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The Tears of the Sexual Left Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 10 August 2012

It’s like they saw us for the very first time.

They have heard about us. They certainly talk about us enough. They psychoanalyze us. They mock us. But they never really see us.

Perhaps they thought we were an embarrassment from the past, cringe-inducing folks from back home, odd ducks living down dusty roads, dangerous creatures living in malarial fever-swamps.

They know we may turn elections, even elections about marriage and even in liberal states. This is a puzzle to them because they certainly don’t know any of us on the Upper West Side of Manhattan or the Hollywood Hills.

But they saw us last week lined up by the millions waiting sometimes hours to buy chicken sandwiches. We celebrated the day in our joyful, quiet, and respectful way – and it profoundly freaked them out. Rachel Held Evans is a left-wing Christian blogger. She wrote:

Images of lines snaking out of fast food restaurants, taunts and jeers on Facebook, tearful conversations with gay friends, failed attempts to understand and explain both sides. . . .Suddenly my religion is alien to me – small, petty, and reactive. My faith has lost its bearings. I don’t feel like praying anymore, not even for the mom who begged me to pray for her gay son who vowed yesterday never to return to church again.
 
I am hanging on by the tips of my sweaty fingers on this ledge of faith, wondering if letting go will bring freedom or death. I’ve hung on before – through the science wars, the gender wars, the Christmas wars, the culture wars – but I’m just so tired of fighting, so tired of feeling out of place.
Her post got 290 comments before she shut them down. And most of them were like hers: in addition to being wildly self-dramatizing – unbelieving, dispirited, defeated.

Is this the first time they have ever seen us? I do believe it may be the first time they have ever seen us en masse, certainly on the marriage issue. They saw our numbers when before they only saw the result of elections or the rumors of our numbers but they had never seen us with their own unbelieving eyes.


     Chick-fil-A’s president and COO, Dan Cathy

One of them wrote, “The aftermath of yesterday has left me numb and almost without hope. I cannot recall a time in my life when I have felt such deep and profound pain and hurt. I think I have walked twenty miles in the past twenty-four hours trying to find a sense of inner peace.”

Their dispiritedness sometimes ran to the deeply strange and even unhinged. Has anyone not seen the video of the guy berating the drive-through Chick-fil-A girl? His voice is practically panicked at what he is seeing. Finally, he is in a strange land. Like most of them, he is likely used to being very vocal about supporting homosexual marriage and aren’t all those Christians really bigoted haters. No one challenges him because most people are cowed into silence.

And then there was the reporter Mark Krzos of the Fort Myers, News-Press, who wrote on Facebook, “I have never felt so alien in my own country as I did today covering the restaurant’s supporters. The level of hatred, unfounded fear and misinformed people was astoundingly sad. And I can’t even print some of the things people said.” His paper distanced itself from his Facebook comments and his Facebook page came down pretty quickly.

It is very doubtful that Krzos met anyone who said anything he couldn’t print. One of the memes of the other side is that we are a bunch of vile, vulgar haters. Many of us got this from friends and even family. “Why do you hate gays so much?” “I am so tired of all the bigotry.” And so it went all day long.

It is a tiresome discourse and shows the intellectual weakness of the other side. As anyone who spent time in the long lines knows, it was a profoundly respectful day. People stood aside and let nuns and soldiers go to the front of the line. It was a quiet party.

Our side is used to being battered on this issue. Even so, we come out and win election after election on the marriage question (32-0 in statewide elections). We have won even in liberal states like California. We have won even when the election is held during Democratic primaries. The polls always go against us because people are afraid to speak their minds, particularly to strangers and even to family and friends. But get into a voting booth and we win every time.

And so this whole episode was important. We came out in droves. We came out by the millions and we voted with a buck and a cluck. Normal people. Not hate-filled bigots. It was a quadruple victory. First, we won. Second, they lost. Third, they know they lost. And fourth, they really saw us for the first time.

Perhaps as important as them seeing us for the first time is that we also saw ourselves. Face it: this issue can be lonely, lonely in the workplace, in popular culture, lonely among friends, lonely even among family.

Our opponents like it that way. They want us alone, isolated and defeated. They harp on the inevitability argument and it is quite effective. But last week the tables were turned. Last week we weren’t so alone were we? We were huge and didn’t it feel amazing?  Didn’t you shyly smile at others in line, like we knew a secret? Well, it’s not a secret anymore.

