This is a comment by Marcus Williams on the post “Vikings’ Chris Kluwe Kicks Serious Verbal Ass—And You Should Too“.
“I agree 100% with you that gays should be entitled to the legal benefits and privileges of marriage, however that particular combination of things like tax benefits, child custody, medical authority, etc. wants to be called under the law. I don’t really care if it’s called “marriage” or a “civil union” as long as *legally* they get the same perks as opposite sex marriage. Religiously, I don’t give a shit if some believer or official church refuses to recognize it as marriage in some spiritual sense, because that’s religion and that’s up to them. There’s lots of religion (all of it, really) that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean I consider every religious person a bigot.
“I agree 100% that Kluwe’s statement was heroic, not just because of the position he was staking out, but because he risks his own reputation and well-being by not just doing the easy thing and staying quiet. He deserves praise, and it would be great to see more people follow his example. That said, I reject the notion of considering every person who doesn’t do the heroic thing to be a bigot, coward, or whatever word of the day you want to use to describe people as monsters for simply acting like most people instead of doing the heroic thing. No one is a hero on every issue, so if you’re ready to hold the non-heros in contempt for your pet issue, be prepared be held in contempt for not being bravely outspoken and active on some other noble cause that isn’t quite prominent enough for you to sacrifice time, money, work, and reputation for.
“For example, have you saved any whales this week by jumping in a boat to take on Japanese whalers or using spare time to write letters and editorials about whale preservation instead of spending that time with family or watching YouTube videos? No? Whale bigot! You obviously hate animals in general and whales in particular if you don’t dedicate yourself to their preservation with every waking breath. I bet a whale bigot like yourself doesn’t even dream of whales. If you’re not part of the whale solution, you may as well be shooting the harpoons yourself. For shame.
“Doing or saying nothing is what most people do most of the time when there is something to lose, and that’s most of the time, even if the only thing at stake is “what will this person think of me?”. I don’t think that’s noble or preferable, but I think it’s so unavoidable as to not deserve heaping piles of condemnation when it happens. Let’s celebrate the heros (like Kluwe in this case) and hope that inspires others to do the same, rather than taking that heroic action and treating it like the ordinary everyday thing that everybody but monsters do, which face it, makes most people monsters.
“I elaborated a similar argument in my piece, Sandusky, Paterno, Rick Reilly, & Me.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Drama Queen