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An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation
April 11, 2013 3:24 AM   Subscribe

'Church,
I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If you’re not familiar, here’s the song.'
'Before the song, Macklemore spoke really simple words along the lines of: “Hey, you can all have your own opinions on how we treat gay people in this country, but this is mine.” And I held my breath in anticipation of some kind of uproar or walk-out…but the crowd cheered louder than they had yet. In our red state, in our conservative little city, the 5,000 young people in that arena wanted to hear about marriage equality."
You've watched the song right? It’s really awesome and you should go do that now if you haven't, previously on metafilter
posted by Blasdelb (80 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite

 
The kids are all right.

Thanks for the post—I wasn't familiar with Macklemore and I sincerely appreciate the introduction. I'm so terribly sorry that my friend, Ken, isn't around to see how much has changed since he came out while a student at Illinois State University in 1973. Knowing him (and his friends) changed my life.
posted by she's not there at 4:32 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Which church exactly? The author even says to go have a chat with a Methodist or Episcopal pastor.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:33 AM on April 11, 2013


The comments are a mixed bag of amens and condemnations, but there's some wheat in that chaff:

In Jesus’ time the correct thing to do was take that woman (the one caught in adultery, not all women) and stone her. I mean it was the law right? The boys had their stones in hand and were ready to sling that thing like only Randy Johnson dreamed he could when ALL OF A SUDDEN this Jesus dude walks up and was like, “Are you guys serious?? STOP. You’re letting THE LAW overrule your good judgement. You all deserve to be stoned for something or the other. LOVE PEOPLE. I love you.” -paraphrase.*

And Jesus said unto them, "Are you guys serious?? STOP."

Word to that.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:36 AM on April 11, 2013 [61 favorites]


Loved this, and bonus points for being about a Macklemore show also. I hope he and Ryan Lewis see this. Truer words cannot be spoken. Doesn't really matter to me which Church the woman is entreating here; everyone in any spiritual community should know this.

Great find!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:37 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also worth your time:
Macklemore's Tiny Desk Concert on NPR
Mary Lambert - the voice behind the hook of "Same Love" (Her EP is on Bandcamp)
posted by grabbingsand at 4:43 AM on April 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


For the right-wing's take on this: ‘Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible
posted by Vhanudux at 4:43 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I missed this video the first time this was posted. I take back everything bad I ever said about Macklemore. I mean this on a lot of different levels - we as a people have veered so far off course. Not the least of our problems being the extent to which religion has become an instrument of division and hate. Which is staggering. I suppose that I imagine a time when people were brutes, and the Church helped people to see past their differences, to enlighten, to empower, to give hope, and to bring people together. Today it serves the opposite function.

I really hope more people of my generation step forward (especially within the spiritual context) and help carve out a better future for our children. Where young people can grow up feeling loved and are taught to love others.

If all the shit I've seen in my life has happened to one day lead us up to that moment, then it's been worth it.
posted by phaedon at 4:49 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, Lord ... Erick Erickson. Before I clicked the link, I suspected this was his rant where he bemoans the fate of America's Wedding Industry.

"Already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more."

Give me a damn break, son. Gay marriage doesn't take away from the pool of currently available straight marriages. It isn't like we've only got 5,000 marriage licenses annually, and if gay marriage is accepted, those will have to be distributed by type. "Oh, I'm sorry Bill Smith and Tina Jones, but we've only got the gay paperwork left, so you two will have to be gay married. Next!"

Gay marriage means more weddings. More weddings means more work for photographers, planners, florists, caterers, bakers, ice carvers, DJs, four-piece jazz combos, and on and on and on.

As a friend of mine said just before her recent marriage, the wedding industry is far from suffering as it is, and the legalization of gay marriage across the board will only harm those rare businesses who discriminate against cash.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:53 AM on April 11, 2013 [20 favorites]


That Tiny Desk Concert is way way better than his appearance on SNL. Thanks grabbingsand.
posted by DigDoug at 4:54 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Which church exactly? The author even says to go have a chat with a Methodist or Episcopal pastor."

MetaFilter isn't exactly the audience she is writing to here, and the language she uses for describing her church and exactly what kind of church that is I guess is functionally kind of coded here. Some clues include describing a thirst for faith experience, the need for a clear biblical conscience, and it all being in South Dakota where Methodists and Episcopalians are synonymous with wild eyed liberals. This communicates a Great Awakening derived Evangelical tradition with an extreme focus on the Bible as the sole source of authority and a socially deep conservative bent.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:54 AM on April 11, 2013 [25 favorites]


Also the language might be more clear in her other two posts about how awesome hipster feminist Christians are and Sports Metaphors as a barrier to Faith.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:57 AM on April 11, 2013


I was not expecting the Thrift Shop guy to be anything more than a one-hit wonder, but in this case I am delighted to be wrong. Going from that song to this song, I think I've become a big Macklemore fan – where should I go next, beyond the tiny desk concert?
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:58 AM on April 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


Give me a damn break, son. Gay marriage doesn't take away from the pool of currently available straight marriages.

I assume that what Erickson is complaining about is that bigots, when exposed, get less business. What he basically wants is government regulation to restrain the free market from expressing its will.
posted by DU at 4:59 AM on April 11, 2013 [14 favorites]


"I was not expecting the Thrift Shop guy to be anything more than a one-hit wonder, but in this case I am delighted to be wrong. Going from that song to this song, I think I've become a big Macklemore fan – where should I go next, beyond the tiny desk concert?"

OH SHIT, this is the Thrift Shop guy? I love that song! Reminds me of home in the Pacific Northwest whenever it plays on Studio Brussel, which is incidentally awesome Flemish radio.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:05 AM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


So I was about to write one of those long, ambiguous posts I like writing in the early morning about Red State and how tragic it is that communication between different types of people have suffered so much that an entire segment of America thinks gay marriage is a tactic the left is using to secretly destroy religious freedoms, with a tangent on what exactly "religious freedom" means and if it's actually a shorthand for "treating a bunch of people like shit because our fucked-up reading of the Bible tells us it's permissible",

BUT

then I read this sentence...
Already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more.
...and now I want to know why the guy's singling out "florists, bakers, and photographers" as the suffering class. Is it that they think straight florists, bakers, and photographers have been kicked out of their jobs in favor of gay florists, bakers, and photographers? Are bakers stereotypically gay, then? Or are there specific instances of, like, florists being dicks towards gay people and being forced into retributive gay marriage as punishment, and the right wing is terrified that they'll be forced into punishment gay marriages next?

