(#30) Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver – Part 2 (The “Arguing With The Bus Driver” Chapter)

Unless you want to get mad and read a rant about an argument, I say skip today’s post.

Yesterday, we left off with me meeting the loveliest bus driver who made my morning.

Then it was time to get on a new bus…

When I get on my connecting bus, the bus driver starts making small talk with me. “So, where do you work?” “Oh, I work at Playboy.” Immediately he comes back with, “Oh, so you’re working in sin?”

Wait. What is happening here?

Now, I am not a great person, in the sense that sometimes I allow strangers to provoke me. The correct answer to, “You’re working in sin,” was probably to say, “Yep! Hardy, har, har.” Laugh it off, sit quietly, and be done.

For some reason (probably because he’s really hammering down about it and how I’m gonna have to “answer for the work I do”), I say I don’t feel bad about working there. And, “I could be working on shows that are a lot worse.”

He replies, “Like those shows where two men marry each other?” (He makes a disgusted noise.)

Oh boy.

We spend the rest of the bus ride discussing marriage equality, the Bible, and things of the sort.

(Once he said that there was something in the 10 commandments about men not fornicating with other men, I was all, “Yep, pretty sure that is not in the 10 commandments.” My iPhone came in pretty handy for verification purposes. Granted, he continued trying to twist the ten commandments anyway he could to say what he wanted, so verification didn’t necessarily help…)

I say that it’s not about what’s in the Bible, it’s about what our legal system and our society is going to recognize. He makes the argument that it should all be the same – our laws should be completely based off of the Bible.

I ask how you know what to discard and what to listen to. (Why is it okay to wear clothes of different fabrics woven together?) He says something about “just knowing” what will hurt us now (in modern times), and what won’t.

He starts talking about how gay marriage will mess up children, and how all children in gay households will grow up to be gay… you know, just like how all straight parents definitely have only straight kids. (That last part was a little sarcastic remark on my part, but he really did say that he thinks gay parents would only have gay kids.)

I start talking about how when we as a society say, “You are not equal,” it obviously makes some people feel like they in fact are not equal – as though they’re worth less than others. Some people in the LGBT community are physically harmed. Some people take their own lives because of the way hateful people make them feel.

And he says, “In Israel, they put you to death if you even think of another man that way.”

I ask, “Is that what you believe they should be doing?”

He says, “Well…. I think it’s a little extreme.”

I kid you not. Verbatim. He took a long pause after well, and he said “A little extreme.”

Then he goes on to say, “Don’t think I’m a hateful person.”

I say, “Well, you did just say that killing people based off of their sexual orientation was a little extreme.”

And he says, “Well, it is God’s country.” And he starts going on about how homosexuality is an abomination, and making it seem as though he really thinks being put to death for being gay is not the worst idea.

At that point, it’s time for me to get off the bus and go to the next one. (Thank goodness.)

As much as I didn’t agree with the things he said (and he didn’t agree with what I said), we didn’t scream or do anything crazy. We just had a conversation in which we didn’t agree.

Sometimes, it’s hard to know where the line is – when to be quiet, and when to speak out. I don’t want to go around assaulting people with words and opinions all day, but if he engages me in conversation, I see nothing wrong with respectfully (still passionately) standing up for what I believe in. (I was inspired by Andrew Rannells’ character in the most recent episode of The New Normal (“Baby Clothes”).)

I know that not everyone who is against marriage equality is like this bus driver. I’m not trying to paint a picture of an entire group of people as hateful or intolerant. I’m only telling the story of what transpired one morning between me and this one, specific man.

Sigh. Rant over, and I’ll get to the race tomorrow.

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