|1953 6th grade class operetta - me- back row left|
my friend Bill B. second from right first row
I owe you an apology. Our pastor is doing a series on forgiveness and I thought about our last conversation whereas I said that someday people may marry their pets. I said that because who knows what will happen in the future? As Pastor Lee said this morning, "Give thanks that we can meet openly. Someday that may not be the case." It wasn't a comment due to a threat, or to scare anyone. It was a comment because, really, we don't know.
The conviction that I should apologize to you is from Romans 12:18. "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." I offer the olive branch to you. I'm sorry that I offended you by my comment and ask for your forgiveness.
A few weeks ago, during a casual conversation wit my longtime (since first grade, 1947) friend Bill B. (not to be confused with my spouse Bill K.), he casually made a remark in reference to my marriage to Bill K.: "What's next? Marrying your pet?"
|Bill and me from a class reunion committee a few years back|
He didn't say this in malice or anger but just an offhand, "less than", denigrating remark. I truly don't believe he realized how insulting and hurtful his remark was to me.
After he made his offhand remark trivializing my marriage as something like a "fad of the moment", it took me a few moments as our conversation continued on other subjects to say "Bill, do you realize you just insulted me? Did you hear what you just said to me? You're equating my marriage with human beings marrying animals?"
Bill, who as I said I've known for a long time, didn't understand what I was upset about. He said "Ron, there are people who believe that."
I said to him "Does that make it right? The Klu Klux Klan believed that blacks should be kept down too. Does that make it right?"
Folks, my longtime friend really didn't understand my consternation. I told him "Don't you remember what happened to your former senator (Rick Santorum, my friend is from Pennsylvania) who equated same sex marriage with 'man on beast'. Where is he now?"
|Bill and me 50th class reunion - 2009|
Bill, like most of my friends, is a longtime conservative, self-satisfied, every Sunday church going Republican who NEVER admit they're wrong even when they know they're wrong, actually sent me an e-mail today apologizing. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Reading the e-mail, I'm still not quite sure he's apologizing for being wrong but for saying what he said. I think in his heart he still believes that I am "less than" the equivalent of his societal acceptable heterosexual marriage.
|Me at Bill's house enjoying a mutual glass of box wine|
However, I do appreciate that he places some value on our friendship and has actually offered his apology, such as it is. Sometimes even I am surprised.
Here is my reply to my friends apology e-mail:
"Thank you Bill. I was and have been upset. We've been friends too long to let something like this affect our friendship.I believe that friends can have differing opinions but still remain friends. But when my marriage with Bill, which is recognized by law in Delaware and the United States as equal is trivialized as marrying an animal, I have no other choice than to be highly offended and hurt.I accept your apology."Ron
And the beat goes on.