Friday, March 4, 2011

In-N-Out Teaching Moment

Today, at In-N-Out, my 6yo daughter asked me why it's wrong to call someone a retard.

I told her people who are mentally retarded cannot help who they are and calling someone a retard makes the negative connotation that it's "wrong" to be handicapped.

Apparently a little boy told her anyone who rides the bus is a retard. I told her to tell him, "Anyone who uses intolerant language isn't worth my time".

This, of course, brought up every other nasty word she hears at school and questions to go along with them. I explained that if she learns now how to love people for who they are, and not what circumstances or preference make them, she will be the kind of person people want to listen to.

When I came home tonight I logged onto facebook. I clicked on "most recent" and a link popped up, "How homosexuals are brainwashing our public school children". Directly under the you tube video was a list of comments: "Label me what you will but this pisses me off, this is just gross, etc...".

My stomach ached. These are adults. These are were my friends.


I'm actually stuck. I'm sitting at my desk with my forehead on my palm thinking, "How do I verbalize  this feeling?". It just can't be done.

It's telling people interracial marriages aren't allowed, it's a serial number on an arm because you're an inferior race, telling a woman to hold her tongue-this is a man's world, separate water fountains/doors/theaters, taking a turban off of someone's head because it makes other people uncomfortable. Shall I go on? Must I? Are you still so ignorant that you can't tell you're alienating people for NO REASON?

I'm not telling my children which sexual orientation to choose when I ask them not to stare at two women holding hands. I'm showing them love. Love is accepting that people are different and spewing hatred won't change anything.

It hurt to unfriend a few people tonight, but what choice do I have? I politely said my piece and then deleted them. They aren't worth my time, I would rather enrich myself with someone interested in the bigger picture.


  1. Let me see if I can explain my thoughts on this. I watched the same video clip, and the second part as well. I was disturbed by what I saw. I think it's wrong to compare homosexuality to discrimination based on race or gender. Taking away a person's rights based on qualities they had absolutely no say in is wrong. If someone is born with darker skin, or certain body parts, or a disability of some kind, it doesn't mean they should be treated worse than any other person on this planet. But when it comes to an aspect of a person, that's different. Case in point: I have relatives who are alcoholics. Do I identify them only by their habit/lifestyle? Am I required to accept it as part of loving them? No. The same holds true for my homosexual friends. I love them for the people they are, for the ways they contribute to this planet, but that does not mean that I endorse/accept/support their lifestyle choices. I love the PERSON, not the SIN. And Jesus did the same thing. He didn't go up to the adulterous woman, or the prostitute, or the thief, and say, "Go ahead and live however you want - I'll just have to love you anyway." He spoke the truth out of love for them, and then told them to sin no more.

    Personally, I'm tired of being told that I'm intolerant or ignorant simply because I won't accept EVERYTHING. My kids attend public school, but aren't supposed to talk about God. They have Winter Break instead of Christmas, Spring Break instead of Easter. We can have an entire day devoted to gay pride and homosexuality awareness, but when it comes to religion, you'd never see a "God Day" (not without a heaping helping of lawsuits, anyway). One of the main issues I had was the way the school discounted the role of the parents. If a school isn't supposed to teach my children religion (for fear of imposing beliefs on them), then why would teaching their own brand of social morals be okay? The little girl talked about her two moms, and in the same 2 minutes, basically bashed a classmate who tried to share Biblical truth with her. A 3rd grader putting down another student because he wasn't tolerant or accepting or open-minded enough. Nice.

    I can understand how hurling insults doesn't help anything. Some of the comments were unnecessary, yes. But part of being "tolerant" is understanding that other people will have opinions that differ from your own.

  2. Having a differing opinion is fine. Name calling isn't ok. Bullying shouldn't be tolerated.

    If someone was bullying your child for being religious, I would hope there would be ramifications. In the same breath, I hope a child would be punished for giving unsolicited advice or hateful comments to a child who is or has a family member who is a homosexual.

    Wouldn't you be up in arms if video were flying all over facebook entitled, "Why Christianity is bs! How they're forcing their opinions on rational people!".

    I'm sure you would be infuriated. 'How dare they speak of something they know nothing about!'

    My point exactly.

    Being tolerant doesn't mean changing your mind. It means keeping your thoughts to yourself and out of inappropriate times or places. You want to talk about the perils of lifestyle "choices", do it...but keep it out of school and the workplace.

    The only thing kids need to be told in regard to their way of life is to use protection, don't do drugs and stay away from the dangerous people. Beyond that, leave their eternal souls to the church.