I would love somebody to clarify this, but I also wouldn't mind just keeping this an open-ended mystery, and imagining a fervent right wing telling campfire stories about the florist, baker, and photographer underground railroad, helping straight florists, bakers, and photographers escape to a mythical land where we are free to be you and me, and also jesus
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:07 AM on April 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


Rory, his album The Heist is totally worth your time. It's on Spotify and YouTube and various places--not hard to find. Ryan Lewis' YouTube channel is a pretty great chronicle of the making of their album and their rise. http://www.youtube.com/user/RyanLewisProductions
posted by Maaik at 5:07 AM on April 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


if you’re looking for some intelligent biblical liberal opinions on the subject, have a little coffee chat with your local Methodist or Episcopal pastor.

Sadly the official Methodist position views homosexuality as incompatible with Christian teaching. However, their are organisations like the Reconciling Ministries working to change that. And these views are not just being rejected by the younger generation but by a growing number of the older pastors so there's hope that at least in this country a wider acceptance of the LGBT community is just a matter of time within the UMC.
posted by Runes at 5:08 AM on April 11, 2013


And haha Blasdelf, there's a Macklemore post three posts below yours. I actually only came into this thread to snark about was it Macklemore week or something, but then your thread was about something way cooler than I was expecting.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:08 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


...and now I want to know why the guy's singling out "florists, bakers, and photographers"

Perhaps because these are the three trades most associated with weddings?
posted by pjern at 5:10 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Heh, so far I've seen 11 creative spellings of my username on metafilter, but Blasdelf is my older brother.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:11 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


grabbingsand: I work for a Christian non-profit and as a closeted almost-atheist, our Wednesday morning prayer meetings in a Methodist church are sort of my least favorite thing. But one of my fellow employees is married to the (young-ish) pastor there so sometimes he leads our meetings. I love this dude. His prayers always start with "Hey God, what's up?" and his tellings of Jesus stories always involve things like "And then Jesus said, "dude, STAHP IT!"". I don't necessarily buy what he's selling but I love the guy's attitude.

Also, please, all y'all. Check out Mary Lambert's EP (grabbingsand linked to it on bandcamp up there). It's lovely and her voice is astonishingly perfect.
posted by youandiandaflame at 5:19 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


For me, marriage equality IS religious freedom (as well as civil rights). There are lots of religious (as well as non religious) people who support marriage equality, and they should be allowed to marry people. Just like interfaith marriage or marriages of divorced people, no religious institution is expected to perform marriages they don't agree with.

The florists, et al, came up because florists and other private businesses have been sued for refusing to serve same-sex couples (don't know how any of the cases have come out). It is another civil rights issue separate from just plain marriage equality: should a private business be allowed to discriminate against people? My first reaction was to think, well, I guess they can discriminate because they are a private business, whether I like it or not... but then I thought: what if a florist (or baker or photographer, etc) refused to work for an interracial couple? Would anyone seriously argue that a business (wedding related or not) has a right to discriminate against customers by race just because they are private?

(duh...no).
posted by jb at 5:26 AM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


...and now I want to know why the guy's singling out "florists, bakers, and photographers" as the suffering class.

Because there are people who are afraid that fine, upstanding hetero florists, bakers, and photographers will be forced into hard labor making flowers, tasty cakes, and sappy photographs for....dare I say...gay people and their gay marriages!!!!! Recent case in Washington state about a florist. This is because "Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation. If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service."

Basically, it's a stupid comment.
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:29 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Sadly the official Methodist position views homosexuality as incompatible with Christian teaching. However, their are organisations like the Reconciling Ministries working to change that. And these views are not just being rejected by the younger generation but by a growing number of the older pastors so there's hope that at least in this country a wider acceptance of the LGBT community is just a matter of time within the UMC."

I am a Methodist and, while I'm not a pastor, if anyone has the kinds of questions about the biblical defence of loving homosexuality alluded to in the post you can always come to me. The official statement of the United Methodist Church on homosexuality is no longer really an accurate representation of where we're at as a church, even with our very big near Unitarian sized tent. Thousands of Methodist pastors have now signed pledges affirming their willingness to personally perform Gay marriages in their churches, which even absent the act is itself an formally something that should defrock them according to the Book of Discipline (Methodist rule book in a kind of archaic sense of the word discipline) as it is currently written. The pastor at my old Church has now performed dozens. However, even if pastors were willing to defrock other pastors in the jury system that adjudicates these sorts of things, there is now a number of pastors who have signed the pledge that is way way to big to defrock anyway without emptying entire confences of clergy.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:32 AM on April 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


"So I was about to write one of those long, ambiguous posts I like writing in the early morning about Red State and how tragic it is that communication between different types of people have suffered so much"

Don't worry, I'll pick up the slack for you.

I don't read Red State, or any expressly partisan political blogs. I TRY to just listen to NPR, pay attention to the issues, and make up my own mind on things like gay marriage (yeah, go for it, why not), health care (a nice thing and it'd be nice if more people had it), and other issues. I know no one is as good at this as they say they are, but I'd like to think I'm an independent and could be persuaded either way by a compelling argument. Or at least you could persuade me into thinking you had a valid point.

But the way the Red State article opens their argument is unsettling. "The left cannot take marriage out of government because for so long it has been government through which marriages were legitimized to the public and the left must also use government to silence those, particularly the religious, who refuse to play along."

