Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rage, Rage Against The Whining of the Right!

Marriage Equality Rally, Seattle - Photo by  djwudi - http://www.flickr.com/photos/djwudi/
A Message For The "Religious" Right -- rant:

I was not going to be doing any more blogging today, but I got an email from my friend(s) Astraea(s) who follow this particular issue closer than I, having had the fortune of falling in love with a corporate person that shares a body of the same apparent gender.

Silly me, I don't even think of this as being "gay." I mean, not in my gut. Not that it's not true, kinda sorta, it's just that it is such a superficial description of hot multiple on multiple love.

Anyhoo, it's bizarre to me that I can (and did) get a civil marriage licence and she cannot, even though The Real Situation is identical.

Oh, and here's a little something else, something I want to mention before I go on, one quote from the beginning of this marvelous rant which will explain my personal passion about this.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take a lot to bring me back to a time when I remember the sting of the taunts and namecalling that comes from being singled out from the rest of the community. As a teenager and young adult, I saw that most often happening to others, although I know the times I was the brunt of such bullying in the halls of a high school. Of course, back in the early 1970's, it was a common occurence. . .I can remember walking home in the evenings from the library, doing work on a paper or just trying to get out of the house, and every now and then a car would go by with other high schoolers screaming that "faggot" slur out of their mouths. I would always feel the hairs rising up on the back of my neck and the fear almost choking off my breathing, and yet I would walk just a little faster and tell myself that I knew the neighborhood and how to find places to hide.
Same here, give or take five years. Perceptions trumped reality, or perhaps I was chosen to be gay by people who thoght that made them straighter. But for whatever reason, I was assumed to be gay, as well as a speed freak and a "stoner" - all because I was a weedy, ectomorphic asperger's kid in a persistant dissociative state.

But so many people were utterly sincere in their convictions that I actually gave the gay thing a shot. That's a very aspie course of action, by the by. No regrets, exactly. But no "postcard memories," either. Gay sex, aside from the icky bits which are avoidable with a polite "no thanks, not into that," is unavoiably an act committed with a person of the same physical gender - and at that age, that generally meant hairy, stubbly and testosterone poisoned.

I agree with a few cynical drinking buddies of mine from Amarillo; the only thing you really need to become a Lesbian is to have sex with a man. My wife agrees, by the way - and then adds, in a deliberate reference to that story of mine, in which I was ultimately declared an "honerary lesbian," that she doesn't really think of me as a man, either.

And that doesn't much bother me, because I know of what they speak, and I surely ain't that. I'm not much into Manly Things, like sports, male bonding, fast cars and loose women. I want to bed neither Anne Coulter nor Condaleeza Rice; unlike a truly astonishing part of the male population, I know a preying mantis when I see one.

If that makes me a "fag," so be it. I've long since grown indifferent to the good opinion of people to stupid to deserve one.

But that indifference stops when the stupid, thoughtless and intolerant start taking over tasks more important than the bank-tellers and fast-food salespersons.

The issue here is not the preservation of marriage, nor is it even really about a true, bible supported belief. This is about maintaining a right to persecute other people. Considering how swiftly such folks can turn and savage one of their own, you would think.... but, they are really very stupid, and willfully so.

"For decades, it seems to me that these 'religious' fanatics were the only citizens allowed to get away with torturing, abusing and attacking others, especially those in the very families they claim to 'protect.' They have no shame about thier behavior - but I am far and away long past giving them a break for claiming 'deeply-held beliefs' about others. Freedom of religion may mean they have the right to choose, in the name of God, the right to persecute others - but those they seek to persecute have the right to fight back, and to do it decisively. I do not have to respect their right to persecute me - it is THEIR belief, and it only applies to THEIR lives - NOT mine. And if we are going to stand up to this constant onslaught of brutality and abuse in the name of God, then we need to do it with more than just confusion. The only thing they understand is when someone goes for their throat.

These people do not wish to protect anyone's family. They seek to control families. And I don't give a damn how many times they whine about being persecuted because we refuse to let them persecute US - they should have known the score about constitutional rights when they made their choice to follow a totalitarian religious belief. Instead, they want that constitution re-interpreted and re-written"

This amendment, if it passes, will achieve absolutely nothing positive, not even in the devious and twisted ways the leaders of the American Taliban think. What it will do is cause thinking people to distain marriage altogether, and it will enrich a bunch of Philidelphia lawyers to come up with alternates that WILL be recognised under the "full faith and credit clause." These "work arounds" will derive from corporation law, and therefore be ultimately unassailable. If there is ONE thing American law is deadly serious about, it's Contract Law.

