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Mon

10

Nov

2008

Behind the 8 bawl
Monday, 10 November 2008 19:39
by Ed Naha

I am not gay. In fact, most times, I’m not even remotely happy. So, it irks this married, quasi-grumpy, heterosexual California male when a Mulligan’s Stew of religion, intolerance, fear and politics is plopped on my table like a steaming pile of sanctimoniousness and dubbed “The Defense of Marriage Act.” I’m talking about Proposition 8, a nifty little exercise in backwards thinking that would amend the California State constitution to define marriage as something that can occur only between a man and a woman.

Am I missing something here? With this country coming apart at the seams on a myriad of levels, gay marriage is seen as a major issue? The standard line is that gay marriage threatens “the sanctity of marriage,” because - as we all know - divorce, cheating, incest and domestic violence don’t.

I believe the only threat gay marriage poses is that it may change the content of country music forever.

Now, the pro-Proposition 8 cheerleaders are your usual group of loveable misanthropes (Come on down, Focus on the Family!) but with a couple of notable exceptions. Members of the Mormon Church, their magic underwear in a twist, have funneled over $17 million into the anti-gay marriage treasure chest. The Catholic Knights of Columbus, an all-male group known for wearing funny outfits while calling themselves “Grand Knight,” “Chief Squire” and “Friar” as well as doing some amazing charitable work, has kicked in over $1 million for reasons that elude me.

The folks supporting Proposition 8 have come up with a myriad of reasons for pushing the “man-woman marriage” effort. They say that if same-sex marriage continues to be recognized in California, gay marriage will be taught in public schools. I assume that class will come before Gay Math, Gay English and Gay Geography but after the infamous Gay Recess.

Churches will be sued if they don’t perform gay marriage ceremonies. Religious adoption agencies will go broke if they only continue to grant traditional moms and dads the right to adopt. Ministers and priests who preach against same-sex marriage will be sued for hate crimes. Photographers will be sued if they refuse to take photos of gay marriage ceremonies. Doctors will be sued if they deny artificial insemination to gays. Hordes of pixies will re-arrange the sock drawers of heterosexual men, substituting sheer silk socks for those thick cotton ones you wear on the job. (I made that last one up. Could you tell?)


The proponents of Prop. 8 simply want traditional marriage to be declared the law of the land. (I can’t wait for the return of arranged marriages and dowries, can you?)

No matter how much legal and political reasoning is spewed, however, it’s pretty clear that the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman is a religious one. Period. Gay marriage threatens people’s religious beliefs…even more than pixies in the sock drawer.

That’s saying a lot.

There are a lot of folks who believe the Bible word for word…when it suits them. People who aren’t keen on gay marriage, or just gays, usually preach Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” If you mention that, way back when, an “abomination” referred to a ritual offense (Goat herders were an abomination to the Egyptians. Pork chops were abominations to the Hebrews.), they come up with Leviticus 20:13. “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they surely will be put to death.”

So, let’s say that the Bible is true. Word for word. It’s all true. It has to be obeyed. Period. No wiggle room. If that is the case, about half of the American population will be dead from public stonings in, ohhhhh, about three or four days.

Ya, see. The Old Testament wasn’t really big on mitigating circumstances when it came to crime or, as it was known then, sin. Just a casual look at the Ten Commandments could bring down American society post haste. No lying? No adultery? No swearing? No pining for someone else’s wife or big screen TV? There goes the fabric of our nation!

In Mosaic Law, such offenses were punishable by public stoning. This has nothing to do with “The Summer of Love,” my fellow Boomers. This entails a bunch of righteous folks picking up rocks and slamming them into sinners until their sorry skulls are scrambled.

Some of the sins punishable by death were beauts. If a kid sasses his parent, he’s dead meat. Striking a parent? Ditto. A fellow marrying his mother-in-law is also doomed, although that seems redundant. If a betrothed woman is sexually assaulted and doesn’t scream, she’s up for stoning. (However, if a man rapes a virgin, his only punishment is a wedding. Hmmmm.) If a lass isn’t a virgin when married, she’s also boulder-ized. If you don’t worship the God of the Old Testament, your life gets real rocky real fast. If you work on the Sabbath? R.I.P., overtime notwithstanding.

