The equal sign has exploded on Facebook like nothing I've ever seen before (even for a medium where a constant bombardment of graphics beg you to "make this your profile pic!"). I don't change my profile picture to reflect topical events, but this was the first time I ever considered it. It's that popular and relevant.
As I said earlier, I'm heartened that gay rights has become such a mainstream movement that its success is all but guaranteed. The emergence of more tolerant generations, among other agents of change, has led to a profound cultural shift that will only accelerate. Make no mistake — no amount of right-wing pushback or occasional legal hurdles will ever shove this shift back in the closet, any more than racial bigots have brought back the days of Jim Crow. The recent flurry of endorsements by politicians, pundits and even religious leaders for gay marriage shows how far we've come, and fast.
So too can this irreversible trend be seen in the last-gasp desperation exhibited by the holdouts. The backlash profile pics on Facebook (such as crosses or the unequal sign, and all tough to separate from parody) are one example.
|Hate the sin, love to hate the sinner.|
Here's another example of the wrong-side show, from The Looking Spoon:
I chose this graphic because it touches on several points I've seen separately elsewhere. As a straight white male with no immediate intent to get married, I want to clear up some things:
• My support for gay rights has nothing to do with anything I saw in the media; it has everything to do with compassion and human decency. That's true of everything I believe. I don't recall my befriending of a gay classmate in 7th grade when other kids were throwing things at him to be influenced by a gripping Peter Jennings commentary, but it was many years ago. So who knows?
I do know that, having spent nearly my entire career in media, it isn't the mind-control mechanism so many conservatives think it is. If it was, don't you think they'd hypnotize some revenue out of people before bothering with the echo chamber?
Same goes for Hollywood, by the way. I've appeared in nine movies and a TV series, and I have yet to have a director tell me how we're going to brainwash people. (Maybe that's a lecture they save for the credited actors.)
Oh, and forget college. If going to a university in south Louisiana didn't make me conservative, it isn't going to make a conservative liberal. Well, OK, maybe the second one. Knowledge has a way of opening minds.
• "Real courage" is not the term I'd use to describe adherence to discrimination. There's a reason we consider Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers courageous, and not Lester Maddox, George Wallace and Bull Connor. Right and wrong are often fluid concepts, but sometimes they're granite.
• "Traditional and moral values" have been used to excuse every terrible institution about America since slavery. They never hold up over the course of time, and won't now. It's disingenuous anyway, because where in the Constitution (or even in the Bible) does it say that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman? And where is abortion? Regressive taxation? Did I overlook those passages?
• Gay marriage will make America stronger because it represents faith in freedom rather than repression. That we can admit our longstanding wrongs and right them. That we won't adhere to glaring double standards or bend to aggressive bigotry. That's the kind of nation I believe the U.S. needs to be, and was meant to be — America the Beautiful.
That, not the last gasp of rationalized hatred, is the future of our nation. Praise Jesus.