I think I did something Wrong.
The Captain has had buddies over this week; he has friends whose company I quite enjoy….and he has friends whose company I find trying. I would be surprised if it were otherwise, to be honest. He has a couple of friends who, I’m sure, will come into their own when they’re older…they’ll grow into their egos, I suppose. Or grow out of them. But, for the most part, the friends that The Captain has are pretty awesome.
Usually, when The Captain has friends over, the rule is that they’re welcome to play outside or in The Captain’s room, but they’re not going to park their butts in front of screens all day. I’m Very Mean that way. So on the way upstairs, the kids often try to sneak in a few glimpse of whatever judge show happens to be on at the moment.
One time, a “paid political advertisement” of Jack Layton came on, and one of The Captain’s friends said, “oh, I HATE Jack Layton!”
The Captain gaped at the kid, and I asked “Why?”
“Because he wants to make it legal to be gay,” The Captain’s friend said.
I admit it, I laughed out loud. “He’s a bit late for that,” I said. “It hasn’t been illegal to be gay for over forty years in this country. I don’t think Jack Layton wants to tell people who they can or cannot love. But what’s wrong with being gay?” I asked.
I didn’t really think ‘cenobyte, it’s really not your place to be engaging children in discussions about homosexuality.’ I didn’t really think ‘this kid’s parents could get really mad at you if you go much further with this discussion’. I didn’t really think ‘you don’t have the right to teach morality to other people’s children’. I just asked a question.
The Captain’s friend said, “because God forbids it!”
At this point, I *did* recognise that launching into an extensive theological debate would probably not be beneficial, so I simply tried my best to mask my shock and surprise, and said, “Ah. That’s not how we believe, but I respect that you and your family may have different opinions on the matter. Many people think many different things about that, like my friend who is a priest who is gay, or my other friend who is a minister and is gay.”
The Captain’s friend said, “Really?”
And I said, “Yes. I believe that it doesn’t matter who you love, as long as you do. Love, that is. The world needs more love in it.”
The Captain’s friend said, “Good point.”
And I said, “There are political parties whose representatives believe otherwise, and there are people who agree with them, and there’s nothing wrong with having a different opinion. But Jack Layton is not particularly interested in what people do with their own private parts, nor with who they love. He’s more concerned that Canadian people have adequate living conditions and things like that.”
The Captain’s friend thought for a moment, and then said, “yeah, you know, it doesn’t really make sense to tell people who they can or can’t love.”
It wasn’t until much, much later that I thought perhaps I had overstepped my bounds. And then I thought, well, I’d have said the same thing to Kid’s parents. Or my local MP (not that he’d hear it). Or my priest, or my kids’ teachers, or pretty much anybody who said that homosexuality should be illegal and that God forbids it. But there’s a part of me that’s a bit worried that I’ll get A Call from Kid’s parents wherein they are Quite Upset that I’ve been filling their child’s head with Communist/Hippie Nonsense.
I’m not *especially* worried about receiving That Call. I’ve been rehearsing for That Call for years.
What’s more bothersome to me is that although Canada is in the leading three countries when it comes to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights *in the entire world*, some people think this is a Bad Thing. What’s bothersome to me is that people think that homosexual acts should be illegal, a mindset which was overruled by most first-world democratic countries in the 60s. What’s bothersome to me is that there are people using God and religion to excuse their
intolerance fear hate closed-minded bigotry. What’s bothersome to me is that clearly there are people interested in politics who cannot find unbiased information, or who don’t know where to start. What’s bothersome is that *they’re just wrong*.
In other news, what the hell is so threatening/frightening about socialism? Someone told me it’s because socialism is the next step/near step to communism, which it isn’t. Socialism and communism are opposites, really. But I’ve discovered that Republicans and other Conservative types tend to get this mixed up.