Monday, November 10, 2008

To be written in the book of love


Ann said...

putting this one on my blog too. thanks

JCF said...

I heart Keith. He's Da Man!

But seriously, he also prompted me to a Deep Thought (not that I know what it means).

In the days following the passage of Prop 8, amidst my many mood-swings, I've sometimes relied on the belief that "We grieve, but not as those who have no hope". And "I know that My Liberator liveth".

Y'know, stuff out of De Good Book.

But at the same time, as Keith was preaching (You go, Keith!) the Golden Rule tonight, I was caught up short by the flip-side of my Christian Hope.

Namely, that there is practically NO behavior that the "GeeZus Worshippers" can't justify (no act of cruelty, e.g., Prop H8), on the basis of "Well, I'm just trying to get you f*ggots/d*kes into Heaven---by denying you the sinful {air-quotes} 'marriages' that you sinfully want---so I am following the Golden Rule!"

I'm trying to figure this conundrum out (from my POV---which isn't the same as yours, obviously, IT):

How do distinguish a HOPE of Heaven (which I have for myself), which keeps me going...

...from the THREAT of {air-quotes! *g*} "Hehvun", which Fundies try to impose on someone else's choices?

[Get it? "GeeZus" reigns in "Hehvun"! ;-p]

If Hehvun all that the Fundies can offer, then I choose their {air-quotes!} "Hell": at least I know that the company there will be better! ;-)

James said...

Man, this has spread like wildfire though the www. I just received it from a student at the university and came here to tell you all about it.

What a brilliant commentary.

FranIAm said...

Keith's finest hour in response to one of our darkest hours.

David said...

JCF opined, "If Hehvun all that the Fundies can offer, then I choose their {air-quotes!} "Hell": at least I know that the company there will be better!"

You bet! I'm sure I'll be there first, so I'll hold a seat at the pub for you. What're you drinkin' ? ;)

BTW, there's an interesting riff on this topic in Parke Godwin's fantasy novels of the "Snake Oil" series :)

PseudoPiskie said...

I posted this last night too. Too bad the people who need to see it are probably stuck on Faux News. Or is it Fix News that Keith calls it?

dr.primrose said...

Two items from today's Los Angeles Times.

First, Democratic legislators ask state Supreme Court to void Prop. 8: Opponents contend that a ban on gay marriage can only be done by a revision of the state Constitution involving the Legislature. The Prop. 8 campaign leader calls the effort 'a Hail Mary.' The story says in part:


"Forty-three Democratic legislators, including leaders of the California Senate and Assembly, filed a brief Monday urging the California Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.

"Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and incoming President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg signed the friend of the court brief, filed with the state Supreme Court.


"In their brief, lawmakers described the 500,000-vote margin as a 'bare majority,' and said it was 'compromising the enduring constitutional promise of equal protection under the law.'

"'Proposition 8 seeks to effect a monumental revision of this foundational principle and constitutional structure by allowing a bare majority of voters to eliminate a fundamental right of a constitutionally protected minority group,' the brief says.

"'If Proposition 8 takes effect, this court will no longer be the final arbiter of the rights of minorities,' it continues."


Second, an editorial entitled Prop. 8's battle lessons: In hindsight, it is easy to spot the weaknesses in the campaign by opponents of the same-sex marriage ban. It says:


Ever since Proposition 8 passed Nov. 4, enshrining heterosexual-only marriage in the California Constitution, demonstrators from Sacramento to San Diego have staged daily marches and protests to express their anger and disappointment that homosexuals will continue to be treated as second-class citizens. It's a stirring movement, reminiscent of past civil rights struggles, but it raises a troubling question: Where were these marchers beforebefore the election?

Like nearly every aspect of the fight against Proposition 8, the recent protests come too late to make a difference. Opponents of the measure ran a disorganized campaign that consistently underestimated the strength of the other side. Apparently lulled by poll numbers that showed the initiative was likely to fail, the campaign's fundraising efforts were lackluster -- until it discovered that the Yes on 8 side was raking in millions from Mormons and members of other churches. By the time fundraising began in earnest, there wasn't time to mount a strong opposition.

The action contends that the ban, created by the initiative that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, cannot be done by a mere constitutional amendment. Rather, it must be done by a revision of the entire Constitution and the Legislature would have to be involved.

Same-sex marriage advocates produced only one hard-hitting commercial, depicting a pair of Mormon missionaries ripping up the wedding license of a married gay couple, but didn't air it until election day. The campaign made little effort to reach out to the African American community, whose large turnout and overwhelming support of Proposition 8 were enough to put it over the top. And while it's nice that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now says he hopes that the courts will overturn the initiative, he was all but invisible before Nov. 4.

The failure of leadership extends beyond the governor. If there was a public face to the No on 8 campaign, it was San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is (notoriously) heterosexual. Where were the gay leaders? It's hard to imagine the civil rights movement of the 1960s succeeding without Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X, or to imagine the women's suffrage movement without the likes of Susan B. Anthony.

Wresting equal rights from a society reluctant to grant them isn't easy. It can take years of nonviolent resistance, passionate speeches and even in-your-face radicalism. If people who voted yes on Proposition 8 say they didn't see it as a civil rights matter, that's because until now there has been nothing resembling a civil rights crusade by the gay community. Courts can assist downtrodden groups, but they never have and never will be enough to guarantee equality on their own.

The fight for gay equality won't end with Proposition 8; it will continue until the battle is won, in California and across the nation. Supporters should take some lessons from the many mistakes made in this round.

Ann Marie said...

I think of a man who often stops by my blog. What Keith has to say, although powerful and moving, would not affect him. There is no religious or scripture language.

JCF spoke to this above. It does not speak to the more fundamentalist among Christians.

I discovered this in conversation with some of more "traditional" colleagues after GS 2007. We don't speak the same language. My colleagues did not understand the language of justice. In their minds, same sex relationships were wrong/sinful and because of that justice just did not enter into the equation.

At another meeting the same issue came up and once again I realized that in many ways, we just don't speak the same language. But then, when I try to speak about same sex relationships from a scriptural or doctrinal point of view - using their language - they don't listen either as I am so obviously flawed in my theological understandings and background. It's a no-win.

But, acceptance will come. Nothing can stop the movement of the Spirit toward that which is right and just in God's eyes.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

Anonymous said...

The same sort of thing that allowed churches to support racism, and the oppression of women, Ann Marie.

In the past, I've been a live-and-let live sort of person, but They clearly aren't. Granted, I'm an atheist, but right now I think that there is not much good attributable to most organized religion in this country.


Ann Marie said...


There are days when I share your thought and seriously question why I am a priest in a religion that at times appears to think little of women. But then I remember that my parents brought me up to speak out for what is right and just and to work for change. Sometimes it feels like I am hitting my head against a brick wall. But, while I may not be making much difference among the male clergy, I am reaching the laity and helping by giving another voice to them. When I see how much it means to them to have someone with a collar support their efforts, I know that I must continue.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

Billcat said...

You know, there may be a way to deal with the fundamentalists. "If you object to others (any others, be they Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or atheist) imposing their religion and sense of morality on you, do not do this to others."