I've had so much to blog about, and I've even had time to blog, but thoughts just bounced around my brain like clothes in the dryer. I was capable of short bursts at forums, but not a blog entry. I can tell you all that my brother is doing better, at least. He's got a couple more laser procedures for his eyes, one apiece, but that's it, thank the Gods. And L'Ailee and I are pathetically thrilled about the NY State Supreme Court upholding Governor Paterson's decision to recognize same-sex marriages. Hurricane Hanna will probably delay the all-important, Chase-deciding Richmond race, but will also probably give me some good waves, so there's a tradeoff.
A baby boy panda was born at Zoo Atlanta last weekend, and briefly scared everybody by refusing his mother's milk. He's doing better now. Fashion Week starts today, and I won't be seeing hide nor hair--well, hide anyway--of L'Ailee for a little while. Speaking of hairstyle-related jokes, I've been getting them in bulk since Sarah Palin was picked as John McCain's running mate. I have long hair with bangs, and I *used to* put it into an updo for work, and have I mentioned that I usually wear glasses? Fun, especially as I learned more about Governor Palin. L'Ailee's been getting compared to Asajj Ventress from Star Wars: Clone Wars since her spray-on tan faded, and she is not sympathetic. However, I think I'm being compared to a far worse villain.
See the quality of thought I'm having right now? Best to let someone else do the blogging for me. Today's guest blogger--and this is my first!--is Ben Janken. I loved a long rant of a comment that he unleashed on a clueless pastor at Ex-Gay Watch. The pastor didn't listen. He packed up his Bible and went home. I, however, told him I wanted to share it here and elseweb. Ben wanted to expand and clean up the rant some. I can understand that. Ben wants credit if you share it, and I can understand that as well, because it's damned good. Check out:
In an online debate, a pastor wrote this: "I also submit that just because I may believe that homosexual acts are wrong, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about homosexual people. Not all love says “yes”; all that says “no” does not necessarily mean hatred.”
Pastor, We have VERY VERY different ideas of love. You idea of love is spreading YOUR conception of the gospel to the poor sinners out there– whether they are interested or not, without knowing whether they have already heard it and accepted it–or rejected it. In short, with knowing nothing about their spiritual state or how G sees them– or anything about them at all. In short, it’s all about you, and not about the people you allegedly love. And that’s not love, it’s narcissism.
A host of other good Christians are all happy to tell me how much they love me, and then follow it up with comments like ‘cancer on society’ and the whole vicious panoply of anti-gay, homophobic, lying rants. They will tell me how much they love me right before they tell me how much they hate my child-molesting, disease spreading, country-destroying, religion-despising, marriage-compromising, military demoralizing ways -- all of which is news to me and my husband. Sorry, if that’s love, I prefer hatred. At least it doesn’t assume I’m so stupid that I can’t tell the difference.
You say that YOU are entitled to say NO based upon YOUR religious beliefs (which you have admitted in this space could be mistaken), beliefs which I and a LOT of other people do not share, whether on the nature of homosexuality or G’s message to the world. But funny, you don’t usually makes campaigns against other religious beliefs– that would be so Middle Ages of you. Muslims, of course, are excepted. But you--by this I mean a generic you, Christians who think my sex life is their business--feel free to do that to gay people on a regular basis. I don’t know if my marriage, which I assure you means far more to me than it does to you, will exist on November 4, thanks to people who, like you, know nothing about homosexuality, my soul, or my life--or as far as I can tell, their book--but still presume to tell me that I am not entitled to the same treatment in society that they are. In fact, the treatment I am entitled to is quite a bit different, and not in a good way, than the treatment they accord themselves. It’s called the myth of heterosexual superiority in service to the reality of heterosexual privilege.
You say you are entitled to say NO when you clearly know little about the subject (including the precious little that your book allegedly says on the alleged subject), and NOTHING about me, my experiences, my life, my beliefs, and yes, MY homosexuality--we’re not really alike, despite your assumption that our ’sin’ defines us so.