Whoever thought that “Eat Mor Chikin” would become a secret password and a rallying cry for Western Civilization?   

  
Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM.
 
 
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Comments (39)Add Comment
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written by Diane Peske, August 09, 2012
Wow. Beautifully expressed... Prosaic and deeply moving. Bravo Mr. Ruse. Your comments speak for millions. God bless and thanks
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written by KYpapist, August 10, 2012
So are they serving Chick-fil-A at the Al Smith Dinner?
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written by Jack,CT, August 10, 2012
Great read Mr Ruse, I have to say I am so proud the company
owners stood there ground,not only related to there "Values"
but because this WILL effect there buttom line.It takes great integrity these days to stand up to "so called mainstreem".So I salute the owners you were not just correct in your values but you were aware you would loose earthly goods! WOW, we do still live in AMERICA.
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written by Michael Paterson-Seymour, August 10, 2012
It is rather unfortunate that, in the United States, the debate about SSM has been confused by the quite separate question of the morality of homosexual behaviour.

In France, the claim to SSM on equality grounds was unanimously rejected, both by the overwhelming majority of the country’s professors of Civil Law and by every court that addressed the issue, by employoing a very simple argument (1) Mandatory civil marriage makes the institution a pillar of the secular Republic, standing clear of the religious sacrament (2) The institution of republican marriage is inconceivable, absent the idea of filiation – the rule that the child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father – enshrined, not in Church dogma, but in the Civil Code (3) The sex difference is central to filiation.

In 1998, a colloquium of 154 Professors of Civil Law, including Philippe Malaurie, Alain Sériaux, and Catherine Labrusse-Riou unanimously endorsed this interpretation of the Civil Code. This led to the introduction of civil unions (PACS) for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the following year and to the resounding defeat of SSM on human rights grounds in the Bègles Case, in the tribunal of first instance, on appeal to the Court of Appeal of Bordeaux, in the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Council and the European Court of Human Rights.

Even in a country so dedicated to the principle of laïcité as France, no one has suggested that these views, are the result of religious convictions or an attempt to import them into the interpretation of the Code.
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written by Othe Joe, August 10, 2012
It is interesting to think about the source of the panic. Why would someone care (to the point of panic) that someone else thinks a marriage is about a man and a woman? They obviously know their flanks are exposed, there is a leak in the dyke, they are one card-pull away from house collapse. The overreaction says so much and yet is barely noticed. From their perspective, the cat is very nearly in the bag, just one or two troublesome claws to grasp and shove. But those still-free claws can hurt, and if they get purchase…
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written by Chris in Maryland, August 10, 2012
The left, including the leftists who lay claim to be Catholic, have concocted a zero-sum game with their cultural war of aggression. Here's how their Health Care game works to do "reward their friends, and punish their enemies" (to quote their party leader): Families with children with learning disabilities, paying gigantic medical expenses, get a tax increase from the left, and the left takes the money they steal from families with dyslexic children, and uses it to buy contraceptives for irresponsible college students at Georgetown Law, etc.

Leftist health care = stealing from families with suffering children, and paying off your leftist friends at "university" with "walking around" money.
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written by Chris in Maryland, August 10, 2012
What the French law is expressing is the natural right that trumps all other actual and "misperceived" rights in connection with marriage and family.

The right of a child to be protected, nurtured and educated by his or her parents is SUPREME.
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written by Austin Ruse, August 10, 2012
And it is amazing because, I believe, that the PACS has been a failure in signing up homosexuals...
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written by Chris in Maryland, August 10, 2012
Btw - has Bishop Lori or any other Catholic Bishop called Kathleen Kennedy-Towson on the carpet yet for her Kounterfeit-Katholic presser this week?
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written by walter, August 10, 2012
"They have heard about us. They certainly talk about us enough. They psychoanalyze us. They mock us. But they never really see us."

You probably owe a royalty to a gay writer somewhere, Mr. Ruse.
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written by Daniel Kane, August 10, 2012
Great piece putting into words the life experience of many.
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written by Achilles, August 10, 2012
Mr. Ruse, great article!

