Monthly Archives: October 2008

Happy Hallowe’en

“Raggedy Emmalee Anne”

[bonus marks for whoever can guess the soundtrack!]

No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States

Despite what you may hear on “The Situation Room” and the perils of associating with (*gasp!*) godless Americans:

(of course, the worst comment in the clip comes from Bill Bennett, who is hardly the bastion of morality)

Newsflash: there’s more of us out there than you’d think, and our votes count as much as people who believe in a god.

EDIT: Oh, but it gets better. According to Lou (the xenophobe) Dobbs, “I didn’t know there was such a thing as ‘godless Americans.’” Stay classy, Lou.

I’m trying to make light of this, but wow, it’s a shock to the system to see such flagrant disregard for people of non-belief. I wonder what these politicians/pundits would have thought about the “faith” of the Founding Fathers? Most of them were deists, which is closer to atheism than any of the evangelical beliefs of today.

"certain inalienable rights"

This Tuesday, Californians will vote on Proposition 8, an amendment that if passed, will change the state’s constitution to no longer allow same-sex couples to marry. The wiki entry on Prop 8 offers a pretty in-depth glance of the history of marriage initiatives in California, including the various ups and downs of the status of same-sex marriages.

I’ve always considered the “fight” to assign equal rights to all citizens, gay or straight, as one of the major civil rights movements of my day. In fact, I decided that I wasn’t going to marry in the States until my gay friends shared that same right — but luckily for me, I now live in a country where all couples have the freedom to have a governmentally-recognized union (so, I married a pretty-terrific Mennonite boy!).

I have a really hard time understanding the arguments against allowing gay marriages. Maybe it’s because I no longer live under the auspices of a religious worldview, but I just don’t understand where the drawback is in allowing people to publicly commit to one another. No, I’m not saying that preachers and other religious folk should be FORCED into conducting same-sex marriage services — but, seriously … what gay couple would want to have a minister presiding over their service, knowing that all the while this “man of God” was too busy “loving the sinner, hating the sin?”

My deal has always been — if the state (or province) is going to issue “marriage licenses,” then all of its citizens should have access to them. Otherwise, let the state (or province) issue “civil union licenses” and leave marriages to the realm of the church. I’d be fine being “civilly unioned” with Jerry, mainly since I don’t require the religious baggage that the title “marriage” can imply.

Watch this video, and then tell me again how the movement against same-sex marriage is NOT about discrimination. It’s a re-dubbed commercial that originally came out in California in support of Prop 8. The video below replaces “same sex marriage” with “interracial marriage.”

Of course, anyone who would rail against interracial marriage today would be socially reprimanded or ousted (and rightfully so!).

The discussion of same-sex marriages reminds me of the Loving v. Virginia case of the 1960′s. Mildred (an African-American woman) and Richard (a white man) Loving were convicted of the felony offense of “miscegenation,” a law that banned interracial marriage. From the Loving v. Virginia wiki entry:

[They] married in June 1958 in the District of Columbia, having left Virginia to evade the Racial Integrity Act, a state law banning marriages between any white person and any non-white person. Upon their return to Caroline County, Virginia, they were charged with violation of the ban. They were caught sleeping in their bed by a group of police officers who had invaded their home in the hopes of finding them in the act of sex (another crime). In their defense, Ms. Loving had pointed to a marriage certificate on the wall in their bedroom. That, instead of defending them, became the evidence the police needed for a criminal charge since it showed they had been married in another state.

The Lovings were convicted and were forced out of the state. After several court cases, from the VA Supreme Court, all the way up to the US Supreme Court, finally in 1967 their convictions were overturned and the Supreme Court overturned the racist laws of Virginia. A sad fact of this case was that the miscegenation laws of the South weren’t erased completely from state lawbooks until Alabama did away with its anti-interracial law in 2000 (!!).

There’s a strong correlation of the Loving case to today’s struggle with acknowledging same sex marriages. I know that the time is coming when history will look back with shame on the religiously-based discrimination of gay couples. It’s a matter of time. Soon enough there will be even more scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetic (and not a “choice” or “preference”).

What this ultimately comes down to is an issue of separation of church and state. If same-sex marriages are not acknowledged, or worse yet, if discrimination is amended into a state’s constitution (or our US Constitution!), it will be one of the biggest breaches of the church/state separation in our history. I never thought of same-sex marriages in this way until I heard last week’s Point of Inquiry podcast — and I think Edward Tabash may be onto something. How many secular, non-religious groups do you see out there protesting gay marriages?

To close this long post, I want to end it with Mildred Loving’s statement in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision. Her eloquent words (born of the experience of herself being discriminated against) present a much more convincing argument than I could ever state:

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

Without a doubt, what she said.

What she said:

And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs. … It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.

– Sarah Palin
September 22, 2008

Hypocrite much?

2 perfect McCain spokeswomen:

Sarah Palin and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Oh please, let them keep talking.

[even I'm getting tired of the political posts, y'all. One more week, then my blood pressure should lower.]

Mind over chatter

For your Rachel Maddow fix, her show’s podcast is now on iTunes! This is a good thing, ‘specially since I only get CNN up here.

Granted, it’s only the first 10 minutes of each show, but thankfully I have enough YouTube contacts to give me the rest.

Check her out.

Write to Marry

(stay tuned for a post later this week)