Monday, February 20, 2012

Student Attacked for Writing Pro-Gay Article

This is particularly troubling because it didn't happen in middle-school.  It wasn't high-school.  This happened on a college campus!  Destinie Mogg-Barkalow, a student journalist at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, wrote a pro-gay article about Proposition 8: "Prop 8 Generates More Hate".  And, for this, she was attacked on campus.  Apparently, the young lady who punched Destinie doesn't agree with same-sex marriage. That's tolerable.  Using violence for any reason isn't.

For the record, her article, "Prop 8 Generates More Hate", is very well written and makes valid points.  Nothing inflammatory.  Just the same, points and questions many of us have been thinking, saying, and asking all along...just with Destinie's point-of-view.  And, for that, she was attacked.

The level of intolerance in this case is incredible.  Incredible, but not necessarily surprising.  See, one thing I've been saying since even before the blog is that the rhetoric from "the other side" is extremely dangerous.  It's inflammatory by design.  It's used to rile up their base, their followers.  The problem with that is it leads to violence.  There will always be someone amongst their minions who will feel it their duty to take the message of hate and intolerance that they've been hearing to the next level.  "I'm gonna take matters in my own hand."  Or, worse, "I'm doing God's will".  And, that's when a young college student/journalist, who voices her opinion in the school newspaper, gets attacked.  That's when LGBT teens get attacked at middle- and high-school.  The message that has been ingrained in them, from their "religious" leaders and parents is that if it goes against their religious belief, then it's abhorrent and a threat to their very existence.  What we end up with then is hatred in the name of God.  And, THAT'S a sin!  Worse:  it's blasphemous.  Anything on the other side of their door of acceptance is a threat to their very existence and is to be hated. 

It is completely ok to believe in what you believe in.  That's everyone's right under the U.S. Constitution.  Theoretically, at least.  It is absolutely NEVER ok for anyone to force their religious beliefs down another person's throat.  Whatever happened to freedom of religion?  Who says that your religion is the only one with "the right answers"?  Who are you to decide who's condemned to Hell, or not, in accordance to your religious beliefs?  Why do we, as a people, continue to put religious fanatics in political power and then complain when they start attempting to legislate their religious beliefs?  "The Other Side" likes to tout that they're against the government interfering in people's lives.  Really?  Then, why are they so passionately concerned about who loves whom, or who marries whom?  Why is their focus so acutely attuned to the same-sex marriage issue when we have an economy in shambles, unacceptable unemployment rates, people homeless and hungry.  One would think that those things would be more important for them to focus on rather than who's loving whom.

Destinie should've never been attacked.  She wrote an excellent op-ed piece about something she felt passionate about.  Freedom of speech.  But, because their opinions obviously didn't match, some girl decided to attack Destinie for voicing her opinion.  The case is being investigated as a hate crime.  As well it should.