This is, in some ways, a difficult entry for me to write, but I need to write it.
There exists a symbol that has a specific and fitting connotation for certain of our fellow citizens, and some close friends of mine, but it also holds particular significance for me. It represents, in a way, a personal epiphany. I have tried, many times and without notable success, to formulate an appropriate and powerful way to explain the why and wherefore of my beliefs, but this will have to suffice.
The ancients, our early forebears, were fascinated, and intimately affected, by the physical aspects of their environment. They thought to perceive four chief elements: fire, water, air and earth. Although science has matured, and true elements have now been determined, still the perceptions of old possess the ability to resonate in our minds and hearts.
The destructive potential of fire, as embodied in the form of our daystar, is inarguable. Photons, propelled from the inferno of the sun, born of and powered by the cosmic furnace that warms our fragile ecosphere, traverse the 93 million miles between and, at literally the speed of light, penetrate the atmosphere.
Awaiting them, suspended in air, are miniscule molecules of water, drawn from earth's oceans by evaporation or atmospheric abnormalities. The havoc wrought by water, in the forms of flood and hurricane, is also undeniable.
Tiny particles, begotten of awesomely powerful natural processes, contained in a metaphoric womb, itself composed of tiny particles and also capable of terrible destruction.
Photons, an unstoppable force, and airborne water droplets, immovable objects, come together, not in a demolishing cataclysm of force and fury, but gently, in a heavenly display of ephemeral and inexpressible beauty and grandeur, conceived of the union of fire and water, midwived by air, and seemingly grounded upon the earth.
Is it any wonder that I believe in a Creator who can fashion such gentle miracles from elements of such utter destructive capability?
I have mentioned that my mother was a woman devoted to the teachings of the Catholic Church. As such, she believed in the idea that homosexuality was evil and an abomination against the Lord. I grew to young adulthood, having been thoroughly steeped in those teachings, believing the same.
It took a few years of study of history and religion, and more than a few exercises in self-examination, to overcome that early training and reach the conclusion that the Church was committing an abomination of its own by excluding members of the faith community because they were misunderstood and feared (and, it must be said, hated.)
That this bigotry continues today, that so many among the most devout conservatives feel it imperative to continue to discriminate, testifies to the sometimes inimical ability of religion to shape our lives. Truly, there is no logic to religion.
I have matured, in some respects, and years ago personally experienced bigotry such that it forcibly brought home to me how other victims must feel when confronted by those who unreasoningly hate.
Hold up your heads, everyone, and be proud of who and what you are. Let no one denigrate you who knows you not, for the ignorance of those who hate or fear will one day be their downfall. Stand tall, and you will tower above them.
Peace and good will.