The biggest disappointment in yesterday’s Supreme Court’s decision to allow someone to refuse service to someone else based on “religious freedom” is not that people now have a “right” to do this, it’s that it does not examine the “WHY” they are doing it in the first place. Religious freedom is not an adequate answer to “why?” It’s a free spin marker that lets one cast aside empirical facts and critical thinking. It stops short of a human being fully realized. It’s an answer that deserves and “F” for “no work shown”.
You will read the mad Twitter responses like,“what about if someone wants a cake for a Nazi Wedding?” Surely, when you have read that someone has compared being gay to being a Nazi, you know you are dealing with The Minor Leagues and can quickly move on. There is no foothold of rational discussion there.
Religious freedom. It’s a matter of asking WHY they would exercise said freedom and demanding proof that this is the best course of action. Where else but in FEAR can a decision not to participate in someone else’s happiness and commitment to another HUMAN BEING come from?
It’s also a matter of why thinkers like, Joseph Campbell, Ralph Ellison, Stephen Fry, Christopher Hitchens and J.K. Rowling must become MOST relevant and read MORE than two-thousand year-old works of fiction written by men, that never traveled fifty miles beyond their area code, never studied human sexuality and other cultures, and most likely were never in a relationship as complex as “marriage” to another.
The saddest part to me about Jack Phillips is that his adult emotional and psychological progression has stopped because of his blind allegiance to the aforementioned ancient works of fiction. He has allowed himself ONLY to be informed by those who had less opportunity than he to KNOW more – if only by the potential of experience. He will most likely never attend a “Gay Wedding” and see the look that two people share when they decide, with great courage, to take a pledge of “holy” matrimony. The tears that are shed by those in attendance (who have REAL feelings) when they witness the joy on the faces of those who’s union has been announced as “official” and “verified” by those who subscribe that love is love.
One of coolest things I witness in my own home is watching my daughter share her dresses with one of her boy playmates from school and the parents immediately realizing that the most consequential part of their relationship is their happiness together – kind of like finding out that Dumbledore was gay and saying, “even better”.
What brings me hope is that millions and perhaps billions of children like my own will grow up learning that Dumbledore being gay was inconsequential to him being a brilliant, powerful, and courageous Wizard who had love for all, even those he considered to be evil, and protecting and trusting Snape above the doubts of all others. That Minerva McGonagall and Hermione Granger were powerful WOMEN who were instrumental in Harry’s defeat of the evil, Voldemort, and that love and friendship can conquer all.
I will make it a goal that my children will grow up reading and watching authors like Rowling, Tolkien, Ellison, and reading and watching the Power Of Myth, by Joseph Campbell and understanding why “the software must be changed”.
These authors (of these Historical Fictions) are more evolved human beings and far more enlightened and well traveled and diverse than their two-thousand year-old predecessors. It’s what evolution is. As we evolve, we know more, we understand more, we let free the cling of old beliefs as we allow ourselves to be EXPOSED to new uncovered truths about human behavior. We must challenge the WHY to overcome FEAR. It’s not about your beliefs. It’s about WHY you believe them and if they are grounded in true reason and compassion based upon the most relevant information/empirical facts we have today.
And as enlightened thinkers we must enlist these facts in our quest to overcome fear wherever we face it, even Black Churches who challenged Prop 8 in CA, must be held to task, to see “invisible” people.
There is great sadness in a person who will deny another person’s happiness without ever stepping out of the back of a bakery and witnessing a moment of beauty, such as the joining of two people together, simply because he cannot face the fear of being closed off, of clinging to long held beliefs that were shaped by those who’s self reflection did not have the benefit of them knowing more. We, as humans, are capable of being better if we are willing to challenge our fears, not cling to them.
Time to stop pretending that the Commodore 64 is the greatest machine ever invented. We have Mac Books and smart phones now – we HAVE changed the software. Now lets do it, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. Experiment. Don’t just NOT bake a cake for Gay Wedding because “you can”. Bake it and GO to the wedding – see how you contributed to someone else’s happiness. It may scare you, as you approach feelings you’ve never experienced before – but have the courage a little boy has to wear dresses. Nobody CARES – at least those who have changed the software and STILL love Dumbledore.