Saturday, January 10, 2009


An article appeared today that refutes the seemingly inflated figures that have been touted regarding the percentage of African Americans who voted for Prop. 8 in California. The article is entitled, Prop. 8 Exit Polling of African-Americans Way Off, Experts Say.

A telling paragraph from that article is the following:

Perhaps surprisingly, the study also revealed that partisanship and ideology trumped the fact of knowing someone who is openly LGBT. About two-thirds of the state’s self-identified conservatives knew someone who was gay and about 4 out of five of them voted for the measure – the same exact ratio of conservatives who voted for Prop. 8 but didn’t know an openly LGBT person. Republicans demonstrated a similar pattern, with about four out of five of them voting to pass the ban regardless of whether they knew anyone who was out or not.

I wrote the following email reply to a good friend of mine who sent this article to me, and this is what I wrote in response to a major thesis of the article:

"Perhaps surprisingly, the study also revealed that partisanship and ideology trumped the fact of knowing someone who is openly LGBT." This is a disturbing finding, and one that refutes my previous contention that the more LGBT people come out in the media the less likely will be parental rejection. Since ideology trumps familiarity, and that it's virtually impossible to change one's ideology, we will likely have to wait for the next generation of people for there to be any real hope of getting full and equal rights. But, of course, it doesn't absolve us of the need to continue fighting for those rights, so as to reaffirm in the minds of younger people the fact that there are Christians who are Gay positive and that there is absolutely no inconsistency between being Gay and being a Christian. That's one major way of refuting the homophobic clergy's assertions, and causing them to lost credibility among those on the fence as well as those not yet tainted with their lies and vituperation.

I wrote an article entitled, It's Not About Issues, where I dealt with the Reactionary mind set of those who discriminate, whether that discrimination is against LGBT people, or women, or African Americans, or immigrants, or whatever else is the minority group that seems to be the most vulnerable and, hence, the perceived "safest" one against which to discriminate and persecute. And, when it is no longer considered socially and politically appropriate to discriminate against a given minority group, those with a Reactionary mind-set will seek out another minority group that it feels is safe to oppress.

The following is an excerpt from this article:

Hostility toward LGBT people has less to do with such issues as same-sex marriage and full and equal rights than it does with a Reactionary mind-set shared by those who have a tenacious adherence to the status quo, as long it they perceive that it profits them. These people are either members of, or allies of, the Power Elite.

The Power Elite is comprised of the people who have a vested interest in the status quo that they control and from which they mightily profit. Moreover, its members, in order to maintain that control, use assorted dupes and those who want to share in that power, even vicariously, in order to support it and its interests, and such dupes and allies include most of the institutional Church and its members, and all others who buy into the self-serving ideology that this Elite purveys through the media which it controls, and through the credibility that it enjoys in society....

The same mind-set that has hostility toward LGBT people and their acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights is the mind-set that used what the "religious" reactionary White Supremacists saw in the Bible, and who then selectively used certain verses (usually without understanding the original Greek or the likely context about which those verses were written) in justifying and expressing their savagery against African Americans, both during the institutionalization of Slavery in the U.S., and in the relatively recent past during the era of Segregation and Jim Crow laws.

When I protested a "Yes on 8" campaign that was held at one of our local churches prior to the passage of Prop. 8, there was a man standing next to me who held a sign saying, "Yes on 8." He had the temerity to tell me that one of his best friends was a lesbian with whom he frequently went fishing, and who greatly helped him out when his house was partially destroyed by a fire.

Yet, he apparently saw no contradiction between his standing out there and vehemently advocating discrimination against Gay people with the extreme kindness of this woman whom he considered to be "a friend." Whether or not she knew of his traitorous behavior is not the issue as much as the fact that he was a hater, and he would most likely be a hater regardless of the minority group du jour that he could persecute.

Moreover, he was a faithful church attender, and claimed that God had changed his and his son's lives. It mystifies me how some people can ostensibly compartmentalize their lives to the point where they can betray a friend by seeking to discriminate against her and, on top of all that, consider him/herself a Christian who is called upon to love and be inclusive of all of God's children.

Is it any wonder that so many LGBT people resent Christians and Christianity? If all I saw was such homophobic haters and traitors who parade themselves as "Christians," I'd reject Christians and Christianity as well!

All one has to do is read the words of Jesus in the Gospels to see that these haters are deluding themselves and seeking to delude others by claiming to be Christians.

And, my greatest contempt goes to homophobic clergy who have irreparably sullied the very name of "Christian," by preaching hate in the name of the Prince of Peace; by preaching exclusion in contradiction to Jesus' preaching and living the Gospel of grace and inclusiveness; by judging (consigning to heaven or hell) others when Jesus expressly forbids us to judge any of God's children; by preaching discrimination and vilification of others that all too often leads to lives lived with unnecessary guilt and shame, fractured families, LGBT children disowned by their parents, suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people and those perceived to be LGBT people. And many of those who assault and kill LGBT people do so thinking that by so doing they are doing God a favor!

The major way we can overcome religious based hateful ideology is by confronting homophobic clergy and churches by picketing and boycotting their churches; by continuing to hammer home the fact that Christianity in no way condemns same-sex love; by reinforcing the fact that Christians in no way discriminate against anyone, or preach against others acquiring full and equal civil and sacramental rights!

There is absolutely no Gospel justification for discriminating against LGBT people; no Gospel justification for seeking to deny civil and sacramental rights to LGBT people; no justification for homophobic clergy to be given any credibility by anyone!
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Hazumu Osaragi said...

We need to know the mind-set you describe.

We need to understand that 25% to 40% of the population is like the people you describe, who see no contradiction at all for being friendly, or even close friends, with someone gay/lesbian/transgender, and denying certain rights and privileges to the group as a whole.

To them, there is no contradiction.

To them, we will only get those rights by the tired meme of 'shoving it down their throats'.

We will be better served by finding those who can be persuaded, and achieving a majority by persuading them.

That's what our opponents did. I'm convinced that one of the 'benefits' the LDS provided was access to those with training and experience in marketing, sociology, and group psychology -- skills highly prized in the high-dollar business of advertising(persuading.) I'm sure they teach the requisite subjects at BYU...

We need those same skills. And we need to put our good where it will do the most. Starting now. And unflaggingly from now on.

Jerry Maneker said...

I absolutely agree with you, Hazumu! That's one of the main reasons I resent public hedonistic displays of all sorts depicting fetishes, nudity or semi-nudity, in the name of being Gay; thereby identifying being Gay in many Straight people's minds with such displays. Why shouldn't potential allies identify Gay people with hedonism?

Also, using pejorative epithets as self-identifiers, such as regular use of the words "Queer," "Dyke," etc., by all too many LGBT people is also bad for public relations where we are trying to win over potential Straight allies.

So many Straight people, not all of whom are haters, identify being LGBT with hedonism because of such displays and language that abound in the media, and even in colleges and universities.

Before we can use the "marketing tools" that such groups as the LDS Church uses, there has to be a will to do so, and that will seems to be woefully lacking among many Gay people.