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Department Of Defense

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's not "Do Unto Others As Long As You Agree"...

I'm having a hard time trying to sit here and write this post.  Seriously.  I swing from wild anger to amazement and befuddlement.  I cannot fathom that this issue is still something to be argued about.

Do unto others.  It's such a simple rule, yet humans who believe in this rule - religiously or as a standard rule to live by - have managed to fuck it up with their own selfish purposes.  Follow me on this, because I may take some detours to get there.

I have an idea for a story that if it's not yet made, shall be mine - so the following is written with a caveat containing copyright and trademark citation.  I think I've seen a few movies written in the perspective of opposite/ironic points of view that are meant to make people stop and think about expanding their view to be accepting of others.  Notice - I did not use the term "tolerant".  I love that word.  I use that word.  I can BE that word at times.  It seems, however that the general population is against that term, some people arguing that they should not have to be tolerant of someone if they do not agree with whatever it is that person is doing that is so disagreeable.

Eye of the Beholder
An example of this is one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, "The Eye Of The Beholder" where a woman is supposed to undergo an urgent last-ditch surgery performed by STATE doctors to make her look "normal". Of course, the reveal (spoiler) shows that the rest of the population's "normal" is a twisted facial disfigurement, and the woman is considered hideous to them by their standards.  I like that reminder, and the message is very bold for 1960.

Interracial Marriage?  
I've seen some campy renditions of shows that try to give a turnaround perspective, for example, if white people were plantation slaves or the oppressed side of apartheid.   I saw a short that involved the specific situations of a reversed Rosa Parks incident as well as segregation of bathrooms, schools, drinking fountains and so on.   The thought of interracial marriage was an abomination because no self respecting black person would ruin the purity of his or her race in such a way!  To hear this today makes it seem laughable - but it is in fact the truth of what was done to groups of people all over the world by so many other groups and for so many "reasons" that all boil down to the same smoldering truth that pervades our society.  We are intolerant bigots who have not learned from the mistakes of our history.

In 1950, this country was finally beginning (just beginning) to put an end to segregation.  We now look back at the Holocaust and say with certainty how horrible and wrong to slaughter a group based on race, hair color, religion, eye color etc.  So what are we doing now?  Choosing the next group?

It might seem silly to some people, and I've even actually had more than a handful of african american and black friends tell me it's a sin to compare that civil rights movement to the movement of gay rights - but I see it as a clear cut case of fighting for Human Rights.  I think that without setting my soapbox on fire, I need to say very quickly that I have no illusions about "knowing" what anyone in any group that I was not a part of went through.  To say "I understand" would be an insult.  So it is with me as well.  This is not a joke.  People are dying through bullying, suicide, hate crimes, and so much more.   it seems stupid to me, not to make the comparison.  It is not right for ANY group to limit the rights and freedoms of ANY OTHER group simply because you do not agree with them.

Do unto others... I'm back to this now.  Ok.   So, what if, by my own decree, I announce that all heterosexuals are an abomination to my God, and they therefore cannot marry, vote, teach in schools, or use the same bathroom facilities.   Ok, I'm going overboard - or am I?  MY GOD, YOUR GOD, THEIR GOD, NO GOD - we have the right to worship (or not worship) whatever god(s) we so choose.  Here is where I might lose friends.  I believe that the selfish individuals inhabiting this Earth are manipulating the very things they want to protect.  Basic Human Rights cannot be determined by religion. If you truly believe in a Christian God, then you truly believe that every single creature on this Earth shall be judged by your God, and only your God.  "Judge Not, lest Ye Be Judged" is omitted from the passages that are spat in my face when I am at a support rally for Equality.  "Love Thy Neighbor" is never one of the themes I hear when people are referring to their reasoning and their God as to why I should not be allowed to do something.  I can pick and choose passages to suit my needs in an argument as well.
NOT ok.
However, the point of my tirade here is simple - we shouldn't even be having this argument.  We as a society have overcome our shortcomings and the horribly askew things we have done to many people, yet we continue to repeat the same mistakes using the same arguments, and now it's a louder argument because some of the people spewing hatred and bias are the very people who fought their way out only decades ago.   DO UNTO OTHERS

Would YOU appreciate it if it was up to a vote as to whether or not you could marry someone you loved?

Would it be ok if anyone who is married to someone from another country have their marriage immediately revoked and their loved one deported?

Would you be okay with someone telling you that your religion is wrong, and you are not allowed to believe as you do?

Would you be okay with being treated differently based upon any aspect of who you are?

Think long and hard about what you take for granted - growing up, getting a job, going to school, marrying your love, raising kids, getting old and planning retirement, being there for your family....

Now take those options and severely limit most of them, and take others away completely.  That's is what the Equality for ALL movement is about.

No one is saying that everyone can be a millionaire or own corporations, or go to the best schools or live in a dream house.

But EVERYONE is born with the option, ability and Equal Right to strive for it.

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