in life

One Nation, Indivisible.

Here we are in the midst of another election year and here I am wondering if things will ever change…

I’ve never been one to get super-involved in politics. Sure, I was part of an entire generation that jumped on the political bandwagon 4 years ago when Obama promised “Change we can believe in”, but below the surface, most of us really didn’t take a deep look at the issues (and still don’t).

And now here we are – that same generation, a bit older, entering into another election year.

In one corner, we have Obama. In the other, we have a slew of Republican’s vying to be the one to take Obama down. Promising change. Promising bigger and better things.

Anyone will tell you to look at each candidate’s stance on the issues. What will they do to improve foreign policy? How will they promote alternative forms of energy? What’s their plan to create more jobs? How will they pull us out of the current economy?

All valid, but it’s hard for me to take anyone seriously when they stumble over the question like, “How would you react if your son told you he was gay?”

That question was addressed to Rick Santorum in yesterday’s New Hampshire debate and my immediate thought was, “It’s 2012 and we’re still asking a question like this?”

Yes. Apparently we are.

But one thing was said that stuck with me. Something that illustrates what is inherently wrong with politics and (in some cases) religion.

In discussing gay rights, Santorum said (paraphrasing) while he does not agree with gay marriage or adoption for gay couples, he “respects” homosexuals and their choice to be gay.

Respects them, but doesn’t believe they deserve equal rights.

This, sadly, is still the culture we (still) live in. How am I supposed to take you, your take on the economy, your approach to foreign policy, or your views on education seriously if your stance on equality is, essentially, that all are (not) created equal?

There’s too many REAL issues to solve to get hung up on whether two women can legally be “married”. There’s much more important things than worrying if two men can be suitable parents.

From top to bottom, from the President to you and I, in order to move forward, in order to tackle the challenges and obstacles that really matter, we need acceptance. We need embrace. We need resolve. We need equality.

Tolerance? Respect? It’s nowhere near enough.

It’s 2012, and we must, now more than ever, remember and embrace the closing to our Pledge of Allegiance:

“…one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

(Photo credit)

Add Your Voice



  1. I was an intern for Rick Santorum back in 2003 and it was certainly an … interesting experience.  I took the internship because, at the time, I really wanted to get into the Government and Politics, but after working four months there, and really seeing what goes on behind the closed doors, I knew I just could not work in that kind of field for a person I did not support. 

    It’s interesting now to read about Santorum and know that he hasn’t changed at all over the last 8 years. 

    I hope whoever becomes (or stays) President for the next four years can really make the changes that the country needs.

    Great post, Matt! :)

    • Seeing what goes on publicly, I can only imagine what’s happening behind the scenes – I bet that was quite an experience, Kate. As much as we don’t like flip-flopping, the stubbornness of some to never change their mind is ridiculous. It really is unfortunate to see that some will always be stuck in their ways.

      I’m with you. Here’s to hoping the next four years involve someone who can bring about improvement for our country. Though, even as President, there’s a LOT of red tape and politics to get through to make, well, much of anything actually happen.

      Such is the political environment that we live in, which sometimes, feels completely hopeless…

  2. Matt- Love the blog and I couldn’t agree with this post more. With all of the volatility and uncertainess in the world and particularly in the US economy I’m astounded that people still worry about who is sleeping/marrying/loving who. 

    All men (and women) are created equal. Let’s get over the petty crap and get to making the world a better place. 

    • Amen, Corey. If we can’t agree on the basic rights of our citizens, I’m not sure how we’ll ever make real progress on the issues that truly matter. Here’s to hoping this message (and other’s like it) spread and inspire folks to think differently.

  3. I’m right there with you, brother. I was trying to think of something to add, but you pretty much summed it up well. Thanks for writing this post – well done. 

    • Thank you, John. I understand that we’re not all going to agree on who the best leader is for our country. I understand that we’ll have different plans for the economy, military, education, healthcare, etc. But if nothing else, sooner than later, we at least need to be unified in the belief that all of our citizens are equal. Gay or straight, white or black, if we can AT LEAST believe in equality, the door will open to creating real change, for the better.

  4. Great points, Matt. It’s funny – I knew quite a few politicians when I was in Madison (don’t know any in DC, ha), and one ex-senator Republican would often talk to  me about how he did believe in the liberal view of xyz issues (like, the environment), but had to toe the party line when he was in office. That’s just what politicians do. It’s a game. And it’s horribly messed up…. and ripe for disruption. 

    • You’re right. It is a game, sadly. I was chatting about this over the weekend with friends, wondering if these guys REALLY believe half of what their saying, or if they’re saying what is supposed to be said to appease their perspective parties. I wonder how politics would be if people stopped being political, and started being real…

  5. Matt –

    I had the misfortune of Rick Santorum representing me in Congress in both the House and Senate. This is typical Rick. I couldn’t agree with you more. Issues like this serve as a distraction to REAL problems. Couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Thanks. It’s silly to listen to Rick, and others, stumble though such a basic question about treating a gay person the same as a straight one. And to say that gays should be treated equally, even though they shouldn’t be given equal rights? How does that make sense…?

