Big changes in our not so little country these past few weeks. We’ve seen gay marriage become legal across all fifty states, and just this morning we’ve seen South Carolina consent to remove the Confederate flag from over their capital building. Many people are loudly proclaiming that our our country is helplessly sliding into an abyss. Where this abyss is and what exactly makes it up varies from person to person and group to group. The point of the loud remonstrances, however never changes: the sky is falling!
It’s an argument I’ve been hearing all my life in Sunday school, church, on the news, in college classrooms, and you know what? It’s still firmly lodged up there far up above my head where it’s always been. Life still goes on around me. My neighbor is mowing the lawn because he obviously did not hear that that the sky is falling and he needn’t do it anymore. My husband still left for work thinking that he needs to make money to pay our bills, silly goose. My son is snoozing upstairs as though he needn’t play like there is no tomorrow. Somehow after the country, as we know it, has fallen in ashes around our feet life goes on. Life goes on as it has for hundreds of years.
My marriage is unaffected by the marriage of others. My state remains allowed to fly it’s state flag. Hell, South Carolina is still allowed to fly their state flag. Wait, you didn’t know that the confederate flag isn’t even the state flag? No problem, you’ve been mislead. It’s understandable. With all the bile an vitriol spit out on the news, on your phone, your computer; it’s no wonder that it works you up. That is the intention after all. Don’t feel bad for falling prey to the mistaken idea that a flag flown over a state capitol that you’ve most likely never even visited has an affect on your everyday life, on the foundation of how you and your children will live their lives. It happens. We understand.
Let’s not lose perspective on what happened here. State sanctioned symbols that point beyond themselves to hatred, forbidden. This in no way affects your ability to fly that flag over your own house, on your car, or your chest. The acts of crazy people who would choose to rip that flag off of your personal property are not justified in doing so. Individuals do not have to live their lives so as not to offend anyone. Our state’s inability to do so is called freedom. Your ability to do so is called freedom. From this we segue into other another freedom we have finally granted. A freedom that also does not infringe on anyone’s individual’s rights to continue to live their lives as they like. All the legalization of gay marriage affects is those who would like to get a gay marriage. You don’t have to change your opinion. You’re still free to disapprove of gay marriage. Your heterosexual marriage is not being challenged or diminished. Marriage itself is in no way being degraded.
Don’t believe me? Still think that the sky is falling? Here’s a simple test.
- Step outside
- Walk until you are at a place where you can easily survey the sky
- Look up.
No fire and brimstone? No aliens? Nothing? Look a while longer. Lie down in the grass, on your porch, hell do it on the sidewalk. Lie down and watch the sky all day. That’s what you’ve been missing. Let the sun soak you through, or the rain if it’s raining. Watch the clouds if it’s cloudy. Listen to the sounds around you. The birds go on chirping. The neighbors go on mowing. The dogs go on barking. People go on driving. The world keeps on turning. Life goes on. Calm down and realize that life goes on.