Choose Your Battles

I try to avoid clichés.

However, that is quite difficult when they summarize so cleanly how one feels. Clichés are brilliant little quips that take a mass of emotions and put them into a simple, easy-to-memorize recitation. I have often thought that if someone truly wanted to study a culture that they should not study that culture’s high art or their great works of literature, but rather, that they should study their clichés. Clichés tell you what someone really feels and what a culture, as a whole, deems important.

In our culture we have clichés such as “it is what it is,” “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” “6 1/2, dozen or the other,” and, for the purposes of this post, “choose your battles.”

Recently, I posted a picture of President Barack Obama onto my Facebook wall with the quotation, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

This post prompted heated and respectful discussion among a handful of my Facebook friends.

One of my friends (in real life AND Facebook) began a back and forth that lasted for about a week and totaled over 45 responses between only 6 people. Clearly, the issue of love is a heated debate in 2013.

Now, my friend’s thoughts on the topic of gay marriage or anything to do with religion are of great interest to me for two reasons: 1) He is very intelligent, kind and well-spoken, and 2) I could not disagree with him more on many points if I tried. That said, I learn the most from those with whom I disagree. It is for this reason that I subscribe the Wall Street Journal and NOT the New York Times. Diversity, to me, is the most difficult to embrace when you are dealing with diversity of thought.

I love my friend’s resilient stance on gay marriage – namely, that it is sinful and should not be tolerated.

So – how did we get to this point when we began lauding the cliché? It is what it is, I suppose.

I wish, often times, that I had enough energy to care (even a little bit) who loved whom and whether or not they got married. My mind is taken up with far too many other things to care if someone wants to marry someone else. As crass as that sounds, it’s true. I have to choose my battles.

Furthermore – I unabashedly believe that gay people SHOULD be allowed to marry. Ethically, morally and legally I believe this. I spend a lot of my life trying to live as a Christian example of love for others, and my formation at Catholic grade school, high school, 3 Catholic Universities and employment at 2 Catholic high schools has informed my conscience to believe that gay marriage is NOT something of which to be afraid.

To me, it seems our time would be much better spent worrying about the economy, our city’s failing pensions, retaining our big business neighbors and finding creative, efficient, effective ways to fund our excellent Cincinnati Public Schools.

Not much time left over to worry about gay people marrying one another.

Someone on my Facebook wall asked if my definition of “love” knew no bounds. I said that it did. Love of hurting others is where I draw the line – whether sexually, emotionally, physically, mentally – I do not accept the love of hurt. Outside that, if the love you share with someone else makes you the best version of yourself possible and you go out there in the world and share that love with others – have at it and be well.

Unity Assists, and sometimes, to come together, we gotta choose our battles.