Let's look at what the author accomplished in such a short period of time, from the perspective of a hypothetical reader who was politically unaligned (i.e. had no sympathy for either political party) but supported gay marriage. In short, he pushes several assumptions:

1) If you've long felt that gay marriage should receive equal rights as straight marriage, you belong to "the left."
2) The left is this mysterious "other" that cannot be reasoned with.
3) The left, and thus you, since you are obviously a member of the left, seek to destroy unimpeachable virtues such as freedom, and Christianity.

All of this before the fold. Holy hell, no wonder people hate talking about politics. Places like Red State are worse than explicit censorship of political dissent; instead of suppressing speech through concrete threat of violence, it insidiously removes the will for people to express an opinion because political discourse is a place where you are made to feel defensive and ostracized, and immoral.

No thanks, ain't nobody got time for that.
posted by midmarch snowman at 5:46 AM on April 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


For me, marriage equality IS religious freedom (as well as civil rights).

Yeah, my Methodist church would like to marry its gay parishioners, how is allowing them to do that threatening your freedom of religion?

Also let's not forget the argument "it's wrong for government to restrict the expression of religion" is completely specious, the government has every right to restrict religious expression in the face of competing interests.

Does your religion allow polygamy? Tough cookies, that's against the law.

Does you religion promote peyote fueled spiritual quests? Don't expect a permit for that, bub.

Does your religion require you to create laws that restrict the rights of others in regards to which legally consenting adults they wish to marry? Well, (A) that's a bizarrely specific precept of your religion and (B) that's not really relevant since anti-miscegenation laws have already established your religious views as to whom can marry whom don't really apply to people other than you.
posted by midmarch snowman at 6:02 AM on April 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


He is completely adorable pogoing around in the NPR studio.
posted by rtha at 6:12 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The official statement of the United Methodist Church on homosexuality is no longer really an accurate representation of where we're at as a church, even with our very big near Unitarian sized tent.

Word. None of the Protestant denominations are exactly lockstep, but Methodism is all over the map. If you're out in the country, you'll hear hellfire and brimstone about gay sex and marriage. On the other hand, my UMC church has a sizable openly gay population.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:14 AM on April 11, 2013


In my personal life there's no room left for any meaningful conversation regarding Christianity anymore. I feel like Jesus is a decent enough concept to incorporate into the way one chooses to carry oneself through the world, and it's not that hard to live out those principles in a way that allows acceptance and tolerance. What I don't get is how so many Christians come to the conclusion that it's their right to try to determine what can and cannot be for everyone else. To me it is a form of willfully stupid and immature thinking, and it's not just Christians that engage in that type of thinking, but when you pair that thinking style with Christianity it becomes a special poison on the soul.

The point at which someone starts "praising Jesus The Lord" I pretty much immediately write them off as anyone I want to deal with beyond strictly business, and only then if I absolutely have to.

So yeah, I get where the blog is coming from, but I'm 20 years into that feeling and I'm 100% done with "the church".

That song is tremendous, and kudos to him for having the temerity and grace to stand up and defend humanity.
posted by roboton666 at 6:17 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Erik Erikson is a tool.

But he's right about one thing: there are all sorts of things that are incompatible with (unrestricted) religious freedom. And that's what he has to be talking about--a conception of religious freedom so expansive that it is unlike any other freedom. See, there is no religious freedom if any of the rest of us do anything that is inconsistent with EE's religion. Nobody's making him get gay-married. But if that option is available to others, then his religious freedom is somehow infringed upon.

Jesus these people.

And I'm not exactly a knee-jerk liberal.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 6:20 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


He was prepared for outrage or a walkout? Did the people not know who they were going to see?

Dude also needs to sit down and write some real letters and engage some real people. Nothing wrong with open letters, but I bet they more often hit places like metafilter and not the intended audience.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:21 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are also very literate biblical references in Macklemore's Same Love song that it just occurred to me would have rang powerfully in the ears of that audience in Sioux Falls, South Dakota but that many Mefites might be deaf to,
"Manmade rewiring of a predisposition - playing God ...awww naw here we go."
This one is straight forward. It references the overarching theme through both the Old and New Testaments of the folly trying to act in or define the world with authority that belongs only to God. But it gets deeper,
"God love all his children is somehow forgotten, but we paraphrase a book written 3500 years ago."
This is a pretty direct reference to Matthew 23:14, Mark 12:38-40, Luke 20:45-47 as well as Matthew 22:34-40. One of the big focuses of Jesus' ministry was an explicit and invective filled criticism of overly litteral readings of religious texts for the purpose of judging others harshly combined with a reorientation towards core truths that He felt were more important. The kind that can only really be expressed in parables.
"When I was in church they taught me something else, if you preach hate at the service those words aren't annointed, that holy water you soak in has been poisioned."
These are metaphors pretty much straight from Jesus' lips in Matthew 23.
"No Law is going to change us, we have to change us."
This is a strong theme though the Gospels but is really one of Paul's most central points. Agued dramatically here, Galatians 5, but really all over Paul's writtings. Rom 3:20; 8:3; 2:21; 3:10-11; 3:21; Eph 2:8-9.
"Love is patient, love is kind, love is patient, love is kind..."
This is a direct quote from 1 Corinthians 13.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:25 AM on April 11, 2013 [30 favorites]


Frank Lloyd Wright said 'Nature is my Church.'

And given what we find in nature, I'm really surprised at the cognitive dissonance of people claiming homosexual behavior is anything beyond "something normal that some people do/feel/enjoy/want and some people are afraid of because they think it's gross or don't understand experiences different from their own and still other people are just happy that people are finding love and feeling emotions and opening their hearts."

As for the song, I've always been an atheist, but I read the bible and really appreciate the allusions in the song. One of my troubles with organized religion is the ability to get a text to support whichever side you're on. I credit this realization with my success in high school debate.
posted by bilabial at 6:32 AM on April 11, 2013


Love this from the article:
Oh, and can we please please PLEASE stop changing our Facebook profile pictures to crosses in a protest against gay marriage? You are taking a symbol of hope and redemption and using it to make a political point.
Dude, they took an actual object of death and torture and turned that into a religious icon and you're upset they are using it to make political points?

