Accepting of abundance, but not diversity

Over the course of the last week I’ve been pretty musical, I’m standing in with a wedding band on Saturday night so have had to learn their entire set list which is pretty diverse, bit I’m looking forward to the gig, and fingers crossed it might lead to some more work in future too.  In amongst all this musical activity I did have a little free time before last night’s rehearsal with Independence, so decided to have a quick glance at my subscriptions page on YouTube.

One vlogger whose videos I’ve almost always enjoyed is TJ, I don’t agree with everything he says, he’s an arrogant pain in the ass sometimes, and flat wrong on several topics, but he’s also very intelligent and can form a cohesive argument 99% of the time, and is very entertaining.  He has several channels on YouTube, the best known is theamazingatheist, and the other I’m subscribed to is TJdoeslife where I found the video that caught my attention.

The video titled ‘Park You’ is above, but to summarise, it’s TJ’s response to a blog posted on August 26th called ‘Can’t even got to the park’ by a woman called Stacy Trasancos where she talks about how she’s not allowed to impose her ‘morality’ on others, yet others are allowed to impose their ‘immorality’ on her,  upon further reading it appears to be several paragraphs of anti-gay fear mongering mixed in with a fear of some questions from her seven children about families with two mothers or two fathers, questions it seems the children never asked.

As is mentioned above, the blog was posted on th 26th of last month, and after 668 responses, both positive and negative Stacy has closed it to any future responses with the following statement:

“Gay rights activists” you’ve had your say. Comments in this thread are now closed, but they will stand so people can decide for themselves who is tolerant and who is not.

Before I go to express my opinions of what she’s said, and in the highly unlikely event Stacy ever reads this blog, I’ll state from the outset that I do not live in the USA, I am a white heterosexual male, in a monogamous relationship, and I am an atheist, I do not believe the character of Jesus, as portrayed in the bible, ever existed.  While I don’t have any problem with religious people, I don’t like religion, I don’t like any organisation that claims to know the unknowable, and then asks for money simply for knowing it, and usualy pays no taxes.

ok disclaimer done.  As above anything quoted from Stacy’s blog will be in italics.  Let’s begin:

The same people who say I shouldn’t impose my morality on them, are imposing immorality on me and my children to the point that I literally have a hard time even leaving my home anymore to do something as simple as visit the park. And this is freedom?

Not giving too much away in the first paragraph, without the addendum telling us why comments had been closed I might not have guessed that the ‘immorality’ she was talking about was the presence of gay people in a public place.  well, Stacy, this is freedom, everyone has the freedom to be there, just like you have the freedom not to be there if you find the presence of others who don’t fit your preconceived notions so distasteful.

I am a Catholic stay-at-home mother of seven, and I live in the state of Massachusetts where “gay marriage” has been legal for seven years and it’s just one aspect of the larger secular agenda. Because we have so many little children, it takes a phenomenal effort to go anywhere. We have only filled our truck with gasoline twice this entire summer vacation. We go to Mass and we go two miles up the road to a small outdoor swimming pool. That’s pretty much it.

So many things wrong with this, but let’s start with the obvious one: Seven children!!! why? In the dark ages when infant mortality rates were higher couples had to have large families if they wanted the family line to continue, but in the 21st century it’s simply not necessary, there are already 7 billion people on the planet, and those people are living longer.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an active sex life, we evolved with the desire to procreate (yes we did, accept it, even the last 3 popes have), but also the ability to satisfy those urges without falling pregnant.  use birth control, and claiming you can’t because an old male virgin in a dress, whose main contribution to the world has been to offer safe harbour to pedophiles, says it’s evil doesn’t even begin to qualify as an excuse.

Secular agenda?  As someone who advocates for secular values, and fact over superstition, I think I missed the meeting where the agenda was decided.  Could you fill me in, Stacy? your blog  was lacking any detail on any other aspects of the “agenda”.

