“People are people so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully.
So we’re different colors
And we’re different creeds
And different people have different needs.
It’s obvious you hate me
Though I’ve done nothing wrong
I never even met you
So what could I have done.
I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man.
Help me understand.”
This song was written and produced back in March, 1984 by Depeche Mode founder, Martin Gore. I’ve always liked this song and its lyrics mostly because, quite honestly, I don’t understand either. What is it in the human nature that makes us so judgmental of others? Why do we care so much what anyone else does in their own home? Why do we care who someone else loves? I don’t get it.
With the advent of our new administration and the seemingly unending task that this administration seems to have for tearing down what its predecessors put into place, I have kept my tongue quiet up until now. It’s been a while since I’ve written simply because I have been mostly in a bad place in my head. What is happening around our country has made me skeptical of the direction I THOUGHT we were going in. The lyrics of “People Are People” are from over 30 years ago. For years, I have been thinking we were getting past the hate, the discrimination and the animosity that has been a part of the history of our country. I was dead wrong. With the election of Donald Trump as our President, our country has now been given the go-ahead to revert back to what it once was…and that is horrifying to me. It’s amazing to me to see what is happening in our country right now. One of the things that has set me to write today is something that could be considered small by some people…but for others? It’s a pretty big deal. And honestly…it’s one of MANY things I am concerned with.
Within the last couple of days, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed a law (Senate Bill 17 or the “Charlie Brown Law”) that would allow student groups at colleges, universities, and high schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students. Of course, the way the bill is written, it doesn’t SAY it’s SUPPOSED to do is this. The following is a copy & paste of what this bill SAYS it’s supposed to do…
“…permit students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments free from discrimination; require local boards of education to ensure that the selection of student speakers is made in a viewpoint-neutral manner, the student’s prepared remarks are not altered before delivery without student’s consent, religious and political organizations are allowed equal access to public forums on the same basis as nonreligious and nonpolitical organizations, and no recognized religious or political student organization is discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs; allow students to display religious messages on items of clothing, access public school facilities during noninstructional time as a religious student organization, use school media to announce student religious meetings, and meet as a religious student group during noninstructional time and before and after school to the same extent as students undertaking such actions in a nonreligious manner; permit public schools to sponsor artistic or theatrical programs that advance students’ knowledge of society’s cultural and religious heritage; create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to allow a teacher to teach about religion with the use of the Bible or other scripture without providing religious instruction, and to teach about religious holidays in a secular manner; amend KRS 158.186 to require annual notification to local school boards, school-based decision making councils, and certified employees of statutes pertaining to religious freedom and expression in schools; create a new section of KRS Chapter 164 to require public postsecondary education institution governing boards to ensure that students are permitted to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in assignments free from discrimination, the selection of student speakers is made in a viewpoint-neutral manner, the student’s prepared remarks are not altered before delivery without the student’s consent, religious and political organizations are allowed equal access to public forums on the same basis as nonreligious and nonpolitical organizations, no recognized religious or political student organization is discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs, and there are no restrictions on speech that occurs outdoors on campus and is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, except for restrictions that are reasonable, justified without reference to speech content, narrowly tailored to serve governmental interest, and limited to provide alternative options for the communication of the information.”
What is this long, run-on sentence I just copied and pasted from THIS
site? Well…it’s legalese that supposedly says that it prevents school officials from regulating student organizations, including the selection of members and “doctrines and principles.” What it is effectively doing is allowing student groups at colleges, universities, and high schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students OR anyone else for that matter with no recourse from the institutions. So…we could effectively be thrust BACK to the 1950’s on college campuses where certain groups aren’t allowed to participate in certain organizations because of their sexual preference, their skin color, their religious background, etc.
Question. Do I think this will happen?
There is a part of me that WANTS to believe ‘no’. I want to believe that we have moved on and are understanding that not everyone has the same DNA. I WANT to believe that we all understand that we can’t all be white, heterosexual and middle to upper class. I wanted to believe that we were on a path to end racism, end hatred towards those who are of different sexualities, end religious hypocrisy. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. So…yes. I believe it can and will happen with the passing of this law. Our kids are a product of who WE are. All this time I thought we had been teaching them that people are different. I wanted to believe in change. What I see now is that there are people who do NOT believe that we can all live together in harmony. Apparently it is ok to be judge and jury when it comes to race, religion and sexuality. I’m from a family that taught me that we are all different in many ways. My parents raised me to be respectful of ALL people. I understand that not everyone was raised that same way but I wanted to think that MY generation was working to rid our planet of all of this hate and misunderstanding. I was wrong.
For the record, I think it’s a shame that we even have to concern ourselves with laws such as this one. Why do we, as a people, continue to discriminate? The other day I saw a commercial on television. I don’t recall what the product was however in a brief few seconds of this commercial, there was a male couple in their bedroom. One had awakened and was getting ready for his day and the other lay sleeping in bed. It was only a second. But it occurred to me that it’s THAT kind of world that we should be striving for. Where it doesn’t matter who is in whose bed. It doesn’t matter what your skin color is. It doesn’t matter whether you are male, female or transgender. Seriously…IT DOESN’T MATTER. In the end, we all will be put to rest, our bodies will become carbon and we will be gone! Why spend so much of your time worrying about others and what they do behind closed doors? It’s RIDICULOUS. And if you are a part of this apparently large group of people…you should be ashamed of yourself.
So many people want to quote scripture when it comes to this sort of discrimination. The “Lord’s Word” is what they will shout. They will march with signs and protest equality and say they are following God’s Word but they are all liars. Aside from the 10 Commandments, which I feel are strong rules to live by…all you have to do is flip to Matthew 7:12. If you visit Biblehub.com, you will find a wide variety of versions of this particular passage. It is commonly known as The Golden Rule.
“DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.”
Live it. Don’t question it. Believe in it. You will be a better person for it.
And for the love of all that’s holy…just stay out of everyone else’s business. Mind your own home. THAT is your business. And if you go around throwing stones at glass houses…you never know. Yours could be next.