I’m not exactly a shy person.
I’m not someone who will hang at the back of the crowd and pray madly that they are not picked to go up on stage and help hand out the awards. Oh, I’m not a spotlight searcher, but if there is a message to get across to the crowd, I will shout it out. If there is a job to be done, I will do it. If someone needs something read out, as long as it’s not my own work, I can read it.
I will approach the stranger in our midst and strike up the conversation. I can (if needs be) enter the crowd and find someone to chat with.
I’m also one of these people who doesn’t stand back when something needs to be done. Recently I went to a play, and while walking down the steps at intermission, an elderly lady fell and bumped her head. She was at least three people behind me, so I stopped to make sure that she was okay. She was with other people, and after two minutes of watching people just gather around and look, I grabbed my bag of tissues from my handbag, and approached the lady. She was around 70-80 years old, and was still lying face first on the floor. I spoke with her, checked for bleeding, asked her where it hurt, checked she didn’t have any injuries apart from the bump on her head, then asked her if she thought she could stand. The poor dear was very shaken. Some paramedics arrived five minutes later and convinced her to go and get the bump checked out, but the point is I don’t stand back and allow things to happen in front of me.
So today, at my son’s football game, when a group of five 8-year-olds all began chanting at each other, “You’re gay” – “No, you’re so gay”, I immediately turned around and put a stop to it. I reminded the boys that it was being derogatory and that the club would suspend them if they heard them use those words in that manner.
Oh, I could’ve launched into a huge speech about what the word really means, sexual orientation, name calling, political correctness, and how gay people can do anything they like, but in the end, these were a bunch of boys who probably wouldn’t listen to my impassioned speech, even if they understood it. So the threat of suspension worked to stop it (along with a stern frown from an adult), and hopefully in a couple of years, they will come to understand it.
I’m a firm believer in that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. For years I was put down by my family for “being too loud” and for being too forward, and in fact, I still am today. My family and other people like to make jokes about me, which makes me feel awful. As a child I was on the debating team and made the lead in most of the musicals the school put on. My family didn’t want me to do it, and tried to talk me out of it. As an adult, I can see that it was their own insecurities coming through – they loved me and didn’t want me to be embarrassed, like they would be at having to stand up on stage – but as a child, it was confusing.
It took me a while to appreciate the skills that other people have, that I don’t. I was in my early 20’s and attended a course that classified people’s personalities, and then explained the strengths (and weaknesses) of each one. I still remember that course. People were categorised and likened to a bird. Each person had their dominant personality, and their secondary. The birds were:
Eagle = strong personality, loud, high energy, movers and shakers
Peacock = showy personality, can be loud, high energy, usually sales people
Owl = “plodder” personality, quiet energy, likes rules, doesn’t get flustered
Dove = supportive personality, quiet energy, doesn’t volunteer, people-focused
Yeah – I was an eagle. I have a high energy, strong personality and I get in to the ruckus. Eagles also have a habit of being impatient, steamrollering over others, and crashing unexpectedly.
(See the full explanations here).
Which is why I can’t stand around and let people mouth off against gay marriage “because of their religion.” For those who don’t know, we don’t have same-sex marriage in Australia. Yet. I heard recently that 72% of Australians support same-sex marriage. It’s a big thing in our media this month – especially with the Ireland referendum.
Just this week a news article came out about a Catholic school giving out pamphlets at their school assembly condemning same-sex marriage. The mother of one of the students was horrified, and very rightly so. Especially since her older son is gay.
Today, the Catholic Archbishop of Perth released an article. One that is obviously aimed at “damage control” and at pushing forward the Catholic Church’s view on same-sex marriage.
(I wish to point out at this time, that it is the Catholic Church’s view, because not all churches in Perth and Australia follow this view. I know, for example, my church has pushed for same-sex marriage for three years in a row at their yearly synod, and has been vetoed each time by the Archbishop.)
The article in today’s news quotes the Catholic Archbishop Timothy Costelloe as saying it is “unworthy to suggest that those who argue against the proposed redefinition of marriage are homophobic, intolerant or in some way lacking intellectual depth.” And he also says, “It is unfair to suggest that they (opponents to same-sex marriage) are trying to force their views on others.”
Whoa. Hold it!
You can write it in any article, preach it at any sermon and make it pretty however you want, but handing out pamphlets to school children saying that same-sex marriage is bad, and not presenting any other side of the argument, is pretty much the definition of forcing your view on others. And, I’m sorry, but grouping a section of the community based on their sexual orientation, and then condemning them for it is classic homophobia.
He considers that the church and those against gay marriage are not intolerant? Who is it that is crying out, “We will not tolerate this behaviour”?
Oh, and then he comes out with the old one that marriage between a man and a woman is better for the children.
**Renae bashes her forehead against the desk**
Tell me, has anyone thought to ask the children?
I mean, if the only leg the Catholic Church has to stand on to oppose same-sex marriage is that children will be better in a marriage where there are two opposite gender parents, then it’s a rather shaky leg. I can think of hundreds of items that are more detrimental to a child’s physical and mental health, yet the Catholic Church isn’t handing out pamphlets about them.
As far as I’m concerned, the very earliest marriages listed in the bible were about property, not children. If you’re using the bible as a platform, make sure your platform is flat. Stable. Solid. You know? Like how marriage should be between two loving people?
So I will vocally tell ABp Costelloe that while I faithfully believe in Jesus, I will also faithfully open my heart to the teachings of him. I wonder if ABp Costelloe remembers some of the stories in the bible, where Jesus, a young man hardly old enough to be separated from his parents, went to the temple and showed the priests that although they knew the teachings, they were not following the word of God. I wonder if ABp Costelloe feels a little uncomfortable when reading those verses in the bible?
If Jesus was around these days, he would be overturning tables in the church. How dare these people take the love of God and apply it to only the small portion of the world that they want? Everyone is included at God’s table.