LIKE if you agree. SHARE if you…uhh…I’m already confused.

So has anyone heard any big news lately? Of course I’m referring to Taylor Swift’s decision to let Apple sell her new album after all.

Oh wait, SCOTUS. You can’t turn three degrees in either direction without hearing about the Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriage. I would imagine “SCOTUS” was the #1 Google search this week. “Oh, now I get it. That stands for Supreme Court…I’m an expert! Now to post on Facebook regarding my newfound knowledge.”

My Facebook world is full of people from the extreme sides of the issue. Facebook needs a compressor function. From what I understand from my friends who record audio, compression basically takes away the extreme highs and lows and leaves you with more of the middle ground material. The meat and potatoes but nothing too extreme in either direction.

If I could click on a “Compress Facebook” button before browsing Facebook, maybe things would be a little easier to average. But the way it is, I feel like I’m on a roller coaster when one person shows a picture of themselves vomiting in disgust and the next person’s thumbnail picture has that rainbow overlay on it and “Proud to be from the U.S!” as though they had briefly considered Australia.

Some people say everything up to but not exactly including, “I hate gay people.” They certainly make it clear how homosexuals turn their stomach, ruin their life, make their heterosexual marriage meaningless and destroy the planet. Their rants usually include the phrase “slippery slope”. They apparently own marriage. I don’t remember exactly but I think the idea of marriage is around 4,000 years old. I don’t think anyone cares about their marriage or is attempting to take anything away from them. Maybe they should spend their time working on their own marriage instead of worrying about anyone else’s.

Take, for instance, Donald Trump. He could end up running our country (Dear God, no…but he does have a lot of money which means he’s instantly “qualified”) and he “believes in traditional marriage.” He likes it so much, he’s done it three times. Possibly four by the time you are reading this.

Anyone (like these people) who thinks any two people getting married or not getting married has any bearing on their marriage must be unbearably egocentric. I’m not sure “egocentric” is the right word. Whatever word is defined as “a person who thinks the world revolves around them and everything happens because of them.” I can’t think of the right word. If you think of it, just put it in the above sentence.

My favorite line in the article above is when he says, “My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognize the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes…” You know what? No one cares. Who cares what he thinks? That is like me saying, “I refuse to recognize taxes as something that exist.” It makes no difference what I think about those things. They are still true and one way or the other, I will be paying the taxes I owe each year.

In fact, the fact that I have to pay taxes each year is so undeniably true that my employer actually removes them from my paycheck before I even see it. They, along with other employers who employ millions of people in this country, know beyond any shadow of a doubt that each of us owes taxes, and to be sure they get them, they take them automatically. They are pretty sure we will own taxes on an annual basis.

It’s interesting how until 48 hours ago, no one was posting any of the things that have invaded Facebook in the last 48 hours regarding how their heterosexual marriage and “straightness” are something they take great pride in. Did the very existence of same-sex marriage come into being on Friday? Maybe I missed it Friday when the very first gay couple in Earth’s history was allowed to get married legally.

And probably more importantly, if we wait another 72 or 96 or 129 hours (I guess it doesn’t necessarily have to be a multiple of 24), this will all blow over just like the outrage over gun control and the latest shooting by a teenage boy on antidepressants and the ensuing trillion statuses that used the word “must”. “We MUST have the discussion about mental health and make mental health care more accessible to all because OH WOW LOOK PAT PUT UP PICTURES FROM OUR 20TH REUNION AND MAN LOOK HOW FAT TONY GOT!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS…” and off we go into something else.

And by the time we’re done looking through that photo album, reminiscing and trying to figure out how we got down that particular rabbit hole, tending to kids who “interrupt” (when really shouldn’t we have just been taking care of them to begin with because who cares about the classmates you never liked anyway?) and going to work for eight hours after sleeping for eight hours, we don’t really care much anymore about the latest mass shooting or whatever. I’ve heard this is called “disaster fatigue”, where you just get tired of hearing about tornado victims, etc and have to shut it off. And it’s hard to shut off that part of your brain that makes you feel like a kid again, reminding you of when life was simpler … Dude, I just can’t believe Tony!!!

I would wager everything I own that those I’ve seen put up these “straight pride” signs have never been harassed by anyone because of their straightness. Why? Because these particular people are so against anyone that doesn’t fit their definition of likable material that they wouldn’t be caught in the same county with someone even a little different than themselves. There is no way these people have ever been in a threatening environment due to their straightness. And how often are we truly harassed due to being straight? When are we ever in an environment where there are so many gay people that they feel confident enough to harass the straight people? Anywhere that that many gay people would congregate is certainly not a place our “straight pride” people would be anywhere near.

Considering the fact that a huge majority of people anywhere around my area are straight, on top of the fact that these people (those being “harassed for their straightness”) simply wouldn’t allow themselves to be anywhere near gay people, it’s simply not true that they have been harassed for their straightness. If they had been, what are the chances that these grown adults would react to such a serious act by simply clicking “Share” on an image someone else created on Facebook? Could a person possibly do anything that takes less effort? If they feel threatened or harassed by the fact they know one gay person lives in their town, then I suggest they trade places with that person for a week and learn the true definition of feeling alone and threatened.

I know many gay people, male and female, and I can’t imagine any one of them harassing me or an unknown stranger if a) they were in a room filled entirely with gay people and I or this stranger was the only straight person, b) they knew beyond any shadow of a doubt there would be no consequences for their actions, and c) someone was actually going to pay them a large sum of money to harass me or this stranger. Believe me, I majored in music. I’ve been in places with a much larger than average number of gay males. I’ve never felt threatened in any way.

