ABC News did one of their “What Would You Do” segments in a Texas diner. They had a lesbian couple with children (actors), and a gay couple with children go in, and a person playing a waitress who began to criticize the couples openly. I must admit, I was heartened by what transpired, and reminded of how important it is to speak out in face of bigotry and inequality. The Texan’s fared better than New Yorker’s.
Of course, when the good kristians at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) saw it, they just couldn’t tolerate the fact that some people are actually opposed to discriminating against gay folks, so they had the following response:
Let’s note first of all that the behavior of the “waitress” in this setup up is outrageous.
The insidious propaganda point from ABC News is the suggestion that millions of good Americans who believe marriage means a man and a woman because children ought to have moms and dads, would or are behaving like this. Shame on ABC.
Be prepared for lot more prejudiced stereotyping of decent and honorable Americans down the road by powerful elites.
Maggie forgets that there is often a grain of truth in stereotypes.
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The TED Prize is designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources. It is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.” After several months of preparation, they unveil their wish at an award ceremony held during the TED Conference. These wishes have led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.
On February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED prize and made a wish: for help creating, launching and propagating a Charter for Compassion. On November 12, 2009 the Charter was unveiled to the world.
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others–even our enemies–is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.
We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings–even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.
A person who seeks help for a friend, while needy himself, will be answered first. –The Talmud
Can a call to selflessness be any more clear than this? How often do we seek help for ourselves, or pray to God to meet our needs, knowing we’ll get around to everyone else’s concerns as soon as we’re taken care of?
Maslow posits that this is an attitude ingrained in our very nature, and is part of our survival instincts. That’s what makes us part of the animal kingdom. What should set us aside as human’s is an unselfish heart ready to be concerned about others. I’m convinced that helping others find their blessings can only cause greater blessing to rain down on us.
This is also part of what I talk about all the time…about how no matter our situation in life, there are always people in worse circumstances, and if each of us just reached down life’s ladder to a few others, and helped them gain a rung or two…often in small ways, we are all made better. It’s really the basic message of Christianity, (while it seems to have been lost in dogma of religion) the compassionate spirit.