I recently read a post by another activist here in Maine that brought out a point to this anti-Christian gay-rights fervor that is sweeping our nation, which was something I had never really given much thought to. Genie Jennings asked, “Why would anyone want to force anyone else to attend or approve of their day of celebration if they don’t approve or want to attend?” The quotation marks are there to provide some sense of syntax but those words are more of a paraphrase then a direct quote. I was surprised, first, because this is an issue she doesn’t generally get involved with or speak about, and secondly, the direct simple question provided one of those “stop and think about that” moments.
I have worked with Genie on several different issues and she is always very thoughtful. She consistently provides unique perspective, so the insight was not the surprise. I just had one of those very selfish “whydidn’tIthinkofthat” intraflections…I think I made that word up.
When I was in college, there were certain events that required all students and staff from the school to be in attendance. All of us knew this. This was a very strict school and we had signed an advisement when we enrolled that clearly stated that there would be required attendance at certain events. Still, it didn’t prevent many of us from making wry and cynical remarks about having to engage in “mandatory fun”.
The reason for this rule, as it was explained to me, was to promote a feeling of unity and togetherness within the campus community. What it really did, in my observations, was create two groups of people at the “mandatory fun” banquet: those who wanted to be there and those who couldn’t wait to get out of there. Quite frankly, it was a relief to those who were enjoying the banquet when the others had fulfilled their “mandatory fun” quotas and bailed out of there, taking their killjoy attitudes with them.
So, again, why would you want anyone associated with your party, your celebration, your wedding that doesn’t want to be there? Why would you want flowers or a cake provided or delivered by a business under duress, with an “I don’t believe in what your doing, it violates my faith, but if I don’t do this the government is going to take away my business, take all my life savings, destroy everything I have, and force me to take reeducation classes” look on their face with the fury of the persecuted and aggrieved simmering just below the surface. Is this truly a moment of celebration or a moment to inflict punishment on those who will not willingly affirm your expression, so then they must be forced?
The “new freedom” is beginning its conquest of the American tradition and it’s starting with the basic foundation of that tradition: marriage. The “new freedom”, the freedom to sex, demands that all other freedoms affirm its sovereignty with their allegiance. If the Freedom of Speech speaks against it: Speech is silenced. If the Freedom of Religion preaches against it: Faith is punished. If the Freedom of the Press reports against it: Reports are crushed. If Commerce disagrees with it: Commerce is blocked.
Once again I ask do we value sex above all other freedoms? Is it more important to affirm lifestyle choices than maintain our personal freedoms? And how did we get here?