August 6, 2008

Feedback Loop

I'm a nice guy. Friends and folks at work always talk about how they never hear anything mean come out of my mouth. I get along with everyone and rarely dislike anyone. So I'd like you to know, first and foremost, that it's never my intent to pick on anyone who stops by, reads and comments. I don't make it a habit to jump all over people who disagree with me. Last week, two somewhat anonymous comments without corresponding email addresses were left so I responded rather publicly in the absence of being able to follow-up privately. Yesterday, I received an email that fundamentally bothered me. I asked the author if I could share it and talk about it. She said yes.

Yesterday I wrote about Orson Scott Card and the fact that his views taint the way I view one of my favorite books. In response, I received this:

Your views on gay marriage are not as "immaterial" as you seem to think. I think it is ridiculous for gays to try and force us to accept their deviant behavior as normal and acceptable. If they want to love each other, they are free to do so, but the world should not be forced to accept it as normal. It isn't normal and I am not about to teach my children that deviant behavior is acceptable. Further, I find your views on this matter dirty, repugnant, pathetic and frankly, very disappointing. Its a shame, but it also tarnishes the way I feel about one of my favorite bloggers.

Deep breath. I feel the need to make a few points.
  1. My post wasn't about homosexuality or gay marriage any more than it was about Mr. Rogers picking up transgendered hookers or Phil Collins clubbing baby seals. I don't know how much clearer I could have been about that especially since I specifically mentioned that my view on that [gay marriage and homosexuality] is immaterial to this conversation as is the argument as a whole. That's pretty clear, right? I hate having to explain the logic behind a post because it sucks all the life out of it like having to explain the punchline of a joke. But this one was pretty simple. It was about the fact that I liked some of Card's books but his views, which run contrary to my own, will now forever be inextricably linked with those books and I will enjoy them less. And I respect their author much less.
  2. I'm a self-professed liberal. I've made no secret about that. This site is about me and about my life and sometimes - not always - this involves my politics. And it has for the last five years. I'm not trying to preach my point of view or change your minds. I'm just being me. Long story short, if you've read for any length of time or even looked at the little "about me" blurb in the upper right, you should know what you're getting into. I mean, you don't rent a porn flick then complain about the nudity, right? You don't have to agree with my views but it's not like I've been hiding in the shadows just waiting to break out all kinds of liberal kung-fu on your asses.
  3. I don't believe there's anything wrong with homosexuality and I'm a strong supporter of gay marriage. It's not for me - women are hot - but that doesn't mean it's wrong. My moral compass is just that. Mine. I would like to see the sitting president impeached, troops pulled out of Iraq, increased sex education in schools, a comprehensive energy solution aimed at alternate fuels and lessening our environmental impact, clean needle programs in inner cities, the legalization of pot and stricter gun laws. You don't agree? That's cool. There's no rule that says we have to.
  4. I'll admit that I don't quite understand why anyone would object to two people who love each other shacking up and getting hitched. I mean, we're supposed to encourage stuff like love, right? And if I were gay and wanted to get married, I'd be a little bitter that I needed society's approval first. Once upon a time, relationships between African Americans and us white folks were considered deviant. Ooops. No one's asking you to march in a gay pride parade or slap one of those rainbow stickers on your bumper. Just be tolerant. And teach tolerance.

In the words of Mr. Tolerance himself (Bil O'Reilly), what say you?

Posted by Chris at August 6, 2008 6:41 AM

If your ratings keep dropping, NBC is going to have to cancel you blog.

Posted by: harrylips at August 6, 2008 7:07 AM

There's a reason why, on some of your blog entries, I avoid commenting. You and I disagree on certain ideas, and I just generally avoid discussing politics; even if I agree with the individual on the other end. But you know, reading your thoughts and opinions on things that differ from mine don't make me think any less of you. If we all had the same thoughts and same ideas, then the world would be a very boring place. That being said - I do agree with you on the gay marriage point. I really don't understand why there's a distinction between gay and straight. You can't help who you love. Why does it matter what they're sporting underneath it all?

I've always hated it when someone jumps on another person because they have a difference of opinion. It makes no sense to me. Especially when said person lets it change their point of view.

Posted by: secha at August 6, 2008 7:09 AM

The word deviant used in this context literally makes me nauseous.
I think I'm going to go kiss a girl right now, just because I can.

Posted by: Caitlin at August 6, 2008 7:18 AM

I agree. Nuff said.

