Monday, November 15, 2004

Moral Values my ASS!

God I'm I tired of hearing pundits use the short-hand term "moral values" to describe the hate vote.

And that is what it is.

Why do you want to ban Gay marriage? Is it because they love gay people so much they want to deny them the ability to have a life long partner?

I'm guessing the thinking process, (when they have one) goes like this, "Gays are different, I can't imagine feeling how they do, so ipso facto there must be something wrong with them. They make me feel uncomfortable and luckily some people over 2,000 years ago said, "They are bad." so I have permission to hate them.

I was talking to one of my favorite people who said that everyone should travel and get exposed to a lot of different people. If you do that you'll find out that gay people are not that different. Some are good, some are bad. What about judging people by the content of their character? Choosing to hate people because of their gayness is as bad as choosing to hate someone because of their skin color. And for those of you who say, "It's a choice. It's a lifestyle." When did you decide to be straight? Was there a day where you said, "I could do dudes or chicks. I think I choose dudes."

I just watched Values, Religion, Politics and the Media on C-Span. I missed almost the entire show, but got to see the questions. Good questions. One answer that I thought was great was about religion. She noted that they considered people who went to church regularly more religious and apt to vote their "moral values". Gee I guess so if for moral values you substitute, "seething hate for gays" then yes, maybe they do. But this equation of church going with morality doesn't address the depth and breath of spirituality that most people have.

Gay marriage: Good for marriage. Good for straight people. Good for gay people.


Sarah Grimke said...

The teaching of religious intolerance *clears throat*:

First you convince your congregation that there is an 'us' and 'them'. If you are a part of 'them', you are allowed no identity other than labels such as 'heretic' or 'liberal'. You get the idea.

By dehumanizing your opponent, not only do you strip your designated 'opponent' of their rights or humanity, but of their very right to exist. A key part of this strategy is to insulate the congregation enough that they cannot 'hear' the other side's story, or worse yet, develop empathy and understanding.

Men especially have such innate fear of homosexuals that it does not take much to tap that emotional energy and direct your congregation however you want them to go. This dehumanizing tactic has been used in times past with Jews in Nazi Germany and both African and Native Americans here in the states.

Education and actually making an effort to listen and learn is actively discouraged. Do not mingle with the 'enemy' lest they corrupt your thinking. Mock lecture over.

The biggest question of the century: How do we shed a light on this intolerance and reflect it's true image back at those followers who believe the lies they're being fed? This is about hate, discrimination, and intolerance, none of which are the "Christian" way.

My first step? I refuse to even say the term "Religious Right" anymore. They're not Right, they're fundamentalists, bordering on mujahideen.

But as to your last sentence, I add my two cents. Anyone willing to commit to another human being for the rest of their lives is doing a beautiful thing. Oh, and marriage is not in *any* danger by homosexuals. What are they gonna do? Give straight people better fashion sense so that they might have affairs and get divorced? ;-)

10:39 AM  
spocko said...

Thanks for posting! I'm reading a book right now on Gay marriage. I'm liking the concepts. It's one of those books that has ideas that give you concepts and views that help you reconfigure your thoughts. Unfortunately it isn't especially well written.

I have a good male gay friend who said, "You know who suffers the most from homophobia? Straight men. They have to spend so much time and energy fearing that they might be percieved as gay that they miss out on any decent relationships with other men."

I only have my own journey to understanding, acceptance and connection to people who are gay to draw from, but if I were to try and help recreate that experience for other men, part of it is emotional, part of it is theological, part of it is intellectual and part of it is political. I'd need to address and explain all those parts to see if they would possibly help others who are open to the ideas. But as you so elegantly stated, "making an effort to listen and learn is actively discouraged."

During the gay marriage episode in SF I went down to City Hall and took photos. It was so wonderful just to feel the love in the air. Sharp contrast to the "Crusader Xtians" protestors later in the week. Not a lot of Christian love coming out of them.

11:43 AM  
Sarah Grimke said...

I agree with your friend's assessment. The ironic part is that homosexuality cannot be caught like a cold, and if straight men spent even part of a day having an open conversation about sexuality with a homosexual, they'd learn that.

I think that so much of a man's masculinity is tied to his sexuality that it causes a knee-jerk response if there's even a margin of insecurity, which then bleeds out into a lashing out response which sadly is often against homosexuals.

A dear friend of mine was married to her lover and recently died of breast cancer. Thank goodness the company she worked for had 'partner coverage' conditions in her insurance clause, or else they would have been bankrupt for sure. As it is, she'll take a long time to recover financially.

It appalls me that people think that just because someone is gay, their love is not as pure or as beautiful. It all comes down to empathy. If people just took the time to look and truly listen, they'd see that their fears are completely misplaced! Thanks for replying!

8:52 AM  

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