On March 27, the evening after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments, you may have noticed a symbol popping up as avatars all over social media: A red box with a pink equal sign signifying solidarity with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's premier gay rights lobbying group.
The red box is a variation on the blue and yellow logo HRC has used for many years.
Those of you with a presence in social media who don't believe in same-sex marriage may want to make your views known as well. I certainly did. Because I didn't want to attach myself to the views of someone prone to saying something I wouldn't want to say (including but not limited to the vile, blasphemous Westboro Baptist Church), I last night decided to create my own symbol for my Twitter account. I hated to part with my tribute to Andrew Breitbart after a year, but felt like I had something else to say.
For people who haven't figured out what I mean by the above graphic: Before you make the definitive statement that marriage of a man and a woman is the equivalent of that of a man and a man or a woman and a woman, pause....and think. Why do you believe that? Is that because this is what you were told by your peers? Or what you've learned from entertainers? Or from your religious leaders? Did teachers, professors, politicians, or self-styled "experts" tell you that you were a mean or cruel person if you thought otherwise? Or did people who love you intimate that you don't really love them unless you accept their point of view on the matter? After all, it seems lately like every other day, a famous person who either was vocally opposed to or silently dismissive of same-sex marriage is coming forward to announce that they are (now that some opinion polls indicate more people approve than disapprove) just okey-dokey with it.
What changed their minds, if in fact their minds were changed? One popular assertion is they say they've observed friends or family who were gay, and that did the trick of changing their perspective. This raises a question: Was their previous stance based mostly on their lack of a personal point of reference rather than their hard-and-fast principles? As of the moment I write this, I can't recall an "evolution" by a public official on same-sex marriage that truly fits the meaning of the word; such actions are more akin to descriptions like "about face," or the dreaded "flip-flop."
I also included the "Fast Forward" symbol to spur debate about what is commonly referred to as "progress" when it comes to issues such as these. People speak of "being on the right side of history" as if that means what happens in the future is necessarily beneficial to the nation on the whole. But as is true with new "miracle" prescription drugs, there is always the potential for unpleasant side effects. For example: when Americans generally let go of the idea that premarital pregnancy was scandalous, one would have been "on the right side of history" to say a couple of decades later, teenage girls with no discernible skill but fertility would be regularly be featured on the cover of fan magazines.
It is my belief that once the Supreme Court door is flung open to same-sex marriage, there is no valid reason why faith-based plural marriage and libertine polygamous marriage wouldn't follow on its heels. Intellectually honest people like George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley -- no right-winger he -- admit this is true, and I blogged about his representation of a reality show polygamist in 2011. So I believe that rather than charge fast forward into exchanging the bedrock of American society for a sinkhole, we all ought to hit the Pause button.
Unfortunately, in between the time I created my animated Breitbart avatar, Twitter prevented new anigifs from being used; I guess I was "grandfathered" in up until the moment I replaced it. So I just went with the "Pause" frame of the .gif, pictured at the top of this page. For you people who would like to use the animated Pause avatar (without my personal logo), it's below.
But -- not so fast.
I don't want the Pause Avatar to become a symbol of attitudes that I find abhorrent. So, for the record: Being its originator and having proffered it for your use, if you choose to use it, you agree with me in principle that:
- Pejoratives reasonably accepted as offensive in debates such as this are counterproductive;
- All of us are sinners who are in need of redemption;
- No mortal individual can stand in the place of the Almighty and say who is irredeemable and who is not;
- Nobody ought to be threatened simply for expressing their opinion on the internet, and...
- The people who do that sort of thing are jerks.
Everybody got that? Good. Here it is.
Let me know what you (and your friends) think about it.
(Edited for clarity).