Thursday, August 21, 2008


Many of those who intend to vote in favor of the discriminatory Proposition 8 in California, designed to overturn the California Supreme Court's decision affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry, are likely operating under certain false assumptions concerning both the nature of same-sex love as well as the nature of traditional religious prohibitions against any sexual activity outside the bounds of heterosexual marriage. These assumptions largely emanate from misguided views of the nature of being Gay as well as the misguided and unjustified credibility given to assorted clergy who, be it from the pulpit or from any other venue, seek to have others, in the name of God no less, feel that they would be opposing "Christian values" if they voted against this hateful and discriminatory Proposition.

It should be recognized that in addition to misogyny (having a contempt for women) and Reaction Formation being at the heart of much homophobia, it seems to me that the other major impetus driving homophobia is the false belief held by many people is that Gay people are merely perverted heterosexuals. Many people fail to see that being Gay is every bit as normal as is being Straight!

Statistical frequency doesn't necessarily justify any imputations of moral superiority, exclusive normality, or any religious injunctions affirming that behavior, and condemnation of any deviation from that behavior. For example, it was "normal" in ancient Israel, a tribal society living on the edge, threatened with extinction from all sorts of enemies with which it was surrounded, to condemn anything other than heterosexual marriage (also including polygyny and concubinage if the man could afford it) and a great deal of procreation, so that the numbers in that meager population could grow and be sufficient to sustain that society over time.

That ancient societal need demanded the normalizing of heterosexuality, and the devaluation of homosexual relations, just as it normalized procreation and devalued celibacy and childless marriages. Clearly, what was deemed culturally appropriate for survival needs was normalized by cultural and even religious mandates and practices due to those needs, and is not to be extrapolated to any modern society where population numbers are adequate, if not excessive, to maintain that society's continuity. Just because a cultural practice was needed at one point in time doesn't necessarily justify its need or its exclusive normality in later times!

What seems to have happened is that the religious imprimatur was imposed on that ancient societal need to help insure conformity to meet the survival needs of that society, and that religious imprimatur has been carried forward to the point that it is no longer relevant, either to societal continuation (as there are sufficient numbers of people to insure most modern societies' continuance), or to any intrinsic "abnormality" of same-sex relationships. In other words, any cultural and religious injunctions against same-sex relationships, celibacy, and childless marriages to help insure U.S. society's survival are clearly not needed to insure its survival!

Religion as a control mechanism might have been necessary regarding same-sex relations in ancient times (and that's a debatable issue), but any religious demands for heterosexual marriage and much fertility have clearly outlived their usefulness. However, self-styled arbiters of "morality," those who mistake statistical normality in emotional/sexual relationships for being "moral," and mistake statistical abnormality in emotional/sexual relationships for being "immoral," have managed to define the reality in the minds of many people to falsely believe that Gay people are merely perverted heterosexuals, and if they just "stopped doing that" and became "just like us," "normal," they would be acting according to God's will.

So, an ancient societal need, determined a cultural practice, that became affirmed by religion to be defined as "truth" for all times; defined as both "normal" and "moral" for all times! And the way to help insure the continuation of that "truth," that "normality," that "morality" is to punish and discriminate against those who are acting contrary to God's will as defined by the often self-serving interests of self-styled arbiters of morality!

So many otherwise intelligent and decent people have allowed those arbiters of morality to define their views of Gay people as being "the other" and as "immoral," and as being merely perverts who, if they were "normal," would be heterosexuals! However, for reasons such as mere ignorance and/or materialistic needs and/or psychological needs and/or social needs and/or political needs these arbiters of morality have duped a good deal of the population into accepting their false definitions of reality.

They have misled countless people into injuring their fellow human beings who are every bit as normal as they are! Homosexuality is every bit as normal as is heterosexuality!

Just as most Christians don't now condemn childless heterosexuals, there is no justification to condemn Gay people! And Christianity is cheapened to the degree that it in any way aligns itself with condemnation of Gay people, just like it was cheapened by its alignment with, and justification of, slavery and segregation!

In the minds of all too many people, Christianity is associated with condemnation and judgment! I doubt that if you ask the average person on the street who is not a Christian what word comes to mind when he/she hears the word "Christian," that he/she would respond: "Love." Most likely, the first word that would occur to that person would be "sin!" Of course, I could be wrong, but I doubt it, given what purports to be "Christianity" emanating from all too many pulpits and airwaves throughout the U.S.!

The fact is that all too many people, including well-meaning Christians, have been sold a bill of goods, and have bought into a terrible and destructive lie! Moreover, just as with the subordination of women and its treatment of African Americans, Christianity has been terribly demeaned and has lost untold credibility in the minds of many intelligent, decent, and sensitive people, due to its demonizing of Gay people.

And that demonizing has been fabricated from applying an unneeded tribal and societal injunction from a time that is no longer relevant to any modern society; has been derived from all sorts of nefarious motives of those who presume upon themselves the mantel of moral arbiters, complete with sanctimonious and unctuous rhetoric and, in many cases, manner of dress, with titles to boot, to both justify their disdain (in the name of God, of course), and to justify their undeserved credibility that they in no small measure receive from their distorted interpretations of selected verses of the Bible that justify their preconceived prejudices, and that are often further "justified" by the appeal to "tradition."

Don't be fooled! Being Gay is a sexual orientation that is just as viable, just as normal, just as valid as is the sexual orientation of being Straight!

To believe otherwise is to believe that God makes mistakes; that God creates people whom He can sit around and hate (as my friend Rev. Troy Perry famously said); that Christians are to express their faith by advocacy of discrimination against others; that the self-styled arbiters of morality from the pulpit or elsewhere who condemn same-sex love are exhibiting the love of God toward all of His children. To in any way believe these lies, and to in any way discriminate against any of God's children either rhetorically, at the ballot box, or by any direct or indirect action, is to show oneself as being both intellectually dishonest and as anything but a Christian!

In the context of voting on Proposition 8 in California in November, it is important to recognize that a Christian worthy of the name can do nothing but vote against this hateful and discriminatory Proposition that hateful and/or misguided people seek to add to California's Constitution.

To in any way affirm discrimination against same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment of love to each other, and who want and deserve the dignity and civil rights that the designation of "Married" affords, a designation enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts, is to condone hate and discrimination: something that no Christian worthy of the name (or any decent person, for that matter) could or would ever do!
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