In other sad news, divorce continues to hurt children. Now, it’s not just “straight” divorce. Yesterday I read that Glee star Jane Lynch and her wife Lara Embry are filing for divorce; leaving two kids with only one parent. Again. Remember that argument, straight people ruined the sanctity of marriage with divorce before LGBTs ever had a chance. Humanity seems to always have a way to quickly catch up with itself.
Then in Florida, an eighteen year old girl was charged with statutory rape because of her relationship with a fourteen year old… girl. The eighteen year old’s parents are calling foul based on their daughter’s sexual orientation. No, it’s got nothing to do with their daughter’s sexual orientation. It has everything to do with her age. And the law.
I am not pointing out these recent examples to make fun of anyone. Nor am I attempting to make a political statement. Why I bring them up is that we all live in a new world–a new world that needs new categories and new engagement with our new reality.
Victims can’t play the victim card when they have been at the top of the power structure for hundreds of years (white, straight, conservative Christians) and are no longer in that position. Victims also can’t play the victim card when they gain what they have been fighting for and then don’t like the consequences (LGBTs and equality). **I am not suggesting that every white, straight, conservative Christian, or every LGBT fighting for equality, plays the victim card. There is nuance to all of this.
The greatest problem for united progress will be if both of these groups continue living in false models of their own ideal situations. The “ideal” I’m talking about is one that is not based in reality. It is based in what one wants to see happen and pretends it is happening when reality says it’s not. This is why I believe people get so surprised when things don’t go their way–the surprise comes from one’s ideal being shattered into reality. If we can learn to function in reality there will be no (or, at least much less) surprise when one’s not-yet-best-case-scenario (culturally, politically or religiously) doesn’t actually work out.
I obviously believe that is what The Marin Foundation is here for. But also, dear friend Jonathan Rauch is on the founding team of the Institute for American Values. They are working towards a new conversation on marriage and values–one that is not based in an ideal world of either traditional marriage or same-sex marriage. Rather, it is one based in the reality that there are both in our country, and there are children that will be deeply affected either way. It is my belief that raising a new generation based on love instead of the culture wars is the only hope for our country’s ability to reclaim a civil engagement with that which tears us apart.
There will never be unity in belief.
So the question becomes, what do we do with the strong differences in belief?
My answer? Not to try and force people into believing or voting in only one way. That’s for darn sure.
Rather, that we must work with our strongly held differences to create a more solidified country impenetrably based on the fabric of the freedom of choice–that one can live into their belief and have it protected as a baseline American right. From that, we can start viewing our differences not as enemies but as people who are a needed part of what makes our country work.