Friday, August 18, 2006

Rain of stones

Egalia at Tennessee Guerilla Women has posted that “Dr.” James Dobson will be coming to Nashville in October to work towards passing the anti-same sex marriage amendment that will stain Tennessee ballots in November. It could be worse, I suppose, it could be Fred Phelps coming, although I have a feeling he might make an appearance.

I know it is a long shot to think that such an amendment won’t pass in the tightly pulled Bible Belt state of Tennessee, but I admit I have some hope. Certainly, I don’t deny Dobson (or Phelps for that matter) the right to campaign for something they believe in, but I have to say I am pretty fed up with the anti-gay vitriol that seems to have overtaken America of late.

There is all manner of propaganda about homosexuality among the God-fearing folks, most of it completely unscientific, unjustified, and ignorant. The passages in the New Testament that state the “sin” of homosexuality are mostly laundry lists of “sins”, of which the Bible names many, from big to small, all kinds. Honestly, if you look at the Bible now, in reflection on modern times, I hardly think anyone who has grown beyond the age of puberty isn’t a sinner by these standards. You can certainly guarantee that most government officials, businessmen, and anyone who has any sort of wealth won’t make it to heaven. In the end, though, I think this journey – from sin to salvation – must be an individual one, between man and God. We can’t throw stones, or we might get pummeled ourselves.

There are a lot of things about Christianity (and religion in general) that bother me. I always had a choice in what my beliefs would be, and I suppose to a large extent, I haven’t yet come to that decision. I don’t know if I ever will. But it bothers me that a religion that extols, to such great regard, the virtue of loving your fellow man as you love yourself, could condemn as a sin a bond of love between two people, whether they be man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman. Our love is all the same, and for every person that says “homosexuals are promiscuous”, I can point to a hundred heterosexuals who are as well. Does that make heterosexual love any less meaningful? Of course not.

So I am here to say, again, that I urge Tennesseans to think about voting no on Amendment 1 in November. Meditate on the ideas of faith, hope, and charity, and what that really means. Think about your own love, and think what it would mean if it was denied. More importantly, look inside yourself for a decision, instead of listening to rhetoric and propaganda from people like Dobson. I want same sex couples to have equal rights in Tennessee – and the world. We all should have the right to love. Make it happen.


AT said...

Yeah, thats been bugging me too, Mel. The chances of these dumb bastards not passing that law are about the same as me turning into a attractive set of dinnerware.
I've long since given up wondering why these fundies around here don't adhere to some of the 'higher' tenets of their religion. I think they prefer to pick and choose in order to support their small minded view of the world.
Furthermore, I think the fact that because they feel intellectually inferior to people who DON'T need a big cross shaped pacifier flares up that whole 'persecution' complex, and they want to go around smiting.
Course, God don't give two craps about it, because there hasn't been any official smiting (smoting?) done yet, so they get all irritated and you end up with people like Dobson, Phelps, and Robertson running around living out those instincts in people.
Whats really troubling to me is that we're just an economic recession from becoming a theocracy down here just as bad as the islamic ones.

Leanne said...

I'm 8,000 miles from Tennessee and I want to slap one of those bumper stickers on my car! Grrrr.

Mostly I get confused wondering why the marriage of Bill and Bob or Amy and Susan is a threat to MY marriage and those of the religious right.

My marriage is between Ted and me. We set the rules, we made the promises, we keep the faith. No one else's marriage has the power to alter that or threaten that or make it mean less. How sad it must be to have to deny others happiness to feel secure yourself. :-(

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but every voice singing in the darkness...

Anonymous said...

Homosapiens should not marry. Period! Any comments to the contrary are just blasphemous. I can't believe you people.

Thanos said...

I thought the US had separation of church and state in effect. I guess not...

My personal beliefs on homosexuality aside, marriage in the eyes of the state is a contract. Why should two men or two women not be entitled to enter into such a contract if they want to?

melusina said...

AT, unfortunately, you know this "prosecution of those who are different" thing isn't anything unusual for America. I just keep hoping we'll grow the hell out of it. We had the same kind of Puritan attitudes about heterosexual relationships in the 1920s, among other things - of course they weren't about to ban marriages - but hey, what if they had? I honestly believe, from the little bit I've read and understand of the New Testament, that the real Christian would not allow an amendment like this to pass - and apparently some Tennessee theologians agree (there is a list of folks here and the letter they wrote

Leanne, exactly. I think irregardless of what anyone's opinion is of homosexuality, how can it matter whether same sex couples are allowed to marry? It doesn't hurt anybody at all.

Lol, anonymous, you may have a point there.

US does have separation of church and state, but it seems not where "morality" is concerned.

Jack H. said...

To all of you who support gay marriage and say that why should WE (the state) regulate what two adults who love each other want to do? Ok, then...

What about Bigamy?

What if an adult brother and sister want to marry each other.

Are you for that as well? If not, why?? Immoral is immoral. (right?)

I'm waiting for an answer on this point.

Thanos said...

What about Bigamy?
What if an adult brother and sister want to marry each other.

Why not? If a brother and sister want to wed and they both consent to it, I have no problem with that. Does it go against my morality? Sure. Does anyone care? No, nor should they. As I said, in the eyes of the state marriage is a contract. Any two (or more) consenting adults should be allowed to enter into it.

In Greece there is no separation of church and state (big discussion if there should be, for another time), but the enlightened US do have it. Or so they claim. Let's all keep morality and judgements for ourselves. I won't marry my sister, but if someone else wants to hey! Who am I to stand in their way.

Jack H. said...

But isn't incest illegal in Greece as well as bigamy?

Mike Stevens said...

