There has been a small tempest in a large teapot over an ad produced by the United Church of Christ. For those who have not seen the ad go here. http://www.stillspeaking.com/default.htm I have watched the ad three times. Once on the news and twice on the net. Quite frankly at first I wasn’t seeing what some others were insisting they were seeing and now that I do, it scares the bejeezus out of me. Where someone might see a lesbian couple, I’m seeing mother and daughter or perhaps two sisters with several years between them. This would be true in my case. I have nine years on Roberta and fourteen on Colleen. I keep my hair short and wear a lot of slacks and sweaters. The girls go for a look a little more feminine. It makes me wonder. If two of us go shopping or out to eat and show some affection are we going to attract the wrong sort of attention?
Where some are seeing a gay male couple, I see friends or brothers or cousins. I have five nephews from two families. The boys range from twelve to twenty. If you know them and know what to look for, you realize that they are relatives. But, the two oldest do look and are built a lot differently from each other. If they hug in public, or go down the street with their arms over each other’s shoulders, are they going to attract attention they’d rather not have? Granted, in their case, someone might notice but decide not to do anything about it. Jon redshirted for U of O football this year. He’s about 6’2” and about 3’wide. I exaggerate, slightly, He’s a gentle giant just like his dad. Oh, and number five, the youngest takes totally after his dad. He does not look like the other four at all except for his brown eyes. Neither of my blue eyed brothers in law managed to get even one blue eyed kid.
There is a wonderful scene in the mini series Jesus of Nazareth. (If you can find it, I highly recommend it. It is available on DVD and the cost is reasonable. Personally we watch it a couple of times a year) The disciples have had their first round of teaching and are setting out two by two. At least one pair has their arms over each other’s shoulders. Would that scene even be filmed that way now? Let’s not even get into thirteen dusty, sleeping in their clothes, bearded, longhaired, travel-stained, taking what they’re offered for dinner, homeless guys traveling together.
The ad will be shown on many cable channels, but the three broadcast networks refuse to show it for a variety of reasons. I assume they will continue to show ads using sex, especially women, as a come on. I assume we’ll continue to have the opportunity to contemplate drugs for erectile dysfunction. I assume we will continue to be inundated with ads to buy, buy, buy, buy whether you have the money or not. I'm sure we will continue to be urged to measure our personal worth by the cost and size of our possessions. But we will be spared the horror of being asked to be part of something larger than ourselves.