And here, pastor, is the crux of the issue. When you tell me you love me, it means vastly different things to each of us. You may tell me you love me, but the rhetoric and the religious belief is exactly the same as the generic you I have already addressed above. And I would be willing to bet that you do not believe my marriage can and should be valid, and would vote to “disappear” it if you had the opportunity, all in the name of loving me but hating my sin. As (I believe) General Westmoreland so bravely put it: "We must destroy that village in order to save it." Lucky villagers! Saved!
As far as I can tell, in its practical effects, that “love’, that “rhetoric”, that “religious belief” is completely indistinguishable from hatred. So I prefer the hatred, because at least it is honest and not self-serving. Only self-service here at The Morality Cafe. When the practical effects of your love and your care– and the political, cultural, religious and social agendas that your commitment to ‘love’ requires you also to commit to– is indistinguishable from the effects of the ‘no’s”, the ‘disapproval’, and the hate, then I might just lack the subtlety to be able to tell the difference.
So get ready to rant and roll.
YOU WOULD RATHER…
You would rather bend and twist scripture, which you believe is the word of G, to fit your very narrow religious and political agenda, than to admit that the seven or so extremely ambiguous passages allegedly condemning gay people are no where near as clear as the 250 or so passages governing hetero behavior.
You would rather tear down the wall of separation between church and state that protects the religious freedom of everyone, than allow gay people to live their lives free of your religious bigotry –excuse me, your ‘love’ and ‘concern’.
You would rather that children who have been abused and neglected by their hetero parents be transferred from institution to group home to foster home to institution, rather than be kept in the foster or adoptive homes of people you disapprove of, but with whom you have no factual or actual beef, other than that they exist and have a normal desire for children in their lives. After all, it’s for the children.
You would rather that American soldiers die for lack of intelligence information that could be provided by Arabic and Farsi translators, rather than let gay people serve their country in the military, whether in the closet or openly and proudly.
You would rather that young men die of a fatal disease that is fairly easily prevented, rather than give them non-judgmental, factual information about how they can behave responsibly and/or protect themselves. After all, they are just fags receiving the ‘just penalty for their error.’ If they didn’t persist in their sin, they wouldn’t have the problem.
You would rather that children be taunted, beaten, and ostracized for real or perceived sexual orientation or gender non-conformity, than include sexual orientation in anti bullying bills. Gotta stop that gay agenda where it counts--with the kids. After all, bullying is normal and natural, just like heterosexuality, and those kids need to learn that they have no value, and no adult will rescue them if they continue to deliberately transgress your beliefs-- what your sadistic idea of the god of love has so clearly told them they must not do. If only they could read your book, and understand it with the finesse that you do. After all, spare the rod, spoil the child, n’est-ce pas? This is a fabulous example of that. Wouldn’t want those kids to turn out gay, or think that they are worthwhile human beings.
You would rather believe that the bullying directed at children is the validation and not the result of attitudes like yours. Nevertheless, you’re ‘there’ for the kids. Though where ‘there’ might be in entirely open to question. Perhaps they are on the edge of a cliff, and you are standing right behind them--ready to push.
You would rather pretend that the story of Sodom is a clear condemnation of all homosexuality, thereby allowing you to conflate the relationship of two people who love and support each other throughout their lives with the threatened gang rape of two strangers, than admit that there just might be a difference between them. After all, they’re both wrong, so they must be the same.
You would rather that young men die of a highly preventable fatal disease, rather than affirm that marriage and monogamy are positive values for gay people, and ought to be encouraged for them. But you get bonus points here. Because you do everything in your power to degrade and destroy and prevent gay people from having normal, healthy lives and normal, healthy relationships, you then get to disparage those gay people (usually gay men) who express their sexuality in unhealthy ways and for not having normal lives and healthy relationships, all the while completely denying the existence or the relevance of those who do. It’s a win-win situation--for you.
You would rather that children spend their lives in an orphanage or some third world hellhole, dying for a home, dying for parents (of whatever gender) that love them, or maybe just literally dying. After all, every child deserves a mother AND a father, and they are better off dead that adopted by gay people.
