Friday, September 10, 2004

Two-Faced and Unfortunately Unrepentantly So

I am, and have been for some time now, absolutely fed up with the assault on lesbian & gay and same-gender-loving folk. The thing that irks me so is that the assault is based on notions that are questionable, at best.

Most Americans are approximately 15 years old emotionally. They have the attention span of a gnat and about the same level of psychosocial development. They're acutely aware of their physical urges, but have little idea how to appropriately deal with them. They need to be told where to go, what to do, and when to do it. They prefer absolutes to uncertainties, answers over questions.

They don't understand so-called homosexual behavior because they don't understand heterosexual behavior.

Most people don't understand relationships. Forget dating and mating, let's look at the hotly debated Marriage. We think the wedding is the marriage, so the bigger the wedding, the poufier the dress, the better the marriage. It's lovely until he breaks wind in bed when you're feeling romantic. Everything is great until she starts wearing the comfy pajamas instead of the negligees. It's all good until the first baby arrives and you realize you can no longer stay out all night, drop $200 on a fancy dinner, or take a day off just to go to the beach. And because so many of us just don't get it, or because the image of the extremely handsome, well-off White gay man is what has pervaded pop culture, the automatic assumption is that none of the balloon poppers mentioned above happen to same-sex couples. Believe me, they do.

I'm tired. Period. I'm sick to death of the bogus need to justify who I am and how I live my life (which is the definition of LIFESTYLE, not who I sleep with). Who asked you? So, a warning. I'm pissed, and everything from this point forward will be pissy.

Religious "Justification" for Persecution
Conservative Christians, evangelical Christians, orthodox Christians, are all quick to jump on so-called Biblical justification for persecuting gays & lesbians. They'll spout the scriptures every one who identifies as g/l has heard: the two from Leviticus, the one from Romans, the one from Corinthians, the one from Jude. They will even try to claim Jesus also condemmed homosexuality because he "did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill". Spare me. These out-of-context extractions are conveniently used not in the name of bringing joy and serenity into people's lives, which is what religion is supposed to do, but to help some clown who is uncomfortable in their own skin, experiencing a crisis of self-esteem, and/or is too lazy, frightened, or conditioned like a trick pony to have an independent thought, find a way to make themselves feel better by making others feel lousy, or worse -- try to block out their own inability to improve their lives by supposedly pointing out how lousy someone else's life is. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Excuse me while I vomit. "If you love me, feed my sheep." Where does it say crap on my food? And speaking of food, most of these scripture spewers know so little about the fine print that if you remind them they really should be vegetarians (see Genesis 1:28) or if you point out they've missed a few things from Leviticus like not mixing meat and milk (think cheeseburgers or most Hamburger Helper varieties), technically, they've committed a sin equal to fudgepacking. Oh, and that nice wool suit, cotton shirt, and silk tie are sinful also. And you preachers who get paid for preaching on the Sabbath, you've got a problem as well. Not to mention the people who pray to a statue, and get divorced. Having sex with your wife during her menstrual cycle (which is 20 to 28 days, fellas) is problematic. Oh, and put down that shrimp and find a church fundraiser that isn't a catfish fry. Catfish are scavengers, which technically makes then unclean.

Two-Faced Political Arguments Against Basic Rights
Less government intervention in personal lives. Okay, let's look at this for a second. If you want the government less involved in your personal life, let's look at Maslow's model for human needs: food, shelter, and love.
Food: if you want the government out, let's shut down the municipal water authorities. Let's all just hop down to the local reservoir and hope that we're not sickened by some mysterious bacteria. I don't keep a sewage-removing system in my apartment, and neither do most people I know. Also, let's shut down the FDA and let's not label food anymore. Peanut allergy? Screw you. Shoot your own cows, grow your own potatoes, and you'll be fine. Just don't buy any groceries.
Shelter: no more tax benefits for all you mortgage payers. You'll have to suffer like the rest of us no-tax-deductible anything-having clowns who flush big chunks of our paychecks down the crapper. But don't fret. Move to Wyoming, hang a piece of canvas between 2 trees and hope for the best. The only cost for squatting is literally shitting where you eat.
Love: my favorite. In the City of New York, it is ridiculously easy to obtain a marriage license, the piece of paper that is such a hot topic, especially when it comes to dealing with homosexuals. Here is what you need to have in order to apply: identification issued by some government authority (damn that government interference!) and an affidavit that both the bride and groom must complete at the City Clerk's office. You can be as young as 16 to get married as long as both parents give written permission. Only one parent living? Prove your age with a birth certificate, court records, or school records. To officially be considered "married," you have 60 days from the issue of the license to get it certified by someone licensed by the state (there's that government interference again) to perform marriages, be they license-by-mail preacher, church pastor, judge, or even by someone in the City Clerk's office. As long as only one of you has a penis and one has a vagina, you now have the OFFICIAL right to the more than 1000 government-sanctioned goodies in the cookie jar known as Marriage, including hospital visitation, exemption from inheritance tax upon the death of your spouse, and the right to claim his or her body from the hospital when that death happens. In other words, if my female partner dies of cancer in our house we've both been paying for for 20 years, (that we take turns declaring on our income tax, I might add), and her mother who hasn't spoken to her in 15 years, and hasn't bathed her after the chemo has given her uncontrollable diarrhea or spent their entire savings on medical equipment to make her last days comfortable in her own house, decides she wants her suddenly darling daughter to be laid to rest in the family mausoleum despite her wishes to be cremated, I, her femal partner, have NO SAY WHATSOEVER IF THERE IS NO WILL, AND EVEN THE PRESENCE OF A WILL MAY NOT PROTECT ME. I'm screwed. I can lose our house. Anything she's left me may be seized by Mommy Dearest and crew. Any insurance money I get can be taxed up to 85%. And this is how love works in America. Oh, how I wish I were making this up. But I digress.

You can't have it both ways. You can't call yourself a Christian and only espouse the things that make you comfortable. The Bible supported slavery -- I don't see Alan Keyes volunteering for field duty. Women are supposed to be silent in the churches, but that didn't stop FMA author Marilyn Musgrave from addressing Jerry Falwell's church in 2003. You can't "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" while taking advantage of tax protections to build your personal wealth, never mind supporting laws that hurt the poorest of our society -- the second part of that is "render unto God what is God's." You can't take what works for you and leave the rest. Grow up and dump the duplicity.


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