I'd maintain putting up a cross in protest to gay marriage isn't solely a political point. It's a religious one as well and a statement of bigotry. I actually like it when people do this sort of shit. It gives me a reason to unfriend them and to quit giving a shit about their birthdays.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:34 AM on April 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was at a Watsky (previously) concert just last week. He performed an amazing spoken word poem about lisps and ended up kissing a male concert go-er on the lips (it was his birthday?).

People went nuts, and it was pretty heartwarming.
posted by Strass at 6:37 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


From a pure marketing standpoint, the idea of a religion based around Christ losing ground because it won't get behind a popular current of love and acceptance is kind of mind boggling.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:49 AM on April 11, 2013 [16 favorites]


"He was prepared for outrage or a walkout? Did the people not know who they were going to see?"
This is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, just ten years ago you'd have been hard pressed to find a half dozen people willing to admit that gays are people. Yes this population is indeed self selected, but they're there, they're no longer silent, the powers that be must take note, and what a poplutation - 5000 young people - the future of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
"Dude also needs to sit down and write some real letters and engage some real people. Nothing wrong with open letters, but I bet they more often hit places like metafilter and not the intended audience."
This is a lady writting. Regardless I picked this letter up from places not at all like metafilter where it is making the rounds and some amount of noise. Dannika Nash also does not seem like the kind of person who would be silent about this around the people she loves.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:49 AM on April 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ahhh the great thing about reading Erick Erickson is watching him desperately trying to swim against the tide all while he's being pummeled by the undertow.
It's over, dude. This genie isn't going back in the bottle, so max-out your lecture-rage-circuit cred while you can.

Let's hope this generation of activist Religious Right goes back in to dormancy once their Republican leaders are all forced, one by one, to embrace gay marriage by sheer numbers alone.
Republicans are NOT looking forward to how this will play out come 2016, so let's get as much progress forward in the meantime.
posted by Theta States at 6:54 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


The comments illustrate to me the fundamental issue that for now will continue to divide, which is that one camp believes that homosexuality is a sin (hate the sin, love the sinner) and thus cannot be condoned while the other takes the (more enlightened) view that homosexuality is just another way of being, no more than being a different color or a different gender.

Until the people who believe that it is a sin unwrap themselves from that mantle, you aren't going to see much progress.
posted by Leezie at 6:55 AM on April 11, 2013


A tenet of faith for most Christians is that the Bible is without error, and this is used to justify whatever prejudice is currently popular (apparently there always has to be a scapegoat segment of the population on which to place the blame for society's problems).

When the force of truth finally pushes the current prejudice aside, you might think that would cast doubt upon the faith that wholly backed it. But by then that prejudice has been forgotten and replaced with another one. Anti-gay replaced anti-mixed marriage which replaced anti-contraception and so on back into time. After Anti-gay is gone there will be another crazy prejudice waiting in the wings. Maybe anti-vegetarian or something.

A more flexible faith, based on evolving truth, might seem to be the answer. But then you're relying on human authority, which also is bad. You usually end up with something like the French Revolution, where Reason is God, and people who don't agree with that are getting their heads chopped off one after another.

If a people's God represents their own idealized self-image (Mordecai Kaplan said something like that), then religion will never be perfect until people are perfect, and that will never happen. I suppose the best we can do is to fight the good fight.
posted by jabah at 7:05 AM on April 11, 2013


Not 2016, 2014. Don't lose sight of the mid-terms.
posted by postel's law at 7:08 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, just ten years ago you'd have been hard pressed to find a half dozen people willing to admit that gays are people. Yes this population is indeed self selected, but they're there, they're no longer silent, the powers that be must take note, and what a poplutation - 5000 young people - the future of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

My point was the audience should know the material, right? Nick Cave has never surprised me because I know who I am going to see. I don't imagine he surprises many folk. I would think Macklemore would be the same? I was actually asking, since he's not an artist I am familiar with. Was this the first time he performed that song?

This is a lady writting.

My bad. I'm sorry on that one. I hate when I do that.

Dannika Nash also does not seem like the kind of person who would be silent about this around the people she loves.

I retract this aspect of my comment. I should have said, that I encourage her to also write real people, engage the actual leaders of the church directly. She probably won't change any minds, but she may find more people agree with her than she thought.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:08 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


A tenet of faith for most Christians is that the Bible is without error

This has not been my lived experience at all. I think a tenet of faith for many loud Christians who get a lot of publicity for their actions and statements may feel this way, but most of the Christians that I know personally are as questioning as people of any other faith which is to say some but not entirely.
posted by jessamyn at 7:09 AM on April 11, 2013 [21 favorites]


After Anti-gay is gone there will be another crazy prejudice waiting in the wings. Maybe anti-vegetarian or something.

Won't anyone think of the sacred cows?
posted by Leezie at 7:12 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are also very literate biblical references in Macklemore's Same Love song

Which goes to show you that Ben's a good Irish Catholic boy that went to Sunday school and, you know, actually read the book and thought about it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:13 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I tried to read this open letter earlier but got really bogged down by two irritating assumptions by the other.

1) Your generation is the one generation "that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away"? That's a bit of a weak-sauce assumption. It comes across as "our gut instincts have been better than any previous generation's gut instincts" which seems both scientifically questionable and a poor approach to rational thought.

2) "I held my breath in anticipation of some kind of uproar or walk-out." Really? You're surprised that a bunch of people who paid money to see an artist with two well known hit singles, both released quite recently didn't walk out of a concert when he performed one of those singles? You were surprised that people threw their hands in the air, when this is a commonplace occurrence at any sort of concert?

I appreciate the sentiment & enthusiasm of the letter, but if I were this girl's pastor I don't know that I'd change my course based on her advocacy. Power to her for speaking out, certainly, but this feels like she has had an emotional night at a show and not had a chance to mentally process everything.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:16 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your generation is the one generation "that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away

Well, other than every previous generation, which also prided itself on sussing-out its parents' bullshit.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:20 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Going to be hard (but not impossible for the most determined to hate) to go anti-vegetarian on the Bible when there's a whole section in Daniel where he goes vegetarian and gets healthy and so looks better/has more stamina than all the meat-eating, hard-partying other dudes at court.

