I lost my mind on social media today. It's been a long time since I've been this angry. I got involved in the social media conversation about a 2:30 video that incensed me like few things do. I've never once in my life been called a troll (not that the word troll has been around that long), but today a Disqus commenter named MaryMagdalene told me to
"Blow it out your ear.... If you don't like it, don't read it. At least I am good at reading comprehension, Einstein." (if you click on my disqus profile below, you'll see more of her comments).
So to set the scene, the reason I finally rolled up my sleeves to figure out how to tweet this morning was because of this insanely self-pitying video that got posted on youtube by an organization named CatholicVote a week ago. The premise is that real life Catholics are "coming out" on screen-- in the style of a coming out video-- that they are against gay marriage.
There are a few reasons why this got me trolling- one of them being that they tactlessly used their own victim's meme to make themselves appear like the victim of their former victims. In other words, a mere two weeks ago, a minority group directly and indirectly oppressed by the Catholic church has gained a freedom that in the space of a week, has led the Catholic church to feel victimized enough to take their former victim's place in front of the camera and tell the story of themselves, the oppressors who now feel victimized.
The galling act of hypocrisy and insensitivity made many viewers shake their head and wonder if they were watching a SNL parody; it will probably go down in history as one of the internet's worst PR disasters. (I'm not actually versed in relative magnitudes of internet PR disasters, but within the first seven days online, the video has received 547,514 views, with 1,600 upvotes and almost 15,000 downvotes. You can also see the smoke from the comments section from here.)
You can actually still lose your job in the US for being LGBT in 29 US states; last week's Supreme Court decision hasn't affected that fact at this point, and as one commentor wrote, these Catholics are afraid of people moving away from them at a cocktail party, not of being beat up while walking to their car in broad daylight. Furthermore, the LGBT community can still legally be denied work and housing because of their sexual orientation.
Moreover, the fact that the tag line was "we have something to say and we're no longer afraid to say it" blew my mind, because if we all think about it really hard here, the Catholic church has been saying gays should not be allowed to marry for... a really ....really... REALLY long time. Like an eternal time. They were ... actually... NEVER... afraid to say it. The tagline should have been, "We have something to say... and we're still saying it."
The thing is, a lot of us were probably bigots in the 80's and 90's, just because we didn't know much about homosexuality, I know I didn't. I was still going to church and my youth pastor would tell us all the "disgusting" things gays did to each other, and we would watch his hand movements with big, wide eyes, because I mean, probably most of us didn't even have any sexual experience at that time, so we would've bought anything at that point. But things have just changed, and when new information comes to light (being gay is biologically determined, actually quite normal and gay people have sex because they love each other), you shed old beliefs like old clothing that's worn out or doesn't fit anymore. It's ok to do that. It's ok to get on the party wagon. It's ok to update your beliefs based on new realities.
As commentors said over and over again today, pay attention, do your research and educate yourselves, because you don't want to end up on the wrong side of history.
P.S. The parody version has already been made and it's funny.