Disturbing Language Overheard in the Waiting Room
By Hilda Mitchell
Special to The Pilot
My husband, Joe, was taken to a small waiting room at Carolina Eye Clinic. Four other waiting patients were conversing in voices loud enough to hear.
First they expressed hatred for the "sorry immigrants who are taking our jobs." Then their conversation turned to politics. One said he was a Baptist and was therefore critical of Romney's Mormon religion. However, he concluded, "Anybody but Obama!" Others agreed that they also hated Obama.
The next topic was homosexuality. The language became vicious. The word "queer" was used freely. One patient said, "Some churches even have homosexual clergy!" The others were aghast.
Joe said their words united them into a ganglike attitude. The conversation turned to guns. Approving the right to carry concealed weapons, one patient said if it were up to him, he would shoot Jerry Sandusky without a trial.
When he told this story, I wondered how Joe, an 83-year-old veteran, kept his mouth shut. For 35 years of his life, through wars and peace, he defended all citizens. How disappointing to learn that we live among some who have no respect for the office of the presidency or the law, who have no compassion for others, and who use their form of Christianity to justify hatred of other religions.
"Not only do they hate everything we love about our country and church," Joe said, "but they haven't learned to speak our language correctly."
I turned to Facebook, looking for uplifting entries my daughters usually put on my wall. I needed a change. After enjoying the latest pictures of my grandchildren, I scrolled down to see a picture of Jesus. The caption was, "If Jesus were here today, He wouldn't recognize his followers."
I learned as a military wife to have respect for the president, our commander-in-chief, no matter whether I agreed with him or not. The minority leader of the Senate announced that his only objective was to oust Obama. Such talk as that incites hatred.
Immigrants are taking your jobs? That is shallow thinking. Immigrants receive less than minimum wage. Corporations hire immigrants to make more profit. And there is, as yet, no law enacted by Congress to criminalize the hiring of illegal immigrants.
Many of your jobs have gone overseas. My brother-in-law worked his way to the top for a North Carolina business. He was excited when Vanity Fair bought the business, thinking working for a big corporation had advantages. Vanity Fair bought the business only to close it and move the jobs overseas. He finished out his working years folding towels made in China.
When I was young, the only safe place for homosexuals was in the closet. We didn't know them so we were in the dark. In the '80s, the AIDS crisis hit our country. It was mainly among gay men. Everyone was scared, including the medical profession.
My office at the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was given the task of HIV testing analysis to ensure that the blood supply was HIV-free. It also forced gays out of the closet to face discharge from the military. They had nowhere to turn for comfort. They weren't welcome in the churches. There were no commitment vows, such as we take in marriage, for those who wished to have a lifetime commitment.
In the 1990s, Frank, a gay man, was the senior warden of our vestry in Virginia. His partner was in the choir. Frank had a Christmas tree farm, and Skip made wreaths each Christmas. They had a beautiful home, which was on the Garden Club's house tour. It was everyone's favorite. Love, hard work and talent were apparent.
My granddaughter realized she was a lesbian in her teens and was so distressed she thought of suicide. When she finally came out to the family, I was happy for her. She is now getting a doctorate.
I am thankful to Frank and others who prepared me so that my granddaughter didn't have to face family rejection, as many do. It validates my feelings that some churches now have homosexual clergy and commitment vows for same sex couples.
As for your wanting to carry concealed weapons, that just scares me.
Hilda Mitchell lives in Pinebluff.
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