Bear with me folks. I’m irritated, and feeling the need to get up on my soapbox for a bit tonight. So, please excuse the interruption in the Excavation 2012 Project for this little rant about a group of women who are out there, right now, giving Moms a bad name…
Until yesterday, I didn’t even know that the One Million (ahem, forty-something-thousand) Moms organization existed. Then, a link popped up in my Facebook newsfeed titled “Ellen Degeneres Responds to Anti-Gay One Million Moms Group Regarding JCPenney Controversy”. I clicked to watch it immediately. First, because I love Ellen Degeneres. And second, because few things irritate me more than small-minded, prejudiced people spreading their ignorance and hate around like an unwanted disease.
If you haven’t already heard, here’s the story in a nutshell…
In an effort revitalize the company, JCPenney is giving itself something of a facelift. They began by hiring Ron Johnson (the man who launched Apple’s retail stores) as CEO and Michael Francis (who is widely known for his successful marketing and branding at Target) as President. With a brand new logo, a new pricing strategy, and a partnership with Martha Stewart and designer Nanette Lepore, there are exciting changes on the horizon for what has always been one of my favorite stores.
The only thing left to do was to hire a spokesperson.
Johnson said choosing Degeneres as the new face of JCPenney was a no-brainer. “Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share.”
Maybe I’m biased. I mean, I’ve loved Ellen Degeneres ever since I first saw clips of her stand-up and watched her sitcom Ellen in the mid-90’s. I enjoy her witty, intelligent humor, and I’ve always thought that she is one of the most down-to-earth and geuninely personable daytime talk show hosts. Nothing against Oprah or Ricki Lake or Rachael Ray, but Ellen has always been my favorite. She’s smart, energetic, and wickedly funny. She laughs easily, loves openly, and has made it her mission to spread as much joy and optimism as she can through her work. Spend much time following her work or her philanthropy, and you’ll find it hard not to be affected by her positivity. She’s just one of those people who you can truly say is beautiful, both inside and out.
So yeah, I agree with Johnson. It kinda seems like a no-brainer to hire Ellen Degeneres as the new face of JCPenney.
Apparently the One Million Moms group didn’t quite agree.
See, they seem to have some sort of problem with the fact that Ellen Degeneres is gay. In fact, after perusing their website and Facebook page they seem to have a problem with people who are gay, people who are straight, people who don’t believe in Jesus, people who curse, people who use creative phrases such as “Shut the front door!” instead of actually cursing, people who are gay, people who dress too “sexy”, people who talk about sex, people who think about sex, people who have had sex changes, people who support people who have had sex changes, people who choose to work on Christmas, people who say “Oh my God!”, people who don’t believe in God, people who don’t believe in the same God. And, oh did I mention, people who are gay?
Seriously? What is wrong with these people?
These One Million Moms are out of freakin’ control! (And guess who just got added to their hate list for using the word “freakin'” to imply a much stronger adjective? Go ahead, ask me if I care.)
This organization is nothing more than a collective group of mean girl bullies who are trying to shove their small-minded prejudices down other people’s throats while hiding behind a facade of ultra-conservative Christianity. The One Million Moms claim to be a group of moms who are “fed up with the filth many segments of our society, especially the entertainment media, are throwing at our children…tired of all the negative influences our children are forced to contend with” and who are “against the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media is throwing at your children”. They say they want children to “have the best chance possible of living in a moral society”.
Funny how much time these women spend spouting off about morals and Christian values, all the while judging and degrading and belitting anyone whose beliefs and ideas don’t exactly match their own. I know it’s been awhile since I attended a Sunday School class or formal Bible Study, but I don’t remember any of God’s commandments or Jesus’ teachings urging people to judge and bully and hate. Feel free to point me to the appropriate passages if somehow they have just slipped my mind.
Here are my thoughts.
I’m not a perfect human being. I’ve never claimed to be. I’m just here on this earth, trying to do the best job I can, trying to be the best person I can, and trying to always affect the people around me in positive ways. I believe in trying to do good. I believe in helping others. And I believe that the energy you put out into the universe, positive or negative, will always come back to you. I believe that we are all here for a reason–to learn, to grow, and to evolve–and I believe that we are all connected. We are all human after all.
I try not to be judgemental. I try to love others and see the best in people. Sure, it’s impossible sometimes, when we’re talking about the Hitlers and the Jeffrey Dahmers and the murderers and rapists and child abusers in the world. But those people are few and far between. In spite of what our news media implies with their constant focus on the doom and gloom in the world, those people are the minority. Overall, there is an abundance of goodness in this world. There is an abundance of light and positivity. Most of us are here, just trying to do the best we can.
I guess that’s why I have such a problem with people like the One Million Moms, people who hide behind religion and self-righteousness as they spread messages of hate and intolerance. These women claim that they are only trying to protect their children from vulgarity and violence and immorality, yet they are the ones who are overtly condoning it by marginalizing entire groups of people who do not conform to their ideals. They are teaching their children to judge and to condemn and to hate instead of teaching them to love and accept and embrace their fellow human beings.
They say things change when you become a Mom. They say you begin to see the world a little differently. I think the biggest change for me was that, instead of seeing people as merely other people, I now see them as someone else’s children. Someone loves them. Someone wants the best for them. Someone cannot imagine the world without them. What I want for my daughter, and for all the other “children” out there is to live in a world that recognizes the ties that bind us as human beings while still being able to appreciate and embrace our innate differences. I want us all to just get along dammit!
I know it won’t happen. While I’m generally a glass-half-full kind of girl, I’m far from naively optimistic. I can hope though, and I can support and surround myself with others who share my values. Those who don’t–like the One Million Moms with their hearts full of hate–will get swept aside and forgotten. After all, their presence is always temporary. I truly believe that some people are put in our lives for no other purpose than to teach us patience, and these One Million Moms are doing a damn fine job of it right now.
Thank you JCPenney for sticking to your values and not allowing yourselves to be bullied into letting Ellen go.
Thank you to all the people who are spreading the word and standing up against the small-minded.
And thank you to Ellen for continuing to be a positive light in the world. Stand strong, girl, and know that you are loved and supported for being so uniquely you.
See Ellen’s response to the One Million Moms here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/ellen-degeneres-one-million-moms-jc-penney_n_1262623.html
Hear what the JCPenny CEO has to say about the controversy http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57373794/j.c-penney-ceo-on-ellen-degeneres-controversy/
Bill O’Reilly’s thoughts on the Ellen’s partnership with JCPenney and the One Million Moms http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/ellen-degeneres-jc-penney-bill-oreilly_n_1263473.html
And while you’re at it, why don’t you head over and “Like” the Facebook page that was started just yesterday to support Ellen and JCPenney. Oh, and guess what, as of right now, they already have over 60,000 supporters. I’m no math whiz, but I think that officially beats the number of likers on the One Million Moms page. How’s that for spreading the positivity? 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/1-Million-people-who-support-Ellen-for-JC-Penney/171435642966371