It must occur to some of us as we read these accounts of the homosexualists who lament the apparent oppression and mental/emotional abuse inflicted on them by those of us who subscribe to the Catholic view of homosexuality, that as far as we understand our right view of morality we are confirmed in our position by the vitriolic response rather than shattered into a million dramatic pieces.

Even as the numbers swell of those whose minds are directed by their appetites and consciences are formed by sentimentality and we find ourselves on the receiving end of some very harsh dialogue, even to the point of threats of physical violence, not to mention the indignity of things like “kiss ins” and other vulgar displays of unnatural affection, we are unshaken in our resolve and further convicted to contribute to damming up the tsunami of addiction inundating our culture.

These are shameful times if we are at all inclined to consider the moral and character formation of our children. These people need our prayers and our firm convictions, not permissive acceptance.

Pax Christi vobiscum
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written by kristinajohannes, August 10, 2012
Austin, i guess that's why it's called the silent majority. Perhaps future generations will study "Le Chic Fil E" (poetic license please) as a turning point; sort of America's "Emperor's New Clothes" moment, with Dan Cathay cast as the guileless child. At least we can hope for such.
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written by Layman Tom, August 10, 2012
I always thought the left were a bunch of sissies. Most Bullies are at heart. When they can't bluster their way and cow their opponents, they curl up in a ball and simper: "poor me". It's about time they were scared and shaken to the core. We have right on our side, yet it is ever we who quake in our boots about what they are going to do and how to stop them. I truly hope this is our "cowboy-up" moment. With the numbers of folks who live a conservative life and believe, we should be able to defeat them and their goofy ideas. If we can just be brave and stand up...
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written by Fr. Bramwell, August 10, 2012
Yeah! Great Column.
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written by Aeneas, August 10, 2012
"Whoever thought that “Eat Mor Chikin” would become a secret password and a rallying cry for Western Civilization?"

Such a humorous line, but so true! Thanks for the assessment Mr. Ruse.
My only regret is that I was not a part of it, in fact I had no idea what was going on until the next day. It would have been great to see all those people lined up out there, fighting the good fight...with chicken!
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written by Maggie Louise, August 10, 2012
Well, the sexual left may have been depressed for a time, but their joy will be complete when they see those photographs of the Cardinal Archbishop of New York welcoming their conquering hero to the Al Smith dinner. Those photographs will be shown in every TV commercial and on every billboard, and his warm welcome will be heard on every radio during those last three weeks of the campaign. With Romney to complete the smiling camaraderie, it will seem as if nothing really matters. We're all just one big happy family after all. As they say, timing is everything in life. Hold on, lefties, your day is coming.
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written by DS, August 10, 2012
Yes, the Chick Fil A turnout was impressive. But I just don't buy the argument that this is the left's Waterloo on the gay issue. The real divide is not pro-/anti-Chick Fil A, or even Christian vs. non-Christian. The real divide is age. The younger the person, the much more likely they are to support gay rights in general and SSM in particular. That's true of Catholics/non-Catholics, city dwellers/country folk, Republicans and Democrats. Poll after poll bears this out. Whatever its philosophical underpinnings, whatever its moraility, it's a tidal wave that can't be stopped.

I suspect the left is looking at the Chick Fil A event, shrugging and borrowing a phrase from one of their favorites, Sigmund Freud: "Sometimes, a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich."
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written by C. S., August 10, 2012
It's funny I'm a gay man and was talking to a gay friend in the midst of this (and believe me you haven't heard a fraction of what we heard "in the community" so to speak) and we were asking each other: What's the shock? Haven't these people ever heard of Southern Baptists? So I share your surprise at the surprise and actually do defend his right to say what he believes.

Oh and othe, that's spelled 'dike'or was I missing soemthing.
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written by Chris in Maryland, August 10, 2012
DS:

It won't be stopped if we don't engage our young people on this immense fraud, because the other side, in media, schools, colleges, etc IS ENGAGING THEM in a massive brainwashing/compliance campaign. It can can be stopped if responsible adults tell young people the ugly truth, that Gay & Libertarian sexual politics is an ABSOLUTE zero-sum game FOR THEM - they win, those who disagree with them lose: (1) you lose your business to the thug Mayor who hounds you out of SF, Chicago and Boston; (2) you lose your 1st Civil Right under the Bill of Rights; (3) you become a criminal by teaching your children that illicit sexual relations are evil.