Posted by: Katherine at August 6, 2008 7:42 AM

It makes me sad and angry that there are so many people out there who are intolerant. I don't understand where that comes from. I've been an advocate since I was in college, and probably before then only without a word to define it. I can't wrap my head around why people would want to stop love, no matter who it's between. Yes, I enjoy boys... but that's me. And maybe that's why I get along so well with gay boys; we have that in common. *smile* If you can't be tolerant of love, I don't think you can be tolerant of much of anything... and in that case, I fear for your kids. Kids need to be taught tolerance, not judgment and hatred. I'm not saying teach your kids to be gay, but teach them that there's no reason to hate someone just because they happen to be. It's just like I know I will teach my children that people of all races and ethnicities are exactly the same as white people. Race should not inhibit basic human rights. Neither should sexual preference.
Kudos to you Chris for your tolerance.

Posted by: Kate at August 6, 2008 7:43 AM

I have to say, through the years, I've know a number of gays and lesbians who have been in supportive, loving and strong relationships -- much more so than a number of my straight as an arrow friends who have married and been miserable or married and divorced. These "deviant" couples represent "good family values" more than the others and are role models for me in my marriage. And, it saddens and angers me that they don't have the same rights as other Americans...or human beings.

Posted by: lisa at August 6, 2008 8:04 AM

I couldn't agree more with Caitlin, seeing someone use the word "deviant" in this way, made my stomach turn. I guess though, one of the definitions of deviant is this: "One whose sexual behavior differs from the accepted norm". Who's to say what the "accepted norm" is? Hell, depending on how you look at it, we could ALL be deviants.

I'm all for gay marriage. And it makes me sad that there are people out there that don't want boys to love boys and girls to love girls. Like someone else said, you can't help who you love. I also can't stand when I hear someone say that you "choose" to be gay. If so, why would anyone be gay? As much shit as they have to take from society, wouldn't it just be better to "remain straight"? I'm a firm believer that you are born gay.

Who was it that said "There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action"?

People are people, no matter what their race, religion, sexual preference, etc. That's what I teach my daughter.

Posted by: js at August 6, 2008 8:06 AM

Some of us gotcha the first time! :)

Posted by: Shannon at August 6, 2008 8:21 AM

I personally agree with your politics, and in truth I have had Ender's Game recommended to me before, but I am now less likely to read it because of what his beliefs are. (Missed commenting yesterday. Sue me.)

I completely understand your reaction, but just playing devil's advocate for a moment, isn't the reader we're discussing "guilty" (for lack of a better word) of the same thing you are? He/she used to like your writing a lot more before you clearly outlined your position on gay marriage. They never said they hated you, just that they were disappointed. (And as much as you can reference your About page or old posts, the reality is seeing your position clearly outlined as it was yesterday could be startling to a reader if they strongly disagreed with you.)

Again, I totally agree with your politics and beliefs on the subject. Hell, we went to a gay pride parade that was celebrating legalized gay marriage while we were on our honeymoon! But I don't see how their message is any different. (Their choice of words, on the other hand, is another matter. Deviant?!? Really?)

Posted by: SciFi Dad at August 6, 2008 8:25 AM

I call troll. There is no way somebody could read here regularly enough to consider it one of their favorite blogs and then be shocked that you don't have a problem with gay marriage.

Posted by: COD at August 6, 2008 8:28 AM

There's a reason I read your blog every single day, and today's post is one of them.

Total kudos for this post!

Posted by: Michelle at August 6, 2008 8:34 AM

Chris, I am a self proclaimed conservative, but I enjoy hearing about what people think, their ideas, their views, even if they don't happen to be my own.
I think that if anyone doesn't want to read your blog because your views don't goose step with theirs then they are the ones that lose.

Posted by: Maribeth at August 6, 2008 8:37 AM

Totally agree with all of the above. (SciFi Dad has a good point.)

The thing that shocked me about the letter most as well was "deviant".

I honestly don't believe in normalcy. We all come in different shapes and sizes, with different personalities and prederences and strange little habits. Judging people against a rigid steroetype of what is normal and what not is pretty scary.

Posted by: mikkie at August 6, 2008 8:44 AM

Well, I'd say she partially got the point of your post...she's realized your views and it influences her desire to read what you write. But, I think she focused on the most inconsequential part of what you wrote and made it the focus...and that was wrong.

What I don't get is why she wouldn't have known that those would be your views, if she's claiming you're one of her favorite bloggers? It's not like you're quiet about your beliefs or anything. I have to say that I don't always agree with you about everything (although I do about this) and so on those matters I just be quiet. I think that would have be the appropriate choice for the author of that comment.

Posted by: Alissa at August 6, 2008 8:45 AM

Great post and a well balanced response. Cactus for President?

Posted by: del at August 6, 2008 8:47 AM

Well the whole thing is a bit of a sticky wicket, and there is an analogy that will haunt me for the rest of the day. This may get long so bear with me here Chris.

