Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bigger Than We Are

Feeling tired tonight; yesterday was such a heady experience, I think the expenditure of all the emotion was exhausting. I am happy at the outcome of the election for president, as well as for all the local elections in my town and state.

That said, it was a difficult day for the LGBTQ community. That is, perhaps, an understatement. I read a comment thread on FranIAm's blog that broke my heart, followed by an anguished post at Friends of Jake.

The issue, of course, is the success of the three ballot measures prohibiting same sex marriage, California Prop 8, in particular. This was funded by millions and millions of dollars from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and the Roman Catholic Church, as well as other conservative religious groups. (The post above makes the excellent point that these organizations are able to use the tax-exempt donations given to them to apply pressure to the political process, which seems as if it should be illegal.)

I will say here what I said in the comment at Friends of Jake. I believe we can defeat the forces of bigotry and hatred. It is going to take time, that's all. That may be cold comfort to the thousands of couples whose marriages may be rendered invalid by the courts. I realize that.

But the arc of history is towards greater and greater freedom. By the time my children and the generation they represent take the leadership of this country, this kind of codified discrimination will pass away, like dry, dead leaves blowing away in an autumn wind. We will win this fight. I have absolutely no doubt.

I read a book years ago about monastic life. A middle-aged nun was interviewed about the founding of a new monastery. How long did she think it would take until they knew whether the monastery was a success... that it would last, endure? Oh, about fifty years, she said. Fifty years! cried her interviewer. But, he sputtered, you'll be dead by then. She smiled. She said, The only things worth working for are the things that are bigger than we are.

This is one of those things. This is far bigger than any individual or even any couple. The rights of LGBTQ people are worth fighting for. They are worth spending our lives to bring to fruition, even if we don't get to be around to walk into that promised land with our sisters and brothers. It will happen. I believe that with all my heart.

5 comments:

John Shuck said...

Bless you. Thanks.

Sara said...

We will continue for our children. We just need to continue to counter hatred with love. It's definitely not over!

LittleMary said...

yes, it is bigger, indeed. and yet. so. so. painful.

Songbird said...

It can't be over. We went through something similar in Maine on an anti-discrimination issue. The legislature passed new laws three times, and each time it went to a repeal referendum. The third time was the charm. Hang in there, I believe we will get there, just sorry it's taking so long!

Jan said...

I agree with John--bless you. It's hard to be waiting and waiting.