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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Contrapuntal Nature of Prejudice and Experience

This Thanksgiving we were invited to the home of Kathy’s boss, Christopher, for Thanksgiving dinner.  In attendance were also Christopher’s domestic partner Chris; another volunteer from work; and Chris’ sister, her husband, and their boy who is in about the 5th grade of elementary school.  Too often, I’m afraid I buy into the stereotypical picture of people with same-sex preferences as flamboyant and promiscuous—outlandish fools who do not appreciate and typically defy and ridicule family values.  I seem to never see the other side—couples whose relationships have lasted over many years in a context of loyalty and familial love.  This was my experience today.  While Christopher put the finishing touches on a perfectly sumptuous traditional Thanksgiving feast complete with appetizers, homemade soup, a golden roasted 22 pound turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, old-fashioned mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and the most delicious pumpkin pie that Kathy or I had ever eaten; Chris kept us entertained with conversation and a tour of their peaceful backyard garden.  In other words, Chris and Christopher spared no effort or expense to make our Thanksgiving memorable.  On arriving home from the dinner, Kathy and I wrote the following thank you note: “Thank you for the great occasion of Thanksgiving 2011 celebrated at your lovely home.  It was more than a perfect 10 in every aspect of presentation and fellowship.  We were privileged and pleased to be included in the festivities and to meet members of your family and visit among friends.”   I consider their greatest gift to me this evening was a kind repast giving at least temporary relief from my enslavement to a prejudice steeped in tawdry and sensational stereotypes which I apparently need or enjoy.  I pledge to set as a steadfast memory today’s scene of friends and family seated around the generously laden Thanksgiving table with Christopher humbly saying grace to our Heavenly Father.

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