Friday, July 14, 2006

Is nothing private any more?

Sharon, who blogs at Clairity's Journal in Duluth, explores modern relationships today and muses on why it is that we are expected to whole-heartedly accept any changes in the behavior or relationships of friends and relatives.

She didn't use the word, but I will; am I automatically a bigot if I don't approve of what you are doing, no matter what it is? Do I really need to know some things? Must I change if someone new moves in down the street? I really don't know.

If you realize you are "gay", why is it that you must tell everybody about your "coming out?" Do heterosexual couples discuss their sexual relationships in front of their friends? Wouldn't it be possible for you to live your "gay" lifestyle and not tell your family and friends about it? Or is "gayness" the only important thing about you?

I noticed the other day an activist for an ethnic group that has recently migrated to Minnesota complained that he found that Minnesotans were not very "welcoming."

Why is it that we should be welcoming? Most of us have few friends that we see regularly. And most of them are often relatives. Some of us have very few friends and don't see them much at all. Is it our responsibility that we learn the language of newcomers and invite them over for "Welcome to your new home" parties?
When our ancestors arrived here, did the locals immediately grab Polish or Finnish or German dictionaries to ease the transition for the new neighbors?

[snip] There's this trend I've noticed intensifying in our society, and I see it on many levels, although the demands of homosexuals for recognition are a prime example. The aim is for a person to make a public manifesto, primarily about their living arrangements, and to invite others to recognize and even praise it and equate it with the social institution of marriage in all its original stability.
Sometimes friends demand of other friends that they "accept" some situation of theirs. "If you don't accept this about me, then you don't accept me." Instead it is the one who demands who puts a limit on the relationship by taking the friend's freedom captive, a freedom which includes love, forgiveness, and even judgment (not condemnation) which stays open to the friend.
At a wedding I attended recently, the couple married longest were presented with the bride's bouquet. It was such a touching gesture, and yet for some, absurdly, perceived as a slap in the face. But why can't we honor something beautiful even if because of different kinds of sadness in the world it isn't always so. It seems we've lost the graciousness to do so. [snip] Read More

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