A friend of mine (I’ll refer to him as Anonymous Friend, or AF) recently posted this on Facebook:
I think he’s right. There will be some kind of effect.
For good or for bad… or for neutral… Something will come of it.
What followed was an explosion of comments and activity that has lasted for the past ten days. The thread is full of accusations, strawman arguments, the accusation of the building of such, and the knocking down of said strawmen.
Let’s look at the first response:
This is the first response. Did AF mention anything about his marriage being cheapened? Was AF seeking to prove that gay marriage is a bad thing? If he was, really, help me out, I can’t find it. If I read the first post correctly, AF was asserting that there would be an impact and that we should not be ignorant of that fact. I don’t think people read the first post though. It seems that there are a lot of people that look for trigger words—gay, guns, health care, religion, politics, democrat, republican, Mormon, gesundheit— and choose to take a fiery extreme stance to defend their ideology, because they believe it has clearly and openly been attacked. If we return to the original post, AF says that it is “ludicrous to think that [insert movement here] would literally have zero impact on society.” Do people read the words though? Responses continue to include:
And lest I become part of the imbalance, some right wing responses:
Fortunately, among the 180+ comments there are a few Facebookers that actually read the words AF posted the first time, and replied that there would indeed be change. These seem to be people who have learned something from history. Everything we do impacts the future. It’s true.
Regardless of what side of the gay marriage debate you may be on. Please remember that not everything anyone says about gay marriage has to be an offense directed at you. Please, do not walk around with boils on your skin, waiting to be bumped. Sometimes people just want to say that 2+2=4. Please don’t interpret this to mean that your math is right or wrong.
If we do anything in society at all, there will be an impact, for better, for worse… or for neutral.