Friday, September 18, 2009

FOUR FAGGOTS AND A FUNERAL... Now I have your attention!!!

I know this will be ANOTHER very long post... but this time it is not my fault ~ honest guv! This was written by Michael Mclarty, a friend of mine on facebook... this is all his work, so any credit must go to him!
The reason I wanted to post it, especially before I posted my own next blog; was it said much of what I have been thinking and indeed feeling, but of course I could never say it so eloquently!! I hope no one was offended by the title, it was purely to gain your attention!!!
It is something he has, himself been thinking about for a long time. I hope I can throw it out to a few more people, views and comments on this would be much appreciated; and I shall make sure he gets them all... anyways, on with the show!

One draft of this was titled 'FOUR FAGGOTS AND A FUNERAL!', the humorous/outrageous title being the 'hook' that drew you in. Then I'd chastise you for not finding the word 'faggot' offensive. 'If I had used the word 'nigger', would you have been offended', I was going to ask?

And as intros go, I suppose there is some merit to the 'shocker'. It's my usual schtick: angry, foul mouthed liberal juxtaposed by my lowly blue collar status. It's a contrasting canvas I'm comfortable painting my words into.

But I eventually decided not to go that way. Not because I don't like shocking the prurient or wielding my beloved profanity overhead like a sword. I don't think I'll ever tire of those two ephemeral friends.
No, I eventually decided to just be honest and write from the heart. You're an adult. Take my words and disregard them or agree with them as you will, but this conversation is not me yelling from a bully pulpit. This is just me being a human.

A fragile, often scared, more often confused, human being.

As I'm writing this from my recliner, I look over to the couch where my daughter is sleeping. She is five, will be six next month. She and her brothers are the light of my life. 'Light of my life.' So cliche' we use it by rote these days for everything from our family to washing detergent. It is true though, because before they came along I was in the dark. I never knew the love I was capable of giving till my family began.

It didn't begin with them, though. Surely, they are the largest, cutest part of it, but they're the second part of the story. The first part was when I did one of the few smart things I've ever done in my life and married my wife, Tess. I've said it before and it's worth repeating: I married much better than I had any right to. Most men do.

I remember with a nostalgic wistfulness our early romance. That giddy/sick feeling you have in the pit of your stomach when it feels like you're holding a beautiful snowflake that might melt away if you breathe wrong. It's a tightrope act with no net, and you're the star. Each reunion is a big top event, no matter how how short the intermission. You want to hold them always. Your body yearns to be near that other body that raises from your deepest core emotions both wonderful and conflicting.

I wouldn't call it love, but it's still a nice ride. A hell of a nice ride.

Well, that passes. No candle can burn that bright forever, and thank God. Thank God not just because the early stages of a romance are emotionally draining, but because what comes next is even better.
In time the heady whirlwind slowly transforms into a more solid, albeit less sexy, refreshing and dependable breeze. Perhaps at times you take each other for granted, sure. You do share the same bed, same meals, same TV shows after all. As a couple you share your dreams, and you also share the sad times. The times where your heart is breaking and the world is collapsing and the best you can do is hold onto that one person you know is there, who won't let you sink into a morass from which you might not be able to escape from.

All humans have those moments. Stronger men than I, perhaps, could weather them alone. But I never claimed to be a strong man. And with Tess by my side, I don't have to be. Not all the time, anyhow. Sometimes she has to be the strong one. Other times she needs me to be.

We always got each other's back though, and we always know when to step up, when to speak out, and when to just sit there and listen. Sometimes even when to simply walk away and give the gift of solitude.

I hope everyone has someone like that in their life. Yet even as I write that, I know not everyone does. I've known great gals and guys who just never had the luck I did. They were and are good people. They paid their taxes, worked a solid 40 plus every week, played by society's rules. I'm speaking of moral people. Friendly people. The type of people who would feed you if you were hungry, donate toys every Christmas, and go through life with smiles on their faces even when the cards they were dealt added up to nothing more than a bad hand.

Why is that? Why didn't those people find their 'special someone'? I think it's the same reason some people who would make great parents never have kids: there is no reason.

It just doesn't happen for them. They miss that bus where they would have sat down next to their soul mate and struck up a conversation. They have to cancel the blind date their friend set them up on because they caught the cold, and the opportunity is lost. They're looking one way while walking down the street and that person they would be perfect for just happens to be looking the other.

It's sad, and it's tragic. Love is not easily found. Those, too, are parts of life. Part of the human experience.

But we all want that. We want that connection. Every one of us wants to love, and to be loved. It is the most powerful force in the universe, love. Hate may be more prevalent, but love is stronger. And that's why it always wins, even if the victory isn't readily apparent.

