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I found remarkably that there didn't appear to be any forum discussions of this very good Mark Arbour story.

 

I am not sure what the over arching theme is, but here is what I got out of it.

 

It is easy to hate people you don't know.

 

The British Lt. hated Germans and Germany because they killed the love of his life. It was very easy to hate Germans and Germany because Lt. Bellairs didn't know any Germans until he met Gerhardt. When he finally did meet Gerhardt his 'enemy' now had a face, a soul and really gorgeous pale blue eyes.

 

So it should be pretty obvious and on some level we all get that it is easy to hate groups, but much harder to hate individuals.

 

I hate "illegal immigrants" they have totally messed up California schools and hospitals and our state prisons are chock full of them, but I really like my parent's gardener of twenty-five years. I see what he has accomplished in those twenty-five years from one old broken down old truck and going door to door in my parents neighborhood to find clients to a fleet of six fairly new trucks and a 'landscape maintenance' company that employs about 20 people. He was single when he started cutting my parents lawn and trimming their trees. Then he got married, somewhere along the line, his son, about ten years old when I first met him, would join him during summer. That first son went off to college. Two other sons also worked summers beside their father, one will go off to a four year college next year and the other opted for community college to stay home and work leading a crew for his father. So yeah, I hate "illegal immigrants" and will continue to clamor for the government to do something about it, but it isn't as easy when you know one. (by the way, Arturo did become legal and then about ten years ago became a citizen, he may still root for El Tri to win the World Cup, but will also be pulling for the U.S. when not playing Mexico).

 

Maybe Mark could write a story where a gay activist falls in love with another man, only to discover he is a Republican and a Christian?

 

P.S. A follow up story with Bellairs and Gerhardt in a Paris cafe in 1946 would be lovely.

Edited by PrivateTim
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Maybe Mark could write a story where a gay activist falls in love with another man, only to discover he is a Republican and a Christian?

 

 

 

Not sure about that. Fantasy and magic aren't my genre.tongue.gif

 

 

You're absolutely right Tim. It's easy to hate a stereotype, but a lot tougher to hate an individual person. I think your idea is really interesting. I actually deal with a lot of Republicans and Christians, and it's easy to tar them all with the same brush. There are a few good ones out there. tongue.gif

 

Seriously, the only concern I have is whether I could adequately describe the internal conflicts they would feel. Or maybe I'm overthinking it,, assuming that such a character would have to be a bible thumper. Wouldn't a devout Episcopalian or Methodist have similar but less belligerent conflicts? The Republican part of the character would be much easier, since I used to be one. Fiscal responsibility is an easy thought train for me to get on board with. I guess a really good writer would be able to put his own thoughts aside and morph into the character, but for me, it would only have meaning if the character was a good person. Evil fundamentalists are easy pickings. An interesting challenge, perhaps.

 

By the way, congrats to Arturo!thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

 

 

P.S. A follow up story with Bellairs and Gerhardt in a Paris cafe in 1946 would be lovely.

 

That could make for a good Anthology entry.

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Not sure about that. Fantasy and magic aren't my genre.tongue.gif

 

You're absolutely right Tim. It's easy to hate a stereotype, but a lot tougher to hate an individual person. I think your idea is really interesting. I actually deal with a lot of Republicans and Christians, and it's easy to tar them all with the same brush. There are a few good ones out there. tongue.gif

 

Seriously, the only concern I have is whether I could adequately describe the internal conflicts they would feel. Or maybe I'm overthinking it, assuming that such a character would have to be a bible thumper. Wouldn't a devout Episcopalian or Methodist have similar but less belligerent conflicts? The Republican part of the character would be much easier, since I used to be one.

My cousin the lesbian and her partner of of 37 years are both deacons in the Episcopal Church, my ex is a lay reader in his Catholic church and doesn't hide who he is and neither do any of the other gay congregants, what happens 10,000 miles from the Vatican in local churches is very different from what happens on the ground with individual churches that serve their community. I think you would find a good gay community in the pews at many Catholic churches in San Francisco.

 

The Congregational Church (now UCC), my mother's main church, is actually open and affirming, there is the MCC (gay church), the Methodist Church has strong statements about accepting homo's but not the behavior, but it amounts to a wink and nod policy, ditto for the Presbyterian Church, my father's primary church, and they are debating full acceptance like the Congregationalists. Our last church, the Dutch Reformed Church (goes by different names in dif places) is much more conservative and much further away from "open and affirming", but is also strong on "treat everyone well".

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