It’s again a time of transition. Blazing bright yellow-sunned days are giving way to cool golden yellow-sunned mornings with the ground covered in dew. While we can cry for the loss of summer, it’s inevitable that months of cold are in front of us.
As I write this, I am preparing to attend several days of the World Congress of Families in our fair city. We’ve known this was coming for a long time and we are braced for what will happen there.
My feeling is that these people are coming to terms with the fact that the world is changing on them. While they can cry for the loss of their power over our community, it’s inevitable that the days of acceptance are in front of them.
I believe that the longer we puff our chests to engage them in their hate, the longer it will be before they come to this realization. I believe the way to engage them is in a loving way, much like a mother coaxes and comforts a child on their way to a bath.
The tools of social media are bringing out some of the worst behaviors our society is made to endure. Passive aggression, embellishments and outright lies are spread to bolster our “side.” The anonymity of a keyboard and screen bereft of the physical face of your “foes” and their reaction polarizes and removes compassion from the argument.
When Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was refusing to issue marriage licenses because of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, the response wasn’t a rush to help her understand the changes in the world, it was to crush her. People went after her appearance, the way she dressed, her divorces, her “hick” husband, her “wacky” beliefs. The bullied became the bullies.
In turn, her supporters turned and pointed a finger at the ugliness spewed at her and made her a martyr for her cause. A poster child for the uncompassionate demanding compassion. There was enough grain of truth in what they said that the argument had legs and has become their new battle cry.
I remember reading a story many years ago where it was asked why all protesters were so unattractive. Of course, as a protester, I protested. But I pondered on it and came to the conclusion that it is difficult to look good with a face contorted in rage.
As WCF9 attendees come to our state, it will be interesting to see what faces representing “our side” will make it on the airwaves. Will it be an anger-wrenched face of hate, or will it be a compassionate face of understanding? Understanding that these people are grasping a past that is slipping through their hands.
Our country has changed and love has won. As we condemn those with religious beliefs who have shown little compassion from the pulpits, we should be condemned if we show little compassion from the streets.
This is how we can ensure love wins across the globe. Q