Pride July 4, 2014

We’re going to talk tomorrow some about this SCOTUS decision, because I do have something I’d like to say that I don’t think has been said much yet, but I just wanted to mention this here before I forget.

I’ve mentioned before that I play silly casual games on my smartphone. I’m noticing that every single one of them is featuring something about Pride Day this week–some new rainbow content, or wedding quests, or whatever.

And nobody’s upset about it. Nobody’s freaking out.

Fundagelical leaders, are you seeing this? Are you listening? Are you perceiving? These games are geared toward younger people, though I’ve run into a lot of folks my age who play them. And nobody’s upset or objecting to anything about all this content. I don’t even know if anybody’s even really noticed except to be happy about it. Of course there’s content for Pride Day, just like there’d be content for Christmas or Mother’s Day.

I’m thinking back now to what would have happened had someone planted some nice rainbow flags in the games I loved as a high-school kid (of course, that means late-Atari, early-Nintendo, but still). Back then, any hint or suggestion of what Christians viewed as immorality could generate storms of controversy. Just becoming an unrepentant single mother on a TV show, like the popular character Murphy Brown did on the show of the same name, could get a network in trouble. Not long after I’d left fundamentalism, preachers freaked out over just the suggestion that a largely-asexual children’s TV show character, Tinky Winky from the preschool-geared “Teletubbies,” might be something other than heterosexual. I mean, this was some serious stuff and I’m sure that TV producers lived in fear of infuriating or horrifying the Religious Right, which was then called the Moral Majority.

When the Sims’ first game included the ability to make same-sex couples in 1999, it was huge news at the time, but now it’s just part of the routine. We’ll talk about it in more detail soon, since I played the original Sims quite a bit, but for now, just suffice to say that it was a huge, shocking development to a lot of folks–and a very welcome one to quite a few others.

After the deluge, the flood, as they say. And now… now I’m looking at these new games and realizing that every one of them is offering, without a hint of self-consciousness or fear, with only happiness and joy, content and updates congratulating LGBTQ folks and supporting them in their struggles for equality.

Fundagelical leaders, I ask again: are you seeing this? These games are filled with your youth. I see Christian messages running back and forth between them all the time on these players’ walls. They quote Bible verses at each other. They offer up prayers and prayer requests between themselves. And not a single one of them has said a single word about not liking these updates. Not a single one, not a single word. In the same way, I’ve been noticing that these games tend to be fairly gender- and race-inclusive too, all things considered.

Young people are overwhelmingly supportive of equality for all people no matter their orientation or gender. I did know that. I’ve known that for a long time now.

I just didn’t quite realize what that supportiveness looked like till today.

I don’t even know what to say. I’m both awed and humbled at the realization of how far we’ve come as a culture. There’s still a distance to go, but I had no idea how far we’d already come.

I wonder how much of this new world Christian leaders can perceive and understand.

I get that being bigoted is the star these folks have hitched their wagon to. I get that they genuinely think that they’re standing firm against the evil legions of Satan or whatever force it is that they think is behind civil rights and progress. I get that they’re terrified that their “loving” god is going to kill everybody for the sin of letting people get formal, government recognition for their love and devotion to each other.

But at the same time I wonder just how serious they are about this crusade they’re on. I wonder if they’re really willing to ride this fail train all the way down to the inevitable collision with reality, or if they’re just playing a huge game of “chicken” with LGBTQ people’s love and spirits and lives–if they’ll leap off the doomed beast before the last second and amend their ways, sullenly and with great anger perhaps, but all the same amend them, or let themselves crash. It is clear that their bigotry is already costing them quite a few adherents, but I don’t think they’ve cared much until recently; it’s been looking to me like they’re happily cleaning house and pushing away anybody who isn’t ideologically pure enough to be part of their tribe. Their efforts have been restricted to trying to gaslight their people into using their own definitions of the word “love”–trying to convince their followers that what they’re doing is really actually loving rather than abusive and evil. It’s not working, like at all, but that’s what I’ve been seeing.

Now though I can see the full blazing glory of the reality of where young people’s minds are at. Once again I’m filled with hope for the future and confidence that our young people will be okay and take us in the generally right direction.

I just wonder how much of this fundagelical leaders are seeing. Actually, I guess I don’t wonder much at all. I know they aren’t seeing much of it. There’s a whole big wide world out there full of surprises and wonderful things as we all progress along the great river of life, and if you’re busy trying to control everybody on the ship and make them look eyes front, then it’s going to be a lot harder to see what’s happening on the riverbanks.

Sims1_KissNot shown: Anything weird or immoral or not okay.

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