I do believe that homosexuality is wrong and that is a stance that I do not sway on, BUT, I also believe that as a Christian, I am to show tolerance to all, not just a select few. I may not agree with the lifestyle but I am to show them the same love that Jesus commanded of me.

I can not agree with the concept of gay marriage as it does defile the meaning of the word, IMO. That said, if they would call it a civil union, they would probably have a lot less controversy on their hands.

This country has decayed morally ever since they signed the Declaration and it will never stop. The changes have been gradual but constant. I refuse to be like some "Christians" and spend my time decrying all that is wrong in the world and instead prefer to spend what time I have on this planet showing people the one thing I think is right. If at some point in time I win someone over to Christ I will rejoice, if I do not then all I can say is I did my best.

Rather then write an entire post in your comment section I will stop there.
Jeff A

Posted by: Jeff A at August 6, 2008 8:48 AM

Reading back my comment makes me realise the irony of it as there is of course a judgement in it as well. Lovely irony.

Posted by: mikkie at August 6, 2008 8:49 AM

Amen. Halleluja. Can I get a hell yeah? Yes, please. And finally, more please.

BTW, these are responses to all of your points in paragraphs 3 and 4. Anyone who reads you with any regularity and a modicum of reading comprehension wouldn't have been surprised by yesterday's post.

Posted by: Gwen at August 6, 2008 8:52 AM

I've had the same conversation with my MIL who feels as your commenter feels (and her brother was gay - he's is dead which is why I said was). I told her I'm not against gay marriage. The reason I'm FOR it is I believe they should have the same rights under the law as a heterosexual couple. If you spend years supporting someone and loving them why shouldn't you get to be the one that makes the hard decisions like end of life care? Why shouldn't you benefit from the laws and receive social security or whatever? She agreed that sounded like it should be done, but she still can't condone a gay lifestyle. I told her it was very very sad that she could condone people that get married, then divorced, leaving families broken but she can't condone a relationship that has last decades just because it was between the same gender. It made me very sad for her. I also brought up your point about African Americans and white...not surprisingly she is still against that too...when will it all change and we will realize that if we love each other for who we are then it is so much harder to find the hate and our lives would be so much more enriched?

Posted by: daisy at August 6, 2008 8:57 AM

Amen, Chris!

I think that whomever sent you that e-mail must be somewhat uncomfortable with their own views if he/she felt the need to write that to you.....along the lines of "thou dost protest too much..."

I figure there's too much hatred and violence in the world to object to a little love between consenting adults.

Posted by: JamesMommy at August 6, 2008 9:01 AM

First off - I'm pleasantly surprised by how you put the email into the post and just worked through it. It's nice to see how your thoughts are and see someone else dealing with something like this.

To some extent, I can understand her point. I was disappointed to hear what you said about Orson Scott Card yesterday, though I love Ender's Game. It's tainted it a little bit. I guess she's saying that by giving your views on gay marriage, that the same has happened with one of her favorite authors.

However. You specifically said your personal opinions didn't have a whole lot to do with it - and how come this, now, if you're so liberal? It's a little strange.

Long live the internet with free communications - just need people to realize they're interacting with people, not machines.

Posted by: Hannah at August 6, 2008 9:12 AM

I say I am so glaad (damn I'm funny) that I didn't hit send on the e-mail bitching about how I take offense to you making a very public stand against clubbing baby seals. How dare you dislike Mr. Rogers for taking a club to those sumbitches every third Tuesday? You liberal Peta freak! If baby Jesus didn't intend for us to club baby seals then why would he have invented clubs? Or baby seals?

I now realize that would have been very off color of me.

Posted by: Mymilabean at August 6, 2008 9:16 AM

Posts like this are a big reason I continue to come back here. Well, that and your adorable wife and children.

I was shocked by the fact that your views are "dirty". Really? I'm at at loss for what to say because nothing I can muster will make a bit of difference to that person.

Kudos to you, from another dirty liberal

Posted by: Shelly at August 6, 2008 9:16 AM

Wow, so wonderfully said. Tolerance would make us all a whole lot happier. I will never understand how what other people choose to do should bother people. It seems they do not realize other people's choices and happiness do not take away from their own.

Posted by: diane at August 6, 2008 9:23 AM

I agree with Caitlin, first of all. So...brb, making out with the next chick I see.

I was raised to believe homosexuality was wrong and it never did compute. What's so wrong about two people loving each other? Old Testament God was down on it but he was also down on synthetic fibers and pig flesh and he was anti-woman because hey, let's kill the woman who got raped. Little harlot. New Testament God, the one, you know, who gave the covenant Christians follow, not Jews, is much nicer. Jesus was a pretty hip guy, IMO, and he made a point of socializing with the "worst" kinds in society. And I'm pretty sure he did it without going back to the Apostles and gabbing about how he can let those whores be whores but omg, don't make me ACCEPT them as whores because it's *wrong*.