I think they are just going to double down on their most well-documented bible-based hate, Teh Wimminz. I mean, starting with Eve on down, Women are A Problem in many parts of the bible. Of course, there are good and heroic women and even a woman judge, but we're not gonna talk about those. We're gonna talk about feminism=emasculation+babykilling+gay-causing+you name it. Especially if Hillary runs. Then it's gonna be OMG Women! 24/7.

Like gay-hating driving away the young ones, woman-hating is not going to be a good strategy in the long run, because women do most of the work in your average church and only the most masochistic/oppressed will keep doing the work while also being told what evil, stupid, sin-causing beings they are.

But in the short run, we will not only be seen as a problem in ourselves, with our wanting autonomy and self-determination, but as the cause of all the other problems the church is having. The church can't resist its oldest, most well-loved cudgel.
posted by emjaybee at 7:29 AM on April 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


A tenet of faith for most Christians is that the Bible is without error

That's only true if you don't consider Anglicans/Episcopalians or Catholics, to non-exclusively name a couple, Christian.
posted by bonehead at 7:31 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which church exactly? The author even says to go have a chat with a Methodist or Episcopal pastor

The author uses "church" to mean "all Christians". It's part of the evangelical lingo.

If you're looking for a church that accepts homosexuality, I can only speak from local knowledge (I live in Toronto) but such a church could be United, Anglican, or the Metropolitan Community Church.

The author does mention "liberal bible" interpretations that would jive with homosexuality (I am paraphrasing) but it's also important to remember that many Christians don't consider the Bible to be the perfect word of God, and have no problem saying that the author or a particular book was wrong about something.
posted by beau jackson at 7:48 AM on April 11, 2013


Well, when I first heard this song I loved it, and still do. "Hey Teacher leave those kids alone"! - If I had heard this song when I was a kid in the closet, I woulda been stoked with hope and Pride! Not gonna worry bout the religion thing personally, Mary Lamberts part is awesome!
posted by SteelDancin at 7:51 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


First time I heard "Same Love", it stopped me in my tracks. It's a beautiful song and a great message.

I'm not religious, but I do go to church with my wife out of respect for her beliefs. I've walked out before when one deacon in particular started raging against homosexuality (this was in Texas) and made it clear just why I walked out. Talking with church members, they agreed with me for the most part but keep quiet because they felt unable to counter the accepted church wisdom. The more people that stand up to hatred, the better we'll be and the more empowered we'll be to right the wrong.
posted by arcticseal at 7:53 AM on April 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Here's something that gets me. "Loving everyone" even if they're committing horrible atrocities is kind of questionable. The catholic church's approach to that was kind of, not so good right? Being accepting and tolerant of harmful behavior is reasonably not so good.

Homosexuality ISN'T HARMFUL. There shouldn't need to be advocacy about accepting homosexuals EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE HARMFUL. THEY ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING HARMFUL.

There's a huge difference between giving humane conditions and having some compassion for the humanity of a horrible criminal who has committed terrible offenses to others (which I think is itself a worthwhile endeavor).... and providing basic love and acceptance of people who want to share their romantic and sexual feelings with consensual adult partners of their choosing.

IF we can find some scientific evidence that there is something harmful about homosexuality to individuals, I'm all ears. If we can uncover that rates of homosexuality correlate with measurable quantities of bad things in society, again, I'm all ears. There are taboos and customs that evolve in cultures for reasons..good reasons.. and resistance to change happens for good reasons. But sometimes the taboos do not match advances in science and human intellectual capacity. I think the separation of sex from long term partnerships is a trend that concerns me for a multitude of reasons, and I think there are reasonable claims to be made that callous sexual behavior that prioritizes personal indulgence over the feelings of people around you and your long term self is NOT good for individuals or the people around them. When people think of opening up morality to include homosexual behavior they feel like all morals around sexual behavior might dissipate. There are some pro-sex movements that DO concern me and seem to lack compassion for the human beings harmed by their advocacy.

But consensual homosexuality between adults is simply not something that causes anyone anywhere any be harmed. I think it's reasonable to resist accepting ALL TYPES OF BEHAVIOR in your community. We don't have to love and accept people who are harmful and dangerous. Love maybe, but accept in a way they can harm people in our communities? Maybe not so much.

Homosexuality is not a behavior that will harm people. The only possibilities I can see are that if a person wanted to produce biological offspring and wanted to prevent their offspring from losing time with either of their biological parents in a daily basis (i.e. had some ethical issues with donor conceived or family separation that results in adoptions of children whose families needed more resources)- homosexuality would complicate that. And that is really only harmful TO the person forgoing reproduction with a live in partner. However many people don't want to produce children to begin with and this is a feature, not a bug for some.

Any way, I just want to point this out because I think we need to shift from saying "You must love and accept homosexuals even if they are causing terrible harm!" to saying "Homosexuals are not even causing harm to begin with and you might want to update your concept of sin to include causing actual harm to someone somewhere".
posted by xarnop at 7:57 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Awesome song and awesome video ..... and I agree with the sentiment of SteelDancin. Music was a huge part of how I organized my selfhood when I was a kid in the closet. If I'd heard a number one artist singing something like this when I was at that age (the closest I got were the vague allusions of Boy George and Pet Shop Boys, the pre-Jehovah's Witness sexually Dionysian Prince, and the in-your-face brave thumping of Bronski Beat) it would have been a nice counter to the anti-gay music my freshman roommate loved to play to piss me off and intimidate me at night while he skateboarded around our small rathole of a room brandishing his drumsticks.
posted by blucevalo at 8:02 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


the fundamental issue that for now will continue to divide ... is that one camp believes that homosexuality is a sin (hate the sin, love the sinner) and thus cannot be condoned ...

I'm not sure that's the fundamental issue here. Churches are mostly good at tolerating and integrating sinners. For example, I'm out of my depth here, but doesn't the Sermon on the Mount directly quote Jesus as saying that divorce and remarriage violates the commandment against adultery? That's a much more explicit condemnation than anything in the New Testament about homosexuality -- but the same churches claiming that gay marriage will destroy society have pretty much made peace with congregants in second marriages, who are avowed ongoing sinners. (Right?)

