“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” — Winston Churchill
You may or may not know that I am against the amendment to ban gay marriage in the state of North Carolina, my home state.
But I am also against the ugliness, insults and divisiveness that originates from both sides of issues like these. It is misplaced passion and unchecked anger. Neither of which do well to solve America’s deep bench of problems.
I have fallen victim to this misplaced passion and unchecked anger in my own political beliefs just as much as anyone else, so I am writing this to myself as well as all of you.
Here’s the thing.
It makes us feel good to strike out against those we disagree with, to shout out our message and shout down their worth.
But it holds the opposite effect of what most of us truly want to see as an outcome, and that is positive change.
To dismiss the argument against gay marriage as ignorance will not convince anyone to support it.
And to treat someone, whose lifestyle you disagree with, not as an equal, but as someone with fewer rights than you, will never serve as the beacon of humanity most of us would see this country return to.
The liberators of humanity that came before all of us and that have affected positive change that we all benefit from know this. They spoke in firm but measured voices, not with passion against people, but passion for people.
Marriage is a contract between two people.
It is sanctioned by religion and it is sanctioned by government. And has important roles in both of these institutions. As such, both institutions have the right to decide the rules that govern marriage, but not for the other. And all individuals have the right to decide on this issue. As we have all over the country.
Gay marriage has been voted on in states across the country more than any other issue in the past decade. States have decided for themselves. Lawmakers and judges have tried to govern according to what they believe is right. And the voting will likely continue for a decade or more until the supreme court or a constitutional amendment can decide with more (yet still potentially incomplete) finality.
I would ask all of us to consider the humanity of those we so often argue angrily against — and guide our energy, not with anger or disagreement, but instead in the direction of humanity.
In the direction of the benefit of your fellow man.
In the direction of love for all people.
Image source: Bigstock change starts with me