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[personal profile] lanapanda
Yesterday evening I was surfing around on LJ and found this post via a friend of a friend. Now, when I first read it, my initial response was one of shock, and then anger. There was a sense of "how dare he use his business to further his own personal hate?" and beyond that, the question of why any business owner would feel compelled to send that kind of poorly thought out and thinly veiled hatemongering. I wrote an email expressing my dissatisfaction with him, his lack of tolerance, and his parenting habits, which I must strongly call into question if this man truly believes that Cold Case and Without a Trace constitutes family viewing. Then I dropped that same link into one of the irc channels that I frequent, because I have friends there that I knew would sympathize and probably write a letter as well.

Several hours later, and with further contemplation, I suppose I'm wondering if it changes anything. There will always be intolerant people. There will always be people who hate for no other reason than their narrow minds cannot perceive that the world is well and good in its diversity, be it ethnic, gender, sexual or other. Letting Troy Hake know that I do not approve of his actions is not likely to make him suddenly have an epiphany about his own willful ignorance. Nor do I imagine that he'll miraculously realize that he's wrong about the gay agenda and his own questionable morals. What it does do, is let that man and his company know in no uncertain terms that the world view in that email is offensive and unwelcome to a great many people. People he didn't care about anyway.

I'm not so pessimistic as to think that there won't be an effect or a backlash, because after all, we live in age of political correctness that is only slightly less constrictive than yester-years' whalebone corset. He'll apologize, because that's what's expected of him. But it doesn't mean anything in the long run, because an apology without any real contrition is like putting white paint on a pile of shit: it still stinks.

Beyond that, I'm not even angry about it anymore. Instead I feel sorry for this man, who is cutting off an entire segment of the population because of his own personal hangups. I took a lot of classes in college that didn't fall under any requirement other than my own personal interest. One of them was a philosophy of religion course. I bring it up now, because of one of the ideas put forth in our required reading. Namely, that people hate only those things that they despise within themselves. In looking at my life, and myself, I can honestly say this is true for me, and I wonder if it applies to Mr. Hake there as well. I wonder if he sits down to his 'wholesome primetime viewing' with his loving wife and precious children, and is shocked and appalled with the image of two men hugging because deep down inside there is some flicker of himself that wants to be hugged in that way. And he hates himself for it.

That is what truly saddens me. People who are filled with so much fear and self-loathing and small-minded meanness that they have no room in their lives, their minds, or their hearts for tolerance and open discourse. Isn't that what makes us human, the ability to relate? If I can't understand you, and you can't understand me and neither of us is willing or able to try to bridge the gap then... where does that leave us?

There are whole groups of people who live their lives in the artificial boxes and roles that society makes for us and we make for ourselves. Some of those people forget from time to time that there is a much wider world out there that has it's own importance and wonder to offer. Some people think their boxes are the whole world, and they fight with anyone and anything that dares to label themselves differently.

So while yes, I am still unhappy with the email and the man who sent it, and no I'm not sorry that I sent that email telling him in no uncertain terms exactly how unhappy it made me... I'm still sadly resigned to the fact that there are just some people who will never understand and don't care to. It doesn't matter who or what it's against. Irrational hate is still hate, and even worse, it's hate that can't be reasoned with and lessoned through knowledge and understanding.

I suppose the only thing I can really do is keep my own mind open, and hope that others out there will do the same.

Date: 2006-08-10 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knw.livejournal.com
It makes me sad too. The key problem is how he used his company to my mind, not what he thinks, and in a debate like this it's easy to get caught on his beliefs. I disagree with him on those, and I agree with you, I believe his placing himself in opposition to gays as morally wrong is ignorant. It is however his belief and he's entitled to it, as are all Christians who adopt the same view because it's their religion. My real annoyance stems from his use of the company - like I said to Lynn, Gardening and Homosexuality in no way equate, people signed up for his newsletter for a reason and it wasn't because they believed the company was a political apparatus or that they'd begin receiving emails like the one he sent. Since he chose to do that, he invited feedback and I can't agree that it somehow makes the people who responded to him either lost or bigotted for doing so. Not when he invited their reaction through his inappropriate use of company facilities. And woo, that last bit sounded lewd.

