Thursday, June 4, 2009

When you don't quite agree.

Does anyone remember when Bush and Cheney were running for office and the gay marriage issue came up? As Republicans, it came as no surprise to me that they were against it. What did surprise me was the fact that Cheney's daughter, Mary was gay and Dick Cheney was still against equal rights for gay people.

Then, in a stunning move, I saw that she actually seemed to be SUPPORTING her father's views on gay rights by working for his election and re-election. I was amazed that people would do things so against their own self interests.

I am not sure what I think about this. First, there is family. Family is forever. You are supposed to support your family and help them achieve goals. Second, you don't want to hurt your own chances for happiness. It makes no sense to help someone (like Bush and Cheney) that work to take away your civil rights.

Family can be a powerful thing. Family can also be an annoyance. It all depends on how much you want to be a part of it. You could love your family so much that you would do and say anything to help them get what they want. On the other hand, it is possible that you could be turned away from your family because of someone else's opinion about them.

Now, I am going on the assumption that families mean well. I don't want to get into dysfunctional territory. Mary Cheney made a choice to support her family because it was the right thing to do at the time. Dissention in the ranks weakens the foundation of the family and causes nothing but problems. If the press got a hold of them, they could cause a rift (real or fabricated) that would have torn the family apart.

I have seen it with my friends. Someone new shows up and they whisk them away to another part of the state for their own reasons with no regard for the other person's family. This causes a rift and in one case ended in divorce.

Not having empathy for your significant other's family ties can be devastating to them as well. It can cause permanent relationship damage between spouses, siblings or parents. I have also seen examples of this. The worst part is, all it takes is one person to sack up and re-open a line of dialog. Maybe something was done that was unintentional. Maybe something was said that was misinterpreted. Maybe it's nothing at all and it's getting harder to resolve by the day. You never know until you try. Rarely is it ever too late.

Differences of opinion are always a strong factor in the breakdown of the family dynamic. Some of the time, it can be political reasons. Sometimes, racial. Sometimes religious. What's sad is, it does not matter. I can not change your beliefs and you sure as hell will not be able to change mine.

Let me give you an example of this. Bill, my co-host on Outside the Cinema disagrees with me on political topics. So you know what we do? We don't talk about it at all. what is the result? We are great friends. My parents? They were raised Catholic. Me? I don't believe. Do we argue about it? Not anymore.

What's good for you is good for you. What's good for me is good for me. End of story. I have a podcast called Are You Serious? It is basically a show where I get to rant and rave about whatever I want. Republicans? The religious right? Generation Y? Bad movies? I get to yell about all that and more. Why? Because it is what I believe. What's great about it is, even though my parents don't exactly agree with my every opinion, they support what I do. Because we are family and that's what you do.

I wish more people understood that, just like Mary Cheney does.

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