Friday, June 9, 2017

Phallic Friday - Margaret Court's comments

Have you heard about the tennis legend, Margaret Court's views on marriage? It's been in Australian media and there's an article here if you're interested.

She wrote an open letter to express her views on gay marriage. As a pastor of a Church, and a conservative older Australian, I'm not entirely shocked by her views - they are ones many in my family hold and espouse. If she wasn't a tennis legend, and didn't have a sporting arena named in her honour, I imagine it would have gone unnoticed.

I'm surprised that someone of her standing in sport, would take such a public stance on a topic that surely she knew would cause issue. Although, maybe that's exactly why she wrote the letter. Maybe she wanted to use her name to back her views.

It's natural that we pick up the views of those we associate with and think they're the views of the majority. For us, they are the views of the majority, even if that's not reflected in the wider community. Often we don't know the views of the wider community because of our isolation, or insular living. This seems to be exacerbated when you become older, more established, and mix less widely. It's also exacerbated by social media where you friend like-minded souls and don't branch out.

I've always liked differences. I like to see other's views. I like to think about options someone might present to me. I like to be exposed to new things, to try them out, to think about them. That's my personality.

I remember as a kid saying, "But everyone will do that, I want something different." Mum used to roll her eyes, and sometimes try to rein me in a little, but mostly my parents let me be different - for which I'm very grateful.

I hope as I get older that I keep trying to be open to differences and not close up.

I often speak without thinking, and sometimes reflect views that I later, after thought, regret.

We are each entitled to an opinion. We live in a democracy where opinion is valued. Sometimes opinions can open a can of worms, and often the opinion-maker was unaware of that before speaking.

I hope Margaret Court was aware of what she was saying and the ramifications of her views. I hope she realised that the world is a changing place, and as an older citizen she may no longer represent the majority.

Opening a can of worms, without knowing, is my biggest fear every time I have an opinion because I hate confrontation.

How are you with voicing your views?

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