This is a touchy subject for me, as I've been on the receiving end of gay prejudice. And I'm straight. Which says a lot of about society, particularly Christian society since they're the ones who did it.

Also, hi! Sorry to be an absent commenter. :]

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at August 6, 2008 9:24 AM

Agreed! I sometimes feel like the folks who NEED to comment like that are the ones most insecure with their own feelings towards the subject. "Deviant" could mean a lot of things but in this case, I feel like she's just afraid. Afraid of something she does not understand... or maybe wants to? Perhaps.

Posted by: Claire at August 6, 2008 9:35 AM

I don't get it.

I don't understand how you can ever justify teaching kids to be intolerant. It's sad. I don't understand what it is about gay that makes people so scared. They know they can't catch it if they're not assholes about it... right?


Posted by: sunshine at August 6, 2008 10:00 AM

So what is normal anyhow? When you figure it out, please let me know.

As you know, I have a boring little family type blog. To read it, you might not know how I stand on "controversial" issues. (You'd have to go to my other blog to find out).

However, my sidebar spells it out as does my profile and short biography. and PFLAG are listed prominently.

I live in California and I have a gay son. His older brother is in Iraq. I have mixed race grand and great-grandkids. And my husband is Mormon.

Sort of lost my train of thought didn't I. I think what I was trying to say is that I love my gay son and the super macho Army kid equally even though I'm pro gay rights (including marriage) and against the Iraq (and most) wars. My grand and great-grandkids rock. I certainly love my husband and somehow the ultra liberal Methodist and the Mormon co-exist. Is my family normal? Not according to your correspondent I suppose.

It saddens me more than I can say to hear those ugly words applied to my youngest son who is one of the most decent, caring people I know. And the word "choose" makes my blood boil. Who, in their right mind, would choose to be hung on a fence to die?

Bottom line - my son deserves the same rights as his hetero brother. Hopefully, my state will make that clear come the November election when Prop 8 (anti-marriage) is consigned to the garbage heap of history.

See, this is why I don't comment often. I get on a soapbox.

Have a great day and don't forget to check your tire pressure. Every little bit helps.

Posted by: Ann Adams at August 6, 2008 10:09 AM

Test.. This is only a test! lol

Posted by: Suzy at August 6, 2008 10:14 AM

You've been articulate and eloquent enough for the both of us, Mr. Cactus. I'm too busy seeing red to come up with anything else.

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 6, 2008 10:20 AM

When I read "liberal kung-fu" I woohoo'd aloud. Oops. lol

Not only am I going to tolerate gay people, I am going to accept them, fully and love them.

My mom, her partner and I are traveling to Canada and I am going to stand up in her wedding. I cant wait!

Posted by: Katie at August 6, 2008 10:29 AM

Well said!!!

Posted by: ::c:: at August 6, 2008 10:49 AM

Phew. That was some vitriolic email message you received, but you handled it with aplomb.

I didn't actually read yesterday's post, because I wasn't familiar with the author and I had absolutely no opinion about it.

Still, I never cease to be amazed by people whose happiness is threatened by the happiness of others. I truly believe that those people have been taught that if marriage can include anything other than the traditional man/woman combination, it somehow lessens the strength of their own relationships. If their own child turned out to be gay, would they then deny that child happiness because it was "deviant"? And how would that deviance reflect on them, as parents? Do they never think that far ahead??

Sadly, I think it's all deflection. Their churches teach them these things while digging through their pockets for loose change, and our government tells us these things so we won't notice the men and women dying in a foreign land for no apparent reason. Give them the gays to worry about, so they won't notice what we're really up to. Seems to work every time, doesn't it?

Posted by: Candy at August 6, 2008 10:54 AM

Well written, I could not have put it better...

Still laughing over Mr Rogers and Phil Collins, though...

Posted by: Amanda at August 6, 2008 10:58 AM

Seconding the nomination of Cactus for president (and I'm not even American!).

It is sad that someone would respond that way, and of course it is her choice whether or not to continue to read you.

It makes me feel physically sick to read her message too, especially as I am now qualified as a teacher and embarking on my first job shaping young minds come September - and this is the kind of prejudice children may bring into my classroom because of what they have been taught in their home environment.

Without wanting to hog the comments, I was a committed Christian until I met what was perceived by some as the "wrong" person (wrong gender anyhow as far as the church were concerned) and am thankful that the prejudice and judgement I did then face wasn't as vitriolic or venomous as that presented by your commenter. Bottom line is that - as you and many other wise commenters have said - you can't help who you fall in love with. The world today needs as much love as it can get.

