What if?
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What if?
by Jim Toevs - Special to the SGN

WHAT IF, as a result of his contact with Melissa Etheridge and others, Rick Warren begins a journey towards more openness and understanding of us and our lives?

WHAT IF, Rick Warren, LIKE SO MANY OF US AND OUR PARENTS, comes to see the error of his ways, and ends up publicly acknowledging such, not only from his pulpit, but in public forums as well?

WHAT IF, like Frank Schaeffer, Mel White, and many other former members of the religious right, Rick Warren becomes a "born again" GLBT ally, and, in part because of his feelings of guilt for his past "sins," becomes a pillar in helping us achieve full legal GLBT equality in our lifetime?

WHAT IF, as Mike Rogers so beautifully challenged last night on Hardball, Rick Warren is willing to sit down behind closed doors with leaders of the LBGT community, and learn about us, our desire for full equality, and the fullness and beauty of our lives?

And some of you may ask, "WHAT IF NOT?"

To which I will respond, "What do we have to lose?"

How do hating, name-calling, and judging Rick Warren win ANYTHING for us?

Barack Obama is a transformative figure. He has already transformed the hearts of MILLIONS of people who NEVER thought they would vote for an African-American for president & but they did.

Let's give peace a chance! Name-calling, hate, and judgment don't work! When we personally attack people, we are simply stooping to their level.

Call Rick Warren into account for his position on issues like Prop 8, but let's stop the personal attacks on the man. Personal attacks and attempts to demonize other people say more about us than they do about them.

How do you respond when you feel personally attacked? Rick Warren is no different than we are in this regard. When we are attacked, all we hear is the attack. We sure don't feel like sitting down with the person and engaging in a meaningful discussion.

The holiday season provides a once-a-year opportunity for many of us to share from the heart about our lives, to people who may not support our full equality, but whose hearts are open and can be changed.

Those folks will hear our stories, and be open to our experience of joy, peace, and love, but they will turn deaf ears to bitterness and the judgment of others.

January 20 is a historic day for all Americans. I look forward to celebrating that day, and the change which it will bring in the coming year.

I trust that many of us will be joining hundreds of millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions more from all over the planet, in celebrating that day as well.

Onward and upward!