Monthly Archives: June 2015
What do we consider a hero? It’s been a point of contention lately with the publicity of Caitlyn’s transition from Bruce (Jenner, obviously). With pictures like the ones below circulating on social media, I feel I must weigh-in.
So, the first thing that I want to put out there is the definition of a hero. From Dictionary.com:
1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal:
Besides the peculiar use of masculine pronouns we can look into the actions that define being a hero.
Admired for a brave deed.
Is regarded as a model or ideal.
This is the Vanity Fair article, I would really encourage you to read it. Especially those of you who are against the idea that Caitlyn’s transition is real and should be respected. The decision to make the transition from one gender to another must be a hard one to make; the decision to make that transition publicly must be even more arduous.
I’m doing it to help my soul and help other people.
Everyone goes through difficulties in life. Someone who publicizes their struggles for the benefit of others should be recognized for their bravery. Perhaps even with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Think about the last really difficult thing you went through, let’s say you are a public figure and just imagine the intimate questions you would have to answer because the world feels entitled to an answer. Not only that but whatever you are going through someone, somewhere, has gone through it before and someone, somewhere will go through it in the future. Being the person who publicly faces these challenges for the sake of others could even be called a noble quality.
Those more right-leaning of my readers are unlikely to know the struggle that is faced daily in the LGBT (whatever extra letters you want to add) community. Even though we aren’t all, strictly speaking, a member of the community, my left leaning friends and family understand that the LGBT community needs those people who can make their struggle public to make the path less intimidating for future members. In fact making that public stance would probably make that person some sort of model or ideal to look to.
So, yes, I agree that Caitlyn is deserving of the title hero.
I don’t know how I did it but I came upon an almost year old post by an old acquaintance which happened to be a response to this post by an unacquainted third-party. This is my response to each in turn. My initial comments are directed at the unacquainted one or to anyone who holds similar views. Just in case the links don’t work I’ve posted them below.
Original Post: http://brianhblack.blogspot.com/2014/04/an-honest-concern.html?spref=bl
Witzlaw’s Response: http://blog.witzlaw.com/2014/04/reblog-raised-brow-tech-honest-concern.html
I was brought to your blog randomly (and, yes, a year late) but I must make a few comments about what you have written. I am admittedly much less pithy with my comments than you and for that I’m sorry. First and foremost about this meme and the following quote:
“What leaves me laying awake at night is that people can force repercussions on someone for their beliefs, totally contradicting the first Amendment of the Constitution.”
In reading this quote I am forced to assume that you aren’t aware that the Constitution is a restriction on the actions of the government only. The Bill of Rights offers specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government. The Freedom of Speech says only that you can’t be prosecuted by the government for your speech, it says nothing about the backlash you can receive from its citizens.
The Free Exercise Clause guarantees a person’s right to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wants, and to freely exercise that belief. Since when did exercising a belief mean that someone else couldn’t have the same rights as you? Your belief is that homosexuality is wrong and you shouldn’t marry someone of the same gender, the free exercise of your belief isn’t being hindered; Believe it, but you can’t force your belief system on everyone else. The only way your right to free exercise would be dampened would be if the government said that you could only marry someone of the same gender (just so you know, I would be against that position as strongly as I am against yours). Being unable to force everyone to follow your belief system isn’t persecution.
“I understand the hate, the fact that we are closing an option for them.”
I don’t think you understand the hate completely. Most of the ire that is directed at the religious is based on the religious person’s stance that their belief is more important than everyone having the same rights. Believing, in your head or heart, that a homosexual person is sinning is very much different from taking actions against that person. Whether it be refusing service or publicly harassing/demeaning them.
I wonder what your position on race relations is. Some very similar statements to those you are making about sexuality were not too long ago made about race. I’m not saying that you are a racist, I want you to think about how hard people fought against desegregation and interracial marriage and now it isn’t even a thought in our mind (most of us at least). Marriage equality will be accepted in the future, don’t be one of those protesters everyone sees pictures of in the history books!