These new piles of paper - and they will be literal piles of paper - much like a mortgage contract - will have the advantage of making a good deal of sense and anticipating and accounting for things current marriage law does not. They will have specific prenuputal agreements, will allocate the division of assets and benifits and detail many things and assign many rights. They will contain mutual powers of attourney, and wills, they will define venues for the resolution of disputes and many other bits and pieces you may well recognise. And if parties to such agreements they are not elegable for marital tax benefits, they will be elegable for corporate tax breaks, because that's what it will be. A legally recognized corporation.

Indead, I'm using hindsight in my predictions; there are such lawyers and such "corporate families" now, to the best of my understanding.

These individual agreements between persons will make the issue of gender and indeed, the number of parties completely up to the signitories, as will be issues of marital and sports fidelity.

Not only will these evolutions be an acceptable alternative, they will be seen as morally and legally superior instruments. There will be those, those, gay and straight, who see the Marriage Amendment for what it is - a deliberate assault upon an entire sector of the population that does not agree with the "moral majority." And there will be others who will quietly take the advice of their accountant and choose the alternative that allows for better protections of personal wealth.

A life together that is blessed by law and "without benifit of clergy" will quietly become the norm, as it is in many civilized nations. And did you know that in many such nations, it's because the Churches were foresquare against behaving like civilized people. When it comes down to it, when the choice is to not be a total dick, or not belong to a church, most people will choose to not be a dick.

I do try to remember that there's a difference between "cultural Christians" and actual christians. Indeed, the only "cultural christians" we ever notice are the ones that embarrass their families and neighbors as much as they insult us and our values. I've met some genuine, honest, God Fearing Christians, some of them so personally conservative that they were to the right of Pat Buchannon. (Actually, it somewhat discomforts me that I occasionally AGREE with Pat.... ) But they did not impose their values on others, they upheld them in their own lives.

And if a flaming queer went into the terminal stages of Aids, they would install them in their spare bedroom and take care of them until the end, then cry like babies. Real Christians never let their morals get in the way of doing the right thing.

People like that taught me that a Christian should be too busy doing the right thing to have much time to spare thinking about what they think wrong about the actions of others.

Now, to you actual homophobes who might stumble across this, I want you to understand something. When I speak of homophobia, I'm not using the term as an insult. I suffer from a few phobias myself; for instance, I'm probably a mild androphobe - I have an irrational fear of men, which is a learned phobia. I'm also, technically a social phobic - that comes from the aspergers.

While it is possible for me to overcome those fears for a time and a space, it not easy, and may require drink or drugs to prolong for more than fifteen minutes. I would not like to have someone taunt me for my fears, or provoke me with the very things that make me gibber. So I truly get it that gays make your skin crawl and your mind spin into irrational gibberings. Fending it off and being a human being against the tide is hard freaking work.

But I do know the one thing that will make any phobia far worse, to the point where it will really, totally take over your life and turn you into a gibbering mental case - and that is trying to make a phobia make sense.

Next thing you know, you 'll find yourself marching with Fred Phelps and picketing soldier's funerals becacause the Pentagon "tolerates" gays in the military, and therefore all solders ... I forget. Go read, if you care. And take his lunacy as a caution to yourself as to what confusing a phobia with a calling can do to you.

True homophobia is an irrational fear. It doesn't have to make sense. You don't need to make excuses for having "a condition." And you do not have to let your fears make you do horrid things to other people or allow it to overly influence your life. Nobody - not some Pride Queen, and not the 700 Club - has the right to use your fears to manipulate, humiliate or extort you. Period.

if you find being around gay people, especially people who are being, ya know, kinda conspicious, like Carson Daily on "Queer Eye," I can understand. There' s no part of tolerance that requres that you put up with sweaty man-hugs. Aside from everything else about evangelicals that bothers my rational mind, the possiblity of being grabbed and squeezed and "slain in the spirit" by large sweaty guys fills me with a reflexive, visceral horror I'm sure you would find quite familiar.

You just don't get to hit Carson with a tire iron until he's dead to make that feeling go away. Any more than I get to do it to Benny Hinn.

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