As an atheist who, frankly, gets spooked on a daily basis by extremely right-wing Christians, I really appreciate reading such a reasonable, tolerant post on this subject. I think you and I could be friends.
I wish more Christians felt this way. I think it would make them more approachable as a whole. My sister is a Christian who tends to think along your wave length, but my parents are those blind followers you described, and it drives me nuts. There is no conversation there. And, if we can't even start to talk about serious topics, how can we ever find common ground? I get really frustrated because my like-minded friends (we're those evil liberals who want equality for all) encourage me to cut off anyone who acts ugly, particularly on Facebook (shouts to un-friend perpetrators get louder with each infraction), but I don't really want to do that. I want to get along with my parents. How do we come together when I want equality and they... well... DON'T? blah.
“Can you adequately express your feelings on a complex issue with one single symbol?”
I don’t think you can, symbols can mean many thing to different people. For me when I see the equal sign I think marriage equality but I also think of the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) the organization that uses the gold equal sign on a blue background and the HRC is no friend of mine. When I see the equal sign I think of “Gay Inc.”
But other symbols have different meanings to people. Take the Maltese cross people see different meanings in that. Also symbols can be hijacked, look at Gadsden flag (the yellow flag with the snake on it with the slogan “Don’t Tread On Me”) it was originally used by the Continental Marines and now the Tea Party has hijacked it.
Look at how many businesses have copyrighted their symbols, where I used to work they had a whole manual on where we could use the corporate symbol.
I'm not sure why people think that one has to choose one or the other symbol, in this case. One can be a Christian and still believe in marriage equality. Using the equal sign means that one supports marriage equality. It doesn't say anything about your religious views one way or another.
On a side note - and this has nothing to do with your post topic at all - the verse you mention with the woman who committed adultery always bothered me a little. I always wondered why the man she committed adultery with wasn't being treated the same way that she was by the angry mob. Why weren't they both being subjected to the stoning punishment? Do you chalk that up to the fact that women were not treated as equal to men back then or what do you think?
@ldiannerichards You must not be on Facebook. Those equal signs have been all over the place.
@TammySoong I appreciate that, Tammy. I tend to avoid the all-too-common thought that atheists are enemies. You and I may never agree on God, but that doesn't mean that I can't treat you with respect and value you as a fellow human being in this journey.
@Andi Roo Thanks, Andi. Unfortunately, I've seen the debate get ugly from both sides. One assumes, if they see the "other" symbol, that you must be their enemy. That kind of thinking doesn't get anyone on the same page, it only further pushes people away from each other, and that's not what we should be doing.
@DianaCT A good point: and in cases like this, one symbol expresses, in some cases, too much. Any one symbol displays, to some people, an unwillingness to see the other side and even hatred of the other. That's not what I'm about.
@Cathryn (aka Strange) Women back then were property, plain and simple.
@Cathryn (aka Strange) For me, it's that I just don't think choosing one adequately expresses the complexity of the issue. I'm a Christian: it's an important part of who I am, but if I display a cross alone, I'm sending an unintentional message of intolerance to some people who assume I must be their enemy. If I put the equal sign up, there are, unfortunately, some Christians who'll assume I'm THEIR enemy.
It's a shame that we have reached a point in this country where everyone wants a simplistic "yes" or "no" answer on everything; for me, sometimes, a little discussion is the better choice.