Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chain Letter Reaction

A LDS chain letter just got to me through my brother. He was upset by it and wanted to share his response, which was supportive and loving (This is the younger of my older brothers, not the brother who’s a bishop). In short I was touched to know exactly where he stood, but even more so appreciative to know he’ll stand up and say it and that he wanted to make sure I knew he would.

I went through bits of the letter on isocrat.org, but this blog is more about the personal. In short, it’s a deceptive, strange and kind of sad attempt to garner support for Proposition 8.

Anyway, the letter is written by a Sharon, who I don’t know from Adam (or Steve). But the person who spread the letter is a person in the periphery of my extended family. We see them here and there. I don’t care to address them directly and will put my energy elsewhere. I don’t think it’d do much good to confront such people anyway.

But my brother has entered the fray, and is now a couple letters into it. Furthermore, this letter was also sent to my parents and other family, and they’ve gotten upset as well. They are sending out a letter of their own to everyone on the long string of emails listed, which will include family closer to us. The man who sent the letter to my brother is a man on his 3rd marriage, and a guy who my parents know to have physically abused his children; they also tell me his current wife has been convicted of fraud, some pyramid scheme. So you can guess how personal this could get, now that the first stone has been thrown.

I can’t blame my parents for getting personal, though. I’d be upset if a guy I knew was spreading the message that equal treatment of my son’s family is somehow an insult to marriage and a goal of the Devil. I guess I’m just wary of how these things spread and grow in a family. Will my siblings or parents get too heated? Will other siblings or cousins take the other side and defend this guy?

And yet, another part of me is admittedly beginning to want to get it all out, get it over with, to stop the sublimating and self suppression on all sides and have our trial by fire. I want to know who we can trust and who is just being polite to our faces; I need to know to whom in my family my family is family (I think if you read that again it might make sense). Maybe it's naive, but I suspect, while it may hurt, we'd all get through one intense big event closer and better for it, instead of second guessing through all these little things.

Maybe we should do it at the family Christmas party ;-) (or maybe :-\).

I guess all families have fault lines. I just fear each little event like this, a chain letter from a guy I hardly know, could cause the tremors that lead to the earth splitting for our extended family. Or maybe it's the start of the refining reaction we need. Or maybe it’s just a flash in the pan.

6 comments:

Edgy said...

I understand where you're coming from here. We've been having e-mail, ahem, issues, ahem with my in-laws for a few weeks now. A step-sister-in-law has quelled the infighting, though if there's new chain letter going through LDS circles, I imagine said lull may likely stop. Especially since I already have the response I've composed to my step-mother-in-law sitting in my drafts folder. And it'll get personal. She wants to attack the integrity of our family, yet ten years ago she was having an affair with her now husband, resulting in the breakup of two families. I have issues when people like that want to start casting stones.

Indigo said...

Indigo Incarnates

Lemme tell ya: When I hear the Far Right gripe about how gays are a threat to "traditional" marriage, here's what I've come to believe about "traditional" fundamentalist Christian marriages:

1. It's apparently "traditional" to get divorced 3-4 times and then run for office as a devout Christian.
2. It's also apparently "traditional" to beat the crap out of your wife and kids, the Bible says all wives must be obediant and all kids have to "honor the father".
3. It's apparently okay in a "traditional" marriage to have your wife at home and at least one other (younger) mistress on the side.

Gimmie a break.

Most straight marriages end in bitter divorce. What makes the fundamentalists think gay/lesbian couples can screw up the institution any more than it already is?

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

And yet, another part of me is admittedly beginning to want to get it all out, get it over with, to stop the sublimating and self suppression on all sides and have our trial by fire. I want to know who we can trust and who is just being polite to our faces; I need to know to whom in my family my family is family (I think if you read that again it might make sense). Maybe it's naive, but I suspect, while it may hurt, we'd all get through one intense big event closer and better for it, instead of second guessing through all these little things.

Yeah, I feel like this a lot, but I have a lot less to lose, a lot less at risk than do you (pl).

In fact, I'm in a way doing it right now, though not as intensely or honestly as I often feel I should. I really do want to know who among my family and friends/"friends" really do love me enough to not take away my rights as a human, or otherwise discriminate against me. To me, if you're doing that, you're not much of a family, despite our being related.

kevin said...

A family member of mine just celebrated thanksgiving (my mum's side is from Canada) with some friends. There were both gay and straight couples there, nearly all had children, and to make a long story short, it was beautiful...I mean, love everywhere!

Well, then this relative returned home from this lovely gathering to nothing but an email urging her to support prop 8 (this relative lives in Washington; the person who sent the email lives in Wyoming). Needless to say, this relative of mine was extremely upset.

It's hard to believe that the fear mongering and every other tactic is working to some degree among people (if people even care in Wyoming, it is working, unfortunately).

I wanted to show you this ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2nsGtd7y3c

If you've already seen it, sorry to waste your time. But it just goes to show how ridiculous it is that this issue is on the ballot.

And I hope with all my heart that your marriage will be recognized 3 weeks from now.

Edgy said...

Ooh. Here's a blog post I just came across from another site wherein a local woman responds to her family about the chain letter.

Scot said...

Edgy "She wants to attack the integrity of our family, yet ten years ago she was having an affair with her now husband, resulting in the breakup of two families."

But, edgy, she's been forgiven; clean slate. You and I on the other hand, well, with our continual sin, even our most stable unions make legally married couples disrespect their marriages. ;-)

I hear ya, indigo. It'd be interesting to hear the tone change in a couple of our local anti-gay activists on their 2nd marriages if only "civil unions" were made available to those who've been divorced, you know, because they've proven themselves to be "non-ideal" parents.

Craig, I wish you luck; let us know how it goes (and maybe give me some ideas :-)).

Kevin, you make me want to look into moving to Canada again :-). And that is a great ad, one I've not seen. Wish I could go door to door.

Thank you.