So this month, a few things happened:

The SCOTUS effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide. The response from the religious right has been predictable, with Christians dragging their tails and moping around, with cries that they are “deeply saddened”, perhaps not realizing that everyone knows that “deeply saddened” and “hate the sin, love the sinner” are code phrases for “we vehemently hate homosexual people”.

Also, a man opened fire in a church in Charleston, South Carolina – a bastion of support for civil rights, as you know – and killed nine people. Photos surfaced of him posing with the flag of the Confederate States of America, at which point gun lurvin’ redneck good ol’ boys made sure that sales of the flag shot through the roof. Because that symbol of racism and oppression should fly proudly o’er every home in the south.

And I am really struggling with some thoughts here. Obviously, there are two different ways one can respond to events like this. As someone who considers himself a Bernie Sanders / Elizabeth Warren progressive, I obviously disagree with the way many people are reacting to these events, and many of these people are in my life in some significant way. And the choice is to either continue to engage with people who hold views that I consider abhorrent, backward, and – frankly – evil, or I can stand alone in my tower of moral superiority, cut off contact with people who I think are dead wrong, and make new contacts in my life.

What is the right thing to do? Should I try to change minds, or should I accept that that happens with such infrequency that to imagine that I could actually have an effect would be foolish…at best?

I don’t know. Obviously Girlbert has her opinions, and I have mine. I think there’s a point at which someone’s ideology becomes so repulsive, so offensive, that I can’t associate with them anymore. But I don’t know where that line is. I suppose I just have to decide.

Exit, stage left.

Leave a Comment