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"What if a person felt their religious view was that African Americans shouldn't mingle with Caucasians, or that women shouldn't work?"
April 10, 2006 5:10 PM   Subscribe

...a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment....Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait. By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. ... "Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse." Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all? Should they still be able to get school activity funding?
posted by amberglow (95 comments total)

 
also: ...
The Rev. Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical, frames the movement as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. "Christians," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian." ...


He's said to be DeLay's new boss. When the right to be Christian directly conflicts with the laws of the land and the official school and workplace policies, what happens?
posted by amberglow at 5:12 PM on April 10, 2006


Is this like the right to be a bigamist mormon?
posted by Red58 at 5:13 PM on April 10, 2006


It's offensive to secularists... but in so far as American Fundamentalist Theology goes he's not WRONG.

I think we all trip over ourselves pointing out how offensive these guys are when really what we should be questioning is their underlying rationale.

I personally don't want to live under any theocracy - be it Christian, Muslim or whatever... I think most Americans feel the same. So the best way to combat these guys is to point out how completely out of the mainstream they are.
posted by wfrgms at 5:21 PM on April 10, 2006


So I can discriminate against Christians since religion a choice, right?
posted by furtive at 5:29 PM on April 10, 2006


Why can't a lifestyle choice be protected?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:32 PM on April 10, 2006


When the right to be Christian directly conflicts with the laws of the land and the official school and workplace policies, what happens?

Uh...there's nothing "Christian" about behaving this way. There are lots of Christian denominations that will take issue with any presumption that it is, too. Not all Christians think it's a sin to be gay. It's just that the Christians that do seem to get all the attention.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:33 PM on April 10, 2006


By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists.

I can't imagine why anyone would do that. Conservative evangelicals are always so tolerant of other people.
posted by magodesky at 5:33 PM on April 10, 2006


I'm sick of people supporting gay rights on the basis that people are born either gay or straight. Gay rights should be supported because the government doesn't have a damn right to tell you what to do in your own home (if it doesn't bring harm to someone else).

A question for gay rights activists who use the "born gay" justification. If I'm straight and choose to engage in homosexual behaviour, should I not be allowed to do so?

Whether or not homosexuality comes with birth, by choice or from mars should not be part of the argument. It's about freedom.
posted by null terminated at 5:34 PM on April 10, 2006


A question for gay rights activists who use the "born gay" justification. If I'm straight and choose to engage in homosexual behaviour, should I not be allowed to do so?

Back at college, I assisted many of my straight friends in making this temporary lifestyle choice. Fun!
posted by digaman at 5:36 PM on April 10, 2006


So I can discriminate against Christians since religion a choice, right?

Funny because it's true. The nihilist teenager in me wants them to succeed, just to see how they feel when they started getting discriminated against for being Jesus freak assholes and can't do anything about it.
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:37 PM on April 10, 2006


Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.


So basically she is suing for the right to say bad things about homosexuals. Why does this not seem very Christian to me?

Christians Nazis," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian Nazis."

Christians Male Chauvinist Pigs," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian Male Chauvinist Pigs ."

Christians Ignorant Bigots," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian Ignorant Bigots."

Let's all sue for the right to be intolerant jackasses! That will surely lead to a better society!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:41 PM on April 10, 2006


I actually agree with you, null terminated. I'm not sure where it comes from, but I doubt it's about a "choice" or some inborn trait. I don't really care where it comes from, frankly, and the more I look into it the more it seems like something that just is, for whatever reason. I suspect us human monkeys, if genetically anything, are more likely to be bisexual than straight anyway. if those homophobes are reacting to their own closeted desires, that would help explain why so many people get their panties in a knot about gay people. (There was a study done not long about that showed that straight people who are homophobic are more likely to get turned on by gay porn.)

I'll never understand how these people can call themselves Christians. They clearly haven't paid much attention to Jesus if they think this is what he was about.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:45 PM on April 10, 2006


Free speech is a right, but forcing others to fund it or just take it standing still isn't
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:47 PM on April 10, 2006


You guys should check out this Bible I found. It totally changes Jesus' messages to be about loving your neighbour, helping the downtrodden, serving those lesser than you, and humbling yourself before God and your fellow man.

Yeah! All the parts about how being gay is the worst thing in the world, and forcing everyone to abide by your faith, and hating those who are different from yourself, and being an attention whore by whining about how oppressed you, a member of the majority, are—all gone! It's surreal.

