Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Time rolls down the hill of order, they say... or they might?

No one has, for example, seen a shattered window reassemble assemble itself, and if we did we’d assume we were watching the world rewind, and for good reason. There are simply many more ways a system can be chaotic rather than ordered, and thus, with each time step, black holes decay, carcinogenic replication errors become more likely, and our i-pod ear buds become more tangled in our pockets.

Damnable entropy.

There is no truly irreversible action, in the universe or in our relationships. Everything leaves a mark. It takes energy to melt and reform a shattered window. It takes great effort to even approximate a fraction of justice after an injustice. For some crimes, the act is truly irreversible in any sense. Regardless, all work spreads more entropy. Thank goodness the earth has a tiny water wheel placed into the stream of solar energy radiating into the void, else we’d be... well, we’d not.

Anyway :-), these are the sorts of things my mind wanders to when considering the feeling that something irreversible has happened. I’ve been feeling like this business with the LDS church, Proposition 8, and my family has broken something, irreversibly. With their aims, ads, accusations, ominous predictions, and even literal demonization of my family, that pro prop-8 team of churches has put out a lot of energy, and, by it, many stones were thrown through my extended family and our relationships with LDS friends. By the laws of chance and nature, by the thermodynamics of interpersonal relationships, something valuable and intricate was bound to be broken, right?

I think it has.

I just don’t see some people the same now. I love them; I’ll be polite, but I don’t feel for them what I used to, knowing what they supported being done to my husband and children, acting on orders or not, feeling love and righteousness and good about it or not. They hope to debase and harm in very real terms my family and then think asking for respect for their faith, their motivation sounds near reasonable? You can shoot into a man’s home, hope he understands, and complain if he comes out and decks you? The excuse being you feel, with all your heart, that God wants and will reward you for shooting guns into people’s homes? That’s not an excuse; it’s a statement of guilt, selfishness, and lack of regret.

Sure, it sucks for us both. I understand they feel such motivation deserves respect--every supernatural claim must ask for special treatment, from Scientology to Islam, or they'd never last a day. I wish I could give it to them. Such God-given, moved-by-the-spirit feelings are a dime a dozen, though, all over the world and to many different ends; when the ends are to take rights from so many families, respect necessarily ends.

I've read some research that shows some people's brains are literally built to believe with special spiritual feelings and I know some of my family may be such people. In a way, maybe I'm being intolerant of their build, their nature to be intolerant of us on faith. But my home can only afford to give leeway to them if they can control themselves and keep away from harming us and others first; I wish they could see that. When the Golden Rule is broken, a line is crossed and they make their faith fair game. I can respect faith in, say, that people can become gods, that people can be resurrected, or that bread turns to flesh; all that is fairly benign and I'll keep away. But not the rest, not that they have to legally harm my family. Slapping a label of "Faith" on that makes it no more deserving of respect than any other bit of bigotry; it only drags down the brand name.

And sure, maybe I should be a bit more understanding as there was a day when my whole world was the spiritual, and being moved by unheard voices of the spirit decided all sorts of decisions (one of which was leaving the church that most of these family members belong to :-)). I do understand these feelings can be quite pleasing and assuring to the human mind; it's the hedonism of agnosticism. I'll try to be understanding of their use of them, but it’s just not the same as it was for me last year; something broke.

The funny thing is that I probably have become, with respect to them, as they were with me. All these years, when they were doing it to us, I just never really knew how it felt for them. I’ve always had an issue with their choices, but never felt it was much of my business and I could be happy that it pleased them. I could look at it more like their preference for certain foods than being on a different team. More and more, though, their choices are becoming my home's problem. I love all my extended family, but, for some of them, not in the way family should love each other anymore; I love them the way they love me, without that deep feeling of support for who they are and what they want out of life, when what they want means harm to the 3 most important people in my life. We’ll hate each other’s sin, love the sinner, and be pleasant when we interact… And that’s the way it is; that’s the broken window.

And look here, adding more work to the system just increased the overall entropy, didn't it? I wish the analogy didn't hold :-).

The question remains, though. Could we find the energy to melt the glass down and reform? It can’t be undone, but can it be remade? Don't know; I just know I'm not willing to do it alone.

(Boy, that was supposed to be a short post; guess I needed to vent :-))


Scott said...

I hope that it's more a matter of a wound that time can heal. The human body differs from a shattered window in that it can heal itself. I think the human spirit is the same.

I've never been the victim of a robbery, so I can't speak from personal experience. From what I've read, though, the long-term effect of having your home broken into far outweighs the inconvenience of having your property damaged or your material goods stolen. No matter how many locks you put on your door, and no matter how advanced the security system you install, it takes time to recover to the point that you feel safe in your own home again.

Eventually, though, most people do recover and are again able to live comfortably in their homes without fear.

It's not too hard to draw some parallels with your own situation. The security of your home and family have been put at risk, and that takes an emotional toll. No matter the outcome of the election in a couple of weeks, it's going to be difficult to feel safe and secure for a while (especially around friends and family who have been involved in questioning the legitimacy of your family).

Eventually, though, I think that your spirit will heal and you'll regain that sense of security and peace. At least I hope so.

Queers United said...

I'm sorry you are going through this but I think this will heal with time. Society itself needs to heal, and people can look past text in the bible and see you and your family for what it is - a family.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Scot, I know exactly what you're talking about.

I think that you're right that something irretrievably changes when your own family actively tries to take away your rights, and especially when they try to act all innocent and pretend it's your own fault for being gay, as if you're forcing them to do something harmful to you by being a homo.

I don't even know if I'm going to go visit my family for christmas this year. I know they don't feel comfortable around me, and frankly, I don't around them any more either.

Scot said...

Thank you for the perspective Scott. Maybe it is like a robbery, or like a wound as you and q.u. put it.

I don't really know; too busy trying to figure out what to do in other areas :-).

I think I may have given the wrong impression with this post, though. I'm actually feeling better about it, more resigned than sad, as though, since that something broke, I've one less thing to worry about in this fight... but I guess that's sad in itself. Still, if in time they want to try to reform it, I'll give it another shot; I'm done hoping to hold shards together though. We've plenty of other and closer family and friends to focus on.

If that makes sense? :-)

Craig "I don't even know if I'm going to go visit my family for christmas this year. "

Now that is sad. Craig, you make me feel guilty for even complaining a bit. I'm sorry. Let us know if you're in town for the holidays and we'll do our best to cheer you up.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I wasn't trying to make anyone feel guilty. Now I feel guilty that I made you feel guilty ;)

But seriously, like you, I'm done trying to keep relationships going with people who don't want to treat me with respect or equality. If they change one day, then I'll revisit the relationship then, but until then, I'm not going to apologise or tip-toe around their bigotry.

I will let you know if I end up going or not. As it is, I know I'll be here for (American) Thanksgiving at the least.

Java said...

Ah, Scot, I'm sorry. I'm sad with you. No, no one in my family is trying to destroy my home. It isn't as personal to me. But I feel a real disappointment.

Scot said...

Craig; I now feel even more guilt. Good job :-P

And thanks Java.