Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flames of Ignorance

I am troubled.

I  am troubled about the negativity that continues to be directed at our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friends. Yes, friends.  They live and work in our communities, organizations and neighborhoods. Add to it the bizarre decision by this organization and it seems we are openly attacking innocent people based simply on their sexual orientation. Since when is it okay in a civilized society to attack innocent people? I am aware that bigotry and ignorance exist, but it is disappointing to me that governments and organizations in the "modern" world would actually move ahead in such a mean-spirited way against other human beings. This my friends is totally unacceptable. 

One Nation Under God…Really?
To further complicate matters, some of these folks actually attempt to use religion, primarily Christianity, as the rationale for their position.  The reality is that the teachings of Christianity, other major faiths, and the tenets of human decency regardless of one’s faith perspective, are about as far away from these hate-inspired and homophobic attitudes as one could imagine. Families today are made up of many diverse situations, but that doesn't mean they aren't loving families. I wonder if Rick Santorum would refuse life-saving treatment from a gay physician who was married to another gay person?  I bet his perspective might shift just a bit in that moment, don't you?

Make A Choice
So with all this venom flying around us we are faced with quite a dilemma.  What does one do about all of this “unReligious” inspired hate?  Well, I for one am no longer comfortable sitting idly by and letting the racists and fear mongers control the message.  Leaders of people, ALL people, do not see color, or age, or orientation…they see people.  So the next time a person, or organization, or State allows a few voices to rally the masses to take shameful action in the name of “what’s right” remember these words from Martin Niemöller:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

How About You
What are you going to do the next time you hear an innocent person being attacked simply because they are gay or lesbian?  Are you going to remain silent so as to avoid confrontation; or, will you step up and show everyone around you that you are a leader.  Do not allow yourself to become mesmerized by the flames of ignorance...while you’re watching someone else is feeling the burn.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of politicalmonkey2010


  1. Wow - reading this while yawning through my first cup of coffee, and suddenly I'm wide awake! I love the discussion, love hearing different points of view - may not agree with them all, but want to hear them. I may also have my own opinions, and want to express them, but no matter how strongly I feel about something, my aim is not to punish, reject or ostracize those who disagree with me. Shame on an institute of "higher education" for making such a decree in the name of religion. Thank God there are plenty of us to speak out in support of those they are attempting to disgrace. Thanks Jay, for bringing it to our attention!

  2. Clare - thank you...I've had this issue on my mind for some time, and the recent developments that have gained national attention pushed me over the edge. Too many honest, hard working people who care deeply for their families, jobs, and communities are being mistreated and that requires a leadership response!

  3. Well said Jay. And thanks for the powerful reminder of the words of Martin Niemöller. I'm happy to stand up and be counted. There are no excuses for reading silence as acceptance.

  4. Doug - many thanks for your comments. Silence is a powerful tool...as long as it's used appropriately. In this case, it's not an option.

  5. Jay, I read your post this morning and I don't know if I can really express how much I appreciate your words and actions. Because writing a post like this is taking action. It is not being silent; it is standing up and being counted and being loud about it. I get worn out by the world, quite often. My partner and I, coming up on our 20th anniversary, live a comfortable life. I am fortunate to live in a place that is mostly safe and work for a company that doesn't consider who I love to be relevant to anything other than our relationship to each other. But the level of hate, fear, and truly despicable behavior and words that come from my fellow human beings, even in these so-called enlightened times, is often overwhelming and always sad and hurtful. So for every true human being, with a caring heart, who will speak up and cry NO MORE, I say "thank you" - truly and deeply.

  6. Great message Jay. We need regular reminders to do the right thing and voices out there to keep us accountable. Thank you.

  7. Many thanks for the kind words of support on this post everyone!