Friday, June 09, 2006

Lerner: Resisting the Assault on Homosexuals

“We realize that many Americans are legitimately concerned about the increase in selfishness, looking out for number one, materialism and extreme individualism that make it hard for people to sustain loving relationships. When people are only looking out for number one, families lose their sense of shared purpose and many people feel scared that the family, the only institution in our whole society that has the official goal of providing you with safety and security, is actually collapsing around us. Those fears are legitimate—but they are not caused by gays and lesbians who themselves are wanting to build strong families and would do so if the laws gave them the right to marry and build lasting families. People learn the selfishness and materialism because the work all day in an economy, often in huge corporations, that teach them that the “real world” is governed by a Bottom Line of money and power, and that your worth in the world depends on how much you can show your boss that directly or indirectly you will contribute to this materialistic bottom line.

“Do this year after year, learning to see others primarily in terms of how they can be of use for you so that you can maximize your own well-being, and no wonder that people come home each day believing that what is rational is just to look out for number one. And that makes love and commitment very difficult to sustain. So if we want strong families, we are not going to get them by attacking gays and lesbians or denying them the right to families—in fact, we’re all better off when they themselves want families instead of staying in the marketplace of relationships and playing around. We should want them to have families, just as we want our heterosexual friends to have the benefits of families.

“But to sustain families, we need something totally different: we need A New Bottom Line in America so that institutions and corporations and government practices and laws get judged to be efficient and productive and rational not just because they maximize money or power, but also to the extent that they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical and ecological sensitivity. Lets build a society that encourages us to see every other person as an embodiment of the sacred, and encourages us to respond to the grandeur of the universe with awe, gratitude and radical amazement.

“First step: oppose restrictions on gay and lesbian rights, and vote out of office people who are trying to divert your attention from the real struggle against selfishness and materialism to the phony struggle against gays and lesbians. Whatever political party they happen to be in.

"This public service message comes to you from the Network of Spiritual Progressives. We are a non-partisan force that seeks a world of love, generosity and kindness. Join us, and read our Spiritual Covenant with America on line at We are the real pro-family voice in America.”

--Rabbi Michael Lerner
National chair of the NSP. Co-chairs: Cornel West and Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister

But of course Bush needs to keep that Gay Hatery™ coming. (Trademark Holden, First Draft)


betmo said...

i am linking to your post.

8:36 AM  
spocko said...

Whoo hoo! Thanks!

10:05 AM  
sister of ye said...

Saw your whining, I mean, commenting at Rising Hegemon and decided to come over. Nice posts today.

I'm a very happy fallen-away Catholic now, but I knew a lot of genuinely good people while I was active in the Church. Not enough to ultimately make a difference to me, but good people are worth acknowledging. It's nice to see that, despite the hate-fest being whipped up by the church hierarchy and the fundies, good people of faith are still willing to speak out.

I can't promise to be a regular reader - just too many damn good liberal blogs - but I added you to my favorites, and I'll pop in when I can.

11:48 AM  
spocko said...

Hi sister of ye. Thanks for stopping by. I don't expect you to be a regular reader. I'm grateful to have 23 soratic readers. If I was regularlly funny like Dr. Turk or Watertiger I would have more readere

12:37 PM  
Anonymous said...

What "assult"? Emotional spin just the same as 'Right.'

The world is falling apart and the US is responsible for a big piece of it, so why worry about giving incentives to lifeless pairings?

I agree with Lerning that denying gay marriage doesn't fix problems with families. You can't change the force of history, but we can help by protecting basic human rights.

You won't force the right wing to agree with you but only give the corrupt Republicans more votes.


3:33 PM  
Anonymous said...

Rabbi Lerner might be better wingnut "Christians" but he has his own set of issues.

This for example from "If This be Praise...Lerner, Said and the Palestinians" by M. SHAHID ALAM on

'These are the "wrongs" that the Zionists regard as right, legitimate, moral, as necessary for Jewish survival, for Jewish power. Rabbi Lerner is a committed Zionist. He makes no bones about that. Though an American himself, he informs us--without any comment--that his son served the Israeli military in the West Bank. As a Zionist, the Rabbi accuses the Palestinians--and Edward Said--for not acknowledging the wrongs done to them as right, as moral, as necessary.'

Lenney Brenner, also on CounterPunch, gave more insight on Lerner in "Michael Lerner and the Workers World Party: The Ranting Rabbi Doesn't Speak for All Anti-War Jews."

Now, do you think I'm anti-semitic? Do you think Edward Said was anti-semitic?

not the one from radio kookhouse

4:15 PM  
telly belly said...

I am so ignorant of the mechanics of blogging at this point that I don't know if you will see my username (guess I'll find out), but I wanted to add my kudos and say that I plan to make you a regular daily stop now that I know about you.

And, truly, IMDB is a girl's best friend. After all, what did a square cut ever tell you about Laird Cregar's sex life?

Oh, wait. Was that David Ehrenstein...?

Be right back...

5:04 PM  
Ellie said...

I followed the link from betmo's blog and found yours. Nice blog!! I added you to my favorites list. :)

great post on gay marriage. I agree with you totally. Gay marriage doens't hurt regular marraige. and because gay people want the right to get married has no impact on the divorce rate. Honesty, how stupid do the repubs think americans are??

I think gay marriage is just a diversion though. they want attention to be diverted away from Iraq and domestic spying and everything else that they've done wrong. They tried to divert attention with immigration, now its gay marriage. Either that or they realized, hey I ran on this platform, maybe it's about time I actually do something I said I'd do. But Bush had to know when he ran that a gay marriage ban was never going to make it through.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous said...

Speaking of diversion, Zarqawi on ice makes you forget Haditha.

And what happened to the Mexican threat? Have they decided they want more Mexican token Republicans to cover the benefits of a cheap labor without a vote or benefits, plus a way to stick to other noisey minorities?


9:15 PM  

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