And finally, for paragraph two, my personal pet peeve.  you take your kids to church.  Have you explained to them that there are around 30,000 different sects of christianity, and many other religions in the world, but christian Catholicism is a choice you made? or did you present you beliefs as fact?  I’d bet good money you went with option two, before they developed the critical thinking skills required to see through the inconsistencies in the so-called holy books that you hold so dear.

At the pool this summer there were homosexual couples with children and, while I was polite as my own young daughters doted on the baby with two “mommies”, I also held my breath in anticipation of awkward questions – questions I’m not ready to answer. My young daughters are all under the age of eight and they are not old enough to understand why a baby would have two women calling themselves “mommies”.

When there were two men relaxing at the side of the pool unnaturally close to each other, effeminately rubbing elbows and exchanging doe-eyes, I was again anxiously watching my children hoping they wouldn’t ask questions. They don’t see Daddy do that with anyone but Mommy. We haven’t been back to the pool for a couple of weeks, except once but it rained. The truth is, now I don’t really want to go back.

It seems we have the same issue expressed twice: openly gay couples are out in public behaving like couples in love.  If this was straight couples I don’t imagine Stacy would have any problem with it, illustrated where she talks about two men by the pool “unnaturally close to each other, effeminately rubbing elbows” worried ‘cos her brood “don’t see Daddy do that with anyone but Mommy.”  Stacy, yes I’m addressing you again if you ever read this, you need to accept that there are gay people in the world, and many other people who won’t fit into you’re ideal picture of what a person should be, and as a parent it’s your responsibility to prepare your children to deal with diversity they will encounter when they grow up and go out into the wider world, not hide them from it and tell them everything different is wrong or sinful.  in the 21st century  same-sex couples raising children is something you will see more of, no matter where in the developed world you live.  It’s probably not something you’ll ever participate in, but it’s something you will encounter, these people are members of your community, your neighbours, possibly your friends, maybe even members of your church.  why not just meet them, learn about them and embrace them as fellow parents, and fellow human beings?

So what am I harping about?

This most intelligent thing you’ve said so far.

Today we decided to go to the park. We live near a nice park that is safe, clean and quiet. Two of my daughters were in the sandbox, one on the slide, the other on the swings, and as I lifted the baby out of his stroller I looked up to see four women laughing at a baby boy as he was swinging in one of those bucket baby swings. That seems harmless enough, but I’m so sensitized to the strangeness in my community that I’ve developed this ever-present jumpiness whenever I’m in public. Sure enough, two of the women, so happy to see a baby boy laughing, embraced and remained standing there rubbing each other’s back in a way that was clearly not just friendly affection.

Would it have been ok if it were a straight couple watching their child on the swing? if the answer is yes then you are exhibiting bigotry.  Do you have similar feelings towards African-Americans, Muslims, Jews or any other minority? if not, why not? these people also don’t fit into the box you would label as normal, are they immoral too?

This is my community. I find myself unable to even leave the house anymore without worrying about what in tarnation we are going to encounter. We are responsible citizens. We live by the rules, we pay our taxes, we take care of our things. I’m supposed to be able to influence what goes on in my community, and as a voter I do exercise that right. But I’m outnumbered. I can’t even go to normal places without having to sit silently and tolerate immorality. We all know what would happen if I asked two men or two women to stop displaying, right in front of me and my children, that they live in sodomy.

