What This Liberal Democrat Can Learn from Those Log Cabin Republicans

This week, during the Republican National Convention, this Tampa Tribune ad hit the newsstands . . .

2012 ad from the Log Cabin Republicans and the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry

Yep, you read correctly, this ad is from some Republicans to some Republicans.

Awesome.

If I know some of you liberal friends o’ mine, seeing this has got you all foaming at mouth. Your loins are girded, your shields are raised and you are ready to wave the flag of “See, even your own people want you to change!” in the face of any conservative, anti-marriage equality, Romney/Ryan 2012 supporter who you happen to meet on the street.

I jest . . . kinda ;-)

I won’t deny it, seeing this ad feels pretty wonderful for those if us who are is support of marriage equality and against a constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a women. That said, what “we,” who probably stand on the other side of many issues that the Log Cabin Republicans and the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry support can learn from this action is that sometimes family must challenge family.

I cannot image the flack that they are getting from those in the Republican party who disagree with their position and tactic. It is undoubtedly not a new thing that they are dealing with, but I have seen what happens when people take the risk to step outside of their ideological camp in a public way. When people speak out against their own, relationships are damaged, the “traitor” label is applied generously and the other side revels in the chaos.

It is not pretty.

I as read this, however, it made me wonder about my own ideological “family” and personal communities. What do we need to say to one another about our own struggles and failings?

  • My daughters’ progressive public school can be incredible inhospitable to new families, staff and administration;
  • My home, San Francisco is making far too many choices that improve the life of the wealthy and hurt the poor;
  • My President, Barack Obama, has failed to adequately act on gun violence, comprehensive immigration reform, support of the Philippine military, public education, etc.

Oh, and I could go on and on . . . I have a list. No I don’t. Yes I do.

So . . . at what point do you believe your family’s “dirty laundry” must be aired because it has lost its way? On what topics do you think your leadership must be called to task: church, municipality and/or your communities? I would love to know what you think? But before you respond, let me be clear, this is not an invitation to rant about “them” over there but a call to challenge the “us” right here.

Okay, go.

Lastly, a prayer . . . while the “issue” of marriage equality is the point at which this post and ad originate, at the heart of the matter are the many couple who continue to be told in far too many ways and in far too many places, they will not be give the right to marry. From one who has had that privilege for the past 20+ years, there are many who continue to fight with and for you in this journey and you are in our prayers.

  • http://cantleaveunsaid.wordpress.com/ Dave Buerstetta

    As a liberal (are we supposed to call ourselves that anymore?), I really like the sound of Andrew’s ideas. I’m worried, though, about the scale of the problems. e.g. Hunger here in the US: add up all the food provided by churches and food banks across the country…it’s still just 6% of the food federal nutrition programs provide (via Bread for the World http://blog.bread.org/2012/02/david-beckmann-finding-our-political-will-to-end-hunger.html).
    I just don’t know how we church and charity-minded folk can come up with the other 94%. I think we need a healthy government to help.

    But I don’t want to shat all over Andrew’s good, creative challenge. So maybe what we need is to rethink church (if you’ll forgive the overused phrase). How many liberal/progressive churches are sitting on buildings and property that aren’t being used effectively? How many of those churches have a neighbor of another denomination (or another faith) with which they could share space? How much of that 94% could we find just by opening the clenched fists with which we are holding on to being property owners?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    Agreed, whether it is about social issues or personal relationships, i do not buy into the idea that if we NEVER talk about it, all will be okay. There may be times for “agree to disagree” moratoriums, but ultimately, avoidance is not an effective way to deal. Thanks for commenting.

  • Pat68

    I was just having a conversation with a friend this morning who accused me of still being angry with the church that I left last year. It was then that we had an honest conversation and I told her there were some things she didn’t know about my experience and to affectively tell someone who’s been hurt to “get over it” just adds more hurt. As we parted ways, I thought about the fact that this is how churches stay dysfunctional. The core issues are never dealt with. We just want people to get over it without ever really addressing the problems. I suspect that part of the problem is that no one likes being made uncomfortable. So rather than dealing with the issues, we just issues some platitudes in hopes of placating and smoothing things over so we can move the unpleasantness. But as painful as it can be to face our issues, there really can be healing on the other side of it.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    Agreed. I think we see this same conversation in some of our church conversations as well. How much do/should we expect from “the denomination” Not easy, but a conversation well-worth having.

  • http://www.facebook.com/afdavis1 Andrew Foster Davis

    I’d like to challenge my liberal friends for us to build our own institutions and rely less on government funding to meet our objectives. Instead of trying to use the law to manage conservative institutions, let’s create our own. What if PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, academia, etc., didn’t depend on taxes for funding? What if the ONE campaign were more about addressing global poverty and were less about trying to get voters to get government to addresses poverty? We liberals could learn something about (collective) self-reliance from conservatives.


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