What makes this such a big deal isn't that homosexuality is allegedly a sin, but that it's a sin lifted above and treated differently from similar or more serious sins. Certain religious groups and individuals are obsessed with it in a way they aren't obsessed with other sins that are common in secular life; that can't be explained by their holy texts. It can easily be explained, however, as a matter of politics -- it's convenient to have a group to fear and otherize. So the two sides for political and cultural purposes aren't "thinks it's a sin" and "doesn't think it's a sin." The two sides are "thinks it's a humongous deal that justifies state discrimination, casting people out of church, etc." and "thinks it's pretty much an individual decision that doesn't hurt anybody, whether it's a sin or not."

Of course I personally don't think it's a sin, any more than I think a woman in a second marriage is an adulterer, any more than I think I'm "living in sin" by living with my unmarried opposite-sex partner. The point is just that "homosexuality is a sin" can't remotely explain the freakout that's going on right now in some religious communities -- it's not what's behind this.
posted by jhc at 8:09 AM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oooooh, ooooh, Blucevalo! Dont forget The Smiths! And at least The Cure wore their make up better than Dee Snyder and Poison!
posted by SteelDancin at 8:09 AM on April 11, 2013


Omigod...I knew one day I'd break my vow of never reading a conservative blog and that day came today. I can't...there aren't.....I've been at bus stops where I couldn't....woah.

The only good advice any sane person can take away from that redstate link is that you don't argue with Crazy.

That piece was so all over the map it read like a Rorschach blot.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:15 AM on April 11, 2013


This is a great song, thanks for sharing it.

Does you religion promote peyote fueled spiritual quests? Don't expect a permit for that, bub.

You mean apart from this, right?

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any State.

Honestly, I've been confused for a long time (since gradeschool) about the hypocrisy that surrounds the disproportionate condemnation of homosexuality amongst many christians. I was raised Lutheran and I was taught that we're born into sin, we all sin, any sin is enough to be condemned for (even once) but that we have all been justified through Christ and our faith. Kind of like this:

Romans 3:
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Individuals within the church, however, often felt it necessary to place homosexuality (and homosexuals) in some sort of other category of sinning that was somehow beyond forgiveness. Based on my reading of scripture it's more important that we love our neighbors as ourselves and not spend all of our time judging people. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" and all. It pretty much ruined my taste for organized religion, but perhaps I should thank them for that. I don't think I would have developed the more personal faith I have now if it were so easy for me to blindly accept the beliefs of others and take them as my own.
posted by nTeleKy at 8:38 AM on April 11, 2013


"What makes this such a big deal isn't that homosexuality is allegedly a sin, but that it's a sin lifted above and treated differently from similar or more serious sins. Certain religious groups and individuals are obsessed with it in a way they aren't obsessed with other sins that are common in secular life; that can't be explained by their holy texts. ... The point is just that "homosexuality is a sin" can't remotely explain the freakout that's going on right now in some religious communities -- it's not what's behind this."
Well, not exactly. Paul in his Epistles does repeatedly set one sin apart from all others as much much more serious:
1 Corinthians 6:12-20; “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for porneia (πορνεία) but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a pornēs (πόρνης)? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a pornēs (πόρνης) is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from porneia (πορνεία). All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever commits the sin of porneia (πορνεία), sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
He also states that porneia (πορνεία) is the only sin that should cause a Christian to not associate with those doing the sinning even if they aren't Christian:
1 Corinthians5:9-12; I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with pornois (πόρνοις) — 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is pornos (πόρνος) or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?
Opposition to it is also one of the few things central to Christianity that Paul and the Church in Jerusalem were totally on the same page on.

Now porneia (πορνεία) has always been translated into Latin as fornication, and traditionally translated into English as 'sexual immorality.' However, Porneia in post-classical Corinthian Greek did not mean generic sexual sin or sex outside of marriage and neither did fornication in actual Latin.

The word porneia was related to the verb to sell, and was only ever used in one context. A porneon was a house of forced prostitution, pornos (πόρνος) were those who assaulted those forced into prostitution, pornois (πόρνοις) were more than one, the pornēs (πόρνης) were specifically those prostitutes who were 'owned' by a sex trafficker, and those sex traffickers were called pornoboskos, a singularly unpleasant combination with the verb that described the keeping of livestock such as cattle. Paul used the word over and over again in his Epistles to make two primary assertions, that the ubiquitous system of porneia (πορνεία) fed by war and poverty was fundamentally not OK, and that a laundry list of examples were pretty much the same thing. Paul's fundamental position on sex as something that should be divorced from exploitation was profoundly radical and novel for the time, even if it is hard to see today being the water we swim in.

The Pauline model for marriage is about avoiding it and those examples he gives. There is a solid pattern where he consistently describes sex outside of marriage as being like 'porneia' and, in the context of his time, that actually makes a lot of sense. Examples of economically independent women who did not rely on sex work in the Roman world were very few and far between, and almost exclusively widows or only daughters. In the world that Paul was trying to change, the magnitude of male privilege was such that women were fundamentally unable to exist economically independent of men. Without Pauline marriage there was no protection from being used by a partner until old and discarded to the elements; Paul stipulated headship but also repeatedly and inescapably mandates that men place their wives before themselves, that apostasy and misconduct are the only appropriate reasons for divorce, and that women are no less than men before God. The early church was flooded with women attracted by this radically feminist message that women were actually people with dignity that was inherent to them. Even today porneia is by no means gone, in absolute numbers there are more women in sexual slavery today than there have ever been at any point in human history. However, most of the women who aren’t will be able to avoid it into a Pauline model marriage, some variety of post-Pauline marriage, a functionally equivalent model, or into a world made safer by them. This is Paul's legacy on sex that so many Christians have forgotten and discarded, being really extremely not OK with sexual trafficking or sexual traffickers and things like it while being really down with mutual giving patient kind humble love, not hating on people who want to join it in their own way.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:03 AM on April 11, 2013 [60 favorites]


I think many of those concerns are still relevant. Single mothers here in the states have been elevated from forced sexual slavery but when living conditions are to hard mothers will often find themselves choosing between an abusive partnership, sex work, or an income that does not meet their childrens needs.