We all want that.

We all need that.

I would even argue that love is the meaning of human existence. It's certainly the only thing that outlives us. Hateful deeds and words shine bright upon the temporary stage light of history, but their acts are eventually forgotten, their legacies stunted and buried. Sure, hate can change the world, but love will always, eventually, fix it.

Sometimes even for the better.

Love is so important that I would further argue that the founding fathers of The United States of America had it in mind when they so famously wrote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What is the pursuit of happiness if not chasing after our dreams, doing what we love, being with those we love? If you can't do those things, can you really be happy? If you are legally blocked from that pursuit, is that not in contradiction of the principals this country was founded on?

Of course many would disagree with my interpretation. Words can be twisted, slanted, turned around like a kaleidoscope until you don't really know what they mean anymore. That preamble above didn't stop anyone from buying a slave, or denying women the right to vote. In fact, it condoned those things in many arguments.

So did the Bible. Or the parts picked out to support those arguments, anyhow, when viewed in a certain light.

But to me, they mean just what they say:

We're all equal.

Because we're human, we have rights.

We have the right to live. The right to live free. And finally, the right to live as we see fit.

Of course we take that for granted these days. Or at least people like me do. As a white, heterosexual male, I've never been society's whipping boy. I got mine, no doubt. You take any part of the Constitution, and it's there to protect me, and any other white male with an eye for the ladies, from losing those big three: Life. Liberty. Happiness.

And that is simply not enough.

It's not enough for many reasons. For one thing, white males may not always be in the catbird's seat. People like me better be making sure that the playing field is equal for all those white, woman-chasing males yet to be born. That edge of discrimination can cut both ways, it all depends on who is wielding it.

But more importantly, other people not having the same rights I have simply isn't fair. Me, you, that guy down the street, the bag boy at Kroger's and the crazy woman who collects cats, we're all human. We all pay our taxes. We all do our part in our own way to make our country better, or at least to help keep it running.

Last I checked, homosexuals paid taxes as well. They pay taxes to run and maintain schools for children they are not ever going to create. They pay taxes to support a military they are discouraged from joining and reaping the rewards of service from. Their tax dollars pay the salaries of elected officials who then denounce their lifestyle as evil and immoral.

That doesn't sound fair to me. Not even remotely.

Those same elected officials who denounce homosexuality as evil and homosexual marriage as a threat to the sanctity of marriage certainly don't turn away the homosexual dollar. I guess the money from the Gay's wallets meets their moral criteria. The fact that many of these same politicians then use that money to pay lawyers to help them divorce their old wives so they can upgrade to newer models doesn't sit too badly with them. In their mind, God is flashing them a big thumb's up.

The truth is, if you want to protect the sanctity of marriage, the 'sacred and holy character' of legal union, those same politicians would outlaw divorce. I haven't seen that bill proposed before Congress, though, and I never will.

Because it's a sham of an excuse, the 'sanctity of marriage'. It's a set of nice words that make a nice sounding phrase that still, no matter how you fervently you recite them, mean that some people in this country should be denied their own pursuit of happiness while others are free to go about their business.

I don't think that's right. I think it's pretty wrong. I think it's damned wrong.

Who is the man that can see into another man's soul? Show me that man, let him prove to me that one man cannot love another nor one woman cannot love another woman. That man does not exist. Yet some people pretend to be him and millions of others all too willingly agree to believe the lie he portrays.

Why? I don't know. Ignorance? Fear? The desire to possess that which another man may not? I don't claim to know, but I do know that whatever the catalyst, it's not born of the better angels of our nature.

Nothing that denies happiness to a man who has done no wrong can be right.

So all I'm asking you to consider is this: let each man and woman go after their dreams as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. A homosexual marriage in no way lessens anyone else's. Giving legal rights to people who help to maintain the infrastructure that creates those laws is fair. Don't deny someone their pursuit of happiness simply because you don't approve of their chosen lifestyle. Don't hold another person down because you think it lifts you up. In truth, when you are holding someone down, you can't be any higher than they are.

Finally, lets just all admit we're hopelessly, innately flawed, every one of us. That's the price we pay for enjoying the gift of life, to be lucky enough to watch a sunrise or enjoy a cool breeze, to laugh and smile and hope, to be blessed to relax in our homes while we watch our children chase sugar plum dreams.

Lets shake hands and agree that we're all way too human to judge each other or claim some ethical high ground. Let's acknowledge that we all chase the same ultimate prize and have the right to claim it if we're lucky enough to catch it:

To love. And be loved.

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