Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage: A Fight to the Death

My most recent blog entry has, so far, gone largely unnoticed.  I find that frighteningly sad because of it's extreme importance.  In it, I gave reasons why this year's election is so vitally important.  It's an article that I really think every single person needs to read.  It's that important.

Only if a person lives in a bubble or under a rock would they not know that we are, as a society, in the midst of a very brutal cultural war.  This fight for equality hasn't even begun to seriously heat up, yet we're seeing and hearing some of the most amazingly mean-spirited, hate-laced rhetoric coming from the opponents camp that you could ever imagine.  I was too young to remember whether or not things became this bitter during the Civil Rights struggle of the 60s.  Smart money would say that it did.  Bigots are bigots are bigots.  Their logic is almost always "pretzel logic"; their rhetoric is always bitter and hateful; their fear is always change.

The more I read and hear from these people, the more I realize that this battle hasn't even really begun...that it's going to get much worse than what we're seeing today.  You think that's not possible?  Let me remind you of some of "their" tactics:

  • Think back, not too long ago, to when murdering abortion doctors was a phenomena.  Do you remember who was (and, still is) leading the charge against abortion?
  • Think back to just a month or so ago when an LGBT headquarters in Washington, D.C. had a bomb threat
  • Think back to just two weeks ago when a gay bar in Chicago was set ablaze
  • And, if you need another example, think back to the days of the Civil Rights fight of the 60s.  They were killing blacks seemingly at will.  Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will remember my own, personal story of a middle-aged white man who tried to plunge a 12" knife into the back of this then-6 year old black boy!
Forget the Christianity argument!  Their actions clearly states that they are anything but Christ-like.  They're hellbent in their ways, they're terrified of change, they're insistent on everyone living life as they see fit, they're narrow-minded, and hateful.  Most alarming, they have no problem resorting to violence if it means protecting their views.
To wit, Jim Garlow spoke to a group of right-wingers, speaking out against same-sex marriage.  He closed out his speech by...
...likening those opposing marriage equality today to Revolutionary War pastors who fought the British because, just like them, these Religious Right activists are are willing declare "if necessary, here we die!"
As I've been trying to get across, in their minds they are at war.  Anyone not getting this is not paying attention.

So, who is this Jim Garlow, you ask?  Well, he's Senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego; he's the co-author of "Cracking the Di Vinci Code".  He's an accomplished man with wealth and, obviously, some clout.  And, his rhetoric is very, very dangerous.  In a different interview:
Garlow weighed in, declaring  that religious liberty and "the radical homosexual agenda" were on course for a head-on collision in America because "they cannot both exist in the same nation at the same time." As such, Garlow warned that advances in marriage equality will eventually force the Christian church underground because the gay agenda is all about "coercion, and crushing, and taking away our liberties and freedoms." But nonetheless, Garlow said, Christians must be willing to stand up and speak out in opposition even though "we are coming into an era where it could cost us everything, including our lives": 
This is serious business.  We've already seen several preachers suggest death for members of the LGBT community.  We've got politicians, as recently as just yesterday!, trying to push through legislation that would essentially give people free reign to discriminate against members of the LGBT community under the guise of doing it in respect of their religious beliefs.

It's as if Bobby Griffith's story holds no value to them.  For those who are unfamiliar with his story, google it.  His mother was "one of them", to a point where it drove him to suicide.  It wasn't until after his death that she understood how very wrong she was and how much damage she did to her son.  That same damage is being done to every single LGBT youth today, either directly or indirectly.  If you don't think that this constant bombardment of broad-stroked hatred for them isn't helping to propel the already-accelerated LGBT teen suicide rate, think again.  If you don't think that their incessant nastiness isn't feeding the ones who seek out and attack members of the LGBT community, think again.  If you don't think that many of the schoolyard bullies aren't heavily influenced by what they're seeing and hearing from these people, think again!!  They have waged war against the LGBT community.  It can't be put any more simply than that.  We've all agreed that the major component to ending the bullying and teen suicides is changing the mindset of the adults.  Understanding that these people have no problem with LGBT teens being bullied and/or committing suicide is absolutely essential if we are to see any measurable change in those arenas.

So, again I ask, why IS this November's election so important?  If I have to tell you, you're not paying attention.  Or, as my mother would tell me "you're flying down the highway and not paying attention to any of the signs".  That's how crashes occur.


  1. Ron, you have a way with words, and I think you are marvelous. I am sharing this, and broadcasting this as much as I can. you're little monster....Chris.

  2. Ron, I *do* remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. In Mississippi. It's very similar, very frightening. Here's hope, perhaps. Just as Garlow is ready to say, "if necessary, here I die," so am I, but on the other side of the line. Sound like I'm overreacting? Perhaps. I made that decision, that I would give my life if need be, after hearing Worley's rant from the pulpit in NC. I've made the decision before. I've stood by it. I've sat, the only white face in the crowd, protecting the evidence of what the Mississippi Highway Patrol did in May, 1970, on the campus of Jackson State University (they opened fire into a women's dorm, killing two students and injuring twelve) until federal official arrived to investigate, despite the fact that the MHP was back in full force, armed, weapons at the ready. I made myself an obvious target, knowing that even the Jackson papers couldn't fail to report the story if a white girl was killed on the all-black campus. I suggested we burn the court order to disperse. I stared down those shotgun barrels. I know what it's like.