When these factors are in place it really makes the capitalistic sex industry extremely suspect.

I think that sometimes religious teachings about love and tolerance pave the way for abusers to cause terrible harm that no one stops for fear of people too judgemental or punitive.

It's worth considering whether your religious teachings are serving oppressors in suppressing those being exploited and encouraging them to remain passive, non-judgemental and kind in the face of terrible acts against them.

This is why I think pointing out that consensual homosexuality is NOT (according to any fact I have seen) an act of sexual harm, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation. There is a reason this distinction is important when we ask people to be loving, accepting, accommodating and tolerant of all forms of immoral conduct vs just homosexuality itself which are two different things to ask of people.
posted by xarnop at 9:25 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know I'm being That Guy here, but

Say what you want about my generation, but we can smell fake from a mile away. This rapper from Seattle had brought us truth in song form, and we all knew it.

Jeeeeeeez.

I admire the spirit and message of Same Love as much as anybody, but cmon. He's a modestly talented rapper at best, with much more skill in PR-angling and viral-marketing than any actual musicianship.
posted by Soultron at 9:26 AM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I'm in my little blue holes, feeling like things are just never going to get any better, I just need to go back to the queer songs that buoyed my half-sunken spirit as a newly-minted out gay kid lost at sea in the midst of the Ronald Reagan Memorial AIDS Epidemic™.

Of course, my celestial Kate would speak to me directly, like she always did, and Pete Shelley was a coy boy, and Diana was coming out, with special guest star Larry Hagman, but music and culture then was more about Dire Straits and their faggot song and everyone else in pop culture you faggy faggot who's fagging up the whole faggy world with your faggotry AIDS AIDS AIDS gay. Elton John was still "bi," David Bowie was officially straight again, and George Michael was still rolling his eyes at all those silly rumors.

We made our way, but it was all while swimming against a mighty current.

It's such a different world. Things are not yet equal or fair, not by a long shot, but man, would I ever like to be coming out now instead of then.
posted by sonascope at 9:37 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


He's a modestly talented rapper at best, with much more skill in PR-angling and viral-marketing than any actual musicianship.

Why does everyone (except Maaik) forget about Ryan Lewis? I think he's pretty ace. Also, THIS.

Everybody says "fuck the middle man," so let's give some credit to artists who actually walk the walk.

I think I've become a big Macklemore fan – where should I go next, beyond the tiny desk concert?

If you like Macklemore (and Ryan Lewis!) and want to support him, I would start by purchasing the album "The Heist."

from the comments:

if I really believe homosexual behavior is a sin, and that willfully pursuing it will result in your eternal damnation, how can I claim to love you and not at least point that out?

The same goes for non-acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal savior. If you're going to hell, shouldn't Christians do every humanly thing possible (including torture) to get you to convert? Shouldn't they be telling all of us every day that we're going to hell? Aside from WBC and grand-standing TV preachers, not many do. It would be nice to see the gay-haters equally marginalized.

IMO, Mary Lambert is the revelation here. Check out the bandcamp link posted above.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:54 AM on April 11, 2013


When I'm in my little blue holes, feeling like things are just never going to get any better, I just need to go back to the queer songs that buoyed my half-sunken spirit as a newly-minted out gay kid lost at sea in the midst of the Ronald Reagan Memorial AIDS Epidemic™.

I found this album from the slightly earlier Anita Bryant days in my (landlord's) garage this past weekend: Lesbian Concentrate.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:55 AM on April 11, 2013


Your generation is the one generation "that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away

Well, other than every previous generation, which also prided itself on sussing-out its parents' bullshit.


To be fair, they do have "THE INTERNET," which has pretty much put a permanent bullet to the head of would-be Cliff Clavins.

I'd like to think that online exposure to diverse information and virtual experiences has inspired this sea change of mainstream opinion. After all, who can truly hate gay people (or any class of people) or discriminate against them once you have a good friend (or son) who is gay? The Internet makes that MUCH more possible than pre-1990-whatever.

Dude, they took an actual object of death and torture and turned that into a religious icon and you're upset they are using it to make political points?

I chuckled at that as well. Second commandment, motherfuckers!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:02 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's a modestly talented rapper at best, with much more skill in PR-angling and viral-marketing than any actual musicianship.

I'm not sure if this is too much of a derail, but I agree with the assessment of his talent, but I've heard a couple interviews with him, and he's pretty open about how they didn't expect Thrift Shop to blow up like it did, they've been doing this for a very long time, and it seems like this just clicked. *shrug* I'm not sure they're the PR-geniouses you're making them out to be.

I mean, the dudes been making records for over a decade, and just now getting some mainstream recognition. If they were that good at marketing their music, why wait 12 years to throw down a (albeit viral) hit?

Anyways. He seems pretty lucid with his message, and I think the entire post, discussion and just about everything in it is awesome. Good job metafilter.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:22 AM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


To be fair, they do have "THE INTERNET," which has pretty much put a permanent bullet to the head of would-be Cliff Clavins.

Well, what it's done is made it possible for Cliff to hang out in bars filled to the rafters with other Cliffs spouting and believing the exact same bullshit. Cliff was tolerable in the context of people who would call him out or ignore him. Cheers doesn't work as an enormous echo chamber.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:42 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your generation is the one generation "that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away

Well, other than every previous generation, which also prided itself on sussing-out its parents' bullshit.


Well, I'm one of those over-40s who's been kind of amazed with how quickly the barriers to gay people marrying are falling, and the polls say that it's mostly due to people under 35 just saying "gay? so what?", so I'm inclined to give them this one.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:17 AM on April 11, 2013 [13 favorites]


From the blog post:

Lots of things in culture are absolutely contradictory to love and equality, and we should be battling those things. The way culture treats women, or pornography? Get AT that, church.

