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About Those Lying Christians…

 This just in from Bill, -who was as I was, married in that brief but beautiful window of June to November, to a sweet, smart, kind, handsome, super-capable man raised in the LDS church. Both of our husbands were raised by families that have gone on to welcome us with deep and abudant decency and goodness. To say that I am grateful for their love is a vast understatement.

wedding_cake

Pictured: Actual Gay Wedding Cake

Bill’s words are followed by my response, in which I call out lies for what they are.
I strongly believe that truth is multi-faceted and difficult to pin down. And so I don’t take lightly the accusation that someone is lying. But there are deeply mendacious lies that >50% of my nieghbors have used as reason for committing the un-American act of persecuting this minority.


Bill, your turn: (Top)

Hi <Name Omitted>

I suppose I should fill you in on the Proposition 8 situation in California, seeing as how your brother and I are the people on the list most directly affected by the topic.  Also, I gather from the ridiculous suggestion that this had anything to do with temple marriages suggests that you can’t count on your church to give you accurate information.  And I know your attention span is short, but I feel like I’ve been punched in the face 5,000,000 times by a gang of thugs who have been bankrolled by your church.

So here is the background: the State Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the California State Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (as it does for many other protected categories, including religious affiliation), and that therefore lesbians and gay men should have the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals, including the right to marriage.  The LDS church, along with some Catholic and Evangelical groups, paid lots of money put a proposition on the ballot that would eliminate the right to marriage by same-sex couples.  The LDS church, along with many church members encouraged by their leaders, funded a disproportionately (compared to the population percentage) large fraction of the “Yes on 8” campaign.  Whether you like gay marriage or not, those are the facts.

So when you say it is retarded that people are protesting the church, I am not sure what is retarded about it.  If a church gets directly involved in big social issues and works directly to make the lives of thousands of Californians miserable, then I think legally protesting those churches is 100% appropriate.  If I had the time I’d be out there blocking access to LDS, Catholic, and Evangelical churches that make my life more difficult.  The LDS church made a deliberate effort to get involved in MY LIFE, and there will be a backlash.  I believe strongly in freedom of religion, but that also means freedom from religion.

Along with marriage come many financial benefits, such as the option to file your income taxes jointly.  As and example, for Steve and I, we will pay a Fag Tax of approximately $5000 this year because we cannot file jointly, despite being legally married.  The fag tax doesn’t hit all homosexuals, but we will be hit especially hard.  There are a long list of other benefits that heterosexual couples take for granted, but I am a second class citizen because I can’t access them.  Some of our best friends, Karl and David, have 2 children, and they will be hit especially hard by this situation. Please take a look at some of the families that your church has taken this opportunity to smack in the face (and, BTW, that is make-up):
https://strikefour.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/slapped-5-million-times/
Top

Never in history has a persecuted minority been granted equal status without a long and typically bloody fight.  If the courts to don’t invalidate Prop 8 quickly, this will get nastier.  Remember the ’50s, and Separate but Equal?  How do we think back on that hypocrisy now?   I hope we are not early in this fight now, but the LDS church has clearly taken the side of discrimination, and the next generation of LDS children will see this for what it is, and will have the shame for the church that many now have about the old LDS teachings regarding black people.

There has to be a happy middle ground, and I think a protest movement is really brewing. Americans get worked up about injustice.  Why not reserve marriage to be a strictly religious institution, and offer civil unions to all married couples?  That takes the religions out of the business of taxation.  Only those with civil unions can get the financial benefits (including taxation, social security, joint property, et cetera).  Religious groups of all types can keep the franchise of marriage, but de-couple marriage from law.  Let it be a 100% religious zone.  Temple marriages can remain exactly as they have always been, and if those couples also want to get social security benefits & tax benefits, they can request a civil union on the side at their county clerk’s office drive-through window.

I’m sorry my message seems so angry, but I am angry, and that is what happens when you make someone angry.  And as a side-note, I have never been made to feel unwelcome by any part of Steve’s family, and I appreciate that the family treats us well, with love and generous respect.  So I send this to you in a spirit of dialogue, in case you want to open that up, because I imagine in Texas and Idaho and Utah you don’t get many opportunities to meet lots of honestly openly gay people.
Top
A DREAM DEFERRED
By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

<SNIP> From <Name Omitted>’s message yesterday:
>PS we have been hearing a lot about this proposition in California- what exactly was it ? it sounds retarded that so many people are protesting the church. It not like they are going to change their views on same sex marriage. As I understand it there was a clause in the proposition that would limit anyone who would not perform all marriages and therefore hinder temple marriages or make them impossible. I don’t know ? I would be interested in hearing more about it. But not everything about it. I only have so much time to read. Love you all.

And my response: (Top)
BTW, those who said that
“..there was a clause in the proposition that would limit anyone who would not perform all marriages and therefore hinder temple marriages or make them impossible…” were telling a complete and utter lie, and doing so knowingly.
 
Clergy of churches, temples, synagogues and mosques have NEVER been compelled to peform marriages that contradict their beliefs. No rabbi has ever been punished by the state for refusing to marry a Jew to a gentile.

He can marry you - but he doesn't HAVE to 

He can marry you... but he doesn't HAVE to if he doesn't WANT to

No priest has been compelled by the state to marry a Catholic with a Protestant or Muslim or Jew or Atheist, nor Mormon with gentile.

There are plenty of places a heterosexual couple can get legally married, with or without the blessing of any religion; with or without the blessing of an Elvis impersonator. And so no rights are limited by religion’s not being required to perform these marriages. And religions are NOT required perform them.
 
