“Yes, I am a silly girl, for not having seen sooner that you were nothing but a coward with a heart full of fear.”
-The Princess Bride
By Marcia Prichason
In the endless struggle between good and evil, The Princess Bride stands as a classic. Buttercup is in love with Westley who must go away. Due to Westley’s prolonged absence, Buttercup believes he is dead. Eventually, she agrees to marry the smarmy Prince Humperdink. Westley is not REALLY dead, however; he has become a Pirate.
Westley gallantly returns to rescue Buttercup from the Prince who intended all along to kill her for his own political gain. Ultimately, Westley and his two trusty assistants do save Buttercup, but not until after the requisite chase, survival of the fire swamp, torture at the hands of the nefarious Count Rugin, and a full-out assault on the castle.
In The Princess Bride, the world is clearly and conveniently divided between good and evil. We know, even as we witness Westley and Buttercup suffer hardship, deprivation, and trial after trial that a miracle will happen, and that all will end well.
Even Miracle Max, who is no longer in the business of helping others, lends a hand. He does so because true love is at stake. But, while ministering to Westley’s injuries, he cautions them to proceed carefully. Max says, “Don’t rush me sonny. You rush a miracle, you get rotten miracles.”
And that is true of all miracles. You cannot rush them. So, while we go about our daily lives buying groceries, making rent or mortgage payments, working, going to the health club, tending to children, visiting with friends, and falling deeply in love, let us not forget that it will take a miracle to convince the self-righteous hatefuls that LGBTQ love is just as true a love as heterosexual love. And miracles cannot be rushed.
Although, this one can’t come soon enough! Recently, fundamentalist Christian conservative, John McTernan posted on his blog that gays are not only destroying marriage, adopting and giving birth to children better served by “straight” families, and forcing the Boy Scouts into homosexual life styles, they are responsible for Hurricane Sandy (Lorraine Devon Wilke).
I would like to respond to John McTernan and his ridiculous assertions the way Westley does when finally face-to-face with the cowardly Prince. He says, “I’ll explain and I’ll use small words so that you’ll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon…” The problem, however, is that, even when confronted with logic and truth, the John McTernans of the world, just like Prince Humperdink, refuse to see how completely absurd they are.
For, despite the facts, they use gays as scapegoats to enhance credibility for their preposterous positions. Buttercup speaks for us all when she says that the evil Prince, or in this case, the evil McTernan who uses LGBTQ individuals to explain all the world’s ills, is “nothing but a coward with a heart full of fear.”
Buttercup doesn’t figure out just how evil and dastardly the Prince is until it is almost too late; but she DOES get it right. Buttercup, who is fundamentally good, finally realizes that there are evil people in the world; people prepared to destroy anyone or anything that gets in the way of them achieving their own self-serving goals.
The self-serving kingdom that McTernan wants to secure is really no different from Prince Humperdink’s kingdom. It is a place where he controls everything and everybody, metes out justice in accordance with his own whims, and denies rights to anyone who is different from or disagrees with him. Buttercup, though arguably a little slow-witted ultimately has the final word. She says, “You can’t hurt me. Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords.”
No, the Prince Humperdinks, the Count Rugins, and the John McTernans of this world cannot break the bonds. They cannot track what true love is. And, they cannot scare, intimidate, or terrify LGBTQ people anymore. The evil they represent cannot change the miracle that we are seeing evolve in this country; acceptance and equality for all Americans.
Which is why I believe that, while the struggle for acceptance and equality is arduous; the goal is pure. And, while the miracle is slow in coming, it will indeed get here. So, while we’re out fighting evil and making this miracle happen, let’s follow Miracle Max’s advice and, “Have fun stormin’ da castle.”
…And I’m just a mom who loves her son…