"If only closed minds came with closed mouths."
(Read on a lapel button)
photo credit: Alberta Human Services
Who defines closed minded?
Who chooses the gauge for what is deemed closed minded?
This statement seems to have an underlying assumption
saying that which is labelled close-minded
has universal consensus.
Does any human being or organization
corner the market
on separating and sorting
thoughts and practices
into that which is open minded or closed minded?
So, I ask again...
who determines what is categorized as closed minded?
What I believe
might be considered closed minded to some
yet extremely open minded to others.
And if we can't agree on who decides
what is closed minded or not,
then how can the opening statement hold any water in a land
where freedom to own an opinion and voice it is a celebrated right?
What that statement really translates to is this:
If you don't agree with me, shut your trap.
And the biggest irony is this...
regardless of your political affiliation
or religious tradition,
or sexual orientation,
most of us would probably agree
that a statement like this
is extremely close-minded.
So it shouldn't matter if
or the LBGT
or the Vatican
or Billy Graham
or the Girl Scouts Organization
or the Conservative Right-Wingers
or the Liberal Left
says this statement...
it should always offend.
If an evocative statement like the above
is not ok for a conservative group to say,
then it should not be acceptable
for a gay rights organization to say.
There are no double standards here.
The moment my opportunity
to voice a dissenting opinion
is the moment
freedom is compromised.
And while I advocate the right to speak,
I also call for civility and honor.
Freedom to speak does not endow me the right
to say whatever I want,
whenever I want,
however I want.
There exists a thing called decency and respect.
But it's here,
in the moment when I read that infuriating button,
that the rubber meets the road...
someone has posted something
that seems closed minded,
and it frustrates me,
it ruffles my feathers,
and I don't agree.
But that person is allowed to speak it.
And I am permitted to not like it.
I appeal to all who say they follow Christ -
surely we can extend love
to every fellow human being
even when we don't see eye to eye.
If we can't,
then Calvary is but a resounding gong.
But don't go thinking
just because I wrote the last paragraph
that some bigoted, hate-driven group
calling themselves christians
said that opening statement.
No, this statement was posted on social media by a group
that shakes its fist in the air and demands tolerance.
So, therefore, I also say...
I appeal to all Americans -surely we can co-exist
even when we don't agree on everything.
If we can't,
then Bunker Hill and Gettysburg become irrelevant pieces of history.
And that just isn't good enough.
That should not be so.