Tag Archive | civil liberties

A Rose by Any Other Name – Can Still Be Scary


I saw in the news that a small floral business owner was interviewed for her decision not to supply the flowers for a same-sex marriage.  It was interesting listening to her, because she kept referring to her religion, and adding that she had been receiving hate mail and threats because of her beliefs.  Though my spiritual views are decidedly different from this woman’s, there is no excuse for bullying her.  This woman has a right to state her views without provoked hostility in return.  Her views are far from religious, however.  They are up close and personal with fear.

After you ponder the situation, one needs to point out to her that SHE was not invited to the wedding…she was not asked to bless it, condone it or support it.  Her flowers only were requested to be there.  Do her flowers share her religious views?

This was a specific wedding, so the participants were obvious.  Does the woman check backgrounds of everybody she sells to?  Does she know that the couple celebrating their anniversary with her flowers are atheists?  Or that she sent birthday flowers to a drug addict?  If she doesn’t do background checks on all her customers to see if they share her “religious views and beliefs”, this stance of hers has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with discrimination.

That woman fears, not prays.  She fears a homosexual person is a sexual predator, just waiting to pounce on innocent people who stroll into his/her space.  She is scared out of her mind.  Literally.

I understand fear.  I can appreciate how it clouds all rational thought and behavior.  Many religions are based on fear to keep the members inclined to follow the Church’s rules.  This woman is probably unaware of her real fears, and no doubt feels a familiar and false sense of “religion” in taking this discriminatory stance.  It must be confusing to her.  Sadly, what was needed in this instance was courage to do the right thing, not fear to do the wrong thing.

Business has fallen since the woman took her stand, and I am not surprised that she is experiencing monetary repercussions.  It’s called karma.  She is being judged for her religious views, and not for her floral arrangements.  Seems only fair.

Happily – for most of us – civil liberties will remain in harmony with religious, spiritual or atheistic beliefs, and flowers will be present to brighten our tables and our hearts.


Then We Women Must

There are haters in America peering out from under the sheets of religion, conservatism and family, and creating violence among us.  They crucify spirituality, freedoms, civil liberties, and human dignity, and our politicians are not containing them, but bowing down before their altars of discrimination and rage.

They are the underbelly of America that appalls other nations and they want more than anything to govern the rest of us by their hate, revenge, racism, homophobia, suppression of women, and mob action.

Who are they to be so arrogant as to bully the rest of us!?!

These inciters do not represent us, our sons and daughters, our families.  Our patriotism goes back to “United States,” “one nation,” and  “justice for all.”  We remember the Civil War and learned what history taught us:  we are a diverse people living together, not separate.  We differ with intelligence, not misspelled signs or insulting placards; we listen with respect, not place the crosshairs of rifle sights on the names of those who disagree with us.   We vote our preference, we do not vow to “reload” and attack.

If the powers that be won’t take a public stand against the sarcastic nastiness, the obvious lies, the unabashed prejudices more reminiscent of white cloaks and hoods or SS insignia…

If their political party won’t…

If the media won’t label them fanatics and dangerous…

…then we women must.

We women must speak out against the polarization and for unity; against hatred and for allowing of differences; against racism, homophobia and suppression of women and for diversity, economic equality and freedom over our bodies.

We women must do so and can simply and without fanfare, as our part of the conversation.  We must express our desire for unity, our respect for the dignity of all humans and our willingness to allow in our art, our attitudes and our teachings.

For if we women do not set the course of human events upon the path of intelligence, grace and compassion, it will not get done.

— © St. John 2010