A few months ago, I applied to be on the Board of Contributors to our local five-day-a-week newspaper which was looking for writers who would contribute op-ed columns of 750 words plus photos on a topic of local interest, once or twice during the next year. I thought that sounded like a good way for me to offer a liberal religious perspective to this very diverse community. They liked what they read of my work and invited me to be on the B of C.
Last week I got word from the managing editor of the Daily Astorian that, if possible, he'd like me to write the column for February on a topic of my choice and I eagerly accepted, suggesting the tentative title "From Anxiety to Advocacy" about my own journey from ignorance and angst about human homosexuality to my current firm stance as an advocate and ally of sexual minorities.
I got his email in the morning and in the afternoon I opened the DA to scan the local news and found a couple of blistering letters to the editor, with two very different views on my suggested topic, each letter-writer excoriating the other for his or her vile take on the topic of marriage equality and homosexuality in general. One quoted scripture and the other quoted science in support of his/her views.
Maybe that was why the managing editor wrote back that my topic was "brilliant" and he was looking forward to seeing it. I can just imagine him rubbing his hands together and chuckling wickedly as he anticipated the dustup to come when my piece is published.
I'm not a chicken-heart, but I dislike confrontation and public disagreement, so this will be a challenge for me, but I think this topic is particularly germane as Oregon ramps up its campaign to get Marriage Equality on the ballot for next fall.