I live in one of the three hundred cities that protested the November 15th passing of Proposition 8. I witnessed hundreds of people spouting spiritual slogans about ‘loving others’ and caring for their ‘life partners’, awful hate-mongering ideas. Bright rainbowy colors bounced off an army of poster board like flowery daggers of doom. Cruising by, I felt anger well-up in the pit of my stomach for these caring thoughtful protestors. Where were the smoke bombs, the riot gear, or the people being bodily dragged into paddywagons? Are these people puftas or something?
The juxtaposition of world events was somehow apropos. Bush met on this same day with world leaders to say, “Yeah, like, we suck. I suck. Everyone I ever appointed sucks. Yeah…Paulson pretty much sucks too.” Bush went on to say that the bumps you feel are car-sized asteroids smashing into the hull. Also, we’re heading right for the sun and can’t seem to change course.” To address the scores of world leaders shouting, “What aren’t you telling us?” He added, “We’re almost out of coffee.” (Don’t you miss the Zucker brothers?)
Could you imagine the mayhem that would have ensued if kernels of truth actually emerged at this summit? Maybe truth isn’t always the right option. Such a speech would dance dangerously close to something called ‘accountability,’ and we certainly can’t have any of that. So let’s just blame Germany. Anyway, it’s nice to know that almost to the very day that our economy collapsed around our feet, we still had the time, funds, and vitriol to fuck with some of our friends and neighbors—makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Let’s look at marriage…that dweam within a dweam. Your church can choose to recognize any union or you personally can choose to recognize any union. As for legal issues, please leave your bias in the pews. This is supposed to be a time of healing. Why get out the salt and lemon juice now? A lot of money was raised—even amidst the Wall Street woes—to take away existing rights.
What drove people to do this? The world of compassionate conservatism is a farce, people. My dad said it best, “Lately Republicans only care about you if you’re unborn, frozen, or brain dead.” Please start to rethink your views, people, because, frankly, they suck.
In 2004, shortly before the last election, I was at a party in central Pennsylvania, then my home. Standing in someone’s kitchen around a keg (which is a law in PA by the way), the topic naturally drifted to the upcoming election. The man leading the conversation was not going to support Senator Kerry, because of his views on gay marriage. Knowing, even then, that four more years of this president would end our superpower status, I had to leave. Speaking my peace while maintaining my composure seemed unlikely. Besides, the keg had kicked. Why does this issue resonate with people? Why is it so important to straight people to affirm their straightness?
I am socially liberal, but fiscally conservative. Let me explain why this somewhat unusual combo may be the needed second-tier approach to politics. The government can’t, nor shouldn’t, fix millions of people’s laziness and/or stupidity. Ideally, we should focus on supporting the truly needy and help the temporarily downtrodden get back on their feet. This is the point where we should draw the line. This approach is both worth the money and is our moral obligation as humans. To do more, however, actually breeds a welfare state and exacerbates a host of physical and emotional problems known as Dem-entia. Frankly, it is not realistic even under the best of circumstances to throw money around to the perpetually undeserving. It is a trap that Obama must avoid. People will endlessly milk the system as they slip into lower and lower levels of consciousness. Twenty years of social service work has taught me one thing…don’t work in the field of social services.
Furthermore, being socially liberal means everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and, in a nut shell, even if I don’t agree with you, I’m going to leave you the hell alone (particularly if it doesn’t affect me). People are not stopping gay marriage because they think certain couples shouldn’t share the same legal rights and privileges as other straight couples; most of these people are having a visceral response. They are acting against gayness—it’s bigotry, nothing more, nothing less. Allowing gay marriage does not have to shatter your worldview. It is the nice thing to do, and it is the right thing to do. Legislating morality, if that’s what this is, is a fool’s errand, which is why so many of our less progressive pastors (LPPs) are so busy lately (well, maybe they’ll lay off the children).
Here is my version of the political perspective score card. There is something to be said for libertarianism. Our ability to progress unhindered at each level and at each stage of our personal growth is a fundamental right. AKA, piss off. I might even vote libertarian, if I can ever stop laughing at their choice of candidate. There is also something to be said for liberalism, namely, other people are people too. They have a point of view that may differ from yours but that does not make them scary, nor does it necessarily make them enemies. Old school conservatism has fiscal conservatism and small government in its corner. For the life of me, however, I can not think of one thing social conservatism has going for it—unless you are hip on driving this country into a third-world status. I can’t stomach even a sip from this punch. It is supposedly based on the importance of nurturing and maintaining someone’s idea of core American values. This argument is essentially meaningless. What they fail to understand is that everyone shares those values—anyone who matters, anyway. Only they are trying to silence all dissenting views and claiming a monopoly on these so called values.
Ken Wilber asserts that we must transcend and include—that progress to higher stages is hinged on incorporating and preserving that which is fundamental and true. The definition of marriage does not necessarily fall under this jurisdiction. This is one core truth that needs filed or flushed. Rigidity in this matter is part of the problem, not the solution. Some will argue that we will lose our way; that whites will be the minority; that our numbers are dwindling, and homosexuals unions will only exacerbate this while shaking the foundations of the traditional family. Have you wandered around lately? Any loving parents should be hired, immediately. They are endangered, whether the child is raised by gays, straights, or wolves.
I don’t think enraging an entire faction of our society is going to win any hearts and minds, or sway anyone to your Leave it to Beaver sympathies. It’s not going to save your version of America. Mutual respect is what we should be embracing. Respect is transformational—not some definition of an ‘appropriate’ union. If we’re going to rally around something, let’s try respect for change. Respect is the endangered species here, right Rodney?
The bottom line is this: the backlash against religion by progressives is warranted. The dismantling of proposition 8 is further proof of a disconnect—not a return to our roots—but a gap in reasoning the size of the Grand Canyon. I don’t see any Osmond Christmas Specials over on Walton’s Mountain in my neighborhood. This is the wrong battle at the wrong time. Stopping people from marrying who they want is not going to move this world any closer to your fantasy-ass Rockwell painting. Social conservatives deserve the wrath of Maher and Hitchens. Unless your goal is to destroy all credibility for the spiritual-minded individuals of this world, it is time to sit the hell down, put the five-spot into the basket, and pray for some common sense.