You would rather believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that gay people cannot be good parents in every sense of the word, preferring to believe that every child deserves a mother and a father. I think we can CERTAINLY argue that. Ask any kid who has been abused, beaten, molested, thrown out, or born addicted, or born to parents who didn’t want him, or weren’t prepared for him, or have their own emotional issues.
You would rather believe that a gay woman makes a lousy father, and a gay man a lousy mother, than give said gay people credit for being caring and conscious human beings. I can tell you, a lot of actual fathers and mothers make LOUSY fathers and mothers.
You would rather rant on and on about the threat of gay marriage to heterosexual marriage, tell any lie, cook any statistics, rather than do anything at all about the mess that straight people have made of marriage. It’s all because the queers are getting married.
You would rather grant 25,000 moral waivers to convicted felons and cripple our national security, than allow upstanding, talented, patriotic gay people to serve their country openly and honestly– unless of course, they are willing lie and hide and hope that no one outs them. After all, it might make SOME BIGOTED, INSECURE, IMMATURE, FEAR-RIDDEN STRAIGHT BOY UPSET. And we are the ones hurting unit cohesion?
You would rather blame gay people for child molestation when all the available un-narthed research shows that the majority of it occurs within your precious and pure heterosexual family. Of course. It's called ACCESS. After all, its easier and better to blame a faceless stranger for their non-existent crimes against children if it serves your political agenda. I mean, why look at the really ugly truth? It will just make straight people look bad and won’t save a single kid. Here in California, we just had a wrestling coach arrested for sexual contacts with boys ranging over 20 years. He has been ordered to stay away from all children unless another adult is present, INCLUDING THE SON OF HIS GIRLFRIEND. But you'll say he's a gay man and a threat to children, despite his apparent heterosexuality.
You would rather spend $30 million dollars to save your marriage from the non-existent threat of my marriage, than spend that $30 million dollars as you were enjoined by your lord and savior for saving the hundreds of thousands of lives of the people lost in Darfur. After all, they are just black, and poor, and far away. And at least they believe in Jesus. Oh wait. They don’t. They are just black, and poor, and far away.
You would rather that gay men pretend to be straight and marry women that they have no sexual or romantic interest in, consistently commit adultery with strangers in parks (thanks Bob Allen), and endangers their lives, wives, families, and careers (thanks, Larry Craig), than live their lives openly an honestly with another man in the bonds of marriage. That way, you get to ruin two lives for the price of one. Bonus points– you get to pretend that these allegedly straight men are typical of the average gay man. I have met an awful lot of those men– sadly.
You would rather pretend that gay people are a cancer on society (thanks, Sally Kern), rather than admit that the real cancer on society is organized, institutionalized hate, especially when it is called love. Especially when it leads to the disaster known as the 2nd term of George Bush. Especially when it means your fundraising strategies might be crippled. Especially when it means that you won’t have to examine the many sins of heterosexual society, or Bush’s refusal to pay any attention to al Quaeda. You can just blame the fags for the moral, political, and financial decline of the country. Did you hear the one about the goat in the desert?
You would rather insist I get into a lifetime of pain and suffering and denial– trying to change something that not only is almost always immutable, but doesn’t need to be changed — than allow me to live my life in peace and happiness with someone of the same sex. The BEST research that has been published so far, the Jones and Yarhouse study, indicates that the effort is doomed to failure– ‘complicated’ and ‘ambiguous’ failure, as they so naively and charmingly put it. AND THEY WERE ON YOUR SIDE. But hey, ex-gay ministries need money, too.
You would rather insist that the finest part of me is evil, sick, and wrong– and make sure that I think so, too– than allow me the simple dignity of living my life in peace. Well, actually you will allow that, as long as I don’t demand equality before the law -- or respect, or dignity, or to live my life in peace.
You would rather deny my children health insurance and the security that comes with living in a home where their parents are married, and have all of the societal benefits and support that marriage brings, than allow my marriage to exist. After all they’re just the children of fags and dykes. They may even be fags themselves. They are certainly not as valuable as the heterosexual children of presumably heterosexual parents. “Save the children” doesn’t apply.
