(As posted to my Gazette blog)
“Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never hurt me”
– Nursery rhyme
If “all the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players,” as the Bard wrote, then today’s anti-LGBT forces surely are the antagonists and the LGBT people who strive for equal civil rights are the protagonists in this particular drama. Though I am sure the anti-LGBT fundamentalists see it the other way around. But isn’t that often the way with drama: each side believes in its cause.
Yes, such tangled webs we weave.
But there would be no drama without antagonists and protagonists, would there? I mean, if everybody agrees and lives and let lives, there would be no drama for the audience to watch, nothing for the media to critique, no box office receipts, no advertising revenue. Indeed, much of our world thrives on the drama of antagonists vs. protagonists. And the bottom line is almost always about money. Make no mistake about that. Think of how much money the anti-LGBT forces raise in donations and by other means. Follow the money.
In many dramas we see on TV, the antagonists and protagonists are easy to identify, i.e. cops vs. robbers. But some dramas are not so cut and dried, and the audience may find itself divided, with half cheering for one side, half for the other.
In the real-life drama that is anti-LGBT religious fundamentalists trying to deny equal civil rights to LGBT people, many people feel the religious folks are justified and, hence, are the protagonists. And just as many people – in the West, at least – feel the religious folks are not justified, thus are the antagonists.
So, how would an objective viewer determine who are the real protagonists and antagonists in the Battle of the Rainbow Flag? What if you had just tuned in from, say, another planet and knew nothing about this story?
Well, it’s elementary, actually. The answer lies in the nursery rhyme at the beginning of this post. While there is plenty of name-calling from both sides in the anti-LGBT vs. LGBT war, who is throwing sticks and stones? Who draws blood from its opponents? Who is the physical aggressor?
Do I need to answer those questions? Is there anybody out there who doesn’t see how some religious fundamentalists throw sticks and stones at LGBT people in so many different ways, both directly and indirectly? Sadly, there are religious fundamentalists around the world who are responsible for the physical persecution of LGBT people.
On the other hand, I can’t ever recall hearing about LGBT people physically persecuting fundamentalists. LGBT people don’t nail anti-LGBT fundamentalists to the cross or throw them to the proverbial lions. The only thing LGBT people want is equal civil rights. Clearly, LGBT people are the protagonists in this war.
Anti-LGBT religious fundamentalists are the bad the guys: the aggressors, the oppressors, the persecutors, the killers. They have blood on their hands. They are the wolves posing as sheep – and giving the good sheep a bad name in the process.
But why? Why do they do it? How do the sexual activities of others threaten them? Why should they care what goes on in the bedrooms of people they don’t even know?
No doubt, they would say that homosexuality is a threat to the family, and to the institution of heterosexual marriage. But there is no proof of that. Heterosexuals still marry in countries that have legalized same-sex marriage (i.e. Canada). Heterosexuals are not forced into same-sex relationships. Children raised by same-sex parents are doing just fine.
So, are the fundamentalists victims of propaganda and paranoia? Or is there something more sinister going on? Follow the money, Detective Page. At least, look at that angle. A lot of money is being raised by anti-LGBT forces. Some whip up paranoia with superstitious propaganda, then ask for donations. Others whip up the same, and then write books and sell them to their frightened sheep.
It can’t be denied. It happens.
But spreading propaganda and fear and then profiting from it is not a crime. It’s an age-old tactic used by businesspeople – and religions — all over the world.
And, sadly, that may very well be what the oppression of LGBT people is about, partly, at least: business. Dirty business. And those profiting from the war to oppress LGBT people stand to lose a lot of money when LGBT people are granted equal civil rights.
Am I being cynical? No. I’m just being objective. I don’t think that all opponents of LGBT equality are motivated by personal profit. But I do suspect some may very well be thinking bottom line, and it is in their personal best interests to spread propaganda and hate – and to mislead their flocks.
Personally, I have nothing to gain or lose if states in the U.S. or if other countries legalize same-sex marriage. It’s legal in Canada – it is a non-issue here, and most of the citizens don’t give it a second thought. LGBT folks and religious fundamentalists mostly live in harmony here.
But while the curtain has closed on the drama in this country, it continues in countries around the world, most notably in the United States, where the Battle of the Rainbow Flag is being won by LGBT people one state at a time.
Sure, the anti-LGBT forces in the United States win some battles with dirty tricks, sometimes blackmailing organizations into denying LGBT people equal rights. And sometimes politicians of poor African nations use the persecution of LGBT people to divert attention from their own incompetence as administrators. And you can bet they won’t starve with their citizens, eh?
Yes, history is in the making.
But some day the Battle of the Rainbow Flag will be over around the world. LGBT people will have equal civil rights. And everyone will live in harmony.
No more “us” and “them.”
And the story of the fight for LGBT equality will be retold over and over again.
Coming to a screen near your great grandchildren . . .