Everyone knows someone…

Everyone has them – those embarrassing people you just cringe when they talk and deal with because you have no choice. In a state where we celebrated the passing of the right for gays to finally, legally marry we find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of having those few who just don’t get it.

Case in point – The Pioneer Press had a story about Barbara Westerbur, 72 year old from Jasper, MN in Pipestone County who just HAD to put in her 2-cents worth (which is a huge stretch to how much her opinion is really worth) to the local paper when it featured Kerry and Christy Johnson, a gay couple who were one of the first couples to get a marriage license in the state. Her biased and close-minded views, stemming from her antiquated religious upbringing, shows that no matter how much our beloved state moves forward, there are always those still in the dark trying to pull us back to a time when even dear Mrs Westerbur has little to no rights.

It is a sad commentary when the bigotry and hate becomes news. Yes, I believe in the “right” to free speech, but I also believe that if you give hate a forum hate is allowed to thrive. Cut it off at the start and it whithers and dies.

The thing that saddens me most is that people like Mrs Westerbur influence others. And she’s not alone. I don’t want to pick on just one close-minded, unloving, obviously not Jesus following, Christian bigot, but Mrs Westerbur put herself out there when she decided to put “pen-in-hand” and belittle the love of two people who the state had deemed worthy, just like all other couples in the state, to get married in the eyes of the law.

The sky isn’t falling Mrs Westerbur. In fact it’s a beautiful day in the Minnesota neighborhood. A grand and beautiful day that recognized love, tolerance and equality. If you do indeed believe as another Pipestone County resident, Mavis Hintermeister, 79, does, that “Satan just has them in the palm of his hand…” then just pray for them in your own private way and move on. We don’t need you to set the moral code for the state. We would prefer you didn’t – EVER.

I’m not in your community, home, church, telling you that you are wrong for doing things you have done in your life. I don’t come out and publically spew hate for any of your life choices. Show the same and do the same.

Only when people realize that another’s life choice is just that – their life choice – and is just as valid as any other person’s choices, then and only then will there be equality. True equality. I fear, however, that that day won’t come until the generation that holds the most close-minded views has passed from this earth. And that is a shame, for they do have wisdom. I just wish they would share THAT more than their hate.


About ynnarie

Lynn Salisbury grew up in the rural town of McGrath, Minnesota. After graduating from McGregor High School in the mid 1980’s, she moved to the Twin Cities. Lynn spent her 20’s and 30’s working like the average person, never imagining the calling that awaited her. But those two decades of working, learning, growing, led to the day a friend challenged Lynn to write. Lynn met that challenge and never looked back. Now she draws from her life’s experiences and creative mind to weave stories. Stories about different worlds, different lives, different perspectives. If you ask her about her life, Lynn will tell you it’s been rather simple and sometimes boring. But if you dig a little deeper you will find that it’s been a bit more exciting than that. Lynn has done everything from designing clothes ranging from prom and wedding dresses to drag queen attire and everything in-between, became a registered, ordained Pagan minister in the state of Minnesota, to creating a group, on a social media site, of fans devoted to her favorite football team that has more members than most medium sized towns. Lynn still lives in the Twin Cities area, enjoying the changing seasons, spending time with family, working, and writing. She will admit she hasn’t found her genre niche yet, and she secretly hopes she never does, leaving the possibilities wide open for any type of story that formulates in her head, mixed with a bit of muse inspiration, to spill out into the written word. She writes what she would want to read, having taken to heart a piece of advice she once heard. And she feels blessed and grateful for the chance to share her stories with the world. As the mother of three amazing, beautiful and strong daughters, Lynn knows that even when the world seems the darkest, they are her light. And she never forgets what an honor and privilege it is to be their mother. “If you haven’t had your ‘a-ha’ moment today, you haven’t been paying attention.” – Lynn Salisbury
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