November 10, 2005

The "Threat" of Same-Sex Marriage

If you think there's been a lot of focus in recent months on the issue of gay marriage, just wait. The fire is just getting warm and is sure to burn right through the 2006 elections. The latest chapter of this story was Wednesday's approval of a measure to establish a U. S. constitutional amendment baning gay marriage by the Senate's Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution. Ironically, the measure is named the "Marriage Protection Amendment."

I must once again ask who exactly are conservatives working so hard to protect? As a straight man only days away from getting married myself, I don't feel the least bit threatened by any same-sex couples that would like to do the same (unless they invite us to the wedding and want an expensive gift). If anything, my impending nuptuals make me even MORE supportive of their right to marry, to experience the joy and fulfillment of making not only an emotional committment but a legal one to the person we love most in the world. I see couples in my own church who are in long-term committed loving relationships that should have every bit as much right as I do to be recognized as legal spouses.

How exactly would the right of men to leagally marry men or women to legally marry women diminish my marriage to a woman? Going back to the early days of this nation, there has always been a faction who felt threatened by the granting of rights to anyone not quite like them, feeling that it would diminish their stature, their power, whatever.

At one point in our history, blacks did not have the right to be educated, own land, and vote. Women didn't gain the right to vote until early in the 20th century, when the U. S. was well over 125 years old. Arguements were made back in the day about how these restrictions were needed to protect society. We now hear those same justifications to support not legally recognizing same-sex marriage.

Despite the loud and well financed message of the anti-gay conservatives, I feel this too will pass just like other restrictions have fallen by the wayside over the decades and centuries. Despite the efforts of these right-wingers to hold us back, society gradually becomes more enlightened as time moves forward.

After all, Jesus' message was about unconditional love. Let's put our effort on promoting love. One way of doing that is encouraging people that love each other to make the firmest committment possible to each other.

Is This Fight REALLY Worth the Cost?

As I read about the results of various state and local election ballot questions the last couple of days, I was again struck by how many pertained to the issue of same-sex marriage. Knowing how out of control political campaigns can get, I did a quick Google on the words "cost, same-sex, and marriage." The first story I came up with was about an election last year in Ohio. The report in The Gay People's Chronicle in Cleveland was an investigate piece detailing where the contributions came from to support the group campaigning against same-sex marriage.

Without going into great detail here (it's all in the report), I can sumarize it by telling you that most of the money, not surprisingly, was contributed by religious, fundamentalist orgainzations to the tune of well over a million dollars.

How many people could have been fed with that money? How many poor children could have been clothed with that money? How many sick people without insurance could have received medical attention with that money? How many homeless people could have received shelter and perhaps even some vocational training with that money?

How would Jesus have wanted those funds, and the many millions spent all over the USA, to be used? Would he have wanted organizations allegedly acting in his name to wage a political campaign, or help those who are cold, hungry, and sick? Just a quick glance through the New Testament answers that question very clearly.

Perhaps some "christian based" organizations need to spend a little time reading their bible before allocating their resources.

November 09, 2005

Expressing and Teaching the Wrong Message

Thanks to, I ran across another one of those really troubling stories that I felt obligated to comment on. There was an anti-gay protest in Bloomington, Indiana that, although it did not involve thousands of people, demonstarted two very disturbing views.

As reported by the Indiana University student newspaper "The Daily Student," the group was comprised of about 25 members of the Old Paths Baptist Church. They gathered on the IU campus to begin their demonstration, them moved on to a gay-owned store called "The Inner Chef," and burned a gay pride flag.

One of the chants the group shouted in front of the store, according to the report, was "Fags Die, God Laughs." I only wish I was making up such twisted, sacreligious behavior. I challenge anyone to find one single example in the bible where God showed any pleasure at ANYONE perishing. There are plenty of situations in the Old Testament where He wiped out large numbers of people for going against his will, but the part where God laughed, smiled, or was anything but saddened by it didn't make it into any translation I've ever seen.

Perhaps the most basic principle of Christianity is that God LOVES us. He doesn't always like us when we drift away from his will for our lives, that's for sure, but he NEVER stops loving us. He is the epitome of unconditional love. In that light, hearing of a group proclaiming itself christian shouting what these protesters did in Indiana makes me sick to my stomach.

The other part of this story that troubles me even more was where it was reported that the demonstration was "complete with children playing instruments and singing songs beside the sign-weilding adults."

What ARE we teaching our children? This group is teaching them how to hate, and to do it in God's name. Sadly, there are situations where hate IS a family value.

November 06, 2005

Why I Am An Activist

This is the first time I have used that word to describe myself. Here's one reason I am.

It never ceases to amaze me how hateful and deceitful people can be in the name of God or "family values."

What is most troubling is how loud some of these voices are. That's why voices of love and inclusion must speak up. If we are not heard, then the only message people will hear is that of hate and exclusion. I'm not willing to have that happen, and I hope you aren't either.