If your neighbor has a completely different view on gay marriage, abortion or stem cell research you still are both Americans. Neither of you is necessarily more patriotic nor loves your country more than the other… Which is pretty much what my Big Momma was telling me the other day…

I was telling my Big Momma, who is my captured audience while she recuperates in a senior medical center from recently breaking yet her other hip, that I am a tad troubled by all this gay marriage.

“Troubled?… Troubled?!…” My Momma started bursting out in her patented bawdy laughter. “Hell son… you seem to be more than a tad troubled by ANY marriage. You have more ‘X’s’ than a noisy porno movie.”

Hmm….

Although she is about 7 weeks shy of 95 she is never gonna die from choking anything back. This is the same straight talking woman who once informed my dear ol’ cantankerous Pappy, when he had threatened to leave: “I can always divide by two, sunshine…”

No wonder I love her – even if she did tell one of my ‘X’s’ that if you are unhappy put the pedal to the medal.

I sure do miss that car.

But I was trying to start a dialogue. With my mother residing not far from the San Andreas fault we try to talk on the phone 4 to 5 times a week about most everything that doesn’t sound like a natural disaster – which includes me, naturally, because I never went to law school. However, unlike my ‘serious’ older brother-duh-heart-doc, I do make her laugh.

Boy do I make her laugh.

Anyway, I had wondered if she heard about the Irish… becoming the first country to approve same sex marriage by a popular vote… Over 62 percent… Sweeping aside the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church that dominates their education system… where abortion is still 99% illegal… where just 22 years ago homosexuality was still illegal…

‘Duh Irish! So whaddaya think, Ma?’

Big Momma didn’t skip a newly stented heart beat.

“You know why G-d made alcohol?” she said, coughing up another laugh. “So the Irish wouldn’t rule the world. They must have finally sobered up.”

Hmm… I guess that means she’s happy for them?

And then she pointed out: “See what you can accomplish when you’re sober… and keep that thing in your pants.”

I wonder what she meant by that? And since my mother and brother don’t drink I have often wondered what they do on Sunday mornings… without an angry hangover in bed beside them… demanding an alimony check…

But let’s get back to the Irish. Even if half the time I can’t understand what the heck they’re saying. Perhaps that’s why they write so well. But this time their voices were pealing loudly and clearly.

Their vote is the latest chapter in a sharpening global cultural clash. Same-sex marriage is surging in the West. It’s now legal in 20 nations and 37 American states. At the same time, homosexuality is illegal across much of the Middle East. And gay rights are under renewed attack in Russia and parts of Africa

I have to admit that I never really was actually against gay marriage. That is after I realized I didn’t have to get one.

I guess I just don’t understand why anybody still gets married anymore. I mean, over 50 percent get divorced – like me. And then try it again… again like me. And keep trying… once more, like me, to find love in all the wrong places. Until I finally realized that anybody who says they love me… for longer than the weekend… is lying.

Hmm…

But I am still a romantic. That is when I am not sober. Because I can’t be both.

What I probably really don’t understand is what the fuss is all about. I know divorce attorneys aren’t fussing. They are not only for gay marriage, but especially gay divorce.

Yet, the battle ongoing over gay marriage reveals an awful lot. In America, for instance, the Bible-belt people hate gay people. Because the Bible tells them? No, the Bible tells them an awful lot of things that they ignore. For some reason they just especially enjoy cherry-picking that one.

Another argument, vaguer and even less persuasive, is that gay marriage somehow does harm to heterosexual marriage.

Hmm…

I have yet to meet anyone who can explain to me what that means. In what way would allowing same-sex partners to marry diminish the marriages of heterosexual couples?

I mean, do folks seriously imagine that legalizing gay marriage will result in thousands of parties to heterosexual marriages suddenly deciding to get divorced so they can marry a person of the same sex?

Hmm… perplexing, ain’t it?

Those who condemn gay marriage, yet are silent or indifferent to the breakdown of marriage and divorce, are, in my view, missing the real issue. And I ain’t just talking about ‘disgust.’ And, in case you’re just too repulsed to realize it: The irrationality of disgust suggests it is unreliable as a source of moral insight. There may be good arguments against gay marriage, partial-birth abortions and human cloning, but the fact that some people find such acts to be disgusting should carry no weight.

But of course!

Meanwhile, as old and ancient as my mother may seem, she still sees things as they are. And for what they are. She pointed out that women didn’t get the right to vote in America until the year she was born. In 1920. After nearly 100 years of suffrage. In this land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Where everyone is supposedly created to have equal rights.

‘Things change. Nothing stands still. Even growing old and dying has changed,’ my Big Momma was telling me over the telephone. ‘Not always for the best. Not always for the worst. But imagine women, human beings, working the land, bearing your children, sewing your clothes, cooking your meals… and not being considered worthy to vote.’

As Mom put it: ‘Go figure… Men gotta change more than their underwear.’

‘Soon, marijuana will be legal everywhere.’ Obviously she was on a roll. ‘Just like gambling since they moved it out of Vegas. And now gay people are getting married. They are garnering the rights, the respect and the privilege of any American. Our churches have gotten corrupt. And gays have gotten legitimate.’

Go figure.

At that she noted somewhat poignantly: ‘People just want to be accepted for what they are… not judged for what they are not.’

“Funny you should bring that up, Mom.”

‘I know…’ she said, ‘you aren’t a lawyer. And after you’re divorces you aren’t rich. And you aren’t 6-foot-three like your brother… But look what you are.’

“An S-O-B?”

‘Pretty much,’ she said. ‘Considering what you’re father called you… that’s progress…’

And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…

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