The claim that this would change was a lie.
I do not say this lightly. It was a mendacious, manipulative lie, designed to add fear of their own persecution to seal the voting decisions of otherwise gentle folks who might, in a moment of introspection, ask whether they should truly be persecuting their neighbors.
 
I don’t know why so many self-labeled Conservatives are willing to lie:
  • to confuse Black people about what day Election day is
  • to make poor people fear that they will be nailed for parking tickets if they show up at the polls,
  • to make religious folks fear they’ll be persecuted if they stop persecuting others
  • to convince poor people that cutting taxes on the wealthy, and paring down social services, will help them out.

I frankly think it is because they are evil.
 
As to why so many self-labeled Conservatives are so willing to believe?
 
I think it is because their ethical and moral conviction takes second place to their fear.
Not admirable, for sure, to allow your fear to cloud your vision and rob you of your humankindness. 

And the results are bizarrely perfect, in the sense of perfect evil. To view these results, poor people voting to make themselves poorer; those who most need a voice cowering from the polls; persecuted becoming persecutor; to the extent that it is reasonable to consider the concept of evil, you’d be reasonable to consider that lying Christians and lying Conservatives are, very effectively, carrying out the work of the Devil.

What I don’t understand is why the rest of us are so passive in the face of this evil and moral weakness.

  • Why do we let them get away with it?
  • Why did Kerry, who enlisted and served, merely endure the
    Swiftboater lies that served Bush, an avoider-gone-AWOL?
  • Why is Ann Coulter considered to have an opinion?
  • How does FOX News even make payroll?

I want your insight.
I ask for your wisdom and guidance.

And all need each other stand up a lot stronger, with the voice that truth deserves, against those goddamn lies.

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4 Responses

  1. Hi David.

    I think they are evil.
    I really thought prop 8 would not pass. In Georgia, it would,sadly, pass easily. I can’t even imagine a court in Georgia saying gays should have equal (real) rights (…they do, a gay man may marry a woman, it’s extra rights to let him marry a man, why should we give them extra rights…I have actually heard that argument) For me that attitude is despicable and makes me fear for the rights of women, which to me appear tenuous, for you it is a direct slap in the face (or punch). I am appalled.

  2. I would be careful of tarring all conservatives with the evil brush. Politics is full of ethically challenged people and not all of them are conservatives (or even Republicans). That said, the pro-prop 8 campaign was notably inaccurate.

    Scare tactics work (for awhile). But they eventually wear off. People can become less naive, especially when ignorance becomes a luxury (look at the recent national election).

    The anger of the gay community and its supporters results from the real life consequences of this hateful proposition. But look how surprised the LDS has been at the demonstrations against the church. Also, look at the dismayed Prop 8 supporters whose businesses are being boycotted. They act as if this was some symbolic vote for heterosexual marriage without significant effects on peoples lives. This reminds me of abortion opponents when asked about what term of imprisonment is appropriate for women who obtain abortions. The question finds many of them nonplussed, as if the full implications of their position had never occurred to them.

    Unfortunately, it is up to us to make these implications crystal clear to everyone.

  3. Hey David, I’ve spent some time reading your blog and I feel you. Bill married my uncle, well, I guess that makes Bill my uncle too, and I have nothing but love and respect for these too. I also happen to be an active member of the LDS church. Trust me, you feel differently about this issue when you know and love someone who is gay. From where I stand, I see some people confusing their religious beliefs and convictions with the need to be hateful. There is definintely a fine line and while I agree that marriage should be between a man and a woman, as I believe my Heavenly Father believes, I also believe in equal rights for EVERYONE. Gay, straight, black, white, orange, green…it doesn’t matter. Jesus Christ taught unconditional love, not just to those who go to church, but to everyone. When we start hating on people because of their lifestyles, race, genetics, etc., we are no longer being Christ-like. I am so sorry you have to fight this fight. I agree that marriage should be a religious institution but that all people should have the option of a civil union and the same rights my husband and I have. I can’t speak for the other members of my church, I can only speak for myself. My heart says regardless of the logistics of a persons POV, I can’t help but love, love, love. I especially love my 2 uncles! Hang in there guys. Love will prevail!

  4. This from Craig:

    Kerry endured the Swiftboating, it is said, because he just couldn’t believe that others would believe the lies.

    And as for the liars themselves, I believe that they are operating with a narcissism so horrifically great that fascism becomes a tool. That is, for the narcissist, the ends justify the means. ‘Truth’ and ‘falsehood’ don’t exist in this context, only the interests of the narcissist. (I know this is difficult to conceive, since it is so odd. But I am starting to believe that this is just the way many human brains work.)

    In the current case, an Obama victory was to be feared (for reasons that only the narcissists understood, and perhaps not even consciously). To prevent that from occurring, it was justified to abuse people’s trust, gullibility and fear. It’s not even ‘lying,’ then. To the liars, telling a transparent lie isn’t bad – it’s the fault of the other people believe it, for believing such dribble.

    The problem with calling the liars on their lies is that (1) we live in cynical times, so nobody expects the truth anymore and (2) by the time we’ve documented and publicized the lies, the liars have already left town and are spreading new lies, like the snake-oil salesmen of old.

    I enjoyed Frank Rich’s recent column [ed: see link in “Brain Treats”]. He talks about the culture wars, and how they are no longer salient, pointing out that the only ‘retro trend’ was the passing of anti-gay constitutional amendments. I think he says something like “homophobia is the one enduring legacy of the Bush/ Rove years.”

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