It’s been a long time since I’ve written here.
I almost wrote its been a long time since I had rage but as my family, friends and next door neighbors who sometimes probably hear me yell can confirm, that’s just not true.
It’s just that, with all the election stuff, with being busy at work and being busy working on my New Years resolution of saying yes more, I’ve been far more busy doing than writing.
As I scrolled through my Twitter timeline this morning, something I do several times in a day, a tweet caught my eye.
It read, “Addison [the tweeter's daughter] just saw a rainbow flag in a neighbor’s yard and said, “I want one of those in my bedroom.” Oh the challenges of parenting today.”
I debated a lot about responding to the Tweeter, but I do not follow him, nor do I know him personally. I also thought about posting the actual tweet here and linking to the Tweeter on here- his account is public which signifies to me that he is fine with being open about what he is teaching his child.
But my anger isn’t really about him, specifically. Nor do I think that my feelings or my beliefs could affect his. So instead I turn here, where I turn in moments of sheer frustration, to let it out.
First of all, there are only aren’t a lot of things I’d consider myself an expert in. Little girls? Totally one of them. Addison, whomever she may be, wants the flag because it’s pretty. It’s colorful and it’s bright and she wants that to decorate her bedroom because, if I had to guess, she loves bright colorful things the way most little girls do.
What this father did, through his reaction to her as well as broadcasting to the world through his tweet, is to give the impression that there is something wrong with flying a rainbow flag. He’s projected his intolerance and judgements onto what is arguably just a symbol, no different from the cross he may wear or the American flag outside of his house.
But I guess the real issue here is the larger implications, the ones his daughter couldn’t possibly understand yet.
The line from Dennis Leary’s stand up act that has been floating around the Internet (See Below.) immediately popped into my head as I thought about the world this man is creating for his child.
Because while Dennis Leary’s sentiment discusses race, the principle isn’t exclusive to it. Parent’s views shape children’s views and that goes for hate and intolerance of all forms. Intentionally or not this man just planted the seed that people- people who may be gay, may support gays, may have a son or daughter just like his who is gay are wrong. These people, willing to show their pride in who they are and the ongoing fight for equal rights, are bad and not just that, but they are to be avoided.
And to take it one step further, while I don’t know the child in question, I can’t help but wonder “What if?” What if that child someday realizes she’s gay? What if her best friend confides in her about his or her sexuality? Should her reaction to be to recoil as her father’s was at the mere mention of a rainbow flag? Should it be to cast this person out, as something she shouldn’t want in her life just as she was taught to over a simple flag? Why is this father making his daughter carry around the burden of his own judgement and discriminatory ways?
In the man’s Twitter bio, he quotes a popular Christian hymn, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love, Here’s my heart O, Take and seal it, Seal it for thy courts above.”
Can someone find me the passage of the bible that instructs us to judge our neighbors, to teach intolerance and to turn what is arguably a beautiful gift of nature and view it through the prism of hate? I seem to have misplaced my copy that contains that.