Time for dialogue

In my election post, I talked about how I think people are tired of the culture wars. It’s time to move past the polarization, time to stop flinging flaming arrows at each other and time to stop beating people over the head with the Bible simply because we may disagree on something. In short, it’s time for sanity. As a Christian and someone who is part of the LGBT community, the polarization over LGBT issues in this country and the way it’s framed as Christians on one side and gays on the other is particularly troublesome to me. It sets up a false dichotomy and creates division that doesn’t need to exist. The Gospel is about God’s overwhelming love and grace and that’s something that people are losing sight of amid the culture war skirmishes.  The reality is that no matter how many culture war battles are fought, LGBT people aren’t going to go away. Speaking to straight Christians, please, step back for a minute and try and understand that while this is academic for you, for us this is our lives that you’re talking about and debating. The only question is whether the reaction of the Church is going to bring people closer to God or drive them away altogether. Up to this point, much of evangelical Christendom has done a great job of driving gay people away from the Church, away from the message of the Gospel, and that’s something that not only doesn’t need to be the case, it shouldn’t be the case. Anyway, I’ve got too much work still to do on my copyright paper, so to draw this to a close, I have a book recommendation. The book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate by Justin Lee is new today, and while I haven’t had time[…]

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A few thoughts on the election

Now that it’s been a few days since President Obama won reelection and I’m no longer utterly sleep-deprived, I think it’s time for me to write up a few thoughts.  I’m new to the Democratic game, but I’ve been around politics for most of my life. Back in 1992, I did get-out-to-vote calls for George H. W. Bush and at 12 years old learned what it feels like to campaign for a presidential candidate and to have them lose. I remember thinking it was the end of the world, that Bill Clinton would destroy the country, and I remember everyone flipping out. Most people who threaten to leave the country when their guy loses never actually do, but I knew people who did. It all seems ridiculously silly now, especially given that Clinton governed from the middle, but that’s what it was like. To the people who are flipping out now, who think that Obama’s reelection is the end of the world, it really isn’t, just like Clinton’s election wasn’t. Twenty years on, I’m more than a little embarrassed at what my twelve year old self thought, but then again, I was twelve and just beginning to be fully aware of the nitty gritty of politics, I was supposed to be melodramatic. By the time I was 16 and saw how everything is dominated by money, I was totally cynical about the process, but that’s another story for another day. This was my first election as a registered Democrat and the reason that the Republican party lost me is, I think, the reason they’ve lost a lot of younger voters. They need to understand that we’re tired of the culture wars.  I grew up in the religious right, the culture wars were my bread and butter for as long as[…]

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It may be an abstraction for you, but for me, it’s my life

Idea stolen from the intarwebs with my own additions… Dear friends who are thinking about voting for Mitt Romney, When you read his or his surrogates’ comments about gays, replace "gays" with my name. Examples: Kathryn shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Kathryn getting married is a threat to families. Kathryn can’t be a good parent. Kathryn doesn’t love, she can only lust. Kathryn can’t truly commit. Kathryn is what is wrong with this country. If Kathryn can marry, we should just let people marry animals. Kathryn is what destroyed the Roman Empire. If God doesn’t judge America for Kathryn, He should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. Kathryn is destroying Western Civilization. Being Kathryn is a choice. I hope this brings the debate out of the abstract for you. For you this is another academic debate in the culture wars, for us, this is our lives. I hate even having to bring this up, it’s yet another reminder of my own inequality and the fact that I have to rely on others for the rights that I grew up taking for granted.  The only “gay agenda” out there is people wanting to live their lives and love and be loved just like anybody else. We have the same hopes and dreams and goals for our lives that you do, and we want the same legal recognition and protection of our relationships and our commitment to another person that you have.  I realize there are a lot of issues out there, but we stand at the crossroads of history. Whether this is your intention or not, when you vote for Mitt Romney you’re saying, “I don’t want you to be happy,” that, “I think it’s fine if you’re discriminated against," that, "Your love is less than my love,” and that, “It’s okay with me if you remain a second-class citizen whose inequality is enshrined in the law.”[…]

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Pardon me if I seem to be in a bad mood…

…but I’m rather frustrated at the outcome of the North Carolina Amendment One vote. It’s always lovely to see that 61% of the voters in a state think you’re such a threat to civilization that they have to enshrine your inequality in their state constitution. I just love being reminded that I’m a second class citizen and that my rights are subject to the whims of a bunch of bigots who think that this country is a theocracy that should be governed by their ignorant twisting of scripture and their bad theology. You know what though? No matter how many laws you pass, now matter how much you try to enshrine our second class citizen status in state constitutions, you’re not going to magically make us disappear. 

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This does not compute

One recurring theme in the fight against providing coverage for birth control, is the idea that sex is for recreation and insurance should not cover someone’s recreational activities.  Now, theoretically, I can understand the logic behind that even though I think that it’s a bad argument for a myriad of public policy reasons, not the least of which being that if you want to reduce the number of abortions it makes no sense to make access to birth control more difficult. However, what I cannot understand is that the people making this argument are, by and large, the same conservative Evangelicals who have spent decades railing against a society that cheapens sex and reduces it to nothing but a recreational activity. How is it that the same people who argue that sex is for procreation when they’re fighting tooth and nail to keep me from ever getting legally married are arguing that sex is for recreation now that they’re trying to cut off access to birth control?  But this isn’t really about paying for birth control, is it? It’s the first salvo in an attack on Griswold v. Connecticut and privacy rights. The end game isn’t just not paying for birth control, it’s banning access to birth control. And they’re not going to stop with birth control, it’s about getting rid of the constitutional right to privacy. People in right wing circles have been grumbling about privacy rights for years–“Griswold” is almost as dirty a word as “Roe”–and they’re seizing the opportunity provided by the health care fight and running with it.  Or at least that’s the only explanation that makes sense to me, because I can’t see how going after women’s birth control is a winning political issue in an election year. If they’re not playing a long game and going[…]

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