Where to begin… ahh the beginning
This is my community- No, it’s not, it’s a community that you can choose to be a part of, or to isolate yourself from.  It seems you’ve chosen to isolate yourself instead of dealing with the reality that the world is in a constant state of change because some of those changes don’t fit with what you consider to be normal or moral.
We are responsible citizens– I’ll have to take your word for that, based on your writing here you’re scared your children might question you on things that don’t fit with your world view, so much that you worry about leaving the house because you might encounter gay people in public places. how is this responsible?
I’m supposed to be able to influence what goes on in my community, and as a voter I do exercise that right. But I’m outnumbered. This is called democracy, when a population vote on a proposition, the majority usually get what they want.  This system is not without its flaws, The USA had 8 years of George W Bush because of it, although he did steal the first 4, and I’m not suggesting that might makes right.  Democracy has led to some bad decisions, but equal marriage right for homosexuals isn’t one of them.  take the broad view; if two men you’ve never met get married tomorrow, what effect will it have on your life? none.  so what’s your problem?
I can’t even go to normal places without having to sit silently and tolerate immorality. We all know what would happen if I asked two men or two women to stop displaying, right in front of me and my children, that they live in sodomy. – I think you need to define what you consider immorality to be, from what I’ve read any casual affection between a same-sex couple is immoral to you, but it would be ok between a male & female couple.
Also how does one live in sodomy? If you’re reffering to Sodom, the “wicked town” describe in the book of fairy stories you get your very questionable morality from, I’m pretty sure it’s not in Massachusetts, so you’ll be safe.  If you meant the practice of sodomy, while I’m no expert, I’m fairly sure the women wouldn’t be doing it.

So now I go on a rant.

Only now? so what was all the anti-gay stuff if it wasn’t a rant?

Our taxes are being used to fund contraception, abortion and IVF already. That offends me in ways that are inexpressible. I read last December in the Wall Street Journal how two men near us are raising two assembled daughters after announcing to the world how they killed two other siblings in surrogate mothers in India. Let me guess? I shouldn’t offend them though, right? And what’s next at the park? A needle exchange drop-box for heroin users? No joke. These things are not isolated, it is all the same issue at a fundamental level. We’re being pushed to accept immorality and it’s not just on TV and in Washington D.C. It’s right in front of us too.

We’ve touched on contraception already, the Nazi Virgin says it’s bad, he’d much rather the African AIDS epidemic spread further and killed millions more, than it was brought under control.  The best method is the ABC system, Astinence, Be faithful, and Condoms.  Humans evolved as sexual creatures, and it’s unnatural to suppress that desire, but it can be handled responsibly.
Abortion is a touchy subject, but I think pro-choice is the way forward, if a couple makes a poor choice, they can make the decision not to proceed with the pregnancy long before the cluster of cells becomes anything resembling a thinking, feeling conscious entity we’d call a person.
IVF- How the fuck can you be offended by IVF? the application of science to allow childless couples to become parents, a privilege you have known more than most people ever will, and you find the idea that some people less fortunate need help offensive? you offend me, and I don’t even plan on having childen.

We fund a lot of illegal immigrants here (just ask the President about his auntie) and helping people who really need help is not something I’d ever oppose. But it’s still haunting me that just this week I learned of an illegal immigrant who killed a young man innocently out for a ride on his motorcycle. The illegal immigrant, who didn’t have a license, was so drunk he didn’t notice when he hit a motorcyclist and then dragged the 23 year old college graduate a quarter of a mile while people were yelling at him to stop. When he finally did stop, the young man was still alive until the drunk driver put the car in reverse and backed up over him before driving away. He’s charged with vehicular homicide and “reckless conduct creating a risk to a child.” He had a six year old in the car with him.

Just to clarify, the illegal immigrant has been arrested and charged with his crimes?  presumably the criminal justice system will take its course and he will be punished for what he’s done?  just checking.  while there is no excuse for the actions of this individual, he is precisely that, an individual.  he does not represent every immigrant in your country.  I heard news story recently, I wish I could remember where it was, but one state in the USA decided to deport all the illegal aliens to free up jobs for local residents, unfortunately none of the locals wanted the menial jobs like harvesting fields and picking fruit, they were too good for that, so crops were left unpicked, and the local economy suffered. Also I think I t was Obama’s uncle.

Do you think knowing this happened about seven miles from my home makes me afraid to leave the house? You bet it does. But that just adds to everything else I’m being asked to tolerate. Seriously, is this freedom?