...

You CAN have a conservative view on gay marriage, or gay ordination. You can.


When I read this, I thought that the comments would pick these two statements apart. Is it that MeFi is not as liberal as I thought, or that most people aren't actually reading the links?
posted by ILuvMath at 11:18 AM on April 11, 2013


One more thing ... Mary Lambert's solo original (also called) "Same Love" has verses that are stunning and so very sweet.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:21 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


"When I read this, I thought that the comments would pick these two statements apart. Is it that MeFi is not as liberal as I thought, or that most people aren't actually reading the links?"

Wait so you're suggesting that there is nothing wrong with the way culture treats women, or pornography, particularly from the not fucked up Christian perspective I mentioned up thread and xarnop appropriately expounded on? Or that we should be thought police?

She might not speak exactly the same language we typically do here, but she has essentially the same message. Honestly though I was also expecting some amount of silly meaningless fightiness and was pleasantly surprised.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:29 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you're looking for a church that accepts homosexuality ...

And to add to the list is my church -- The Congregational Church (United Church of Christ).
Marriage is one of the most significant institutions in our culture. The sacred and civil, church and state dimensions of marriage are complex and often muddled, which makes marriage one of the most challenging issues to discuss in the church and beyond.

On July 4, 2005, at the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, delegates voted to adopt the resolution, "Equal Marriage Rights for All." [PDF]
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


That a florist refusing the sell flowers for a gay wedding is a story worth telling is a sign that general opinion has shifted far enough in favor of equal rights that we, as a group, can get all shocked and huffy when reading said story. I'm sure that guy is not the first person to refuse to provide services to a gay wedding but now it's not ok with the majority of people and that, IMO, is progress.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:40 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gay marriage means more weddings. More weddings means more work for photographers, planners, florists, caterers, bakers, ice carvers, DJs, four-piece jazz combos, and on and on and on.

How Gay Marriage Impacts the Economy
From an economic perspective, many favor the idea of marriage equality. If same-sex marriage was legalized, both the wedding and divorce industry could receive a $9.5 billion boost from the nearly 800,000 same-sex couples currently living together. Municipalities would increase revenue because of wedding licensing fees; New York City received a reported $250 million in revenue after lifting their ban on gay marriage. Companies like Tiffany’s (TIF), Marriot (MAR), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) are just some that would feel the impact of this boom.

But business in general benefits from same-sex marriage, argues John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management-U.S.

“Companies who create an environment where employees are free to be authentically and completely who they are have more engaged employees and that translates into client and customer satisfaction,” says Taft. “I can tell you that if you do not extend benefits to same-sex partnerships, you are not competitive in the business world right now. The bottom line for excluding that population set from your benefit policy is going to be compromised not helped.”

Many business leaders have come out in support of same-sex marriage.
posted by ericb at 11:54 AM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


He's a modestly talented rapper at best, with much more skill in PR-angling and viral-marketing than any actual musicianship.

Pfft. I'm on his email newsletter. It's not some masterful usage of the medium, just a damn newsletter (fun fact: when they were filming the Thrift Shop video, they asked their fans, "Anyone know anybody that can let us use a DeLorean for a few hours?"). So, the aspersion that he's some crafty media mogul, a wannabe Lady Gaga, is pretty much horseshit.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:54 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I admire the spirit and message of Same Love as much as anybody, but cmon. He's a modestly talented rapper at best, with much more skill in PR-angling and viral-marketing than any actual musicianship.

Exactly. The fact that the message is good and the song is catchy doesn't make Macklemore or his music good. But music is my religion. Springsteen came out in support of marriage equality in 1996 but I wish he'd written a song about it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:40 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're looking for a church that accepts homosexuality ...

Unitarian Universalism
posted by mrgrimm at 3:51 PM on April 11, 2013


Blasdelb, I don't disagree with your overall points so this is maybe a nitpick (and a derail?) BUT:

[Paul] also states that porneia (πορνεία) is the only sin that should cause a Christian to not associate with those doing the sinning even if they aren't Christian:

I think the distinction in the bit you referenced is not among types of sins, but types of sinners--namely, those in the church and those outside of it. (This is reinforced by verse 12.) The emphasis should be:

"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?"
posted by torticat at 6:21 PM on April 11, 2013


I don't think Macklemore is a PR genius, or even had of those working on his behalf prior to Thrift Shop blowing up. I also don't think he's worth much as a rapper, really. But, I'm happy that he's doing his thing and he seems to be a genuinely good guy. I hope, though, that Thrift Shop dies out soon, because I just think it's a bad song.
posted by broadway bill at 9:59 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thrift Shop can stay, as long as it keeps the next would-be LFMAO hit from reaching total media saturation. When a segment of your song is the "sassy bed music" for a national morning talk/news show, your song is leaping great choreographed schools of sharks.


Going from that song to this song, I think I've become a big Macklemore fan – where should I go next, beyond the tiny desk concert?

I really love the full album (one of many full album streams on YouTube). Lots of great get-your-ass-up-and-dance songs, some somber ones, and songs in between. But to be honest, his discography is pretty short, so you could really listen to it all in about two hours, and take your pick from there.


My point was the audience should know the material, right?

I'd point back to arcticseal walking out of a church in Texas. The audience has reached such a critical mass that it's safe to go out to a "rap show" where there's a glorious song for marriage equality, and no one has to shuffle their feet and feel awkward. The audience knows the material, and they know they're safe there, safe to sing along and bliss out the beautiful dream of equality for everyone.

But would everyone there play the song for their parents? Or at a church gathering? No. Why? Because of expected conflicts in points of view. This article points out that there's a critical mass of young people who don't believe what the older generation is spouting.

Dear college kid: if you want to be a real radical in the church community, start your own church. Keep all the parts of your family church that you believe to be right and true, and toss out the rest. Read and comprehend the Bible enough to be able to stand your ground with comfort, and with the ability to speak with authority. Come on, college kids. DIY. Stop waiting for your family church to change for you.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


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