I wonder if mine's the only copy like this. Must be.
posted by Zozo at 5:53 PM on April 10, 2006


Better than a society where you aren't allowed to say anything bad about anybody or anything.

Isn't very Christian, but it is very American (US at least) to have the freedom to say you hate gays, and to have it in the public domain when you said it, and to have every decent reporter bring up how you said it to any candidate for public office who takes money or support from you. Why isn't that how this should work?

I agree, it is absolutely none of the government's business, but many of the battlegrounds around gay rights are things that weren't really quite the government's business in the first place, but probably an inevitable part of running a society, government benefits to married spouses, government run or regulated child adoption, government recognition of power of attorney. I mean these really aren't the sodomy laws that people are after any more right? It just doesn't seem like it is about what you do in the privacy of your own home, now it is about what you can expect society, or at least legality, to publicly respect.

I mean is there a right way for the government to give out benefits to married couples? I can dimly see an argument being made that the entire point of these things is to provide a reason for people to have heterosexual sex and reproduce, because without a government stipend nobody would do it. (OK, so not THAT argument, but you know somebody must think it is stupid to fund homosexual sex when it won't produce a new future citizen. When my tax money goes to marriage I want to make sure it is creating the people who will pay for my social security when I retire!) And we've taken the bus completely past crazy-town. But there you go. (If this last paragraph offends you, bear in mind I think it is ridiculous, but there are people who think that society nurtures families because they produce new children, and adoption doesn't really seem to count to them from when I've seen it discussed.).
posted by SomeOneElse at 6:03 PM on April 10, 2006


Cosmic mindbender:
Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all?
Following in the way of whom and turning just exactly which cheek?

No cheeks jokes allowed. Seriously, they would alienate the devout.
posted by taosbat at 6:07 PM on April 10, 2006


Sorry, Hildegarde, it's been many a year since Christianity had anything whatsoever to do with the teachings of Christ (for most people -- I feel that about 5% of Christians are actually true to the original teaching, extrapolating it from the people I meet in NYC and dividing by half...)

Note that Christ preached freedom from personal possessions, money as evil, communal living, tolerance for thieves, prostitutes and the like. Note that Christ is the Prince of Peace. Note that Christians, at least as the mainstream so forcefully present themselves, love money and possessions, think Communism is equivalent to Satanism, and are aggressively intolerant of everyone who isn't exactly the same as they are.

I've pretty well reached the point where if I could press a button and wipe all of organized Christianity away, I would -- if I could save the Quakers and the Unitarians (who aren't really Christians anyway), so much the better. Generally, almost every story involving Christians these days is much like the one above. Why can't they all go to Heaven and let us live our lives and save the Earth from their negligence?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:11 PM on April 10, 2006


I know what you mean, Lupus. I've been feeling pretty discouraged myself, but every once in a while I read a story about an amazing Christian who does something that seems to be truly inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus and I remember how it could be. Like James Loney, who led a Christian anti-war mission to help Iraqi detainees. A truly selfless, good person, and a good Christian, who also happens to be a gay man in a commited relationship. How about that. He alone gives me hope for the faith.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:16 PM on April 10, 2006


The Christians in this case wouldn't seem to have a constitutional leg to stand on, but I'm not entirely unsympathetic. Diversity training is pretty lame.

And before people get too keen on unfavorably contrasting these folks to that kind, understanding old Jesus, remember: Christians aren't supposed to speak ill of fornicators, sodomites, people who eat shellfish and so on, but he is still going to send them to Hell if they don't 'repent.'
posted by Makoto at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2006


Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all?

Of course they should. Their right to attempt legal redress of things they believe violate the Constitution is inalienable, and a damn good thing too.
posted by tkolar at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2006


Religion is a choice. Does that mean he thinks we should be able to discriminate actively against christians? Or what?
posted by delmoi at 6:18 PM on April 10, 2006


lupus_yonderboy wrote...
I've pretty well reached the point where if I could press a button and wipe all of organized Christianity away, I would

Spoken with the limitless compassion and respect for humanity that you seem to expect from everyone but yourself.
posted by tkolar at 6:20 PM on April 10, 2006


I'm with you guys who say why people are gay doesn't matter when it comes to rights and laws and policies. Anti-discrimination laws and policies enable us all to live together without fear, and they're vitally important to us and our safety (and our employment in many cases)--they know that, and are attacking us with a thousand cuts, on all fronts--from adoption to certain professions to this. There are lawsuits going on throughout the country just like these. And there are 33 states where there isn't any employment protection, so private companies are really the front line--and only line.
posted by amberglow at 6:23 PM on April 10, 2006


So they're defending their right to choose to take away someone's right to choose to do something they don't like? But we're not allowed to choose to take away their right to take away someone's right to choose to do something they don't like if we don't like it?