“Three years of late night programming and frustration may go to waste if employers start to reject potential leaders on the basis of what they believe.”
“As soon as someone takes a stance against gay marriage, you may as well quit your job.”
This could very well have been a legitimate fear decades ago but there are restrictions (laws) put in place to keep an individual safe from faith-based discrimination in the work place. Thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you can not lose your job because of your faith/belief; religion is a protected class. You can however lose your job if your actions bring the company into a negative light. It is then no longer about your faith, it is about your actions. In most jobs you are acting as an extension of the company and as such you are acting as that company, quite like in John 15:2, if you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to you get cut out. Religious belief has very little to do with most careers and shouldn’t even be brought up, especially yours unless you are currently coding for some church.
“It is an opinion and a belief that I hold to be true from God Almighty. It won’t affect how I work in a position at a company.”
What if your company was contracted to program something for a gay person? Would it then affect (it’s affect, by the way) your work? If not, good for you! I hope it wouldn’t, as it very well shouldn’t. What if you said you couldn’t or wouldn’t do the work because of that belief, do you think you should be kept on at that company? How could your belief that you personally shouldn’t be homosexual or marry someone of the same gender have ANY impact on the quality of work you would/could do for a client? Why would their sexuality even come into play/question?
Hopefully you say ‘it doesn’t, it wouldn’t affect my work’, again I say kudos, why then would their being able to get married possibly affect your belief system?
It is well-known, perhaps more so than Mormons against gays, that Jehovah’s Witnesses are bound to not receive into their body that which isn’t from their body; most notably no blood transfusions. This is a religious belief that they hold dear and will fight to be able to keep, but what is different in this scenario is that they aren’t out in the public arena denigrating those people who have had a transfusion, they aren’t attempting to pass legislation to make it illegal for people who don’t hold the belief to abide by it, they aren’t screaming “persecution” because someone disagrees with them.
Those who want to ban marriage equality must admit that it isn’t about their beliefs being attacked, it’s about attempting to make everyone see things the way they do. Why not hold your belief about homosexuality like the JWs hold their belief about transfusions; Think it’s wrong, don’t do it yourself, but it’s none of your damn business if someone else does it as long as they aren’t forcing you to do it.
Lastly, and possibly annoyingly, you could do with some spell and grammar check, specifically, change the “effect my carrier” to ‘affect my career’ as I assume that’s what was meant.
And now I switch my commentary to Witzlaw’s post.
I don’t see this as being very far removed from posting the Family Proclamation (which, incidentally, I’m going to do here), in a public forum, such as my own timeline on Facebook, in my own blog, or over on Twitter.
Actually, it is a bit different. You aren’t the CEO of an internationally recognized company. Also a financial contribution (however small compared to his salary) is a bit more meaningful and has more grip than posting the Proclamation to your personal Facebook wall. What’s that saying… “Actions speak louder than words”.
The last General Conference was, I thought, pretty emphatic about the need to respect others, but doing so does not require that one adopts the views or orthodoxy of the person(s) with whom you disagree. In my mind, it means that one acknowledges the differences, agrees to disagree on those points, and then move on.
This is the best thing I’ve seen you write but I wonder if you see any hypocrisy. In not simply holding your belief but attempting to make marriage equality illegal the protesters are trying to make everyone “adopt the view” that homosexuality is wrong. I said it above and I’m sure you read it but I’ll ask again; Why not be like the Jehovah’s Witnesses are with transfusion? Respect and “acknowledge the differences”, “agree to disagree”, don’t require others to adopt your view, and “move on”.
I don’t know much about you Sander but I think you are in law, as part of that I assume that you very well know the laws about the EEOC and protected classes. I must confess that I was a little stunned that you didn’t say anything about these things when you responded. At the very least you could have reassured this person that their job wasn’t in limbo.
I will leave you with a quote routinely attributed to Paul Mattingly (I know it isn’t actually his, it’s a joke from the Ice Cream Social Podcast).
“You have the right to be offended, you don’t have the right to not be offended.”