It simply wouldn’t happen.

Why? Because these are some of the truly nicest people I know. I don’t say that because I feel like I owe them something for all the bull they deal with every day from people treating them horribly, or because I’m trying to find something good about them among “all their flaws”. I’m simply happy that they find something among all my flaws that still makes them want to be my friend. It’s just because they’re good people and they treat me well. It’s because I try to surround myself with people who make me feel good.

All those things eventually equalize and if we don’t get along that well, we gravitate away from each other, no harm done. We all had best friends in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. Most of us probably aren’t best friends with those particular people today. Where did they go? It doesn’t matter. We gravitated apart and we all still have friends and we shouldn’t force the situation to be different than that. So there is a reason I’m still friends with these people after many years.

Quite often, we were friends before I ever knew they were gay. I’m sure they knew because they’ve always been that way, because it’s not a choice they made at some point, although telling us might have been an eventual choice, which we should be grateful for because it means this person knows they can trust us. Gay people are an obvious minority and all you have to do is scroll through Facebook for one minute (at least since Friday which was apparently the day everyone simultaneously developed their opinion regarding a part of humanity that has existed for thousands of years) to realize why a gay person may never want us to know the truth. Would you want to be in such a small minority, particularly one which so many people think is because of a choice you’ve made? At least if you’re tall, black, blonde or Methodist you can say you obviously didn’t have a say in the matter, or it’s because the rest of your family is that way.

So why would I suddenly quit being someone’s friend when they hadn’t changed the way they treated me at all? It makes no sense and is certainly not the way I operate. It’s one thing to quit being friends with someone because they steal from you, or try to sell you drugs, or insult you repeatedly because of your religion. You can forgive people without continuing to spend time with them. But to quit being friends with someone because of who they are when they’re still just as good to me as they’ve always been? That would be my loss entirely.

I was recently talking with someone about how people actually go to Youtube and watch videos of other people playing video games. If you do this, I’m not making fun of you. I just think it’s hilarious that this thing exists. When I was young, I never had a video game system. But my friends had Nintendos, etc. We’d sit and play and eat and drink pop and just melt into a bean bag in a dark basement somewhere to the point where my clothes actually smelled like the basement when I finally arose from the depths to go home. I remember thinking, as a farm kid who was generally outside working, etc, “Wow…that was really lazy of me to sit there for that long. How do people do that all summer and then say it was an awesome summer?”

So recently I was joking around with someone about how the only thing that could possibly be any lazier than playing video games is watching someone else play video games. But video games have become much more interesting since the Contra days, so there is probably more to it that I’m unaware of.

But to just sit and click “Share” on something that someone else created, and then consider yourself passionate about it? I have many friends who “Share” fitness articles, recipes, pictures of themselves post-triathlon, etc and at the very least, they’re actually doing something. Posting one picture can represent something they’ve spent a thousand hours preparing for. Many of my friends are teaching at jazz camps this summer. They post pictures of the “finished product”, some group of high school students they taught for a week. It seems random, but that picture and what they taught those students represents potentially 10’s of thousands of hours of practice and study. And what they do is likely to inspire the students to go home and spend thousands of hours playing their instrument during their lifetime. That is a real achievement.

I “Share” plenty of things about the connections between corporations and monopolies on food, pharmaceuticals and general manipulation of the public, because I find it interesting and it’s undeniably true information. I have friends specifically interested in these topics, so I pass them on.

But it’s hard for me to believe someone is truly being harassed for their “straightness” when their actions following this unbearable act include exactly one mouse click. They can attempt to back their argument up with as many Bible quotes as they wish, but I wonder if it weren’t for scripture, would they be completely at ease with gay people? These people don’t seem to get nearly as worked up about many of the other things the Bible forbids.

And speaking of getting worked up about things. ISIS is murdering people and putting videos of it on the internet. Regardless of who this group is and why the came about (it’s not what you think…), they are killing people because I’ve seen the burning man video. Corporations may soon be able to sue states who believe a state’s actions, regardless of how truthful and valid, are going to hurt corporate profits. Your food is being tinkered with to the point where you have 10 times the chance of getting cancer, all so someone can get a few more gallons of milk from a cow that will soon die because its body can’t handle the chemicals it’s been injected with. Children are still being injected with things containing mercury at a very young age, partly to “protect” them and partly to maintain the status quo of a $30 billion pharmaceutical industry. Some corporate CEOs make 500 or more times the annual income of their employees, who often live at the poverty level. Walmart is holding food drives at Christmas for its own employees because people like Walmart’s heir to the fortune “don’t know what they can do to make a difference.” The greed and ignorance in this country is staggering but some of us don’t want hardworking, quiet, caring, decent people to get married because of something we read in the Bible, while overlooking dozens of things we ourselves do daily.

I don’t personally understand homosexuality, because I’m straight. I also don’t understand being black or short or female, because I’m a tall, white male. I can’t for a second imagine being attracted to one of my male friends. I can’t imagine liking that person so much that I would consider marrying them. It’s because it’s not who I am, in the same way that being like me is not who they are. But I do understand love and the desire to be with someone daily that I care about, and the desire to be loved by someone. Just one person. That’s all they are asking for.

I wouldn’t want to be grilled about why I am the way I am when I didn’t choose to be who I am. I wouldn’t want to be asked why I couldn’t just change my very being.

I wouldn’t know how to answer those questions. Would you?


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