Date: 2006-08-10 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lanapanda.livejournal.com
Oh I don't think the people who responded to his unwelcome hate mail are lost or bigotted at all. I just don't believe that any of it will do a bit of good to make this man see that his beliefs are not as holy or Christian as he believes they are. If he's gone this far down the road to being narrow-minded and intolerant, emails from the group of people he already admits to not liking isn't going to do much for it, in my mind.

Date: 2006-08-10 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knw.livejournal.com
No, it's Lynn who was suggesting people who had a go at him were lost and bigotted - as you'll see that isn't her entire argument at all, and my disagreement with that slipped into my agreement with yours. I wish it could make a difference, but I expect you're right and it won't at all.

Date: 2006-08-10 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lanapanda.livejournal.com
Oop, yes. Now I see. I was busy posting smut drabble making the world a more tolerant and lovely place. ::hugs:: Thanks for understanding.

Date: 2006-08-10 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knw.livejournal.com
Yay!!

Date: 2006-08-10 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anorexicbrownie.livejournal.com
Hey now. My disagreement was with a specific sort of person who disagreed. A specific sort as in not everyone or even most. I'm pretty out of it, but I haven't entirely lost my mind yet. >.>

Date: 2006-08-10 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knw.livejournal.com
It wasn't before you edited the post lol.

Date: 2006-08-10 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anorexicbrownie.livejournal.com
It was meant to be. ;_; I knew what I meant in my head at least. *flails tiredly*

Date: 2006-08-10 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raceulfson.livejournal.com
I read years ago that there are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who know to carry a crying baby out of the theater and those who don't. You don't need to explain why to the ones who do, and no amount of explaining will get through to those who don't.

Over and above the bigotry and all, I wonder: who established that to be offended was a violation of your inalienable rights? Do we have to sanitize our society to total skim milk ( sorry, vegan lactose free soy skim milk substitute ) to make sure no one is ever offended? Or maybe the USA needs a "grow up and deal" campaign. I could get behind that.

Date: 2006-08-10 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anorexicbrownie.livejournal.com
Society should clearly change to meet my personal needs and desires. This is part of my right to pursue happiness and stupid lawsuits. >.>

Date: 2006-08-10 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lanapanda.livejournal.com
My entire problem with people who have this sort of mentality, be it anti-gay, anti-black, anti-gamer, or anti-handgloves is that in closing themselves off like this, they try to foist upon the world as a whole that their idea is the idea. We are not a homogenous race, sexuality, or anything else. And we never will be, no matter how much people like this try to tell us that it should be.

Even in a world where we all looked the same and held the same religion, there would be those of us who are in some way different, or else we will have degenerated into something wholly unlike human beings.

Date: 2006-08-10 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anorexicbrownie.livejournal.com
I can just never work out a way for people not to object and have it be just in any sense. There are things that I want foisted on people, such as anti-racism or anti-cruelty. From there, however, it seems to often come back to personal definition. Who defines what and who's definition is correct as far as what hurts other people or what is wrong. I, personally, can't really make it work out neatly from there.

I don't disagree though. I've had far too many people imply that I can't be a proper Christian if I wear black and have bizarre hair colors, for example. Pfeh.

And, my post was not meant as an attack on you or your letter, in case that isn't obvious. I know you better than to think you do equate disagreement to bigotry. You still speak to me afterall. ;)

Date: 2006-08-10 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lanapanda.livejournal.com
You just said it. Beyond being civil to one another, beyond being accepting of our very real differences, beyond allowing people to be who and what they choose so long as no harm is coming to anyone, there is nothing else that needs to be done.

If everyone acted that way, there wouldn't be any need to police everyone's opinions and actions, because people would be self-policing. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is pretty much the only universal law in existance, in my mind.

And I never once thought you were attacking me in any form or fashion whatsoever. You know I'm too zen for that. ::grin::

Date: 2006-08-11 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anorexicbrownie.livejournal.com
hmm. I am real impressed with the results of this 'civilty thing' so far. >.> You might have a point there.

I like that law and try to follow it. The only thing that keeps it from being a perfect plan is that some people develop warp definitions of it. I suggest putting much of humanity through extensive parenting classes before they can have children. ;P

Yay. ^_^

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