I'd rather have one hour of my "deviant" love than a lifetime of cool apathy or condescension for those around me.

Posted by: starrynite at August 6, 2008 11:05 AM

nice work, as usual. you are a well-spoken diplomat. and i have no tolerance for ignorance. but the beauty of it is that we're all free to voice our own opinions and we're just as free to listen to it or not. i'm sure there are plenty of like-minded bloggers that your disappointed readers can go to. unfortunately.

Posted by: kati at August 6, 2008 11:18 AM

..."break out all kinds of liberal kung-fu on your asses"...Tee hee. The world could maybe use some more of that. Very well thought out post. I agree with all of the above. And maybe add better pay and training for teachers, amongst other things. Best o' luck with the comments...

Posted by: MissAnna at August 6, 2008 11:20 AM

Dude, this is why I love you. And not in a way that would threaten Beth. Not that she'd be threatened by me at all, but I am happily married to a man who is also incredibly logical and, dare I say, right. As are you. As in, correct. But left. ;-) I'll go now.

Posted by: much more than a mom at August 6, 2008 11:20 AM

Wow, what a shit storm. I've been away for a while. Think I'll come back tomorrow when some of the dust has settled.

Deviant behavior. That's funny. People in glass houses... Eating a gallon of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting. Now that's deviant.

Posted by: Johnny Smoke at August 6, 2008 11:32 AM

I simply say... I love you even more (and dude who thought that was possible :))

Posted by: stinkerbell at August 6, 2008 11:42 AM

Troll! Troll! Everybody RUN!!!

I love coming her because I find your liberal-ness adorable. :)

Posted by: oakley at August 6, 2008 11:48 AM

I would like to elect you to be President (you dirty, dirty boy, you) but, sadly, I think you're too smart to take the job. Too bad for us.

Posted by: heels at August 6, 2008 11:50 AM

I forget who on TV keeps asking this question, but don't you think that 50 years in the future people will be looking back on 2000-2008 the same way we look back on the times of Jim Crow laws and lynching and slavery? And I'm not only talking about how we treat gays, but how we are destroying the environment with our pro-business energy policies and the disregard of their effect on the places we live and play. Our kids kids will simply equate us with the same people who we look on as barbaric simpletons; the people who thought of blacks as mere property and the ones who burned women suspected of being witches; amongst many other examples of ignorance throughout history.

The guy who wrote to you berating you for pushing your beliefs on him has no concept and never will of the word 'tolerance'. There is no teaching him. We just have to wait until those kind of people die out like those racist grandparents we all had. There is no teaching once the rascist/homophobic tendencies are instilled in the person as a kid. It is in fact taught; there is no hate gene.

I am like you, I don't approve or disapprove of gay marriage. It has absolutely no affect on my life. Seeing a gay couple together does not raise or lower my taxes, or cause the invisible fake God in the sky to lay waste to scores of non-believers. If two people are in love, who am I or you to tell them they can't be in love? It's just an absurd issue that continually astounds me that it is in fact, an issue..

Posted by: Chris at August 6, 2008 11:54 AM

very interesting... i think you summed it up nicely by bringing tolerance into the discussion. in fact, i bet your true gripe with Card is his intolerance, rather than the subject of it (gay marriage). this post was spot-on.

Posted by: Erin at August 6, 2008 12:01 PM

You know what else is normal? Cowboys killing Indians for their land. Oh wait, that was 300 years ago.

You know what else is normal? Getting married at 14 and dying at 30. Oh wait, that was 200 years ago.

You know what else is normal? Using people with different skin color as property, slaves to do your bidding with an escape penalty of death. Oh wait, that was 100 years ago.

You know what else is normal? Keeping your woman in line with a strong hand. Make sure they shut the fuck up and make you some dinner because anyone with a vagina shouldn't voice their opinion. Oh wait, that was 60 years ago.

You know what else is normal? Change. Welcome to 2008.

(as an aside, I love that her final point was that she lost interest in you because she found out your feelings about something unrelated, and that was exactly the point of your post about

Posted by: Brad at August 6, 2008 12:02 PM

I'm also very liberal. I feel this is the most outspoken that I've noticed Chris on anything. Kudos.

I think we all learn and grow. There was a time that I was fearful of gays. I was fresh out of high school and in the Air Force. The Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy on gays didn't exist then.

Given my shared military quarters and living in close proximity with tons of other girls, the idea of potentially having a gay in my midst was frightening. I didn't know any better. I was from a small town and gays were very few and they were looked upon terribly.

