I was never a huge Michelle Shocked fan. Back in the late 80s when she had arguably her most mainstream success, I was still busy listening to The Bangles and Debbie Gibson – please (like we all don’t have embarrassing pop skeletons in our close). But over the years the mention of Michelle’s name always mustered warm, folky feelings of a smiling short-haired lady who was most definitely on our side. But now it seems she really, really isn’t.News earlier this week that Michelle Shocked said something, well, shockingly anti-gay it felt like an added betrayal. To say gay marriage will cause the end of the world and utter that most base boilerplate for bigotry “God hates fags” to a stunned audience is just terrible enough. But from someone we thought was with us, it’s even more horrible.
The reason is simple. People are supposed to evolve, not devolve. Our human trajectory, as told by Darwin, is one of constant adaptation and improvement. And our beliefs have evolved along with our abilities. The long arc of history has bent toward justice. So when we see it bend backwards, it’s against everything we think we know about ourselves. Sure, some may stay suck in the past, unwilling to change. But once we’ve finally crawled out of the primordial ooze, why would we want to submerge ourselves in the muck again?
The only good news from this whole, sad situation is that so many others seem as appalled as we are by this turnaround. To go from a woman who in 1990 told the gay press she had female lovers to a woman today who has been born again and spouts homophobic hogwash is beyond jarring. It’s the same sadly ironic twist that gives us an anti-choice champion Jane Roe. But luckily, we have more and more examples of the normal progression of evolution everyday. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rob Portman and two even two Westboro Baptist “God Hates Fags” Church daughters have seen the light. And, today, more Americans than ever – 58 percent – support gay marriage. Less than decade years ago only 32 percent supported it.
Sure, we’ll still have a shock or two pop up, to remind us where we’ve been. But they will be the exception. And as they sink back into the slime, we’ll be on higher ground looking toward a brighter future.
EDIT: So Shocked has finally publicaly responded to her homophobic rant, claiming it's all some sort of colossal communications breakdown and God doesn't hate gays and neither does she. I think. She instead wants to offer mercy to those who believe in a God who hates instead of one who loves. Yeah, OK, whatever lady. What I do know is she sounds deeply conflicted about many things, probably including herself.
EDIT 2: Here is actual audio from the show, which is also confusing. And in desperate need of Spanish translation.
EDIT 3: Got the Spanish translation. It's the Bible verse John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Well that doesn't help. Sigh.