The other day I challenged the frigid cold and went out to get the morning paper. Headlines were related to a new effort of the state legislature in Indiana to move forward a resolution that would allow state citizens to vote on an amendment to the state constitution that would deny people to legally to commit themselves to each other because they are gay.
I handed the paper to Deb and said, "I'll take the sports page. I don't want to start my day angry." I get very angry when I think of people being denied the right to protect their rights to life, liberty and happiness. People I love are committed to persons of the same sex. They are committed to love and fidelity and are working hard to raise their children to be loving and caring humans. It makes me angry that some of them are denied access to their loved ones when they are hospitalized. It angers me that they don't have the economic benefit that I do as a married tax payer. It angers me that they are discriminated against because they love someone else.
As I sat down to read the sports section, I wondered about my anger. I know that anger is related to loss. I know that anger is a response to threat. It is the body's way of generating energy to fight that which threatens us or gives us the energy to flee the danger. What am afraid I am losing?
If this passes and becomes a part of the constitution of this state, I will lose my belief that justice and equality are truly part of the fabric of our society. People I love will lose hope for the right to be legally protected against discrimination. Family and friends will lose their right to love and be loved the way they want. The loss of freedom of any threatens the freedom of all. When the rights of the minority are not protected, my rights of all are threatened. I lose hope that the world I leave for my grandchildren will be a far less hospitable place for them and their friends.
What do we do with anger? We use the energy not to attack and to kill, but to be politically active to influence the legislature to act with compassion and justice for all people. We use it to support those organizations who work tirelessly for the rights of all humans. I want warm love and merciful justice to be the governing values that shape the world my grandchlldren inherit. Listening to my anger is an important act of love.