Thank goodness that times are changing. I realized my fear was ignorance and worry about the unknown and some strange thinking that I was going to be attacked or something.

We're teaching our son tolerance for everything. Religion, race, sex, gay marriage, etc. We are teaching him to respect and embrace differences and to treat everyone how he would want to be treated. We have two lesbian friends and they are wonderful parents and loving, caring people that we are proud to call our friends.

Posted by: Diane at August 6, 2008 12:16 PM

See? This is why I like coming back here to read. You take what you're given in response to your writing and it makes you think and write even more.

Posted by: k8 at August 6, 2008 12:21 PM

Chris, next time you put something up there that will cause me to do a spit take, I'd kindly request due notification.

People like that just make me sad. How to get through to them?

Anyway, now that I've finished cleaning the laptop.....

Get this: I'm a RAGING CONSERVATIVE. I'm also CATHOLIC. And, the kicker? I'm a TOLERANT PERSON. Which means that even though I'm such a crazy conservative, and I truly believe that marriage is a sacriment, I also feel that it's not my place to take rights away from other individuals who may have a different belief system from myself. That applies to more than just gay marriage- frankly, I think marriage in this country is in crisis so far be it from me to tell two loving people in a committed relationship that they can't make it official by getting married.

Also, I believe in the separation of church and state, which means that my religious beliefs really don't have a place in deciding what my state or my federal government does. There is a difference between having rights and laws, and making a decision in your own personal life based on your life circumstances and value system. Example? I don't believe in abortion. I could never have an abortion (let's not get into extreme situation debate, because no, my answer will always be no). BUT, far be it from me to tell another woman that she cannot have the choice.

Now, on a grayer level of example, even though I am Catholic (ROMAN Catholic to boot!), I'm a little proud to live in a state that supports gay marriage, and you know what? My state will even marry non residents, and HURAAH for that! But you know what else? My church will not marry a gay couple, and I'm ok with that too. There are many perspectives in the world.

And to further blow your minds, I am a Raging Conservative, Roman Catholic, Gay Marriage supporter who will also go to the ends of the Earth to support acceptance for those gay couples who would like to adopt.

AND I watch Fox News Channel.

Are your minds sufficiently blown?

Posted by: chatty cricket at August 6, 2008 12:34 PM

Standing Ovation!

Posted by: lesley at August 6, 2008 1:32 PM

I say hell yes. That's it.

Posted by: Mr Lady at August 6, 2008 1:47 PM

I read your blog and really enjoy it. You are much more liberal than I (and most consider me fairly liberal), but that doesn't make me like your blog any less or think any less of you, just as it wouldn't make me think any more of you if you thought or believed more like I do. I respect your opinions as yours. The only thing that bothers me about this whole "tolerance" thing, and I'm not saying that you do this or have done this, is that often times people with more conservative views are labeled intolerant by those with more liberal views. It's as if unless we have the same uber-liberal views as people, for example, who believe in gay marriage then we are not tolerant. There seems to be very little "tolerance" on the part of those for gay marriage for those with beliefs opposed to gay marriage. Just an observation.

Posted by: Sarah at August 6, 2008 1:55 PM

If I was a man I'd ask you to marry me.

Posted by: jessica at August 6, 2008 2:30 PM

Great response, Chris.

Also, as a Christian mom, who teaches her kids that the most important thing ever spoken in the Bible (by Jesus, nonetheless) was John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another," my heart breaks for this woman's children.

Posted by: Mindy at August 6, 2008 2:33 PM

All these clarification posts take away from my rude cactus-y goodness for the day.

I just find it amusing that e-mail even came to you. I'm a little disturbed.

It's so much fun when people miss the point.

Posted by: caleal at August 6, 2008 2:51 PM


I'm clueless as to how she didn't already know your views on this subject. I've not been around these parts all that long and I knew from the very first day that you were about as liberal as they come. Maybe it's my similar view points but it was pretty obvious.

Man, I've been sitting here reading her email trying to type a response and I just get angrier and angrier. She's right, she doesn't have to accept another person's behavior as normal. It's her freedom not to. But I think it's sad that in the same breath she can turn around and condemn and insult you for having and sharing your own thoughts on the subject. I'm baffled as to why people feel they need to not only share their opinion but then beat other people down with it.

Your response to her was brilliant.

Posted by: jen at August 6, 2008 2:51 PM

I agree with you and understood what you were saying/asking in yesterdays post.

Posted by: Maria at August 6, 2008 3:04 PM

Good response, Chris...

The main key is tolerance.

I saw something one day, and it really hit home for me...

I saw a sticker that asked, "What would you do if the fetus you are fighting to save is gay?" Kind of makes you wonder a bit...

