Catching the Brass Ring

I’ve never tried to catch a real brass ring. On old-fashioned carousels, you won a prize if you could lean out far enough to catch it as you whirled by.

We seem to live in a culture of brass rings. From politics to reality TV, we try to win that prize. We talk more about American Idol, The Voice, Dancing With the Stars, The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, and so on, than we do about how to live a better life.

Preachers tell us how to win with God, and live a righteous life. They tell us it’s a better one. I’m not so sure. All that trying to please will kill you.

Politicians promise you a better life, with a chicken in every pot….  but no one can really promise that to anyone.

Then we have the un-holy alliances being made between politicians and religious leaders. There is most definitely no better life in that.

The brass ring, folks, is always out of reach. You may win American Idol. Or your political party may be in power. But after the ball is over…. it’s over.

I’m writing in frustration. Yesterday the state of North Carolina got confused and denied civil rights by vote of the people. Rights are guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States, not popular vote.

And guess what? The brass ring of marriage, held out with all its attendant legal rights and benefits, was snatched away from any who don’t meet what is now the state’s definition. One man and one woman. They even made civil unions illegal for all couples. And the proponents say they are defending families. Well, only certain families. The families the religious right says are families.

It’s their own fault, really. The religious have held out the brass ring of marriage, and kept it out of reach for those of whom they don’t approve. But there it is, shining in the sun. Beckoning. Taunting.

America is not a carousel….. and marriage is not only for those deemed righteous. The righteous should look in the mirror. They have affairs, multiple divorces, and in North Carolina it’s legal to marry your first cousin, providing the cousin isn’t gay. Go figure.