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posted by Drexen at 6:29 PM on April 10, 2006


The right to not tolerate.
...brought to you by the same people that brought you: evolution is just a theory!

I can't wait!
posted by mullacc at 6:30 PM on April 10, 2006


Also, as long as all you other Christians continue to let these people act in your name, you're tarred with their brush. These people are doing it on your behalf, after all. It's beyond tiring how people pop up like clockwork to say that "those people aren't really Christians", when they're using your religion to hurt others--like that somehow absolves you from any responsibility, or washes your hands clean--it doesn't. It's not Christian behavior either, you know, i don't think. WWJD, no?
posted by amberglow at 6:35 PM on April 10, 2006


As a kind of devils advocate, who the hell is the government to say who I have to work with and who I don't? If I own a business and decide I don't want to hire gays etc, that's shitty certainly, but I should have the right to do whatever the hell I want.

At the core, this chaps arguments are simple libertarian principles. As bad as it sounds, these people should not be barred from being intolerant -- how far can government go in deciding what is appropriate to believe and do we even want a centralized power deciding such things?
posted by undule at 6:38 PM on April 10, 2006


...In Southworth v. Grebe, for example, a panel of the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that the UW student-fee system violates three "devout Christian" law students' first amendment rights when it takes money from them to fund a variety of student groups, including the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Campus Center. Unless overturned by the Seventh Circuit en banc or the U.S. Supreme Court, this ruling will allow individual students to block the funding of controversial or minority student groups and greatly diminish the range of views and expressive activities on campus.

Lambda argued in its amicus brief that the Seventh Circuit should have recognized that student fees fund a campus forum, just like taxes might fund a municipal auditorium. No individual student or taxpayer is coercively associated with any particular speech that goes on in that forum. Lambda entered the case on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Campus Center, and, as the litigation goes forward, we will continue to assert their first amendment interest in equal access to the funding forum, the only real first amendment interest at stake in the case. ...

posted by amberglow at 6:39 PM on April 10, 2006


I should have the right to do whatever the hell I want.

I'm not sure what world you live in, but it's not in the industrialized one with the rest of us.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:40 PM on April 10, 2006


Point of information: is it illegal to discriminate against Christians for being Christian?

I really don't know.
posted by washburn at 6:42 PM on April 10, 2006


undule, no one is barred from being intolerant--it's when you use your intolerance to remove protections from all others that you cross the line. The very existence of workplace anti-discrimination policies are under attack by these people. And you all are next, once they're done with us. Businesses have learned that a workplace where people don't have to fear--being slurred or insulted or fired or not promoted simply because they're gay or black or single or women, etc-- is good for business and good for retaining employees.
posted by amberglow at 6:42 PM on April 10, 2006


undule : All well and good and business-rights-tastic, but it results in gays having a shittier life for unfair reasons. One of the roles of the government is to protect minorities from bigotry and discrimination, at least in the concrete sense of being denied jobs just because someone doesn't like fags.
posted by Drexen at 6:44 PM on April 10, 2006


Seriously, all this bashing on Christians as a group is not a Good Thing.

The American Episcopalian church has ordained an openly gay bishop, which has caused a real issue with regards to their membership in the Anglican Communion.

How the Anglican Communion is dealing with this as a group is quite inspiring: they're talking about it, thinking about it, and letting some time go by to see how people feel in the long run rather than snapping to judgement.

The people raising a fuss about homosexuality and other things are by and large the Southern Baptists. And don't kid yourself, they are an oppressed minority, particularly by other Christians. They would like to claim the mantle of speaking for all of Christianity, but they have to deal with the Catholicism worldwide, and the rest of the Protestants in the U.S. both of which groups think that Southern Baptist theology is weak.

So really, if you really feel the need to bash a religion (and who doesn't?) you would do well to confine yourself to blasting the Southern Baptists, and not the millions of other Christians who are otherwise indifferent or in favor of your cause.
posted by tkolar at 6:46 PM on April 10, 2006


sure it is, washburn, but not if what they personally believe is contrary to the laws and Constitution. I personally believe a lot of things--they don't all coincide with our laws, nor do i need to sue until they do.
posted by amberglow at 6:47 PM on April 10, 2006


amberglow wrote...
Also, as long as all you other Christians continue to let these people act in your name, you're tarred with their brush. These people are doing it on your behalf, after all. It's beyond tiring how people pop up like clockwork to say that "those people aren't really Christians", when they're using your religion to hurt others--like that somehow absolves you from any responsibility, or washes your hands clean--it doesn't. It's not Christian behavior either, you know, i don't think. WWJD, no?