I don't want to open a different can of worms, but I just think that if everyone were more tolerant of each other's differences, there would be less animousity.

I'm not sure if any of that made sense, cause I was a bit rambly, but I think you know what I meant...

Posted by: Karen at August 6, 2008 3:45 PM

The beauty of blogging is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ THEM.

All I have to say is - couldn't people just agree to disagree and move on?

Posted by: Mandy Lou at August 6, 2008 5:23 PM

amen, brother. keep on keeping on. or something. =P

Posted by: tiffanie at August 6, 2008 6:07 PM

Sing it, brother!

Posted by: Rebecca at August 6, 2008 6:55 PM

There's a lot of same sex couples in the world that are shacked up living their lives and not bothering a single soul. I think they should be taxed the same way that my husband and I are. I'm all for equality. ;-)

Incidentally before someone says something ridiculas to 15 yr old son is struggling with his sexual identity and I believe he is gay but doesn't know quite yet because he's not sexually active. Trust me when I say this matters not to me..either way. Here's what I want for my son....happiness. Pure and simple.

So I will pose to question....if Mia or Owen grow up and are will be liberal enough to accept them? My guess is yes...of course!!

Devient behavior to me means you write nasty emails to blog writers to hopefully do what? Feel better about your judgemental wayward opinions?

Posted by: Kristy at August 6, 2008 7:07 PM

p.s. if Hitler had written a book and I loved it...and THEN he killed the Jew's...I would burn that book fast.

ut oh....I mighta opened a bigger can of worms.

Posted by: Kristy at August 6, 2008 7:16 PM


Posted by: Misty at August 6, 2008 7:34 PM

i can't believe we are STILL having to tell people the most obvious response they deserve: NO ONE MADE YOU READ IT.

seriously. what the fuck? i don't like jim carrey. (yeah, i said it. he annoys the shit out of me.) so guess what? i don't rent his movies.

it is JUST THAT SIMPLE. so much simpler, in fact, than putting energy into a rant against him. what does that serve?

oh, and not that you needed me to tell you, but you are not required to state your (brilliant, level-headed) position. it was generous of you to do so.

Posted by: jessica at August 6, 2008 7:43 PM

Very well put sir. I happen to very much agree with your beliefs, being a liberal living near San Francisco. Who am I (or anyone else for that matter) to judge who someone else should love?

Posted by: Teenuh at August 6, 2008 7:47 PM

It's sort of the nature of things that a negative criticism can draw a disproportionate amount of our concern. You are my favorite read of the day, so don't let the negatives get you down.

As for comments that gays are trying to force us to accept their deviant behavior, I rather think of it the other way. Those of us heterosexuals in the majority have abused the privilege and rendered their ability to marry "illegal". We are the problem. Not them. When we stop trying to legislate against them, things will be right in my opinion. Until then, it's tyranny of the majority.

I live in California where gay marriage is currently legal. My kids and I have attended a gay wedding already. I can't wait to vote against the November ballot issue that seeks to force the heterosexual agenda into our state constitution.

Posted by: James Proffitt at August 6, 2008 9:27 PM

I have a lot of gay friends. All I want for them is to be happy. If that means that they won't be happy until they are married then I support it fully.

Homosexuals are people too. They just want the rights that married heterosexual couples have. They're not out to "ruin" the sanctity of marriage. They just want to be equal. And I support it fully.

Posted by: Shell at August 6, 2008 9:41 PM

I heart your political views Chris. I worked with a man who was married to a man. He is a great guy and I have never ever met a person so respectful. To call him dirty or deviant is bizarre.

Posted by: Heather at August 6, 2008 9:50 PM

I'm with you, Chris. Totally.

One of your conservative readers enjoys insinuating that you're a hypocrite for feeling the way you do. I think there's a distinction here that needs illumination:

You admired Card's creation (his book) and then were disappointed to find that his views about some fellow humans are lacking in...uh...perspective. It's natural to feel let down when someone who is capable of writing something so enjoyable is also a selfish bigot who uses organized religion (he's a Mormon) as a way to deny basic human rights to others...simply because he had the dumb "luck" not to be born gay.

On the other hand, your reader finds you dirty and repugnant and pathetic BECAUSE you want to grant basic human rights to people who were born gay. You're a big, filthy disappointment to him/her BECAUSE you don't embrace and then dispense hateful, elitist and bigoted dogma...simply because it would make you feel more RIGHT.

See the difference? Sadness over someone being not a nice person...versus rage over find out you ARE a nice person.

See...I can't deal with shit like this. Am I grateful that there are websites like "Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O'Reilly"? Yes, I am. Am I able to read them without vomiting? No. For the same reason I can't watch FOX NEWS. It's hateful, fascist propaganda. I know that ahead of time and I don't expect anything different. To expect something different is insanity. Morons preaching to an idiot demographic. Do I write and complain about them in letter or editorial? What's the point.

