The Pendulum Swings | JIM FURLONG

I don’t know if you paid much attention to the public reaction recently after a couple of NHL players snubbed a pre-game skate because their team mates were wearing “pride jerseys” in support of the gay community. 

The players were Eric and Marc Staal of the Florida Panthers and they said they chose to sit out that pre-game skate because of their Christian beliefs.

They were roundly criticized for their stance because that is way the wind is blowing. I have to tell you, at the risk of ticking you off, that I’m not upset at all by what the brothers Staal did.

It is important that Eric and Marc Staal have the right to act on their  beliefs. That’s what freedom is. The right to do something, like a show of support implies and the right to not do it

The right to protest is very important, yes, but just as important is the right to NOT protest and stay out of it. People can march in support of the rights of others. Good luck to them. The Pride Parades spring to mind. Gay people march in them but lots of straight people do as well. Or, you do not HAVE to attend, which is what people sometimes forget. Now, why did Eric and Marc Staal also take a pass on “rainbow hockey stick.”

They cited Christian beliefs,  though I’m sure the God I worship doesn’t care what kind of tape a hockey player wraps around his stick. I am also sure that it is really NONE of my business. My position is, and always has been, that I don’t care about a person’s sexual preferences. That’s not to say ‘look at me and how liberal I am.’ Instead, I genuinely do not care about how you love someone as long as it is consenting adults. It simply does not interest me.  

Now, in a similar vein, there are several people in my neighbourhood that have Ukrainian flags on their homes or in their windows. Good for them. They are expressing a political point of view and showing support for embattled Ukraine suffering under a Russian invasion. I feel the same way and for people showing visible signs of support it is vitally important in our country that people can do that. It speaks well of us, even though  I do not fly any flags on my house. I choose not to which is part of my freedom. What if I was REQUIRED to fly a flag? I do not like that idea much.

That is it, briefly. Rights to protest and support. Very much part of the right NOT to protest or support. Two sides of the same coin.