Thursday, August 18, 2011
NOTE TO READER: This blog post is based on judgment on how we judge one another. I use the word fundamentalism to strengthen the blog and how I feel about being judged. The word fundamentalism was the best word I could come up with.
There is nothing like a sign like this to show that something is very wrong with a fundamentalist message. Being gay and vegan, I have experienced fundamentalism on a variety of fronts, sometimes from within these same communities.
I call fundamentalist groups (and/or individuals) "Focus on the Family" groups in reference to the virulent anti-gay group based in Colorado Springs, CO. Agree with us or else. Agree with us as it is the only way. Agree with us because we are right and anyone else who is even in partial disagreement with us is wrong.
I have experienced this all my life.
You are Catholic and because of that you will burn in hell.
You support the wrong animal rights group and because of that you suck.
You're gay? Well you know where you're going.
Why do you spend so much time fighting for marriage equality when you could be fighting for animals that are suffering? (I love this one, from a married, heterosexual person)
You voted for who?
Our animal group is better than that animal group that does the same thing but we do it the right way. (And so you need to support us)
I'm an abolitionist and you just don't get it.
Not supporting the gay rodeo is bs and you are full of ____.
And so on.
I realize that all of these statements would not necessarily be considered "fundamentalist", but you know where I'm going with this. Fundamentalism is alive and well in my communities. And it hurts. Not only is it hurtful to hear those things, yet it hurts these same communities.
I am done with fundamentalism. And I am done with the fundamentalist message. After all, and this is not the first or last time I will say this, I truly believe that we have more in common than not.
At a protest in Norfolk, Virginia at the First Baptist Church I was approached by a couple leaving the church. The protest was calling out the church for paying thousands of dollars for an ad in the Virginian Pilot- Ledger Star that 100% made clear that the church considered homosexuality an abomination (rather than spending that money to feed the homeless). The ad was in response to some members of the Baptist Convention being vague about the stance.
We had a wonderful conversation. All three of us agreed that we all have more in common than not. And these folks had a much better (and honest) perception of a gay person.
Recently, a friend told me that she appreciated how non-judgemental I am in talking about veganism and why I'm vegan. She was grateful that I don't shame or guilt people but rather I educate people.
Regardless of my view points, I do not have to judge you or demonize you if you disagree. Don't worry, I am far from perfect on this. And I check myself. We are all on our own paths.
It is important to talk about the torture of animals, gay rights, free speech, freedom from religion, and why one is vegan. For me, it's important to do all of these things without hate, discontent, horrible words, or judgement.
Fundamentalism hurts. Spread the word.
Thanks for reading my blog post. I am grateful!