Justice in the Old Testament was meted out with, er, gay abandon. Kids who made fun of a bald guy were eaten by bears. Promiscuous women had their noses and ears cut off, their children taken away, were stripped and burned. If a single woman had a boy out of wedlock, she might merely be shunned but the kid and his descendents were condemned to Hell.

Oh, yeah. All you country club devotees? Divorce, by implication (“What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”), means you’re destined for a stoning before happy hour.

People who are Bible literalists, aside from the fact that they consider “The Flintstones” a docu-drama, tend to pick and choose their moral instruction from the Book as if they were at a salad bar. If they didn’t, most of them would be walking gravel pits. (Those who are anti-gay ANYthing, for instance, might be interested to know that the world “homosexual” didn’t appear in the Bible until about one hundred years ago. What? Did God come down with White-Out?)

What constitutes “sin” is also up for interpretation. It wasn’t a bleeding-heart liberal, for instance, who changed the Biblical commandment translation from “Thou shalt not kill” to “Thou shalt not murder.” It was someone who realized that, Holy Crap!, that “kill” stuff includes religious-fueled warfare!

When I was a kid, growing up Catholic, a mortal sin was the Big Kahuna of “no-nos.” Unless you confessed to a priest pronto, you were damned to Hell.

It was a mortal sin to eat meat on Friday. Seriously. It was also a mortal sin to take an ax and give your family forty whacks. So, when Fridays rolled around, this chubby little kid was faced with a decision. If you go the sin route, which one do you choose? I always opted for the sin that included a side of fries. It was just as damning as mass murder but much tastier.

California, for some reason, has always led the nation when it comes to quirky trends, from the sublime to the sub-moronic. We elect washed-up actors as Republican governors in a state derided as being uber-liberal by… Republicans. We promote meditation in-between Bo-tox injections. Only some of us see the irony in all that.

Proposition 8 is mean-spirited irony stoked by fear of…whatever it is we’re not. By invoking the specter of “traditional marriage” and making it the law of the land, we’re dangling one foot over the abyss of traditional inequality.

It wasn’t too long ago that inter-racial marriages were illegal. Segregation was the law of the land. Blacks weren’t considered fully human. Women weren’t allowed to vote.

All of those facets of our society also had their roots in the Bible. Not too many thinking Americans would defend them, now.

I’ve written a lot of fantasy fiction in my lifetime but, for the life of me, I can’t see how a man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman threatens my marriage…unless they move next door and play loud music at 2 AM, or let their dogs poop on my front lawn or get drunk and beat the crap out of each other and toss beer bottles around at all hours. You know, stuff that gay couples might do that heterosexual couples would never dream of.

I mean, look at all those gay couples on “Cops” week after week. Uh. Oh. Never mind.

So, Californians, vote “no” on Proposition 8. The rest of America? Be on alert should a similar proposition pop up in your neck of the woods. It’s about religion. It’s about denying people equal rights. It has nothing to do with government. It has nothing to do with law.

And, to all those sanctimonious saviors of traditional values out there who feel condemnation is the cure-all for everything you see that you don’t agree with?

Here’s a Biblical quote for you. Mark 9:47. “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.”

There’s no quote to advise you on what to do after you’ve run out of eyes.

I’m just sayin’.
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Comments (7)add comment

Tracy Hall Jr said:

0
equal contempt for all religion?
" . . . their magic underwear in a twist . . . "

Mr. Naha, this contemptuous term for the undergarment worn by observant Latter-day Saints as a reminder of their temple covenants is a despicable and bigoted slur.

Would you refer to the head covering worn by observant Jewish males as a "magic beanie?"

Would you refer to the rosary of an observant Catholic as "magic beads?"

