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Tolerance kinda won a victory last week (sad that it should have to) but in reality, it’s a small victory … in the law books only.  When I first started thinking about writing a celebratory post, many of my friends were enhancing their facebook profile pics with ROYGBIV and the newspapers were declaring victory like the war was over.  The news media (save a few) was awash with stories highlighted by rainbow flags and same sex couples finally feeling acceptance but I hadn’t really found a song that spoke to me about what I wanted to say.

And then, during mass on Sunday morning, the priest declared the Catholic Church’s position.  In that moment, I realized nothing had really changed in the collective consciousnesses, just the legal system.  The roots of bigotry are deep seeded and only generations can extinguish the the flame of hatred and misunderstanding.

Our drive home from mass was filled with discussion about the church’s acceptance and how it appeared to conflict with the teaching that God accepted everyone.  My wife and I were disappointed that the church felt they needed to make any statement at all while our twelve year old daughter felt that nothing had changed and it was a non-event.  We felt that any statement other than acceptance was encouraging prejudice and our daughter couldn’t understand why we were so upset since the church hadn’t taken any new stance.

I was driving around later on Sunday and thinking about that family discussion when this  song came on the radio (yup, still listen to the radio – sometimes even AM).  This song isn’t about same sex marriage but it is about one of the closest social revolutions that can be seen as a parallel and I started to think about how far our society has progressed in race relations over the past five decades and how much farther we have to go.

I thought about how accepting another group of people to the mix who are considered different will continue to erode the thinking that there is only one ultimate truth.  As our culture continues to diversify, the pockets of bigotry will have to be divided and driven to extinction.

I don’t want to degrade the importance of the Supreme Courts decision nut, now the real work begins.  Deep roots have a way of hiding from sight and growing shoots in places unexpected.  The real work of changing the collective consciousnesses comes with continued support and time.

Let’s hope that someday we see each other for who they really are: not their sexual orientation, race, religion, financial stability or gender.  Let’s embrace the belief that some day we will all understand the importance of accepting all of our fellow human beings as brothers and sisters traveling in this life with us towards an unknown destination.

Let’s embrace acceptance and love.  #lovewins

Standing in line, marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady’s eyes
Just for fun he says, “Get a job.”That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them

Said hey, little boy, you can’t go where the others go
‘Cause you don’t look like they do
Said hey, old man, how can you stand to think that way?
And did you really think about it before you made the rules?
He said, son

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them, yeah

That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is

Well, they passed a law in ’64
To give those who ain’t got a little more
But it only goes so far
‘Cause the law don’t change another’s mind
When all it sees at the hiring time
Is the line on the color bar, no

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is, it is, it is, it is

The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby