Many people my age (over 50) seem to enjoy pointing out the many ways in which society has decayed. From breaking up with your boyfriend by text message to posting videos of a rape on facebook, let’s face it, the ammunition is there. So maybe a little perspective is in order.
As I child I watched a movie called “Advise and Consent” with my parents. The only thing I remember at all about the plot was that some member of congress was blackmailed. When I pressed for information, both of my parents were too embarrassed to answer and later my mother made an attempt to explain homosexuality to me. This was still a world in which blacks could not eat in white restaurants, women with career ambitions were regularly denounced as ugly, and I met protestant children who were not suppose to socialize with me because I was catholic. By the way, I attended daily mass back then with a lace doily pinned to my head because it was sinful for women to be in church without their head covered. When I lost my doily (which I often did) I had to use a kleenex instead, because looking silly was far better than offending God with my bare head. Sigh….
Today and tomorrow the supreme court hears two cases concerning gay marriage. I hope that those rights are upheld, first and foremost because I am a strong believer in the right of every human to pursue happiness. I believe that individual rights trump arbitrary rules that protect no one but rather have been put in place for the convenience or comfort of part of the population. (I’m just not comfortable with gays, with African Americans in the same restaurant as me, with women who work outside the home or who are in church with bare heads). I don’t believe that we get to limit each other merely to make ourselves comfortable.
Tonight, I am taking a few minutes just to be amazed. Yes, there are things in this world that are worse that they were fifty years ago. (Fast food.) And there are things that are better. (Produce aisles in any grocery store.) And then there are things that are just plain amazing. Tomorrow, the Supreme court considers a case concerning gay marriage. People are lined up outside to show support and 58% of the population agrees with them.
Allow a sort-of old person to point out just how incredible this turn of events really is, no matter what the court decides. A society that moves towards more love and tolerance is NOT going to hell. And I have absolutely no idea what a hand-basket is.