It Doesn't Affect Me

I typically don't try to write blog posts on anything "controversial." I keep my posts about things that I know everyone reading them will agree with. I don't like to cause problems or be in the middle of any contention.
But lately, I've been feeling like my opinions don't matter. Not only do they not matter, but they are completely invalid. I am "behind the times", and I'd better jump on board with the rest of the world or they'll drag me along behind them.
It's a frustrating feeling when someone puts duct tape over your mouth and then yells with a megaphone in your ear.
Or at least that's how it feels every time some quiet, timid voice from the shadows tries to step up and state an opinion different than the one we're allowed to have right now. They are immediately attacked for their beliefs. Just a few weeks ago I saw a girl I went to High School with express her disappointment that gay marriage was now legal in Utah. People came from out of nowhere to attack her, tell her she was hateful and wrong. Other people who weren't even friends with her started writing their own posts about what she had said, and encouraged others to join in "the fight" against her "hate." I, of course, took away from this experience that I better never, ever let it be known that I, too, was disappointed.
Not everyone is an extremist that wishes death upon anyone who disagrees with them, but for me, the worst comment someone can say (and it's always said) is, "What do you care? It doesn't affect you."
Because that's the thing. I'm not supposed to have an opinion because it's not supposed to affect me. I'm not allowed to say anything remotely conservative because the world is becoming increasingly more liberal. But the problem is that it does affect me. If it didn't, I wouldn't have an opinion at all. I wouldn't hear about it day in and day out. I wouldn't be worried about how these changes, especially the control we're handing over to the government, are going to affect my life ten or twenty years from now. And just because my opinions are different doesn't mean they are hateful, and certainly doesn't mean they shouldn't be heard.
It's hard to see, because the liberal voices today are so loud. They shout from the rooftops, they take over the media, they come at us from every corner and slowly, the conservative voices are getting softer and softer. It's working. If we all feel like we're alone, we'll stop fighting completely.
It came time to either speak up, or lock myself in my house and never use the internet or watch TV again. The other day my Facebook news feed was full of articles that made me feel sick. There was one about a new billboard in Times Square advertising porn, their objective being to "normalize" porn, so it's addicted users won't have to feel so different. There was a girl asking how late in her pregnancy she could get an abortion, because it just wouldn't fit into her crazy schedule for a few weeks. There was one, reposted several times, about a girl who waited until her wedding night to have sex, and then "regretted it." (This one was full of words of encouragement for any girl considering not waiting... don't worry! You're not missing out on anything! Do whatever you want!)
After two minutes scrolling through Facebook, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. All I could think was, man, I thought the world was bad when I was in school. What kind of world are my children going to grow up in?
It isn't gay marriage or any one problem in society that has made our world what it is, but it is our reaction to it that makes all the difference. We are all pitted against each other, and we get our opinions on important topics like gay marriage and abortion from posts our friends shared on Facebook. We give up our own morals and values for what we are told to think. The same ideas are drilled into us over and over until, exhausted, we start to give in.
My point is, yes, I am one of those "behind-the-times" people who doesn't think gay marriage should be legalized, no matter what everyone else is telling me. I believe it is an extremely difficult trial, but one they should fight. I believe that because I've seen the other side, I know what they're missing out on. I know that a man and a woman are made to be together, are given specific traits to help each other, and that marriage is the greatest blessing we will ever have. I disagree with gay marriage not because I hate anyone, but because I want them to have a chance at what I've found. I want everyone in the world to have this.
I think it's important for me to say, not because I want to yell from the rooftops too, but because I'm tired of not feeling heard. I'm tired of being told what to think and believe. I was raised to go find out what I believe for myself. I hope that, as my children grow up in a world that is likely going to be exponentially more wicked than the one we're living in now, they will learn to research what they believe and why, they will question anything that is told to them, and they will stand up for what they believe in. I joined the LDS church because I believed it so strongly, and I don't take a stand on anything until I believe in it strongly too. I also believe we should respect each other because of our differences, and realize that we are all human.
I don't expect this post to change anyone's opinions. But I hope it will give a voice, albeit a small one, to those of us who have been told to sit down and keep quiet.

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