So how can you be one of this person's favorite bloggers and still be so dirty and pathetic? It doesn't make sense. This person's thoughts are a waste of energy to ponder and he or she wasted a lot more of it trying to make a very sad point.

Let's just hope none of this reader's children are gay. Not that it wouldn't be highly entertaining to consider, but I'm sure they would damn that poor kid to whatever hell they believe in. And no gay kid deserves parents like that.

Posted by: apathy lounge at August 6, 2008 10:39 PM

Thanks for this, as usual, your perspective is thoughtful and I agree whole heartedly. That's from a personally liberal, sometimes politically conservative, tolerant Catholic.

Posted by: OS at August 6, 2008 11:10 PM

that guy is an idiot.

also, i enjoy your blog simply because you are an exceptional writer and your views are exactly like mine.

and i would never presume to read someone's blog then blast them for what they believe in. If i didn't like it, i just wouldn't read or view the blog ever again. No one forced that idiot to read your entry.

I really don't GET people. it saddens me to think of the future of our species with narrow-minded bigots that seem to breed consistently. Bah!

Posted by: Aurelia at August 7, 2008 1:32 AM

I'm a fairly moderate conservative (read: Republican), however I have several gay friends and I'm extremely tolerant of that lifestyle. I also think a lot of Republicans are tolerant of same -- it's just the religious zealots who are so vocal about opposing it. And I think that one day, it will be widely accepted. Our children are growing up more tolerant these days, and when Mia is grown, I feel like things will be different.

Posted by: coolchick at August 7, 2008 6:25 AM

It's clear to me from reading your blog that I would disagree with you on more than 50% of the issues out there for discussion. But that doesn't stop me from reading and laughing/crying/nodding in agreement/rolling my eyes on a daily basis. Now, if your blog was all about those issues on which we disagree, well then I wouldn't read it. But it's not. And when those issues come up, it's generally only in passing and you state your thoughts and move on. I respect that, as I've always presumed (although maybe I shouldn't) that you would feel the same way toward your readers - most of them - if you were having a conversation over coffee.

Actually, that's my brief description of your blog - a one-sided conversation over coffee. Because I always figure you were drinking coffee when you wrote it, and I'm always drinking coffee when I read it. Probably more info than you need!

Posted by: Teresa at August 7, 2008 8:39 AM

I say if you are opposed to same sex marriages make sure you marry someone that is the opposite sex as you are and don't worry about who other people are marrying.


Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at August 7, 2008 5:03 PM

I have actually heard that Mr. Card is considered a bad Mormon from other Mormons, that his views do not conform enough to their church's teachings, and that he is not considered an author that they should read. I can't find any support on the Internet, but this is from a couple of guys I went to law school with who loved Ender's Game.

To be fair, two of the guys were pro gay marriage. Thus shrinking the concept even further that the "we're tolerant because we're liberal" and "we're tolerant even though we're conservative" must be true.

I stand for the civil rights of all. I respect my friends, gay or straight, of all races, and whatever gender they espouse (think about it now). I'm edging further and further to the conservative side, though, because I do think that we don't respect the elderly or children nearly as much as we should, and that needs to change. So I don't get the boxes that people put everyone in.

Ugh, enough seriousness!

Tom Cruise sucks cos he's short! ;)

Posted by: alektra at August 8, 2008 9:36 AM

Chris, as usual, I completely agree with everything you say.

I loved Ender's Game. It was one of my favorite books. Other OSC books, not so much. But then I learned about OSC's views on homosexuality and other topics, and I now have a really hard time thinking of Ender's Game as a great and worthy book. Which is too bad because, despite OSC's (major) personal flaws, Ender's Game is still an incredible book that's worth reading. I view it as a personal flaw of my own that I have a hard time setting OSC the person aside and enjoying his works on their own merits. But what can I say? I'm human.

Posted by: Kelly at August 9, 2008 1:05 PM

It defies explanation that anyone who considers you to be a "favorite blogger" doesn't know your politics on gay marriage. You're about as liberal as they come, so wtf?

Oh, and our HR manager was holding a teleconference in a bathroom stall last week. I totally thought of you.

Posted by: Angela at August 9, 2008 7:42 PM

:::rising from my chair and clapping for you:::

Posted by: Kimberly at August 10, 2008 3:17 PM

You would think christians and gays would be allies, best friends. Born agains are all over against abortion and who could have lower abortion rates than gays? Anyway...:) well said.

I love your blog, I love what you are doing.

Posted by: Alex at August 10, 2008 6:02 PM