No, You Cannot | Teen Ink

No, You Cannot MAG

November 6, 2008
By Kayla Bruner, Cypress, CA

It is a new nation,
a nation that proudly proclaims:
“Yes we can.”
But what power holds “yes we can,”
when America has told many of our
brothers and sisters
“no, you cannot”?
You cannot follow your heart.
You cannot move forward.
You cannot take a hand.
You cannot break the mold.
“Marriage is a holy bond
for a man and a woman
it is not yours to taint,” they say.
Where is the future?
Relentlessly we must
keep striving for a better day.
We must stop this hatred
and bring about change in the
wake of defeat.


The author's comments:
This piece was written after Prop 8 was passed in California, a national tragedy at the state level.

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This article has 396 comments.


on Jul. 16 2010 at 8:09 pm
neubauRAWR GOLD, Calgary, Other
18 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to hear you laugh like you really mean it-Snow Patrol
Without writing, you don't know what you think- Anonymous

I really enjoyed this!!

Im not a huge poetry person, but your poems has a great message behind it that is easy to understand. Most of all, I strongly agree with the message!!! Way to go!!!


on Jul. 16 2010 at 7:58 pm
BaileyBaby13 BRONZE, Enumclaw, Washington
2 articles 4 photos 75 comments
i love this! it's really strong, and goes where most tend to avoid. good job,(:

MLStamp SILVER said...
on Jul. 16 2010 at 4:36 pm
MLStamp SILVER, Annandale, Virginia
8 articles 0 photos 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
Thats what we all are. Ameteurs. We don't live long enough to become anything else. -Charlie Chaplin

Of course each religion believes there's is the only way, that is why there are so many. But like everything in life they all grew from a seed of the one true religion. Christianity. While it is not so much a religion as it is a relationship with our Creator, the purpose is to get to know him. Not to automatically understand, because the truth is he is so powerful,mysterious, and almighty that we will never fully understand.  Yes its true we will never FULLY know him but the basis of any relationship is trust.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

We must have faith in knowing that we've made the right decision. Faith that he will be our protector and provider all the days of our lives.

As for your acusation of hubris from man, of course it exists! As in any asspect of one's life we strive to be the best and are proud of what we have.  In religion there is a difference because only one can be the best choice. I belive that that choice is Christianity and also that it is the only choice. We can get to heaven one way and one way only by accpting that we are sinners and giving God our lives to use for his eternal glory. That is the small price we can pay for him giving us his life to pay are way to paradise.

I hope what I've written here can make your vision of religion and spiritulaity clearer.  If I come across as pompous, I apologize. I only want to be apart of your journey in finding who you want to be in this life. If I confused you more please let me know so I can clarify or ask me more question I'd be glad to  help!


on Jul. 16 2010 at 4:15 pm
theinquisitivedonkey SILVER, Cohasset, Massachusetts
9 articles 2 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Why, you, Rodion Romanovitch! you are the murderer".

Well not every religion states that there is "one way". I am an Episcapalian, and we believe that gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals are all gods creations, and should be treated equally.

I am not an extremely religious person, but when statements like that are made, I feel compelled to defend my honor.


on Jul. 16 2010 at 3:05 pm
TheAnonymousArtist BRONZE, San Diego, California
2 articles 0 photos 10 comments

What I never understand is how each religion believes theres is the only way, and that only their versions of spirituality, morality and "salvation" are correct and valid. I believe many spiritual and religious people possess a certain degree of hubris, claiming to understand exactly what God wants for not only them, but also for the entirety of humanity. Even if God were to translate his direct word to man, since man is fallible and God is unknowable, I do not see how man could fully comprehend exactly what God has said to them. The concept of "God" is represented as this incredible, all knowing entity--surely something that could not be understood by human beings. I don't believe that humans could ever truly understand God, just as we could never truly understand the massive interworkings of the universe. Our brain makes logical jumps and fallacies all the time--is it not possible that some of our interpretations are wrong, or simply products of people trying to understand "God"? In the Book of Job, God states that he himself is utterly unknowable---if this is true, then how can anyone of any religion truly say that they absolutely KNOW what God is and what he wants from us? 

Point is, I don't believe any religious dogma based on uncertain principles should govern another human being's right to basic love and emotion. 


on Jul. 16 2010 at 11:57 am
fyreflies BRONZE, Randolph, Wisconsin
4 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Doctor Suess
"Oh, of course it doesn't hurt to slide in softball." (before I tore up both knees and before I slapped that person)
"Stay with me here now/And never surrender" Skillet

Wow. I should show this to my cousin. He'd relate.

Lovely poem, and I really like this style.


on Jul. 16 2010 at 11:16 am
LondonEye DIAMOND, Randolph, New Jersey
89 articles 125 photos 71 comments

Correct me if I'm wrong,  but I don't believe the writer's intention was to deem all Americans as "homophobic uneducated sum of the earth". I think that America is a bit hypocritical when it claims to be a progressive nation but still sticks to the beliefs that God only intended men and women to be married. Whether that's true or not, God supposedly created everything, including homosexuality, which many homophobic Americans do believe is some sort of evil. 

