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Come Together

Don’t askdon’t tell” (DADT) was the official United States policy on military service by gays, bisexuals, and lesbians, instituted by the Clinton Administration on February 28, 1994, when Department of Defense Directive 1304.26 issued on December 21, 1993, took effect, lasting until September 20, 2011.(Wikipedia, 2020)  Similarly, The U.S. Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools in a 1962 decision, saying that it violated the First Amendment. But students are allowed to meet and pray on school grounds as long as they do so privately and don’t try to force others to do the same.  (NPR, 2020)

Here lies the fundamental problem with this back and forth.  To issue a don’t ask don’t tell (to me) always implied that there was something to hide.  As if there would or should be a problem with people knowing.  With prayer, if you are free to pray (which I believe is one of this country’s founding principles) doesn’t that open up familiarity with other religions and teach acceptance?  I’m not suggesting that everyone need to embrace a religion other than their own. Nor am I suggesting that we blur the lines of separation between church and state. What I am saying is that the only way to get to a position where all religions, races, gender identities and, wait for it, thoughts are out in the open and eventually understood requires them being discussed and addressed. 

What comes from a lack of understanding is fear.  We fear the unknown because we fear what we do not understand. Knowing or being familiar with something gives us an edge because we already know what to anticipate from the situation. This goes back to the evolutionary psychological trait which makes fear one of our most primal and basic instincts.(Vixen Zlar, 2017)

We have become a nation of looking the other way when it suits us; if it looks like it’s going to get tough.  Oh, we’re all about jumping in militarily and freeing a nation overseas of people who are subject to tyranny because we know better.  But we completely look past the countless opportunities to teach acceptance among our own nation – our own citizens. 

The way a nation comes together is to actually ‘BE’ together.  If we have rules and regulations at every turn instructing us to separate and segregate over things like sexual preference, religion, etc, just exactly how are we to come together as a nation?

No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself, not speaking to the other side (as we have all seen for a decade or longer) is counterproductive.  We are so consumed by ‘winning’ that we are no longer playing.  Just give us the trophy at the end and we’ll be happy.  The trophy is freedom!  Freedom from oppression.  Freedom of being who we are.  Freedom of voicing our opinions and having those opinions heard.  I may not agree with everything you say but you just might say something that I have not heard or thought of that makes sense to me and that is a teaching/learning moment for the both of us – and I will fight to defend your right to be heard.

We are losing the very foundation of what this country was built on.  Do not let it slip away because it’s easy. To quote Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.”

References:

NPR, Retrieved from the world wide web on May 3, 2020 from https://www.npr.org/2020/01/16/796864399/exclusive-trump-to-reinforce-protections-for-prayer-in-schools

Wikipedia, Retrieved from the world wide web on May 3, 2020 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_ask,_don%27t_tell

Zlar, Vixen (2017) Retrieved from the world wide web on May 3, 2020 from https://www.quora.com/Why-do-people-fear-the-unknown

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5 Comments

  1. Dave Grossbard on May 4, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Enjoyed reading. Thanks Ellen



  2. Mary Zecchino on May 4, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    this really resonated with me… For me the problem is there is little true exchange of ideas.. of discussion… it is so and so’s opinion or my opinion or else… and there is very little to no fact checking…. or willingness to understand what is being said… there are two points of view and neither should be dismissed… but I find it reprehensible when “facts” are ignored.. ok.. you can delete me.. I lost control.. lol..



    • the Roaring Ellie on May 4, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Thank you for reading Mary! It is so important for everyone to continue to listen to others and learn about the ways of others. The more we know the stronger we are.



  3. Roger Meinke on May 5, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    As long as we allow masculine belief systems to dominate our society, we will have duality, winner take all thought processes. Always the “other”. Games of winner and loser, my side won and you lost. war on poverty, drugs etc.. When it shifts by bringing in and honoring the feminine, we have cooperation, community, conversations about how do we can improve for all instead of for a few. We will see struggle and a tearing down of society and all things related. Look for the commonality of diverse groups. how do we improve every ones lives, including all beings. Plants, animals, water etc. are all improved by harmony. It is a symbiotic relationship that the indigenous people have followed for centuries.



    • the Roaring Ellie on May 6, 2020 at 1:04 am

      We can learn so much from them. I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for reading.