Saturday, November 15, 2008

Worst of Both Worlds

The above describes California. Not only do we as a state have the craziest enviro-terrorist liberals, the type who burn down the houses of research scientists, we also have a state full of people who think that they're justified in ripping apart families because anal sex gives them butterflies in their delicate tummies.
Yes, this is another prop 8 post.
I've yet to see an argument for prop 8 that is logical, reasonable, or backed up by any data. I've yet to see an argument that doesn't boil down to a) religion, or b) often underlying "a", 'people who are gay are different. Gay sex is gross. Different = gross = bad."
Before we reconstruct some of these arguments, I'd like to tell you a little story.
I met a woman last week at a concert. Her name was Bess, and she and her husband, George, been together for twenty years. They had lived together for fifteen of those.
Bess and George have been married THREE TIMES.
Each time Bess and George get married, Bess is relieved that she can visit George in the hospital if George gets sick, and George can be satisfied that the decisions about George's health can be made by someone whom George loves if George is too ill to make them. George is happy that George and Bess can get a tax-break in these economic hard times because they're a couple, and Bess is happy that if she dies, George can inherit Bess' property. These are things Bess and George cannot get unless they are MARRIED in the eyes of the state. Bess is happy she gets to wear the frilly dress and go to church, but that's really just the cherry on top of the sundae. She really just wants to know that she and George are recognized as a couple by the state and get the benefits therein.
However, each time Bess and George are married, their happiness and security are short-lived.
Bess and George, if you haven't guessed yet, are both women. And each time the state decides to let same sex partners marry each-other and then takes that right away, the people who were married when it was legal get their union forcibly annulled.
Can you imagine the pain of being forced into a divorce by the government when neither you nor your spouse wants it? If this happened to heterosexual Fred and Mary, it would be the sign of a totalitarian state!
Can you imagine living with a woman who was your "wife" yesterday and knowing that this status has been taken from both of you because half the state thinks you've no right to inherit each-other's property, make life decisions for each-other, or get a tax break so you can afford to jointly buy that house in San Francisco?
Can you imagine knowing that half of a huge population of people who don't even know you have already labeled you as a SINFUL ABOMINATION?
And for those of you whose religion has deadened any sense of empathy you might have as human beings, let me couch this in millenia-old terms you can understand. Where in the Bible does it condemn homosexuality?, a fundamentalist webpage seems to have an idea, but if you'll mouse over their Bible passages, only a few actually mention homosexuality. They try to equate being gay with adultery and fornication but can't provide any passages to back this up--just passages that condemn fornication and adultery.
I Corinthians 6:9 mentions it, but I Corinthians 6 pretty much nixes sex in general and also thinking about sex, and we don't take that at all seriously, so why single out 6:9's proscription against homosexuality unless we have a deep seated pre-existing conception that homosexuality = different = wrong? It's similar to singling out the bit about not suffering a witch to live, but conveniently ignoring the bit about it being easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man into heaven.
Leviticus 20:13 calls for any man who lies with another man as with a woman to be put to death along with his partner. Let's see what else Leviticus says in chapter 20. Hmmmmm:
Leviticus 20:18: If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period...both of them must be cut off from their people. (ie. Outcast). Haven't heard too many preachers rail on that one recently. Little kinky, but definitely not something to run people out of town for.
Leviticus 20:9 If a man curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.
The rest are proscriptions against every permutation of incest and prostitution, usually calling for the offenders to be burnt, stoned, or run out of town. If applied today, the punishments in Leviticus 20 would mark a person as a complete sociopath.
Leviticus 19 is really
special. There are a lot of legitimate rules here, such as "do not cheat people out of their wages", and "don't seek revenge on your neighbours." Mixed in with these are: "Do not wear clothing of two kinds of fabric.", "If you plant a tree, its fruit is FORBIDDEN for the first three years of growth. The fourth year, you need to offer your harvest to God, and you can eat it by year 5." Finally, for those of you who "Clip the edges of your beard," the Lord Almighty is NOT AMUSED.
In short, you cannot use the Bible as an absolute ruler for morality on this issue, because for every good rule in Leviticus, there's one that's totally nonsensical. How do we tell if the Homosexuality rule goes in a bucket with the "thou shalt not eat meat with any blood still in it" or the "Thou shall not sell your daughter into prostitution" bucket? We can't. We have to make the call ourselves. Since in a gay relationship, there's no degradation of either partner--no one is hurt, no one is raped, it comes down to "Gay people and gay sex makes me feel squeamish."
I was going to go on about Sodom and Gomorrah, too, but I'm not really sure how this boils down to Homosexuality. Lot is living in Sodom, and is visited by a troupe of Angels from God. The citizens crowd outside his house, begging for some Hot Angel Action. Lot offers to let them gang rape his virgin daughters instead (God doesn't seem to have an issue with this), but they'd rather have some Angel Flesh, so Lot flees, and God smites both Sodom and Gomorrah. I don't know how people interperet this story as "Gay is bad." If I were god, I'd be much more put out that there were people who wanted to rape my angels than the fact that the Angel Rapists were MEN. How you can come away from this passage with any message other than "GOD DOES NOT LIKE ANGEL RAPISTS" indicates that you're reading something of your own cultural view into the passage. Again, "Homosexuality makes me uncomfortable. It is different from me. I don't understand it. It's bad."
For all of you who advocate tearing apart a loving couple based on your Gut Instinct, I'd like to speculate that if Jesus were here today, he'd be ashamed to even associate with you. You would be the money lenders in the temple. You'd be the fig tree that didn't get the bloody message even though God was standing RIGHT THERE. Love is not some code-word for "shun them until they do what I want." Love is not even code for "tough love".
I'm not going to say anything about the Mormons, because the above applies to them as well, except for a caution that they're probably going to reap what they sow on this one.
Good luck to Bess and George. Meeting you was truly eye-opening.

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