So one criminal act and some gay people being affectionate makes you afraid to leave the house? that’s your choice, but you could also choose to behave like an adult and set a better example for your children, at least one of whom, statistically speaking, could grow up to be gay.  In anwer to your question, yes it is freedom, but as it’s freedom for everyone, not just you, compromises will need to be made, and made by everyone.  This means you’ll need to tollerate gay people being affectionate to one another in public, and the more enlightened members of the community will need to tollerate your bigotry, but becaus it’s tollerated doesn’t mean it won’t be challenged, I assume you’ve realised this from the hundreds of responses you’ve had to you’re blog post.

After reading Stacy’s blog I started scanning through the replies, and there are litteraly hundreds, some supportive, but most disagreeing strongly with the sentiments she expressed, and some were pretty threatening, and few pretty funny, I’ll copy few in below for some perspective.

1st comment from a supporter-
Welcome to the world the left has created. It is beyond horrifying.

The Culture of Death is in full swing in Massachusetts, and it is poised to kill itself. It has a declining population, and there is no future for any state where homosexuality is the norm. There is no potential for life, no potential for a thriving future, only death and decay.

I lived in Massachusetts during college, and I haven’t set foot in that state since. You have articulated well why I never want to go back there.

2nd comment from someone who didn’t agree-
LOL. I’m sorry. But gay people at the park???!?!?!?! Being affectionate? And happy? And functioning?

Yeah. Being able to smile and kiss my boyfriend in the park is freedom. And that has nothing to do with IVF.

Stacy’s reply to the 2nd comment
Case and point. I can’t even vent frustration on my Catholic blog without being harassed for objecting to immorality.

This isn’t even me going to a public park and sitting quietly with my children – being offended but remaining silent to keep the peace.

This is someone a) who knows I object to sodomy and b) to whom I have never once been rude intentionally clicking to my website just to punch a bunch of question marks and exclamation points to insinuate that I’ve simply lost my mind.

Since you are here though…

Could I ask you, please, to never kiss your boyfriend in front of children? (!)

A comment showing Stacy had edited the blog-
I find this really, really sad, almost as if you’re looking to find persecution where there is none. Yes, this is freedom – would it be freer if gay couples were given tickets by the police for publicly showing affection? What about freedom involves silencing or restricting people who say or do things that you disagree with? Is it freedom if you feel free but no one else does? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could have sworn that when I first read this post you mentioned something about wanting to make the sign of the cross in situations like these, as if somehow your right to do that has disappeared. It hasn’t! You have just as much right to public displays of faith as gay couples have the right to public displays of affection, regardless of whether gay marriage is legal.

And to your point about the illegal immigrant – citizens don’t murder? Don’t commit atrocious acts of violence? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd,_Jr.

Stacy confirms this (she takes the commandments seriously at least)-
Zach, honest question – if you are so happy why do you come to Catholic websites to tell us we are harming your life?

Michelle, I get fed up and I’m not alone. It’s my right, and obligation, to speak up about immorality especially in places where my children play. That is the purpose of community. We all have a voice. We are freer when people practice virtue, not when they do whatever they want with no consideration for those around them. (Yes, I removed the Cross comment because I decided it was snarky.)

About the murder, I lived in TX when that happened. The point isn’t that only illegal immigrants murder. It’s that they aren’t even calling it murder. And if I drove that drunk with a six year old in the car, I certain I’d be charged with more than reckless conduct.

An Anonymous comment-
I would like to know, Stacy, your definition of “freedom”. Yes, ANY of-age couple being allowed to engage in holding hands, putting their arms around one another and even kissing IS freedom. It seems to me that you have a rather backward and skewed idea of what it means to be free in this country.

