The New Seven Deadly Sins and the Internet Haters of Spencer’s Home Depot Proposal

We are all familiar with the Christian version of the seven deadly sins: Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy, and Gluttony. These are known as Cardinal Sins…making them even more ominous. Lately there has been a revision. The new ones adjusted for our economic, political and new sexual issues are: Apathy, Cruelty, Duplicity, Hypocricy, False Morality, Abuse of Power, and Cultivated Ignorance. At first, the revised sins look like a rehash of the first but on more careful examination you can see the subtle differences.

From our politicians to the Kardashians to our sports heroes, we can see many examples of all seven of the new sins on our televisions, smartphones, iPads, and of course print media. This blog was going to be a careful discussion, complete with examples and analogies (thank you Mrs. Kolodny, my 10 grade High School English teacher.) But then I saw “The Proposal” one of now several million that witnessed and cried through, “Spencer’s Home Depot Proposal” now a YouTube legend.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, unsuspecting Dustin goes a Home Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah with his roomate to look for supplies for a party. In a deserted aisle he is escorted to a raised platform, puzzled he sees a choregraphed flash mob dancing and lip-synching the song, “Somebody Loves You,” by Betty Who. Soon his family shuffles out, complete with parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. He is recording the event on his phone for his boyfriend, still oblivious that this is a marriage proposal. Soon his boyfriend comes out for the finale, and on bended knee with ring the proposal is complete.

I cried. No really cried. Had to get up and get a paper towel cried. I immediately went to Facebook (doesn’t everyone do that when they have an emotional experience today?) to post and proudly declare my own love for my soon-to-be husband. What I found there was 1. I was a few hours late (no big deal) 2. there were people who HATED the video and not for the usual reasons. You see it wasn’t homophobia that was rampant..it was my own LGBT brothers who were hating on Spencer and Dustin. “It’s so 2008 those flashmobs” “They won’t last a year” They probably have accounts on GRINDR and A4A” (gay hookup sites) “Of course he got a proposal, he’s hot” etc. etc.

A few things ran through my head as I read the negative comments. First, did ANYONE notice that this was Salt Lake City – Salt Lake Fucking Mormon City – where they raised millions to pass Prop 8 writing discrimination into the State of California’s laws. And it was inside a Home Depot a large corporation (granted, they have good record with LGBT rights). Second, they are in their early 20’s and the parents and siblings were there? Seriously? You are hating on them? When most of us were in our 20’s we were so far in the closet we knew everyone’s shoe size. Our boyfriends were still “roomates” or “good friends” and we all had at least one relative who would rather not breathe the same air as we do much less have our small children witness a gay marriage proposal.

No, what I saw on my list of friends on Facebook hating on Spencer and Dustin was a generational gap fueled by several of the New Seven Deadly Sins, Hypocrisy and Institutional Ignorance at the forefront. There is a new world out there with our young LGBT brothers and sisters that we may never fully understand, but should accept with open arms. They truly are standing on our shoulders, our fight was won and we should celbrate them, not diss them. Congrats to Spencer and Dustin, I’m going to watch it again and have a good cry.

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Are we ‘shoulding’ all over ourselves? A Yom Kippur Tome

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Like many Jews I am not very observant …not by most standards. I know of the holidays being brought up by observant but cynical Jewish parents, went to Hebrew School, got married under a chupah (yes I tried) and went through the motions on all holidays at synagogue; waiting – waiting- patiently waiting to feel it. Never happened.

I am not an Atheist. I do believe in a higher power, a universal life energy that goes beyond present understanding. My partner and I do light candles on Shabbat – rarely – but we do it. We are full paying members of an LGBT friendly and affirming Reform Temple and my three appearances a year there reminds me that so many others seem to know what they SHOULD do.

Today at the gym (all gay men go to the gym on Friday – it’s the law like going to the mikveh after a period) an older Jewish gentleman that I barely know waived his finger at me at said, “Remember, no food tomorrow” Something inside me clicked and I snapped back, “Don’t wave your fucking finger at me…ever!” I know that it was rude and crass, but in that moment I was shutting the door on my parents who taught me to do as they say, not as they do, my Hebrew School teachers who had no idea how to teach much less convey what their brand of Judaism was about, and all the finger wavers in my life that have told me what I “SHOULD” be doing on Yom Kippur.

I am a good Jew.

I believe that we should leave the world a better place. I understand “Tikun Olam” – literally fix the world. I believe people can make a difference in the world by treating others with respect and not doing to anyone what you wouldn’t want done to you.. – but – to many, I am not a good Jew – at least in their eyes. My sexual orientation that I was born with, my distaste of Orthodox Judaism, my global world view of spiritual acceptance do not sit well with many. I am an openly gay Jewish man with a husband. I believe that the Bible/Torah was and is a bunch of fairly tales meant to teach lessons, like snapping a dog with a newspaper.

So tonight I will go to Kol Nidre, I will sit next to my husband, and we will chant and occasionally hold hands. Tomorrow I am NOT fasting, I am going about my day as any other day. It’s sparring day at my Karate school.

I am a good Jew.