Perhaps you would. But if you would hesitate even one moment to slur Jews and Catholics in this manner, I ask you, why is it "politically correct" to slur Mormons?

Shame on you!

hthalljr'gmail'com
 
November 11, 2008
Votes: -1

Kelli said:

0
Great Article
Ahh that was a really good read. You've basically summed up everything I've been trying to tell these so-called "protectors of marriage." The hypocrisy, fear, and downright hate pumped out by the Yes campaign is -obscene-. Did no one else notice how the church of all things shamelessly lied and continues to lie over the issue? Making up convenient fear-fueled "facts" and bringing up the affairs of another state because there's no evidence in this state to support their claims. It's really sad and makes me ashamed to call myself Christian. These people and their ideas are the farthest thing away from Christ. Maybe someday we as a society will realize that, just as we realized segregation and racism is wrong.

Again, great article. Say NO to discrimination and hatred!
 
November 11, 2008
Votes: +1

Fi McKenzie said:

0
Dripping with sarcasm and all around fun . . .
I'm a Christian and have a personal faith in God but know the problems that organised religion brings.

I just wanted to say that this article is brilliant and hilariously sarcastic and funny and I really enjoyed your take on this. I agree with many of the things you say and particularly love this line: "The standard line is that gay marriage threatens “the sanctity of marriage,” because - as we all know - divorce, cheating, incest and domestic violence don’t." To my way of thinking, organisations like Focus on the Family should be much more concerned by those last four than gay marriage given the number of Christian families affected by those (I know a fair number).

I have a number of friends in gay relationships (many of whom have recently had Civil Unions) and their relationships are often more honest than the heterosexual relationships I see in my other friends.

For me - homosexuality is one those things I intend to ask God about when I'm out of life but right now I'm working on the principle that He's more concerned about love and justice (John 13 v.34-35) because, frankly, hating people because of their choices isn't going help anything.

Just my tuppence...
 
November 11, 2008 | url
Votes: +1

ben said:

0
How about...
"The standard line is that gay marriage threatens “the sanctity of marriage,” because - as we all know - divorce, cheating, incest and domestic violence don’t." To my way of thinking, organisations like Focus on the Family should be much more concerned by those last four than gay marriage given the number of Christian families affected by those.

How about opposing all these things...all at once.....and I guess anything else that undermines the whole unique idea of marriage without undermining any one else's choice to do what ever the heck else they want to. Surely justice issues for some can be met without undermining the uniqueness of the other? Just saying...but if you want to get your underwear in a twist, magic or otherwise then I guess go right ahead :)
 
November 12, 2008
Votes: +2

Header said:

0
The Grand Poobah
Hey hthalljr'gmail'com:

Doofus - it is magic underware, it is a magic beanie, they are magic beads...

"Temple covenants" my hiney - the Mormon church was founded by some quack who found a bunch of tablets in his back yard, 'cept he was the only one who could read them. It's hokum on hokum. The New Testiment is a many-times translated fairy tale, and the Old Testiment is a many-times translated fairy tale of a fairy tale. About the only think Marx (Karl, not Groucho) got right was "Religion is the opiate of the masses".

It's time to tax the churches; if they want to get involved in the political realm, then they need to pay
 
November 13, 2008
Votes: +1

ben said:

0
actually...
I think that in the case of marriage it's probably actually more a case of the political realm getting involved in what has always been more of a spiritual commitment for most people. As far as I know churches don't tax the State for this, but it makes sense that they might object to having the State redefine for them what marriage is.
other than that of course Jesus does in fact encourage his followers to pay tax (render unto Caesar, etc..) and I'd be very surprised to discover any that didn't.
 
November 14, 2008
Votes: +2

Dear BIGOT said:

0
...


"magic underwear in a twist" How funny! I just sitting here with my silly little Yarmulke and saw your article. Anyone up for a good game a strip dreidel?

Sincerely,

Towel Head
 
November 26, 2008
Votes: +0

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