I hope that our nation continues to progress toward becoming a truly inclusive society for all religions as well as for people who are not religious. I find that my atheist friends experience more rejection by our community than I do as an openly gay man in the South and this is a lot of rejection! We need to be a community based upon love for love's sake not based upon whether or not I like you or something about you.
I have begun having conversations with people about my fears for our society because of the pure hatred that is being created by the rampant use of misinformation/lies. Good people are being manipulated through the cultivation of irrational fear. People who want to divide our society so that they can prosper more at the expense of the common good understand that fear is their most powerful motivational tool. They have become very good at doing this after years and years of practice. It is harder to think for ourselves than to submit to what we are told to believe by others. Unfortunately, human nature often leads people to take the easier path at least until that path directly affects their lives in a negative way.
During the past 3 years as I have become a visible and outspoken activist and advocate for our community. I been honored to speak at many public events. I understand how important it is that those of us who can and will be seen publicly be both seen and heard. It is important that we continue sharing messages that unite Alabamians as we create collaborations and build bridges that lead toward our goal of a safe & healthy community for everyone.