You remind me of another type of bigot: those that said the SAME things about black couples in public, or inter-racial couples in public. *How DARE they hold hands in front of me? I should have a right to point out their immortality and the fact that they are allowed this is an affront to my own freedom!*

Replace the word “gay” (or any other word used to describe the gay community) in your piece above and maybe, just maybe, you’ll see how ridiculous and backwards your stance is.

“But that just adds to everything else I’m being asked to tolerate. Seriously, is this freedom?”

Absolutely, this IS freedom. Without tolerance we have no freedom. You seem to lack a basic understanding of this concept, Stacy.

Shame on you. You are smarter than this. Or, at least I thought you were. I guess I was wrong.

Stacy’s reply-
I have no idea who you are, bold anonymous commenter. 🙂

“Without tolerance we have no freedom.”

If that’s what you think freedom is, then you have no basis for not tolerating what I wrote.

I accept the definition of freedom that is based on natural law. If you are an atheist, I imagine you aren’t interested in a discussion of freedom based on natural law. However, I also imagine that you don’t really believe freedom means everyone can do whatever they want to do either, while everyone else is just supposed to tolerate whatever it happens to be.

A comment from Margaret-
You are simply too lazy to explain what is going on in the community to your children. It seems like bad parenting to me. Shielding them from this kind of exposure won’t do them any good; they will eventually figure it out one way or another.

Comment from Adri-
you really don’t think your kids can process very much do you? Unless you plan on raising them in an isolated commune, you may as well get used to the fact that many many people do not believe as you and it is their right to live freely in the public sector. Consider it a teachable moment. or just ignore it, because at their age they are more concerned with the sandbox than myopic worldviews

Anonymous comment-
You are the reason that ‘Atheist’ is the fastest growing self description in the world. You are the reason that church attendance is down across the globe. Your false morality and piety are driving more and more people to secularism and reason. I would personally like to thank you for making more atheists and making the world a better place. Please carry on.

Awesome comment from Jordan Lund-
First things first, your blog is on the Internet which means it’s not your personal walled garden anymore. Be prepared to have your beliefs challenged.

Second, suppose I wrote a blog about how I coldn’t take my son to the park because of all the Catholics running around with 7 kids they can’t afford. I’m afraid of all the uncomfortable questions he might ask like “why doesn’t he have 6 brothers and sisters” and, really, he’s just too young to understand why the Pope says some people can’t use birth control.

Ridiculous? Offensive? Absolutely…

I want you to think back… when did you choose to like boys? You didn’t choose that did you? Nobody actually does. It’s the same way for gay folks. God made them the way they are and, frankly, who do you think you are to question that?

The problem isn’t gay people, the problem is between your own ears. Once you realize that then you and your famly will be in a better place.

As for being too young to understand… here’s a five year old who met a gay couple for the first time… he shows more clarity on the subject than you do:

http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/122927/smart_kid_says_gay_marriage

“I USUALLY SEE HUSBANDS AND WIFES … BUT THIS IS THE VERY FOIST TIME I’VE SEEN HUSBAND AND HUSBAND!!!!!!!!! SO THAT MEANS YOU LOVE EACH OTHER???? OK. I’M GOING TO PLAY PING PONG NOW.”

And, really, that’s all anyone needs to know about any married couple.

And the final comment I’ll share comes from ‘Disgusted Cathiolic’ and probably offers the most insight-
I am ashamed to say I know you. Very disturbing to see how you really feel, although, I can’t believe that these are really your thoughts. I think this is all some sort of displaced anger about the life and man you finally settled down with out of fear. Your marriage is a sham, your kids are suffering… Good Lord, I hope you wake up and use that brain that God gave you for good.

There was a comment I wanted to add where somone said something along the lines of ‘if you don’t like it, fuck off back to Texas’, but I couldn’t see it.  Depending how the republican party nominations go, I imagine this lady will probably be voting for Rick Perry if he is nominated.

To me this is another example of American self righteousness, backed up by a belief that they have jeezuz behind them all the way, and with America being the last remaining super power, we really should be worried.

