Sunday, June 12, 2016

A sobering addendum

I just posted my weekly blog that talked - per the usual - about our recent days. It included a bit about Indy Pride and I was remiss in sharing this story, which, in light of #Orlando, I wish I'd been smart enough to share in the first place.

We were walking out of the festival portion of the day and dripping with parade sweat when we noticed the two men with microphones advising the crowd to "repent or perish."

Those are words I grew up with in my Pentecostal family. Sin was going to get you if you weren't on the straight and narrow 24/7 but that was harder than putting a camel through the eye of a needle. Hell, even God's chosen people couldn't make it through the rigors of the faith.

At 7 or 10 or 13, the fire and brimstone terrified me. As I got older, I started to question it, but I'll admit that even today, I wonder if I'm doomed. But yesterday, as Alison complained about why those men were allowed to spew their hate speech to people we had literally rubbed elbows and shared laughter and fun with.
"But why can they just stand there and say that stuff?" she asked.

So we talked for a long time about free expression and the need to respect people for their true faith - especially when we don't share their faith or beliefs. She didn't like it, but she's thinking hard about it.
It's hard for my kid to understand how a person of one faith can hate someone simply for not sharing their beliefs. I'm kind of proud of that.

We're all horrified by what happened in Orlando. My friend Jim Donovan reported from Philadelphia where the gay pride folks shared a field with a Pentecostal conference. Peacefully.  Can you imagine the amount of love in that grassy area?  

Let's find more of that. And let's support lawmakers who actually fight for sane gun regulation instead of issuing platitudes and empty prayers to the communities that suffer because of the insane laws they help pass. 

If you're a sitting lawmaker who voted to let people buy assault rifles without background checks, I hope you understand now what you did. And I hope you can see why you were wrong. As to why we need assault rifles in the first place? Clearly we don't. How can we not see that?


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