First, Jack, one must define morality, and there is no empirical reason to believe homosexuality in and of itself is immoral, unethical, anything other than a natural variant of human nature, as attested to by the American Psychological Association, Am. Pscyhiatric Association, etc. Even then, were we to feel that neither homosexuality nor bigamy should be discriminated against regardless of subjective (im-)morality, we have to deal with the issue at hand.

This is an uphill battle, as many have pointed out. It's hard to defend LGBT Tennesseans' right to dignity and equality. But we have to try. So I urge everyone who reads this to not only Vote No, but to urge everyone you can to do the same, to visit the Vote No on 1 site and donate, maybe get a yard sign, bumper sticker, or T-shirt!

If any of you are on Facebook and/or MySpace, please join the respective Vote No group. Facebook's Vote No group has over 1490 members, but we need all the help we can get to spread this message!

Anonymous said...

Can someone vote NO and still call themselves a Christian.

If you go against God's will, isn't that wrong.

I think we should vote YES on this because if we start allowing gay people to get married, then what message are we sending to our children and our children's children.

If gay people want to have another term for marriage, why not call it a LUC (Legally Unifed Contract).

If gays want to get "LUC'd", I'd support that, but marriage should be just between man and woman as God intented it.

And, for those who get LUC'd, only God can judge you, not me.

melusina said...

Jack H, honestly, I think if two consenting adults want to marry they should be able to marry. Period. People need to work out their own moral positions with God and their minister. It isn't for me to judge.

Mike, unfortunately I don't think most people are concerned with what the psychologists and psychiatrists say - they are looking at specific "sin" laundry lists in the New Testament that speak specifically of homosexuality as a sin. This is one reason, among a few others, that I have difficulty with my faith. I really don't see homosexuality as any different from heterosexuality, and it bothers me that Jesus would have called it a sin.

All that being said, I actually do think it is un-Christian to vote yes on this amendment. I am reading the New Testament carefully right now, and while Jesus may have called it a sin, he also says we are not to judge others, and we are to accept all as our brother. To me, voting yes is a judgment, and in some sense a blasphemy, since it suggest that we here on our earth are allowed to judge as God. Why do we need another term for marriage? There is marriage by God and marriage by the state. What difference does it make? Honestly, if you want to get down to brass tacks, anyone who gets divorced is breaking the "law" of the Bible. And I know a lot of so-called Christians who get divorced and work that out with God on their own.

RealtorGeorge said...

OK Anonymous - here we go:

First let me say that I think your dictionary must have a few pages stuck together; "homosapiens" would refer to every human.

Second, my father was a priest, so there aren't many who were brought up reading, studying and quoting the bible more than me and my brother. I will also add that Orthodox Christianity does have specific beliefs on homosexuality but if one were to sit down face to face with any orthodox priest, their common response to the issue of homosexuality is that God loves all of his children. ALL OF HIS CHILDREN.

While you can quote scripture (in bits and pieces) to fit your rhetoric, can you understand the message of the scripture? Do you read the passages that denote what types of people Christ chose to fraternize with? Do you not see that Christ himself was ostracized for his beliefs and embraced the "lowest of the low" members of society? The message of Christ is warm, accepting and forgiving. And yet many elect to hide behind scripture quotes preceded by elipses because most times the verses fore and aft don't fit their needs. I ask again how same-sex marriage will affect YOUR marriage (assuming you are married) or Mr. and Mrs. Jones' marriage. What are all the bible-thumping heterosexuals afraid of? That fire will NOT rain down if gays are allowed to marry and that will prove them wrong?

If we are going to take biblical quotes regarding "holy matrimony" at face value, and we accept the axiom that the purpose of marriage is procreation, then any woman who has had a hysterectomy or is post-menopausal should NOT be allowed to marry because she will not procreate. Likewise, anyone wearing clothes made of two different cloths should be stoned. What are you wearing, Anonymous? Have you ever lusted after something with your eyes, Anonymous? Then surely you have only one eye because "if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out."

You want to liken homosexuality to murder or alcoholism? Let's then equate each and every mandate in the bible. Do you live by the literal bible?

Someone tell me WHAT IS WRONG WITH LOVE? Whatever package it is in, however it is presented, whatever your personal moral beliefs are. I uphold the right to an individual belief system, but it should not infringe on my own. If we are truly to have separation of church and state then any law created out of a biblical origin is wrong. We should be protecting the civil rights of all citizens with law enactment; not circumventing the civil rights of the few to please the many.

As my family was so heavily involved in the "church" and "religion" during my youth, I will tell you I have never met more un-christian people than I did during that period of my life. Liars, thiefs, adulterers - and that was just the clergy! We all want to accept the preaching from these people, but they don't live the preaching. They aren't perfect and I know that the day will come when they are before God and must account for their behaviors. The same is true for me and you. But I am not living a life contrary to the way in which God made me - I am not a hypocrite. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

Anonymous - I will pray for YOU. I will pray that your narrow-minded view of the world is broadened by our Heavenly Father and that you will come to accept ALL his children. I will pray that you follow Christ's example of love and compassion and not mete out fire and brimstone. I will pray that you come to know a homosexual personally and that THAT homosexual accepts YOU.

Anonymous said...

Real George: You go girl!

Not Anonymous said...

RealtorGeorge, I think the Anonymous that wrote:

Homosapiens should not marry. Period! Any comments to the contrary are just blasphemous. I can't believe you people.

Was making a funny ... pretty good one too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was quite good indeed. I believe this person was making fun of the typical ignorant American who may not even know the difference between a Homosexual and a Homosapien.

Americans! Who needs em! They need to realize that gays are people too.