5 thoughts on “Accepting of abundance, but not diversity

  1. She’s going to hold her chldren hostage in the house, because if they go outside, they might see a gay couple kissing? Report her to a child welfare agency; she’s not mentally competent to care for children.

  2. A gay kiss is no more difficult for a child to understand, than a heterosexual kiss. Problems arise when parents (And maybe other adults) have only been explaining romantic relationships to their kids, in heterosexual terms.

    But parents who have made this mistake, and presented a false image of reality to their kids, can’t expect the rest of the world to play along, just so their children won’t get confused.

    Furthermore, trying to impose your particular CHOSEN lifestyle, be it catholic or whatever, on people who don’t agree with you, people who keep telling you to please stop doing so, is the very definition of bigotry. There’s no way around this fact.

    It is also very un-Godly. Satanic, even…

    I am beyond tired of being told by these lowlife “christians”, that I am less worthy, sinful, bla bla bla, and not equal under the law. We (The evil gays) were not the ones protesting the right to hold a particular religious belief, we are not trying to prevent them from being who ever they want to be. They started this battle, not us. And we will not be forced back into the closet ever again. Just not going to happen, sorry (Not).

    Fortunately for me, I was born in Denmark, and I still live here. First country in the world to legalize registered partnership, more than 25 years ago now. Have our society crumbled? No. We remain one of the most free, happy and richest nations on Earth, year after year after year.

    I wonder why?

  3. Love your comments – being an X catholic and having a good bit of catholic training what she is talking about has nothing to do with the Catholicism that I grew up with but if her discussion is accurate boy I am really happy I got out when I did. I consider myself Christian – Lutheran by choice and study religion and believe that by the grace of God I am saved. I would much listen to you then this Woman. She needs a psychological exam.
    Thank you

    • And thank you, Cathy! 😉

      I have no problems with true Christian people. It’s the Bible-thumbing ones I object to. I believe all roads leads to God, if you are a seeker (or perhaps even if you’re not?). I believe in some form of creator, let’s call it “God”, fine by me. I believe you can find clues in many places. That’s what works for me, for others it may be different. Still others are convinced there’s no such thing as a creator. I don’t proclaim to hold the absolute truth on this matter, as I find such claims ludicrous. This woman, Stacy, is hijacking God in my opinion. And so are Millions of other people.

      In any case, we won’t know for sure until we die. So why not just live and let live, as long as we do good by others. I try to, and I don’t need a certain book to tell me how to do this. It’s ingrained in my most inner being.

      As for this hate of all things gay, which seems to be “the norm” these days, I think it’s very important for everyone that don’t share this view, to stand up, and speak up. Because if they get their way with us, who’s next?

      “First they came for the communists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

      And thank you too, Stephen. Great blog 😉

      • Thank you both, Cathy and Per, for you kind words.

        I must admit I was concerned that replying to a stranger’s blog post in such a direct way did give me pause, I was concerned that it might come across as being aggressive, but my reaction to her writing was so strong that I felt the need to vent, so my own blog seemed like the best place for it.

        Since writing the blog I have read few of her other posts on various subjects, and have also tried to follow up on the response she has received on this subject too, it appears she, and her family, have been subjected to a lot of threatening behaviour, even death threats, and while I disagree with many positions she holds, I can’t say that what she’s had to endure because of her opinions, however unpopular, is acceptable in civilised society.

        I’ve attempted to dialogue with Stacy a couple of times on her own blog’s comment section, and find her replies, while short (she does get a lot of comments), to be very polite, but she does have a habit of not actually answering questions where the answers would, perhaps, not show Catholicism in the best light. This is just my impression; other may have a different opinion.

        I have made Stacy aware that she has featured on my blog, and that I have specifically dealt with the post that brought her to the attention of a larger on-line audience, she has said she will make an effort to read the post at some point, time permitting. If she is able to do so, I hope she won’t feel she has strayed in to enemy territory.

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