You would rather blame gay people for the imminent fall of western civilization through means that cannot be tested, explained, or logicked into existence, than admit that unrestricted, unfettered, unregulated, unconscious, and un-responsible heterosexual breeding have brought the whole planet to the very brink of ecological and financial destruction. If only you weren’t so busy maligning us, I’m sure you’d find the time to do something about it. The Pope, a.k.a. G’s viceroy on earth, is absolutely certain that it is G's will both to beat up on gay people as you never would on anyone else, and then breed us to the point of self-destruction.
You would rather fight tooth and nail against the inclusion of gay people in hate crimes laws, rather than admit that a good deal of the hatred and violence we experience for no other reason than WHO WE ARE is the direct result of the hatred, lies, and violence you preach. After all, as the Pope himself has said, if gay people want to go around demanding rights that they could not possibly be entitled to, they shouldn’t be surprised if someone gets violent over it. Who do those people think they are? Children of G?
You would rather believe that my marriage is such a threat to your marriage that you MUST pass a constitutional amendment to keep me from enjoying what you have. If your marriage is so threatened by my marriage that this is the only course open to you, your marriage has problems that even a biblically correct lifestyle won’t help.
You would rather that my friends Andy and Paul spend thousands of dollars to secure the life that have together spent decades building, rather than allow them the simple dignity of the rights that you can purchase with a $50 marriage license with a woman you met 5 minutes ago. Ah, the sanctity of marriage. Ask David Vitter. Ask Bill Clinton, who was signing the Defense of Marriage act while he was getting monica'd in the Oval Office. The difference, of course, is that all of our security can be overturned in a moment with the combination of a distant relative, a homophobic judge, and a law that allows it. And with your approval, you just love us so much.
You would rather that our lives be made as difficult and unpleasant as possible, so that you can rest easy in your unshakeable superiority, whether real or imagined. Wait, it’s not real. Heterosexuality isn’t superior or special. It isn’t even normal. It’s just common. And exclusive heterosexuality is nowhere near as common as you would like to believe. Ask Ted Haggard.
You would rather have sodomy laws, invading the private lives of people you don’t even know exist, see gay people in prison for the mere sin of their existence, and demanding those people living lives of degradation and furtiveness, just to satisfy yourself that sin is being punished. Just not your sin. One sin at a time, and the sins of others are always a priority.
You would rather create that world of furtiveness, shame, and degradation than allow gay people to live freely. After all, it’s for our own goddamn good. And you get so much satisfaction for it. Win-win again.
You would rather have good Christian people leave their faith– and abandon the hope of salvation that you so, so fervently believe in, and was G’s great gift to us, the central part of your faith– than admit that your incredibly biased and hypocritical and self-serving “interpretations” of “relevant” Scripture could possibly be a lot more about bias and a lot less about Scripture.
You would rather kick openly gay, accepting, proud gay people out of the clergy rather than pay attention to your own theology, which says that people become ministers because they have been called to the ministry by G. No one becomes a minister by going down to the mall and asking for an application at the holy recruiters. Maybe G is trying to tell you something about what he actually thinks, instead of what YOU think he thinks, bound as you are by your bibliolatry and self idolatry. You actually think that you speak for G, and that his message is contained within you.
In short, you would rather add to the darkness in the world than add to the light, add to the lies than add to the truth, add to the hate and the fear rather than the love that you keep proclaiming you feel so strongly for the people you seem to hate so much.
Things wrong with Palin that don't involve her family.
But I will permit myself to say one small thing about Palin's poor daughter Bristol, just one. Does anyone else remember how right-wingers went apeshit over Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy mere months ago? Jon Stewart does.
There's more to Ramadan than skipping lunch.
Debunking modern myths about the medieval era.
Apparently eyeliner on boys is a sign of Witchcraft and devil worship. Certainly not a sign that they saw how girls acted over Captain Jack Swallow or anything...
Finally, Archie McPhee, purveyor of the coolest cheap plastic crap around, gives us the Evolving Darwin playset. Even cooler than the Marie Antoinette action figure with the ejector head!