Our own schools are largely failing to respond to this mess, perhaps because so many "adults" actually are foolishly libertarian on this, and even those that aren't just can't face the music...they'd rather pretend this isn't happening...but it is...and its time for us to stop pretending that the other side "just wants us to get along with them." Our young people need to understand that these people demand that we go along with them, or else...
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written by Austin Ruse, August 10, 2012
DS, they used to same the exact same thing about the abortion issue. Now the young people are more pro-life than their elders. Things change. People change. And anyway, this will be decided by the Supreme Court and the 32-0 vote and the huge Chick-Fil-A crowds will show them now is not the time to do another Roe V. Wade.
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written by DS, August 10, 2012
Austin the data are inconclusive re abortion rights. Depending on the poll, you might or might not be technically correct. One conclusion is clear: in ALL age groups, only a small minority (high teens to low 20s) take a Catholic view of abortion policy.

As re. the Supreme Court? If Obamacare didn't sway Justice Roberts, I doubt a chicken sandwich will.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I think it's best to read the facts as they are, not as we wish them to be.
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written by Julie, August 10, 2012
Chris in Maryland - your comments include the reasons I continue to homeschool my kids. They are not the reasons I started, but when I am tempted to give up, the reasons you present are the ones that keep me going.
My kids will, at least, have a strong, unified, Catholic education...without undermining from school, friends, and media. They may never get algebra or grammar (not through anyone's fault!) but God willing, they will serve at Church and beyond, know right from wrong, and will be men who can stand up for God, themselves, their family and what they believe in! That is my greatest hope for my endeavors!
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written by G.K. Thursday, August 10, 2012
Small, determined cadres can often cow larger passive majorities, so don't be so positive about the Chik-fil-A turnout. Think how the Bolsheviks took over the Russian Empire while being a small, numerically deficit group.

Why, for example, hasn't the Chik-fil-A supporters risen up to demand a recall of Emmanuel or Menino? The determined union cadres in Wisconsin tried to recall Gov. Walker for something far less egregious than this. So where's the outrage? Until these chicken-loving folks express their antipathy for crass politicians like Emmanuel with their votes, the cadres have them cowed.

The majority may come out to buy chicken sandwiches, but that without their votes will get nothing done.
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written by Louise, August 11, 2012
Maggie Louise, I fear you are correct. I have less of a problem inviting the man but giving him a forum to speak? I don't get that at all and as you point out, oh the photo and video and audio ops. The bad part of me is almost hoping that the president lectures them about his policies and how they need to come on board. Maybe that would provoke a brawl and the news would not be able to spin it as if we are one happy clappy family with just a few minor points of disagreement. (Maybe that's the good part of me thinking that, who knows? these are very confusing times.) Actually, I wouldn't put that past the President so I hope the Cardinal is prepared for that possibility.
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written by Jon S., August 11, 2012
As great as it was to see the support for Chick-fil-A, here's the downside. The Left loves to tell America that nothing has changed since 1955--the old racisms, sexisms, and other prejudices are in 2012 as strong as they were in 1955. The support for Chick-fil-A will be used as evidence that it's still 1955. We orthodox Catholics, and our friends that share the Perennial Philosophy, have to do a better job of showing that it's possible to have the best traditional values without being racist, sexist, etc. And we have to do a better job of showing that traditional values, especially orthodox catholicism, are what are best for all human beings regardless of race, class, sex, and orientation. All this will involve defining racism, sexism, and other prejudices accurately--and not letting the Left set the terms of the debate.
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written by Austin Ruse, August 11, 2012
DS, according to Gallup a majority of Americans now self describe as prolife. Twenty years ago this number was 35%. When you look at the 18-34 year olds, the number is even higher. If you look at reasons for abortion being legal, most Americans believe that most abortions should be illegal. I would accept the non-CAtholic rape, incest and to save the life of the mother exceptions tomorrow and call it a remarkable victory (it would reduce abortions to around 20,000 per year).
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written by Frank, August 11, 2012
@Jon S. I respectfully don't see a downside so much as I see the same old argument and bromides that began as far as I can tell with the 1964 "Daisy" commercial by the LBJ campaign on Barry Goldwater. Conservatives are racists, bigots, homophobes, anti-feminist, anti poor, and for shame for shame, we are rolling grandma and grandpa in their wheelchairs across the bridge and as soon as we get halfway across, we're going to lift them up and dump em' over the side 50 feet down to the raging river below. The libs have been working that street for a long time. One would think the libs would find some new material. But where I agree with and salute Jon S is that he intimates in his arguments that the Left can use this song and dance simply because it works and there's not been a sufficient counter to their agenda...until (hopefully) now.
God does not hate gays. I don't hate gays and I dare say anyone here in this forum hates gays and I 'd like to think that all of us here would stand up and defend any gay and our gay friends if someone wished harm upon them. And for the record, God does not hate adulterers, child abusers, spouses having affairs. But while sin is forgiven, there is also a question of penance and justice. A contrite and sorrowful murderer may be forgiven and absolved of his murderous acts a few minutes before justice is exacted in the form of their execution.
God gave us marriage and the Holy Family is the model; a mother a father and a child. And of course I fondly recall one of the great quotes from one of my favorite movies as Roy Hobbs tell his long lost love Iris in "The Natural," "...Of course, a father makes all of the difference." Of course, little does he know, HE'S THE FATHER!
I took my family to Chick-Fil-A on August 1, 2012. The place was packed and according to the manager, packed all day. Perhaps this is the formula...Conservatives ought to have a few days throughout the year where we respond to the Left by going to some business targeted by the Left...or refuse to patronize a business who scorns our beliefs.
Either way, the Left should take to heart the words of Admiral Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, "I am afraid that all we have done, is awaken a sleeping giant unto terrible resolve."
Perhaps, the giant is out of slumber and is now aware of the landscape and the confronting challenge.
And the beat goes on.


