19 December, 2008

Not a Good Start on That 'Change'

The talking heads seem to only reference "anger in the gay community" in regards to the invitation from P.E. Obama to Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration and yes, there is plenty. However, I am not gay and I am plenty angry and very disappointed. I agree with Pastor Warren that it is commendable for Obama to invite someone who doesn't share his views to take part. However, it's this guy and these views that gall. Gays may not be members of Saddleback Church, Warren's massive congregation. His church runs a group that tries to "cure" gays. He has compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. He said on NBC just today that while he is naturally inclined to sleep with every beautiful woman he sees, he is able to control himself and went on to insinuate that gays should just exercise that same sort of control and maturity, the extrapolation being that they would eventually be able to overcome their homosexuality.

I am reminded of my mother telling me why she began turning away from her Southern Baptist upbringing as a child. On one hand, she was being taught in Sunday school that Jesus loved all the little children. On the other, she was growing up in the segregated south and remembers being scolded for playing with the children of the one Jewish family in town. Children can smell a hypocrite at a thousand paces; it's one of the things I love about them. My mother was no different.

I know there are many people who do not understand, accept or condone homosexuality; many who do not see homosexuals as human. Having gay friends and loved ones, it's a tough one to try to understand. And the Warren invitation is tough for those of us so energized by Obama's election and the end of the Bush administration. One the one hand, many of us worked and voted for an attempt at unity, an effort to overcome our differences and work together. On the other, we were promised change and this doesn't feel like the right kind.

I've had plenty of experience with judgemental people. My own grandmother insinuated that I was bound for hell for not sharing her beliefs when I was 17 and I have heard plenty of preaching from amateurs and professionals alike on how things are to be done. I often respond that I'd not seen the help wanted ad indicating that The Almighty had resigned the judicial position.

I doubt the invitation will be withdrawn. What I hope, but doubt, is that this will help spur a substantive discussion about the role of religion in our government - why, with the separation of church and state is there any need for an invocation or pastors at the inauguration? - the basic human rights too often denied gays and their place within their respective faith communities.
One roommate, herself gay, has taken to speaking of Obama like she had been double crossed by her best friend. This is not the way this was supposed to begin.


16 December, 2008

Rock On, Ladies!

NPR profiled The AccoLade, one of the first all-female rock bands from Saudi Arabia, tonight. Read up and take a listen. Whether you're into their music or not, I hope the interest in them will help support others in finding and using their voices.


Last One Out, Toss the Match!

As though the last eight years haven't been enough for this country and the world, Bush & Co. seem determined to trash whatever is left on their way out the door. These last minute rules are tough for subsequent administrations to roll back. Endangered species act? Gut it! Environmental protections? Bah! HUMBUG! And now, the latest, which is of particular interest to women. Being a woman, anybody deigning to claim sovereignty over my body or better judgement than I on the subject make me angry. I feel the phrase, "my body, my choice," in my marrow. Related to this, people who provide ways for health care providers to get out of providing health care, likewise make me angry. Very, very angry. Quick! Somebody hand me a shoe!


15 December, 2008

Reason #1 Why I Might Just Stick Around

If my country and this state is so out of whack that a person like Cynthia Dunbar (R-Richmond) can carry all the counties in her district (fie, fie District 10!) and be elected to the Texas Board of Education - yes, put in charge of the education of millions of children in this state! - in spite of spouting garbage like this in a book she authored, according to the Houston Chronicle, then I might just stick around here long-term to make people like her angry and fight back:

"Christians should 'occupy' all countries;

Pres.-Elect Obama is a terrorist sympathizer who will bring tyranny to America. His pro-choice stance on abortion is the same sort of 'fascist, supremacist attitude exhibited by Mussolini and Hitler.'

Public education is tyrannical, unconstitutional and the Satan-following Left's 'subtly deceptive tool of perversion.' And parents who surrender their children to government-run schools are 'throwing them into the enemy's flames even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.'"

If public education is so evil, why run for the board? Heck, leave it to Satan or at least those of us with more than two brain cells to rub together. Really, please. I mean, you're sort of somehow giving Satan a good name, lady! I'm not sure what's more disturbing: her views (which, as a free speech absolutist she is welcome to air); the fact that people knew them and still put her in charge of their children's education; or that people like her are all to common in positions of influence these days and that those of us who believe in such radical ideas as the separation of church and state still haven't figured out a plan to push back and realign this country along it's true founding principles.

I've had it. No more with "this is a Christian country founded on Christian principles" garbage. First of all, read a book written by a real historian and the U.S. Constitution whilst you're at it. Second, most of what you spout is not very "Christian," so don't even try. Second, not all who disagree with this extremist viewpoint are "lefties" or atheists. I know conservatives and people of deep, personal faith who are just as disgusted as I. And, if we're going to go all absolutist with things, when do we get to stone those who work on the sabbath and start keeping slaves and such. I personally can't wait to be reduced in status to a piece of property, if you guys are going Old Testament on us. Good times! Much like with gun control, I really wish we could bring the Founding Fathers back for a little show-and-tell. They would be appalled. I, for one, hope there will be a second coming and that Jesus will immediately host a sit-down with folks like you for ruining his good name and intentions. Dunbar claims her views aren't for the faint of heart. Well, lady, I'm no shrinking violet so bring it on. Let's hope you finally fling one stinking, slimy pile of small-mindedness and hate too many and your district, and others, finally wake up to what they've done. Surely in the mean time the rest of us can find somebody to run against the likes of you.


PS: Please, please read more on the assault on education in Texas here and the makeup of the Texas Board of Education here.

14 December, 2008

Duck and Cover

I do not believe this is what they mean when they say people are "voting with their feet".... However, you sort of have to hand it to Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, for having the chutzpah to hurl not one but both his shoes at Pres. Bush today during a press conference in Baghdad. The slightly more interesting thing to me was Talibani's reaction - he didn't flinch, merely made a half-hearted attempt to bat one of the shoes away. Yes, it's poor form to insult a guest, even if that guest sort of destroyed your country. Yes, it's a bad idea to hurl anything at the POTUS. But, I must say I think we all sort of wonder what we'd do if confronted by W. after the last eight fabulous years. Would we turn the other cheek? Could we? I'm reminded of all the maddening times my mother exhorted me to not use the word hate as a child because, "it's such a powerful word," which I kept trying to explain to her was exactly why I was using it (usually in reference to the kids who were awful to me in school). I'm sitting here wondering, "Do I hate him?" Suffice to say, don't worry George, I don't own a pair of heels.