I had some things I would have liked to respectfully discuss with you about Proposition 8, but you couldn't even hear me over your heated rantings and pointed accusations. Thus, my first impression of you was a confirmation of my suspicion that the intolerance I have been repeatedly accused of is actually more pervasive among my opposition. Since you denied me my voice this morning, I will respond to you here.
The first item you took issue with was our sign that says, "Prop 8 = Religious Freedom." You were quite decisive (and loud) in your opinion that marriage has nothing to do with religion. To that I ask, "Who was the first ever recorded marriage?" Oh yes, it was Adam and Eve, married by God. Hmm...nope, definitely not religious. You're right.
The second item out of your mouth was an attempt to "lord" (pun intended) your supposed authority over us by stating your educational record - as if you being a philosophy major and religion minor gives you authority over everyone else in opposition to your views. What? I am ignorant and you are enlightened simply because my degree was in Marriage, Family, and Human Development and not philosophy or religion? I am not allowed to peacefully promote a cause because I don't agree with you? That sounds an awful lot like bigotry to me...yet I'm the one who has been labeled the bigot...over and over and over again.
The third item that offended you was our "supposed" hate speech. Here are the signs we were holding. You tell me if any of them says anything about hate:
Prop 8 = Religious Freedom
Honk if you like Prop 8
Prop 8 = Free Speech
Honk for Prop 8 ... one man and one woman
Prop 8 Protects the Innocence of Children
Prop 8 = Less Government
Prop 8 = Parental Rights
Yes on Prop 8 = one man and on woman
Well, I certainly see no hate in there. Neither are we condemning gay people. WE ARE SIMPLY FIGHTING FOR TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE AS BEING BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. Sadly, in California, "hate speech" laws are becoming more and more subjective. If I say I do not agree with homosexuality, and you decide your feelings are hurt, I could be slapped with a fine for "hate speech." What happened to respectfully disagreeing, Ma'am?!
The last item that I am the one taking issue with, is your very fierce accusation that by having our children at our sign waving this morning, we were effecting child abuse. Yes, my jaw actually dropped when I heard that one. Child abuse? Could you please go and aim some of your "energy" in the direction of real child abusers - I'm sure DCFS could use a "strong" person like you on their team. Then again, they might actually fire you once their cases build up based on false accusations like yours today. I tried to tell you that we are not abusing our children by teaching them to responsibly and respectfully stand up for something they believe in, but you would not listen. Of course not. You talked right over me in your fit of anger and outrage.
You walked away from us this morning, yelling over your shoulder, "What are you so afraid of?!" To that I say, "People like you." I am afraid of people who will not tolerate an opinion other than their own - who steamroll over any opposition to their views. I am afraid of people who act and speak out of anger rather than conviction - whose arguments are presented with accusation and disdain rather than respect. I am afraid of people like the woman who said to me, on another corner at another time, "Who cares what your children are taught in school?" I care. Very much. When parental rights are denied with respect to education, a child's education suddenly becomes a matter of the state rather than the home. What else will that open the door for "the state" to lawfully teach my child in the name of a "well-rounded" education? I am afraid of people who think that I hate homosexuals just because I do not want them to have the word marriage. The implications of that concession are frightening and far-reaching indeed. I am afraid of a society in which whoever yells the loudest gets their way. Suddenly "We, the people of the United States," have become like a crowd of angry, intolerant teenagers, one that the government needs to make allowances for and appease in order to avoid scrutiny and mutiny. I wonder what happened to the democracy that allows for a difference in opinion? I want to know when our government began to rule based on what's fair instead of what is right? When did it become more important that you be elected for another term than that you accurately represent the people who voted you into office? I am afraid for my children and what they will be facing in school and community by the time they are teenagers. And it is that fear, coupled with my religious convictions, that keeps me actively (and peacefully) supporting Proposition 8 day in and day out. In a society plagued by a skewed sense of entitlement, perhaps it will be difficult for you to understand this more accurate representation, my indignant friend - I am entitled to my opinion; I am entitled to share it with others without being called names; and I am entitled to teach my children what is right as I am sure you do with yours. I maintain that I am neither a bigot nor intolerant. I do not hate. I fight fair for what I believe in and I would ask that you do the same.