Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Show me how big your brave is....

Just in case you don't understand where that title came from, you should listen to this song. I'll wait.

Brave by Sara Bareilles on Grooveshark

I'm a big fan of Sara Bareilles and I fell in love with "Brave" even before I knew the significance of it. She co-wrote it after seeing a friend's struggles with coming out. Her goal was for the song to get radio airplay. Not only did she accomplish that, but she earned a Grammy nomination in the process. Her co-writer, Jack Antonoff (from the band fun.) calls the song a "civil rights anthem" for our time. Incidentally, I sang it at karaoke last night.

OK, hang on, because shit's about to get real.

Version of the quote by Martin Niemöller, photo from the
Holocaust memorial in Boston

I am not comparing Holocaust victims to blacks in 1960s America to post-9/11 Muslims to LGBTs today or any other persecuted group of people, but you'd better believe there are similarities.  I have experienced discrimination, but nothing to the extent that they did/do. After all, I may be female, but I'm about as WASP-y as you can get. I don't know what it's like to be refused service based on my skin color or my ethnicity or my religion. Now there are stories all over the news about states possibly passing legislation that would make discrimination against homosexuals legal.

Are you freaking kidding me?

It's awful enough to hear about the anti-gay laws in Russia or the one just signed in Uganda this week. This is the United States of America. How can we let this happen? Why is it OK to discriminate against any group of people? I can't begin to imagine living in an area where I might see signs that read "Heterosexuals Only." (On the other hand, if a business owner truly feels that way, maybe it's best to go ahead and post it, so I know not to spend my money there.)

And I can't even discuss the so-called "Christians" who go out of their way to not only protest but actively cause pain to members of the LGBT community or anyone else who isn't like them. A couple weeks ago in church we sang the song which includes the line "and they'll know we are Christians by our love." I thought to myself how sad it is that that's not always the case anymore. These days if you tell someone you're Christian he/she just might think you're a follower of Fred Phelps and his westboro baptist church, which by the way, is in no way affiliated with any real Baptist denomination (I can't even bring myself to capitalize it). And crazy enough, there are less that 50 members of that "church," but they get so much press that I fear people believe they're legitimate.

I'm here to tell you that THOSE people are not Christians, nor is anyone who tries to tell you that "Jesus hates gays." Newsflash: Jesus hated no one, and nowhere in the Bible did Jesus even mention homosexuality. I'm also here to tell you that real Christians don't hold all the cards when it comes to loving your neighbor. In my mind, that's a human quality. The end.

I'm far from perfect. I can be catty and I sometimes judge people based on their clothing or hairstyle or some other meaningless trait. I've been bullied and I've been a mean girl. I'm not proud of it, but it's true. A friend posted this on Facebook recently and I have to be honest that the non-perfect part of me really has a problem with the next-to-last one on this list.

There are a lot of things in life that we can't control. But we really can do something about the threatened legislation going on here in our own country. Speak up. Use your voice. Vote. I wanna see you (and me) be brave.


  1. I'm going to link to this in my Thursday Thoughts tomorrow. I have a blurb on it but it's not saying what I want to say and this is.

    I am horrified over this.

  2. Hear, hear!
    I very rarely identify as "Christian" these days, not because I don't believe in Jesus' gift to the world but because I don't want to be identified with a group of people who use His name to be decidedly un-Christlike. It's sad to me that people spew so much hate in the name of God.

    What's going on in Arizona is an atrocity. I don't comprehend how [the collective] we can look at the same words and phrases that a mere 60 years ago were being used against another group of people and believe that this time they are right. Are our memories so short-lived?

    1. Amen, Sarah! Thank you for saying even more of what I'm thinking but didn't manage to write. "Spewing hate in the name of God" is exactly what boggles my mind.

  3. God, I love this, Gwen. All of it! So true- while I make silly comments trying to understand how it is to be anyone other than myself, we are ALL God's children. You are so right about all the things we have never encountered simply because we were born as we were. I believe we have had many other lives and need to learn lessons on how to be a good soul. Good God- Arizona- even Mitt is saying let it go. Godspeed to all of us to be the change, the positive change. As always, much love from Steph's MOMMA

  4. You go, Gwen Coco! (like you didnt know that was coming)

    Thank you for speaking your mind, and doing so so eloquently. I've been following this in the news, and it makes me sick to my stomach. It is 2014... this is the freaking United States of America... I just can't comprehend the way some people think.

  5. LOVE this. Also, I recognized that memorial right now - I love that area in Boston. I get so sick to my stomach to think how intolerant people can be still. So horrible.

  6. I think these legislators know that in about 25 years much of the ignorance surrounding LGBT will have disappeared and only small pockets of America will even attempt to express their absurdly provincial opinions. Therefore they want to put something into law that will outlast them. Power and immortality-that's why these megalomaniacs are intent on pushing through this legislation. They are running scared because they don't understand why the tide is turning against them.

    Take women's suffrage, when headway the women were making with regard to the right to vote became apparent, white men felt so threatened that they became violent towards the women they were so "gallantly" trying to protect. Most of that violence happened in London, but it could just as easily happened right here in the US.

  7. Yes. I just can't even with people. That is why I specify myself as a "Christ follower"


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