    I fear it will come to this for us, too, again, the call to stand and defy. I'm ready. I'm not seeking it — god knows, I'd rather be here to continue to raise my granddaughter. But I will not run from it. I'll help get people registered to vote, as I did then. I'll vote for the candidates who'll stand for us, though these days, my ballot won't be taken from hand and inspected, as it was when I voted for Charles Evers for governor of Mississippi. Technology will see to that. I'm already making my voice heard, running a FB for marriage equality in Alabama, where I now live. I'm seeking ways to be involved on the ground locally. I talk ceaselessly about the need for equality, the dangers of bullying, the risks to our kids, the need for host homes for LGBTQ youth. I fundraise for our local advocacy group. I'm not afraid to draw fire. I'm not backing down on this issue, either. I've drawn the line. If necessary, here I die.

    1. Su, I truly, truly admire you. Unfortunately, I do agree with you that we haven't seen the worst of this yet. I do believe that it will get ugly before we start to see any improvement. Like you, I've already vowed that I'm in this for life...whatever the cost. I'll go down fighting if it means ending this insane attack on the LGBT youth through bullying, and the suicides that follow. Fifty years from now, history will show that these people are far out of step with reality and very definitely on the wrong side of history. However, 50 years from now is a very long time. We need results right now...in the here and now!!

    2. I know it, Ron, I know it. I don't have 50 years to wait to see this discrimination end. I'm 61. I don't plan to leave this beautiful little space-sphere until this blotch on it is gone. If we don't stop throwing away our tomorrows by crumpling up our kids and tossing them aside, it will be far worse than global warming for the continuation of life on our world. It's GOT to stop. Let's get it done.

      Ready for orders, sir.

  3. It does not matter what anyone else says if you can not live your life how you want, than what is the point of all these laws, amendments, rights... so on an so forth. Religion has nothing to do with it. Hey if a person is over weight an they are trying to use the bible against someone about homosexuality its just as easy to talk about one of the 7 deadly sins. You shouldn't be obese, so if you can be obese why can't I love another female? If someone can steal and commit adultery, why can't 2 maled be together. Someone can rape and kill a kid or female or male an get a life sentence in jail, but no one is worried about someone getting raped "oh it happens all the time" than its "look that kids gay, lets beat his ass" maked no sense to me. Its simple everyone just needs to learn how to deal with the changes in life. There's nothing anyone can do to change who you love and who you want to be with, but neither side can take it to the extremess, or else it will end up being some kind of so called "war".

  4. I love reading your blog. I live in England and I don't think the situation is quite as bad here. That's not to say there is no opposition to equal rights, as when the government recently announced that it was committed to legalising full gay marriage (rather than just having civil partnerships) there was the usual outrage from certain parts of our society. I am willing to stand up and say that I am a lesbian even if that means that some people will try and shoot me down.

  5. Friar AJ Severns, CMHCJune 19, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Ron, I agree with you and I feel very strongly that the clergy that are facing this with a truly Christian focus need to start being as vocal as those on the other side of this issue, whether gay or straight does not matter the clergy and the churches need to stand up and in peaceful ways show their support for equality. We need to let the world know that Christians that know that equality for all is needed and now.

  6. Ron, I totally agree. Here in Australia we are fighting for equal marriage rights. While most polls indicate support sitting at about 60% (and rising), those who are against marriage equality are both vocal and unafraid to use any excuse to justify their frankly untenable position.
    I thank whatever higher power there may be that we do not have a religious right anything like you do in America. Sure it's there, but not to the same extent as what you seem to encounter. Suicide in general is a seemingly taboo subject for our journalists, as they aren't sure how to handle such a sensitive issue for fear of glorifying it. It follows that there is even less exposure of teen suicide, and less again of LGBT suicide. Awareness is needed. Conservatives against gay marriage for the most part don't know the suffering that their words cause because they've never been made aware of the impacts on young people.
    The only comfort to me is knowing that the resistance is with older people, and that my generation is overwhelmingly in support of gay marriage. We have grown up with gay friends and family members and we see them as no different to anybody else. With time, we will be the voting population and gay marriage will become enshrined in law. In the meantime, it is lucky that here in Oz same-sex couples do have mostly the same rights as married couples when it comes to insurance, hospital visitations and the like which I understand is not the case in America. My heart bleeds for all the young people trapped in such hate. It is not easy but here people are (generally) tolerant and bigotry is (usually) limited to sniggers and comments behind people's backs. It's not always the case of course, but the biggest problem in Australia is the institutionalised homophobia that comes with being denied basic rights - such as the right to marry.

    I commend your efforts and truly wish there was more I could do from here.

  7. This is a beautiful blog. As I am not a person of faith, the entire arguement just kills me. Especially that of "Bobby". Knowing that the entire concern was faith based and he ended up dead. For what? An imaginary (just my opinion) deity? Wow. Religion IS the root of all that is evil.