  6. I completely agree with you on this. And I would add that religion shouldn’t be a part of being President either. After all, we have freedom of religion. Even you saying, “…one nation under God…” at the end isn’t needed. God shouldn’t be mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance because this isn’t a nation of one certain religion.

    • 100% agree with this. Without a doubt. Bringing religion into the political mix is ridiculous. The sad thing, if you ask a conservative why gay’s shouldn’t be allowed to marry, they’ll have nothing to back themselves up other than a faith-based belief. There HAS to be a separation of church and state, especially when it comes to offering equal rights to all citizens.

      As for the Pledge, I agree, though I see “God” as meaning something deeply personal to each of us. Not one God, but the God you choose to believe in. ..

  7. The answer is fairly simple, so long as people like Rick Santorum continue to say things like, he “respects homosexuals and their CHOICE to be gay,” there will never ever be anything beyond basic tolerance. There is no shred of respect in that statement, whatsoever.

    I wonder how Santorum might feel if someone told him on national television that he made the CHOICE to be straight – that he was not born that way, but instead upon the age of sexual maturity he made the conscious decision to like women. I imagine he would find the very idea absurd. But, then again, if millions of his party’s voters were telling him to support that statement I guess he might go along with it.

    Recently, as a Christian, I am oftentimes embarrassed by the way my religion is used to support such backwards ideas. So long as we’re governing strictly off of scripture – I guess we might as well legalize slavery and not allow women to work outside the home. My saving grace is that Jesus, above all, preached love and equality.

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
    – Galatians 3:28

    My prayer is that when I have children, I will be able to tell them all about how this nation came together and fought for equality for all men and women under the law – and won. I pray that the very idea of discrimination against another based solely on their sexual preference might sound just as strange to them as the idea of legally owning another person for the purpose of slavery because of the color of their skin. And I pray that their history books (or, history iPads) tell the story of how our President (whoever that may be) helped lead us to that point.

    • I couldn’t have said it better, Kate. 

      One of the reasons I don’t “practice” a religion (ever since my falling out with the Catholic Church) is because, like you said, it often promotes discrimination by taking scripture out of context and applying it to modern culture. The idea that there is one path to enlightenment – the philosophy of “our way or the wrong way” is in it of itself, wrong. It breeds hate and discrimination.

      The same can be said for the state of our political environment. At least one man (Huntsman) stood up yesterday and acknowledged that the black/white, right/wrong, gay/straight view on everything in this country is the reason that real progress is impeded.

      Until we unite as a country, we’ll never make true progress as one…

  8. Great post. So hard to believe this is still an issue especially when so many are unemployed, the economy is still far from recovery and education costs are soaring while standards are plummeting…I’m so disappointed in the political system in this country…pathetic what they focus on really.

    • As am I, Kristina. I don’t get how anyone’s really going to do much to make things “better” if we can’t agree to the basics, like treating each other as equals. We’re a long way off, sadly, and I’m not so sure what can be done to make real strides toward getting to where we oughta’ be.

  9. Matt, you summed up my opinion of the GOP presidential candidates exactly. Our next president needs to accept everyone in the country for who they are and support them, not alienate them.

    It’s still unbelievable that these issues are the most talked about, not the economy, jobs, foreign policy, etc.

  10. Great post, Matt. I loved reading it. Hope all is well and wish you a great year. Just so you know, this is the first time I’m commenting, but I have been following and reading your blog for a while – you’re the best.

    Well I have no idea what goes on there, because I don’t live in the US. I live in a country in which gays have NO rights, absolutely no rights and if the society finds out about them, they will be sentenced to death. There is no equality in Iran. I wish I could do something about it. But I’m only seventeen years old…

    • Thanks for coming by, Saeid. We are very fortunate to be ahead of some countries when it comes to equal rights, that’s for sure, and for that of course I am very grateful. I think it just goes to show that across the world, on a global scale, there’s much to be done to achieve equality. Little by little, we’re getting there (I think) – but we’ve still got a long way to go…

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  12. I’m sharing this with my students. I hope you don’t mind.
    Election year for America doesn’t hit home for Canadians as much as Americans, but some of us are just as riveted as you are to find out who comes out as President. In fact, many Canadians cried tears of joy when Obama was elected 4 years ago. Here’s to hoping the outcome does, in fact, speak for equality for all.

  13. Great post, as always.  (I’m so glad you found me on Twitter, so I could stalk you and find this blog!! Haha!)  It is very confusing to me how anyone (Santorum or Kirk Cameron, or my mom) can say they respect gays and have friends who are homosexual and yet believe they are spitting in the face of God and that if they indulge their lifestyle “choices” they’ll go to Hell.  Um…do these “friends” know that you feel this way?!  Equality is the way to go, and I try to teach that to my kids every chance I get.  It’s an uphill battle – but I’m glad there are people like you out there, fighting and educating!