032. consternation (or, wtf in the garden of eden)

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Sorry it’s been so long in between posts (not that anybody really missed me, I’m sure). Work is changing and bringing more responsibility with it. I’m doing more writing, though at the moment more waiting to see if my submissions were accepted.

With the health care bill passing it feels like I’ve been playing catch-up on what’s been happening nationally. What disturbed me most was that Pilosi snuck and ramrodded her bill through Congress, giving Americans a mere seventy-two hours to respond, vote, or object to what was in the 1,999 page document. Now we wait to see what happens in the Senate and hope to God that true conservatives there stand up to the pressure from the left, and from Obama to give him a “positive outcome.”

One other thing that disheartened me last week was the repealing of same-sex marriage in Maine. It’s not so much that I’m a huge proponent of it (since I’m nowhere near being married and it isn’t an issue for me). It was the victory sound bytes from the opposition which bordered on vainglorious gloating from the conservative right that deeply bothered me (the following quotes are from an ABC news article):

  • “We’ve struggled, we’ve worked against tremendous odds, as we’ve all known. We prevailed because the people of Maine, the silent majority, the folks back home spoke with their vote tonight.” – Marc Mutty, campaign manager for Stand for Marriage Maine which opposed gay marriages.
  • “I believe that marriage is for a man and a woman… and I don’t believe that [gay marriage] should be taught in school, period.” – Mary Lou Narbus, a 51-year-old mother of three from Rockwood, Maine.
  • “I don’t feel anybody has the right to redefine marriage. I would have been heartbroken for our country if it did not pass… We had a prayer night last night for it to go the way it should.” – Ellen Sanford McDaniel, 35, of Fairfield, Maine.

In response, there are a few points I’d like to make.

  1. These are supposedly “my people” saying these things, conservatives and Christians, and I’m not sure what angers me more—that these blatant misconceptions about same-sex marriage are still being circulated and promoted, or that ignorance and fear got the upper hand once again. Yes, there are gay activists out there who want to promote homosexuality in schools, and yes, they are a vociferous minority and they do have an agenda they want to force down people’s throats and make them accept it. I never thought I’d ever say this, but as Sean Hannity once said, “If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly enjoys his life. If a liberal is homosexual, he loudly demands legislated respect.”The intent of the majority of homosexuals is not to erode the American family unit or destroy family values. It’s to make up for years of imposed silence and shame from the status quo. It’s straight couples who have managed to erode family values by jumping from marriage to marriage, or bed to bed, leaving broken partners and children in their wake, all without the help of the gays (or the gay bandidos). There are homosexuals who have lived together, faithfully, for decades, who practice fidelity and monogamy more authentically than many heterosexual couples.(On a side note, I don’t think homosexuality needs to be “taught” in schools any more than heterosexuality should be promoted. It’s not the job of the schools to socialise students—but that’s another discussion.)
  2. It upsets me that anyone would pray for things to go the way they want them to, and even more that they expect God to sanction their position. Whatever happened to “thy will be done”? And not that Christians shouldn’t get involved in politics, but awful things happen when religion is used as a sword. That’s why we left England in the first place.
  3. Their reaction belies a fundamental misunderstanding of human sexuality, an adherence to rigid cultural and societal norms, and aversion to anything that threatens their comfortable notions of what American life is supposed to be. It’s the common impression that all gay men are lisping, promiscuous, flamboyant queens. In fact, many “gay” couples don’t even practice “gay” sex, and some are even celibate. Terms like “gay sex” or “gay love” imply that it’s different from any other kind of love or sexual activity—even aberrant (not that any and all activity that goes on between homosexual males is healthy—things like fisting, BDSM and fetishism can be dangerous and harmful to the body).
  4. It also belies a fundamental misconception of sexuality in scripture. According to traditional arguments, the primary function of sex is procreation, and on those grounds many infertile couples shouldn’t be married either. And if you were to ask, I suspect that many Christians wouldn’t even be able to tell you why they believe homosexuality is wrong—only that “the Bible says so.” Mny blindly accept and parrot the views of their leaders without studying the issue for themselves, and yet these are the ones speaking with their votes.
  5. Instead of “working against” same-sex marriage, why don’t Christians try to find out what it is that homosexuals really want? Yes, this would involve actually getting to know a few, and perhaps that’s what this is about. It’s easy to work to block someone’s rights when they’re a statistic or a scary figure on television, and you are a happily married, secluded family that enjoys society’s approval and privilege; but that often changes when it becomes about people.It’s about simple things, like enjoying the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, without dirty looks or the danger of—at the very least—being savagely beaten; being able to publicly marry without fundamentalists protesting or children holding signs declaring eternal damnation for gays; and legal rights, such as hospital visitation and tax credits. It’s about the symbolic declaration of commitment that separates “living together” from “marriage.”

It’s not about upturning the apple cart. We just want fair treatment.

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4 thoughts on “032. consternation (or, wtf in the garden of eden)

  1. Em

    Preach.

    Just when I think the conservatives can piss me off no further, the left wing loses their damn mind and I’m once again reminded why I’ve considered myself a moderate since 2000.

    Hannity (and my God have mercy on my soul for saying this) has a point. HOWEVER. It’s also true that traditionally “quiet” homosexuals aren’t necessarily “enjoying their life”. A conservative homosexual is usually a product of a region or environment typically hostile to liberalism and social deviance. “quietly getting by” might be more accurate. That being said, I think the creative exposure of gays in the last decade has done more than anything else to foster the public opinion shift that has allowed for some of the legislative changes favorable to GLBT people. Mass media is the new policy maker.

    • muirnin

      I know—quoting Hannity feels like quoting Oprah… sickening and emasculating. You make some good points, as usual. I probably wouldn’t be the way that I am had I not grown up in this area, with a conservative family, and a conservative church. However, this isn’t necessarily about “living quietly” or hiding. It goes back to what I’ve said earlier about living no differently than any hetero couple. It’s society that demands we live out, loud and proud, when all most of us want to do is just be left alone with our friends and family (though in my case, for the time being, probably just friends).

    • muirnin

      [fixes disapproving glare]

      Please tell me you actually read the rest of the post and you weren’t one of those people. The Piloski thing was a framing device (albeit, yes, a divisive one at that), used to illustrate how policy is being decided for us, with little input from the people it actually affects. Read the whole thing… I’d actually appreciate your reactions.

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