AIDS on just-washed coffee mugs on our weekends off. We go to Costco and watch Jeopardy in our sweats, just like everyone else!
Wanna know what else we want to do just like everyone else? Get married. Which brings me to this winner:
"My nuggets taste like inequality."
C.E.O. of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy (Cathy's a girl's name!), wants the world to know that when it comes to not wanting two dudes or two chicks to be legally married, he is "guilty as charged!" His words. Hence the quotations. He has also donated upwards of $2,000,000 to programs that are battling the legalization of gay marriage.
This has raised feathers (HA!) on both sides of the chicken-wire fence. In the gay supporting corner, you have people who are mad at Dan Cathy. Should their feathers be ruffled? Hell, yeah! This dude has donated millions to prevent a certain group of people to have the same rights as everyone else. In the other corner you have the not so supporting of gays, who are defending Cathy and his right to free speech.
Has anyone stopped Cathy from saying what he wants to say, and doing what he wants to do? Absolutely not. Should they? Absolutely not. One of the wonderful things about this country is that we all have the right to say whatever the hell we want. If Cathy wants to donate all of his nuggets to campaigns that rally against the rights of others, then that is his right as an American citizen.
Go ahead. Donate millions. Donate billions. We will not stop fighting.
As long as there are Dan Cathys, Ted Haggards, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertsons and James Dobsons out there who believe that they can use the word of God to discriminate against His children, then we will continue to fight their hateful ignorance. There will always be someone ready to stand up to the voices of oppression, as there has in the past.
So Mr. Cathy, bring it. I'll just be over here enjoying an apple instead of a chicken sandwich.