Despite the depth or lack of depth of this poem, I commend the writer for discussing a controversial topic. :)


on Jul. 16 2010 at 8:29 am
Demon_of_Truth, Warrenton, Virginia
0 articles 0 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm not a geek, I prefer the term 'intellectual bad-a**"

This poem was great, I loved it. As a friend to many closet gays, it sent a strong message.

on Jun. 25 2010 at 2:09 pm
MisplacedTexan14, Saratoga, California
0 articles 0 photos 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you can't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them."- a Bumper Sticker
"If Obama was the answer, it was a stupid question." - Another Bumper sticker

When did God say it was okay to have more than one wife? That WAS the law then, but does not mean God said it was okay. And God only told someone to kill their son to test him. He stopped him before he did it. Read the Bibile. Gay people can love eachother, live together, I just don't think they should be allowed to change what marriage is. ONE MAN ONE WOMAN.

on Jun. 24 2010 at 11:37 pm
Fisk14 PLATINUM, Carmel, Indiana
49 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

This poem was so beautiful. As a gay american this message really hits home, and the fact that it was done so wonderfully makes all the difference. :)

Jenny21 SILVER said...
on Jun. 24 2010 at 9:32 pm
Jenny21 SILVER, Pocatello, Idaho
9 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
The people who mind don\'t matter, the people who matter don\'t mind.

god also said you can have more than one wife and everyone frowns on that he also told someone to kill his own son murder is also frowned apon so why cant we change the rules to let everyone get married

Jenny21 SILVER said...
on Jun. 24 2010 at 9:28 pm
Jenny21 SILVER, Pocatello, Idaho
9 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
The people who mind don\'t matter, the people who matter don\'t mind.

mine usally take quite awhile like about three weeks to a little over a month

on Jun. 24 2010 at 9:21 pm
MisplacedTexan14, Saratoga, California
0 articles 0 photos 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you can't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them."- a Bumper Sticker
"If Obama was the answer, it was a stupid question." - Another Bumper sticker

If we change the definition of marriage to accept two women or two men, who says it wont change to two women and a man or a woman and a seal (it happened in sweden!) Marriage is one man and one woman. That it was I believe. i dont hate gay people or anything. They can do whatever they want except take away the meaning of marriage.

on Jun. 24 2010 at 9:10 pm
shoegirl BRONZE, Chester, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
No other road, no other way, no day but TODAY.

Can anyone tell me how long it takes for your stuff to be reviewed and published??

Lucie BRONZE said...
on Jun. 24 2010 at 5:38 pm
Lucie BRONZE, Chelsea, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies

I think that this poem is true why are so many yes we cans turned down becuase of how life is around us

yellowbunny said...
on Jun. 24 2010 at 11:29 am
yellowbunny, Windsor, Vermont
0 articles 0 photos 23 comments
I think that marige has a special meaning, and that is why people like me should have the right to MARRY other women because a civil union is just not the same.

on Jun. 3 2010 at 5:33 pm
MisplacedTexan14, Saratoga, California
0 articles 0 photos 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you can't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them."- a Bumper Sticker
"If Obama was the answer, it was a stupid question." - Another Bumper sticker

Thank you StarlightStormCloud! I don't think being gay is awful either, I think it is against God's word, but they can still do it. Its their choice. I just don't want it to be called marriage. call it a Unity or something. But marriage should be one man and one woman. That is my own opinion, not society brainwashing me as Sir William thinks.

on Jun. 3 2010 at 12:35 am
StarlightStormcloud, Pasadena, California
0 articles 3 photos 34 comments
Sir-William, I myself find the viewpoints of both treegirl and texan understandable.   And yes, that is "my own decision."  They stated their opinions thoughtfully so why do you assume that society has brainwashed the weak minds!!  The question isn't really even concerning equal rights - all people, gay or straight, have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.  I don't think being gay is a horrible thing and I am not religious either.   But when we are debating a matter of terminology, particularly that with religious roots, why should I let the idiot royalty, papacy, and your "group of males who wrote some book" influence me to disregard God's word?  I think that THAT should be my own decision.   

on Jun. 3 2010 at 12:09 am
StarlightStormcloud, Pasadena, California
0 articles 3 photos 34 comments
I don't feel like this poem's message was really lined up smoothly with its premise.  It slams America as a whole based on one demonstration of supposed hypocrisy.  America is a country in which laws are passed constitutionally.  The truth of the matter is that many people would be more than happy to bring in laws that allow gay couples to *more smoothly* attain the same rights, just without the word 'marriage' attached (Currently, all of the same rights are available but with heavy paperwork and steps involved).  "Church and state" also has nothing to do with it.  Many people disagree with gay marriage on non religious grounds.  The laws reflect the will of the people, and the people's individual reasons for voting the way they do are their own business.  I myself am undecided on the topic, but I despise it when people deem ANYONE who possesses something other than the PC opinion the homophobic uneducated scum of the earth.  That said, I don't find this poem "deep" at all.   

on Jun. 2 2010 at 11:45 pm
thewriteidea DIAMOND, Pleasanton, California
67 articles 0 photos 336 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't cry that it's over, smile because it has happened."

AGREED!!!!!


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