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written by Chris in Maryland, August 11, 2012
Amen Julie...we are sending our eldest off to college...and we start homeschooling our 3 youngest in September.
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written by Leticia Velasquez, August 11, 2012
I live in an alternate universe. A stay at home mom cushioned by a wonderful Catholic community both in person and online, I forget that my beliefs in the sanctity of marriage are considered hateful. Admittedly, I have deliberately surrounded my children to protect them till they can engage the world's ire with love and truth.
That's how those who support homosexuality live, but they live out in the worlds of academia, media and politics. A world deliberately created by the powerful, but it is just as much a fantasy world. Because their world is so broad, they are able to forget that we exist. We are their neighbors and we are exercising our right to disagree publicly with their moral relativism.
The reason we make them panic is that they are not too sure about their brand new stance on gay 'marriage' and the morality of homosexuality, and they need us to validate it for them. When we don't they begin to doubt it. God's laws are written on our hearts and are very hard to ignore.
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written by Nathan, August 12, 2012
Great article. It captured well what it was like to be there and the take away that we felt. Let us vote, let us win, let us shape our culture to be godly.
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written by enness, August 12, 2012
Why do I have a feeling the religion has always been alien to her, not just "suddenly"?
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written by Micha Elyi, August 12, 2012
Best wishes to your eldest, Chris. I hope you've taken Dennis Prager's advice and are sending your child to the cheapest college you can afford. (After all, why pay a penny more than necessary to have your progeny's morals ruined and brains washed?)
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written by Achilles, August 12, 2012
Micha, unless you send your child to St. Thomas Aquinas in CA.
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written by Jon S., August 12, 2012
Micha, see the Cardinal Newman Society's "The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College."
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written by Doughlas Remy, August 13, 2012
@Michael Paterson-Seymour: I believe your information about same-sex marriage in France is out-of-date. A Reuters article from June of this year reports that the Hollande government is expected to legalize SSM within a year.
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written by Greg, August 14, 2012
Oh the irony. You criticize "them" for stereotyping you as living "down dusty roads " and in "malarial fever-swamps" then, in the next sentence, stereotype "them" as living in the Upper West Side and the Hollywood Hills. You're an idiot.
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written by Micha Elyi, August 14, 2012
Oh and othe, that's spelled 'dike' or was I missing soemthing.
--C.S.

It's spelled 'dyke' (the word is a borrowing from Dutch). 'Dike' is a newer, variant spelling.

And maybe the "something" you're missing, C.S., is the difference between the original meaning of a word and its later use in slang (in which the word is also spelled both ways).

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written by jason taylor, August 18, 2012
Honestly, this article sounded very much like a gloat, and sounding so gleeful about Rachel's pain came off as unchivalrous.

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