So this past week I was assigned to write a persuasive essay. Originally I did not know what to write on, but after thinking about the latest topics of discussion in media and politics I got the perfect idea. Gay rights. I thought long and hard on how I wanted to come about this, but after much writing and rewriting, I think I got it. I am going to share my essay with you because it is some of my proudest work to date and I did large amounts of research for it.
Brothers and Sisters,
I stand before you today in hopes that together we can find a way to create peace within our country, and bring to an end the immoral relationship between discrimination and our nation.
Fifty years ago, a man stood before our American people with a dream. He dreamt of a nation filled with equality and harmony, and had faith that the American people could come together, hand in hand, and put aside their differences. He dreamt of a nation where every man and women would be treated with equality and dignity. A nation where every boy and girl would have the opportunity to live full and blissful lives deprived of prejudice and judgment. He challenged his generation to stand together and dramatize the shameful condition of bigotry and belittlement. He challenged America to march forward toward a land where freedom could ring and were people could join hands and sing to the words:
Free at last!
His dream was more then just a dream for it opened the hearts and minds of a crippled nation and brought America and its’ people one-step closer to a land of freedom. As years have passed, it seems that our nation has begun to embrace the beauty of its’ diversity and change its attitude to one more kind and accepting.
But today I stand before you with the unfortunate truth that our nation has in fact, taken a step back. America has fallen into a state of mind where its people discriminate against its very own, and cheat God’s people of equal rights. We stand in the mist of a Civil war, a war between tradition and culture, where America denies its people from civil union due to their sexual orientation. This war is within us. It is nothing more than “ideas and values by which America has defined itself to itself” (Mohr 2).
America is going through a time in which we allow various citizens to be treated with injustice and oppression. We are allowing our homosexual people to be socially wounded before our eyes and treated without equivalence. We are a land made of diversity, but we fail to see this group as an accent to our nation and its’ melting pot. These homosexual brothers and sisters of ours are being perceived as immoral individuals and left without acceptance or fairness.
Our generation sadly fails to live out the vision that Dr. King dreamt for our Land fifty years ago. This unaccepting attitude is not the mentality our country’s founding fathers built this nation upon two hundred sum years ago. When our forefathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, “they wrote with equality in their hearts and signed a promissory document to which every American was to fall fair” (King). But we, America, fall short of this vision of peace and equality, and are setting ourselves back with everyday that we leave our people in the dark without equal opportunity. United we stand not. Without respect, compassion, or unity we set ourselves up to fall like a house of cards.
Who are we to deny or judge our homosexual brothers and sisters? We can blame the Bible or we can blame tradition for our lack of acceptance to homosexuality, but our bigotry is ultimately unjustifiable. Who are we to demean [Homosexuals’] existence or control their destiny?
“When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?”- Pope Francis
It is time that we compel ourselves to abate from the rituals and traditions that degrade and silence homosexuality. It is time that we uncover the blanketing talk of lesbians and gay men. Let us eliminate our taboo attitudes and be merciful and open. “Culturally considered, gays and lesbians are now apart of the social landscape, apart of human diversity” (Mohr). Let us welcome these brothers and sisters and give them a welcoming place within society in which they do not have to be hushed.
The way we engage ourselves in this matter will determine how our nation is seen. Will we be a nation committed to the value of liberty and equality that permits and enables individuals to lead their lives with equal dignity? Or will we be a nation that is committed to some specific version of what constitutes proper living and imposes it upon others?
Our nation has produced dreamers and peacemakers, and has found ways to stand together to change for the better. Let our nation’s past be an example. We too can put our judgments and outlooks aside to create a nation more kind – where we can stand together with peace and love in our hearts. Let us be a generation that stands and lives as one.
I pray that our “nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’”(King). Let today and everyday after be a day of love and unity amongst all God’s children. Let our hearts and minds be open and filled with peace.
Let freedom ring today
Let freedom ring tomorrow
Let freedom ring for all