I have decided to label something that may or may not already have a proper nomenclature. If so, you can call me stupid afterwards.
Are you ready? Are you on the edge of your seat awaiting my prolific commentary?
Hardly you say?
Ok, here it comes anyway.
“The Van Duzer Principal.”
What is this guy on about now you ask? By my definition, The Van Duzer Principal is the belief that despite the fact you follow the philosophy of one thing, you have the tolerance and respect to coexist with ideas and teachings completely contrary to yours.
Let me explain how I came about this stroke of late night brilliance.
President Obama recently visited The Big Apple Pizza shop where during the course of the visit owner Scott Van Duzer grabbed him and embraced the president in a bear hug. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv07MSHKAVM) Van Duzer claims that his action was not planned out and that the secret service had no idea that he was going to do so.
Let’s just side step the fact that if this man wanted to actually do the President Obama any serious harm, that he could have accomplished it.
Another scary reality of this situation is the negativity that Van Duzer received. Not just because of his actions, but because he is a Republican! He had been threatened by boycotts of his restaurant, taunted with less than flattering names, and reportedly had many fake pizza orders called in to his place of business. Understand, I am not trying to bash Republicans because this is a human issue and not a political party attack.
However this is all because Van Duzer was respectful of President Obama’s position as free world leader and honored to have him in his establishment. It does not mean that we all have to go around singing kumbaya while wildly dancing naked in front of a fire and practicing free love (please use a condom) with those that have different political, social or moral beliefs from our own. Hell if I want to dislike someone because they drive a Honda instead of a Chevy I must reflect back to the words of the great and prolific Bobby Brown: it’s my prerogative. But the difference between not liking someone and wishing them or their family bodily harm is where we as humans seem to collectively fail. Not that this was the case with Van Duzer, but what happened to him was still disturbing.
This my friend is a damn shame.
A shame that our society, no our humanity, has become so intolerant of the things that make each and every one of us unique that we must resort to hate just because someone wants to go left instead of right or like blue instead of red.
People come on. Van Duzer has gone on record with saying that even though he is a Republican and our president is a Democrat, he still respects the office that he holds.
Bravo my friend, BRAVO!
That is the key, respect. You don’t have to like what I stand for or who I am as a person, but give me the tolerance to lead my life and have peaceful existence as long as my lifestyle does not cause hurt to you or the people to my left, right, center, above, below or behind.
If I want to marry another man and its held in belief that a god disapproves, then a god will deal with me when the time comes.
If I discover that I am pregnant and for some reason (which is none of your business) and I do not want to have that child, a god will deal with me when the time comes.
If I decide to be Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Scientologist, Atheist, Buddhist or any combination of any established religion, that is my choice and a god will ultimately judge me for the choices that I have made.
I choose to not follow any particular religion because I believe that every religious practice at its core has a philosophy that aims to benefit its followers on some level. Whether it is finding personal peace or the loving good will and grace of its deities, how can that be harmful to other humans?
Am I misguided and heading to hell in a hand basket because I choose one path to one god over another? Am I am destined to live a life full of chaos and disarray because I have not found my center of peace within my mind? Maybe so, but I like knowing the fact that it is my personal choice to do so.
Regardless, I ask you to raise a glass of your favorite beverage and make a toast with me.
Long live The Van Duzer Principal!