Today a friend reposted a bit on George Michael and his philanthropy. It’s a nice little piece about all he has done, and much of it anonomously, to help others. George Michael was a talented man for whom fame fit poorly, so he retreated from the spotlight but continued to make the best use of his hard earned fortune by helping others.
And then, the last two sentences of the post ruin the entire sentiment by turning this panegyric of Michael’s generousity into a prejudiced barb against Christians. This broad sweeping supposition that all Christians in all sects of Christianity will condemn George Michael because he was gay is just as prejudiced and stereotyped and hurtful as such a condemnation is.
And it makes me mad.
Why must every tribute to one person’s or group’s life, work, and/or charity be partnered with a denunciation of another? We should be able to applaud without tearing down. Set up people who have done good works as models for others to follow, but do not simultaneously use those good works as a spear thrown at others for not doing what you think they should do.
I am a Christian, a Catholic, and I do not condemn George Michael, or anyone, for being gay. Actually, I don’t really think that condemning is my job, as it were. I want to see the good in people. Does that mean I like everyone? No. I am not perfect. Neither was George Michael. Neither are you. Because we’re all human, and therefore, all flawed. But we all can have moments (and some, many moments) of doing good. Let’s celebrate that.
Yes, there are times when a person does something wrong, even reprehensible, or perhaps something that we simply disagree with, and we can post our opinions about that person and that particular event. We should add our voices to the dialogue to make our world a better place, but we shouldn’t use that a dig against a whole group. When we perpetuate stereotypes on social media, we add to the discord. Let us instead be the harmony.