To demonise or romanticise?

Have you been watching some of the comments that are being made on gay marriage recently?  Many of them come from America, from the far right Republicans who call themselves christians.  The general theme is that if we sanction gay marriage the whole world will go to hell (except for the people who never supported it in the first place – like all good christians, they will be saved)

I’ve been thinking about this over the past few weeks, this need to demonise the “other”, to make it into something evil and perilous and to strike fear into the hearts of the average, white, right-wing fascists in the community.  As there are usually two sides to every story, let’s take a look at the other side – the bleeding hearts who are so keen to not be seen as homophobic that they place gay people on a pedestal, where they worship them as if they are some magical beings

I think we see this kind of thing with most issues that divide people, particularly with issues around culture in our own society, where you have people who are extremely racist and then others who seem to view some cultures as romantic, perfect, pristine examples of the past.  It’s an example of over compensation for the way we feel about these things.

So, what is the middle ground?  Maybe it’s something like acceptance.  The ability to see everyone as a human being, with fears, wants, beliefs and vulnerabilities.  Maybe it’s about being comfortable in our own skin first so that we can accept others on their terms.  It’s a bit like respecting everyone’s right to hold an opinion, whilst not necessarily respecting their actual opinion itself..

There is,of course, a third part to this story – the part where the demonisers and the romanticists get out-of-the-way and let the people themselves tell their story.  My wonderful friend Eliot sent me a link to the story below – it is told so beautifully, from the heart and it cuts to the sobering truth of the matter.

The next time you think about weighing in on a conversation around a sensitive issue, think about the words you read below and consider what value your voice is going to add.

Click here for the story


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. David Bentley
    Apr 14, 2013 @ 22:37:24

    Great blog! How many times throughout history have ‘other people’ been portrayed as ‘the evil enemy’ until; after the war then we suddenly find out that they are just like us? I also find it curious that far-right religious people who claim that their faith is about love and forgiveness and tolerance are the first to condemn others and far left activists, as you point out. are just as strident in pushing their ideas on others with no room for a middle ground or the idea that society has inertia and it takes time for change to occur. Can’t we all just get along?


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