Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You can't Play Soccer with a Football Rule Book

Imagine, for a moment, that you and your friends are enjoying playing a game of soccer. You're at a public field where you are all permitted to be, but before you can finish a game a group of people wave you over.

You take a break from your soccer game and jog over to see what's wrong.

"Excuse me," the leader of the group says, holding up a book, "But you're playing wrong. According to my rule book, you shouldn't be kicking the ball up and down the field. No, you need to use your hands to hold the ball. Cradle it, really. And where is your safety gear? You need helmets and shoulder pads. Why on earth are you playing like this? It's clearly against the rule book."

Confused, you ask to look at the rule book and immediately spot the problem. "Ah, I see what the issue is." You say. "This is the rule book for football! That's a great game, I hear a lot of people like it, but it's not quite for us. We prefer soccer, where kicking the ball is allowed. It's a public field and we're almost finished up, so if you'd like to play football we'll be done soon."

"No, you don't understand!" the person replies. "This is our rulebook and it says that you must play this way. I cannot believe that you're going to continue going against the rules when it clearly states that you cannot just kick the ball back and forth."

Again, you try to explain that you're not playing football. You point out that you and your friends are just enjoying a game of soccer, and you even bring over the soccer ball to show that it's definitely not a football. A friend of yours even happens to have a soccer rule book on hand, which you show the other people.

And yet they're not satisfied. They keep insisting that it's OK if you want to play soccer, but that if you're going to play, you need to play according to their rulebook.

. . .

This is why I celebrate the Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal in all 50 states in the United States of America. If you believe that gay marriage isn't OK according to the rule book you live by, then the simplest answer is to not marry a person of the same sex.

However, remember that not everyone follows your rule book. Many people just want to live and love and be happy and do good, but they're following a different path, and that's OK.

Let's dispel the hate that has filled our country over the smallest of differences. Over skin color, over who we love, over what rule book we think is right.

Because my heart is both full of joy and hurting right now.


  1. Live and let live, as long as nobody is hurting anybody else - we've come a very long way but there will still be prejudice in all sorts of areas.

  2. And- newsflash- people playing soccer doesn't interfere with your "right" to play football