Growing up I was told (though not often) that people shouldn't talk about religion or politics in public. The bad thing about this is that lately I've been getting into politics and I've been an obsessed Christian about 20 years now. It's pretty hard not to break the rules. I try in certain circumstances not to bring either up, but if it comes up I feel obligated to speak.
I have few reasons for this. One is that I'm blue (a democrat) in a red (republican) state. People assume that everyone thinks the way Fox News (Faux news) likes to portray them as thinking. If I shut up all the time, people assume they're all alone in the world. One is the loneliest number. If things are ever going to change, if we're even going to squeak back into the middle of the road around here, people have to speak up. Right now we have a moron state representative in Edmond wanting to ban all marriage to avoid recognizing same sex unions. We have to quit electing people like that. Period. I am not going to even mention Sally Kern. The problem is that people who think the way my friends and I do, don't have time for keeping up with state politics. They have jobs. Unlike me they have families. Problem is, if they continue to shut up, people gonna elect stupid people.
The other thing I do that irritates people is talking about religion or religion coupled with things that offend their version of my religion. Believe it or not, I do censor myself around certain people. I just don't do it entirely. Why? Too many teenagers in Enid commit suicide because they're gay, their family's religion is intolerant of their kid's orientation and they don't get parental support. The only way to change attitudes about such things is to talk about them. Is it going to irritate people when you disagree with them? YES. Do things those people say and talk about and believe irritate me too? YES. Do I ask them to shut up about it? No.
Why? Why can't I go along to get along? Why can't I censor myself constantly? I'll tell you why. I've had too many people look me in the eye (or at the floor) and tell me God hates them because they're gay. Over and over and over again. God doesn't love me. God doesn't want me. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed but nothing changed. Here's a secret: One dead kid from this is one dead kid too many. You know what teenagers die from? Suicide. You want to know what God's call on my life is? To stop shutting up. To quit hiding in the shadows. To quit hiding the truth because it might freak someone's parents out.
I get that some folks think I'm wrong and that they think it's dangerous and wrong to be as easy and accepting as I am of the varying ways my friends experience love or attraction. I understand that. I get it. But there's a thing called responsible parenting and you need to do it. You can't hide everything in the world from your children. You don't have to explain sex to them at age six. Keep it simple and don't be stupid. Don't over think it. If you want them to think the way you do, make your case. Make your case like an ADULT. Are you reading this? I'm telling you that if you feel like passing these views on to your offspring, to GO AHEAD and try and make your case. I'm respecting your authority. I'm also having faith that teenagers have brains and occasionally use them.
I'm not going to be quiet. I'm just not. Speaking up is important. This is a moral issue for me and I am not going to run around pretending the people I love don't exist or that it doesn't matter to me because it DOES MATTER. It's part of my life. If you don't like me or you don't like my friends, FINE. I'll get over it. I might cry and sob and pout but I'll get over it. I will not get over dead kids. I will not get over my oldest friend looking me in the eye and telling me she couldn't believe that God could love her the way she was. I will not get over my friend getting driven out of the Church by cruel people and dying a Buddhist because he was rejected so thoroughly by a priest. I will not get over that. I won't. I won't because it's not right. One dead kid is one dead kid too many. Don't believe me? Scroll through last year's obituaries. Too many kids. Too young. Not sick. Too many dead kids.
No one has a right not to hear about things that offend them. I don't care if you're six or sixty. No one is exempt. I'm including myself in that.