Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bill O'Reilly

If you can stomach watching at least the first part of this video of conservative Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly interviewing a gay rights activist, please do so that you can understand my response to it:

OK - besides the fact of Bill O'Reilly opposing gay marriage - which I disagree with, but he's got a mic in a free country, he's entitled to spew even the garbagiest of garbage - the part I take umbrage here with is the idea of his telling this guy 'you say all those opposed to gay marriage are bigots, so you're saying you couldn't be friends with them'. When the activist says yes he could and Bill O'Reilly argues 'but you just said you couldn't' (paraphrasing wildly here by the way).

I have at least a few people very dear to me in my life, friends and family, who I have from time (to time to time to time) disagreed with; often over political views or our assessments of different people and their lifestyles, our tolerance for differences, etc. I do not like or even love them any less for the fact I might consider them perhaps closed-minded or judgemental in some ways, nor do they like me any less (I would hope) for the fact that I can be wishy-washy and stubborn in trying to see the best in people.

One of Ari's favourite phrases is 'reasonable people can disagree'. Now personally I think it's becoming more and more clearly unreasonable to deny the gay and lesbian community the same rights we have; however, 40 years ago it wouldn't have been out of the mainstream to disapprove of interracial marriage. Does that make someone perhaps closed-minded or bigoted in some way? Yes. Does it make them a bad person with whom I could never be friends? No. To disagree is not to dislike or to hate - Jesus taught us that.

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