Guns-Why

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Week That Was: Moonshine and Fine Wine


The majority of North Carolina voters must be drinking a lot of that white lightening, a concoction that can make the most docile among us mean as hell. It's also been known to cause blindness and to severely retard the growth of brain cells.

Columnist John Boyle writes in Asheville's "Citizen Times" that he's ashamed of his state for enshrining discrimination against gays in what he refers to as "Abomination One."
You can slice this poorly worded, muddled mess of legislation anyway you want, but it boils down to Bible-driven hatemongering in the guise of saving “God’s definition of marriage.”
When you look at Amendment One in the context of Southern history, and even U.S. history, it makes sense for us to vote for yet another round of discrimination.
After all, conservative Christian preachers have used the Bible to justify slavery, Jim Crow laws and bans on interracial marriage, not to mention keeping women from voting.
When Amendment One first reared its self-righteous head, a conservative friend of mine said to me, regarding homosexuality, “It says right there in the Bible that it’s wrong.”
He didn’t mention that it “says right there in the Bible” that it’s wrong to eat shellfish, wear clothing of varying fibers or to allow your new wife to live with you if you discover she’s not a virgin. In that last case, the Bible says she must be stoned.
Let’s be honest, folks, if you believe the Bible is the infallible, unquestionable word of God, then you better tighten up your Christian living.
Yet, some religious leaders did not support "Abomination One." The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, issued a statement after its passage. In part, he addressed the hurt and harm this amendment will cause to "unmarried victims of domestic violence, unmarried couples - gay or straight, senior couples and children." This is not the end, he says, "but a new beginning to end any form of discrimination in the constitution of our state. . . ." He ends his brief remarks with a well remembered quote that never fails to move me:
"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on. The cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." -- Edward F. Kennedy
With all due respect to this obviously caring man, I find it very difficult, if not impossible, to feel much charity towards "those who hold a very different opinion," precisely because of the reasons he provides. (VIDEO)

Nor do I feel as optimistic as he does, not even after Mr. Obama served up some fine wine the very next day when he announced that he had evolved and now supported same sex marriage. Don't get me wrong. I'm  thrilled to the tips of my toes that a president of this country of ours has the chutzpah to make such an announcement at any time, but right before a major election? That takes guts, no matter what spurious motivations some critics might want to ascribe to his decision. Bravo, Mr. President.

The expected hue and cry from the Congressional Republicans hasn't materialized. Supposedly they're too busy working on the economy, that is, increasing government spending for the military industrial complex while cutting back on well established and badly needed social programs. In other words, giving the shaft to those in need.

Nope, the hue and cry comes from gays themselves and from the hard left. Since the latter lost any credibility with me ages ago, I'll simply ignore them here. They make me want to vomit, to coin a phrase, and I simply don't care what a bunch of nonentities have to say. I'll leave it to my friend over at The Examined Life to give them a well deserved kick in the posterior.

While I expect nothing but nonsense from the Firebaggers, I was more than a little taken aback when Log Cabin  Republican's R. Clarke Cooper called Obama's announcement "cold comfort" and "offensive and callous."
That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous. Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short.
Huh? Say what? Back to Sheria at The Examined Life because she says it better and smarter than I can:
. . . the notion that his speaking out two or three years ago would have made any difference in North Carolina's recent vote to amend the state constitution to declare that marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic union recognized in the state is ludicrous. This particular legislation has been proposed every legislative session for at least the last five years. NC joins 30 other states that have already passed similar constitutional amendments. The majority of voters still don't believe in same-sex marriage as evidenced by the 31 states where citizens came down firmly against safe-sex marriage by referendum. No other president has said a word about gay marriage and now this man finally speaks up and the whine is, it's not enough? Obama made history today.
It boggles my mind that some gays are even members of a political party which is so diametrically opposed in thought, word and deed to anything that even smacks of gayness. It was a Republican, after all, who introduced the "Don't Say Gay" bill in Tennessee. Fortunately it never made it to a final vote, at least not during this session. There's always next year.

I think Chris Matthews sums up my own thoughts pretty well when he refers to gays in the Republican party as "indentured servants."
“I have to wonder how gay men and women who now work for the election of Republican members of Congress, Senators and Romney himself can sit in their work seats and refuse to stand up, walk in the direction of their bosses and candidates, and ask them to join the President on this,” he said.
“I have to wonder how long they can remain indentured servants, how long they can continue to accept the Republican Party’s don’t ask, don’t tell rule that you can work here as long as you keep your mouth shut.”
FURTHER READING:

When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

Martin Bashir, who I greatly admire, takes on the nauseatingly unctuous Robert Jeffress, a former supporter of Rick Perry's, in a segment called Bible Study: Parsing Scripture from Slavery to Same-Sex Marriage

Chris Matthews interviews Barney Frank and Tony Perkins.

The Rev. Chuck Currie, United Church of Christ minister, says Obama's call for marriage equality is consistent with Christian ethics. Brief but very strongly worded.

Perhaps Sophia says it best:

11 comments:

  1. I'm with you on all of this. A friend who lives in NC is mortified---but her neighbors all had signs out supporting the amendment. Unbelievable in the 21st century. And passing an amendment that takes AWAY rights is just so wrong.

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    1. I wonder if they sound like this Kansas woman.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/11/nebraska-woman-homophobia-rant-video_n_1509580.html?ref=fb&src=sp&mimi=1&comm_ref=false#sb=1528784,b=facebook

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    2. Correction: she's a Nebraska woman. In any case, she's pretty appalling no matter where she's from.

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  2. With all due respect to this obviously caring man, I find it very difficult, if not impossible, to feel much charity towards "those who hold a very different opinion,"

    Christianity does have a few good points, and there are some good people who self-identify as Christians, but even then, it's undermined by this love-your-enemies, resist-not-evil crap. The people who engineered and support this vicious attack on an inoffensive minority don't deserve any "respect". Bigotry is an evil that needs to be fought, and defeated.

    Still, it's good to see some people from within the Christian community speaking out. People who would never listen to an atheist might at least give Bishop Curry a hearing.

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    1. I have to admit that I don't have any compunction to feel charitable toward these people either. I would think nothing of burning them at the stake for crimes against humanity, or at the very least, rounding them up and relocating them to a ghetto surrounded by barbed wire where they would be forced to turn their sick hatred on each other instead of infecting the rest of society. Hatred is a disease and it's contagious.

      I've been fortunate to know people who profess to be Christian who walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. Unfortunately, the noisy in-your-face religious right have often overshadowed their good works. In other words, they don't wear their religion on their sleeves. Since Curry is an Episcopalian (suspect to fundies) and also African American, I'm not sure he'd be listened to anymore than an atheist. These are people who believe that if you aren't a member of their church, you're going straight to hell without passing Go.

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  3. As always, you are right on the money! I love your links and the video from the Golden Girls really puts it all in perspective. Thank you!!!!

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    1. A little smile at the end there helps, I think. Thank you.

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  4. Great post, as usual. And thanks for turning me on to The Examined Life.

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    1. Sheria is one sharp lady. You can't go wrong visiting her blog.

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    1. Kind of a sad commentary on our times, isn't it Mr. C? And those opposing gay rights are often as ugly as those who opposed segregation.

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