Saturday, November 08, 2008

GUEST POST on California Prop 8

California Prop 8 - You might be surprised to hear me say CELEBRATE!

from a member of my extended family, Paul who lives in California with his partner.

Dear Friends & Family, religious, non-religious, gay, and straight allies,

Regarding California Proposition 8
State Constitutional Amendment to Ban Same-Gender Marriage

Despite the unfortunate probable passage of Prop 8 and it’s ramifications, the internal election numbers show something very important and much worth CELEBRATING!

Look at the numbers/percentages of people who voted to NOT write discrimination in to the California Constitution, nearly half the voters. You merely need to ask yourself, What would those numbers have likely looked like only one year ago, or five years ago, or ten years ago, or twenty years ago, or more? If you believe the likely numbers voting NO on such an Amendment in years past would have been much smaller, then that also means that many of the people who voted NO on Prop 8 in ‘08, must have changed their minds at some point. That also indicates that many/most who did, or would have, voted YES on 8 in ’08 are NOT enemies of equality and fair mindedness either. They simply need the time and opportunity to be de-programmed of the hatred and bigotry they’ve been taught. Because almost no one is born with bigotry and hatred… babies don’t know bigotry and hatred, they’re taught it.

Writing discrimination in to the California Constitution and in to the state’s history, AGAIN, is certainly not one of California’s or America’s prouder moments. However history shows us that fair mindedness and equality wins out in the long run, and that all struggles for equal rights and fairness have all gone through many “Fits & Starts”, but eventually succeed. Otherwise, rather than us living in the “Rapid Information Age” as we do, we would be living as if it were still the “Bronze Age” [as some still do with divisive Bronze-Age interpretations of various religions]. It was only in 1987 that my sister’s multi-ethnic straight marriage finally became federally protected. That’s only 21 years ago, when they were pregnant with their second son. And not until now, our 44th U.S. President, or 52nd U.S. President if you also count the first eight from 1776-1789, will the president NOT be an all white guy, let alone one that would DARE publically say something supportive and respectful about gay people. Proof that equality and fair mindedness can eventually see their day.

Many of us worked and continue to work tirelessly to defeat discrimination, bigotry, and hatred, during this election and everyday of our lives, THANK YOU SO MUCH! However our work is not done.

So, Now what?, you might say…

If they can’t see or hear us they can’t appreciate us or learn from or about us. Instead they will learn bigotry and hatred from others, for that’s the only other voice.

Be visible, it makes a HUGE difference. Closets are for clothes… and that goes for you religious and straight allies too. ; )

Be heard, speak your mind and heart, even if your voice shakes. Remember speaking from the heart… opens minds, speaking from aggression… closes them.

There shouldn’t be a second class or separate class in America, unfortunately we/there are.

Be informed. Be intelligent. Be heard. Be seen. Be counted.

Peace, love, equality, and just say no to Hanging Chads [as they do in some countries just for them being 14 and gay],

Paul

P.S. Thanks for reading, and never give up hope for equality.

7 comments:

RJ said...

this is very beautiful and hope filled. thanks, luke, it rocks and is a sign that in time this, too, will move from darkness into the light.

That Guy on Campus said...

Thank you Luke for that! It was a very beautiful post. I certainly do have a lot of hope that we can make marriage truly equal in California soon enough.

freestyleroadtrip said...

This is an issue that I haven't sorted out very well yet. I would appreciate any light that you can shed on my fundamentalized brain. I am trying hard to shake it. I certainly don't think that same sex couples should be shamed and segregated against. Christ would have loved them along with everyone else. But I don't know how to take the NT passages about this. How can you help me see it differently?

Luke said...

hey freestyle, thanks for the question, i'll show you the door, but you're the one who ultimately has to walk through it ;-)

being an ally is a big step and i contend that one has to personally know a LGBTQ person before giving up their privilidge entirely as our culture and society is very hetero-centric and homophobic in many, many ways.

here are my writings on this subject: http://toothface.blogspot.com/search/label/ONA

i would refer you to Tony Campolo's "Speaking My Mind" as he's an evangelical that tackles the issues head on while realizing modern science's stance that homosexuality isn't a choice but a biological orientation (other writers like NT Wright do not take this step). I don't agree where he ultimately comes down on the subject, namely LGBTQ must be celebate to remain Christians, but you see him really take on the issue and that's comforting. Mark Jordan's "Telling Truths in Church" and Dale Martin's "Sex and the Single Savior" are wonderful books. And then there's the ultimate quick overview of "For the Bible Tells Me So" movie that is just spectacular.

prayers and blessings for your journey and i look forward to future conversations on this topic! ask away!

RJ said...

to freestyle... there are two very good and biblically literate works that I would commend. The first is a survey by Walter Wink in which he summarizes very carefully what scripture says about homosexuality (and what it doesn't say) and then asks: which strand of scripture has authority because there is a strand that is prophetic and compassionate that says nothing about same sex love, there is a tradition that protects the status quo and is very anti-gay and there is a love ethic that goes beyond both and we are called to choose. I believe he is right in noting that Christ's love ethic is bigger than the status quo or silence.

The other very interesting work is Timothy Luke Johnson's reflections of St. Peter's conversion to welcoming gentiles in clear violation of the dietary laws, etc of his tradition. Bottom line: Johnson concludes if Peter could be shown a new way beyond the rules of his tradition about food and welcoming gentiles into the fold, perhaps this same truth applies to other aspects of tradition that no longer strengthen the love ethic of Jesus.

Food for thought, yes?

Luke said...

and ONA stands for "Open and Affirming" which is what the UCC is and does.. more info here: http://www.ucccoalition.org/programs/ona/

and a link to the seminary's Allies site here: http://www.lts-allies.org/index.php/home

Luke said...

RJ,

"Johnson's reflections of St. Peter's conversion to welcoming gentiles" is quite possibly my fav. read here in seminary! The conclusion that we are a "particular people" is the greatest truth i've found in the bible to date ;-)

RAWK!