Let's see now....if someone was using my name in a way I didn't think was right, what would be the best way to counteract that?

Thinking...thinking... oh, I know, I could turn up wherever their words were being spread and let people know loud and clear that they not speaking in my name.

Great strategy, huh?
posted by tkolar at 6:49 PM on April 10, 2006


I would not presume to speak for women, but I simply do not understand how any heterosexual man who honestly remembers what it felt like when he went from being not- turned-on-by-women-at-all to being thoroughly turned-upside-down-and-inside-out by women, could ever suggest that sexual orientation is nothing more than a "lifestyle choice". Oh wait... yes I do. Such a person would be a hate-filled, conservative bigot, right? Am I warm, at all?
posted by Decani at 6:50 PM on April 10, 2006


Great strategy, huh?
Your strategy is an utter failure, and actually is helping them.

tkolar, i bash those who speak in your name to hurt me. You should be joining in instead of disassociating yourself. You can pretend that they don't speak for you, but you'd be wrong--just ask them--and you enable them and allow them to continue and grow by leaps and bounds by your pretence that they're not speaking and acting on your behalf--and that you're somehow a good Christian and they're not Christian at all. We who aren't Christian have already pretty much learned that your refusal to stop these people from using your religion for their own ends=acceptance of their attitudes and actions. You have completely abdicated your responsibility towards your brethren, and most importantly, towards the rest of us. Your words are not stopping their lawsuits and funding of candidates who will make their hateful beliefs the law of the land. Your words aren't even spreading the supposed "good" beliefs of some silent majority of Christians out there as an attempt to counteract this shit.

I'd sue them out of existence, like the SPLC did to some of the neo-Nazi groups, if i were you, but i think it's too late already. Remember these days when they come after you.
posted by amberglow at 7:00 PM on April 10, 2006


Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all? Should they still be able to get school activity funding?

Sure they can sue, but yeah if they win I will relish my right to ridicule people of faith at work, since religion is a choice too.

But sadly, the right to believe in an invisible spirit that grants wishes is guaranteed in the Constitution while being able to choose who you fall in love with isn't.
posted by illovich at 7:00 PM on April 10, 2006


Oh I understand the view, fellahs, I'm merely pointing out the other side has a plank to stand on.

I'm not sure what world you live in, but it's not in the industrialized one with the rest of us.


Well, to be specific, I live in 21st Century America, dude. How about you? Jiffy out a postcard from this industrialized world you speak of -- it sounds charming! And tell me more of this central planning thing, it should work wonders on the belief systems of the Prole!

I'm merely pointing out that there's a strong trend to libertarian thought in the US, a point that should be obvious, but hey.

To be clear, I'm a supporter of broad civil rights/anti-discrimination legislation but I also understand the counterpoint. It's basically illegal for these people to practice their religion as they have in the past -- "practice their religion" in this case is perhaps stretching it, but it's not such a wild-eyed notion.
posted by undule at 7:03 PM on April 10, 2006


I'm sorta curious.

What do these sorts thing when they think about Jesus' skin color. I mean, after all, he was middle eastern. Oh, and Jewish too.
posted by filmgeek at 7:03 PM on April 10, 2006


and it's not just Baptists, by any means.
posted by amberglow at 7:03 PM on April 10, 2006


I pretty much discriminate against Christians everytime I have the opportuity. If I understand you folks correctly this is supposed to be a bad thing?
posted by filchyboy at 7:04 PM on April 10, 2006


Yes, Ruth Malhotra, please save us from our sins.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:05 PM on April 10, 2006


Someoneelse: I mean is there a right way for the government to give out benefits to married couples? I can dimly see an argument being made that the entire point of these things is to provide a reason for people to have heterosexual sex and reproduce, because without a government stipend nobody would do it. (OK, so not THAT argument, but you know somebody must think it is stupid to fund homosexual sex when it won't produce a new future citizen.

You're assuming that the sole reason for giving married couples benefits is because they will reproduce. Another reason marriage is given financial benefits is that it stabilizes the economy and society-- people who are married are more likely (it's assumed) to buy real estate and build lives.

The short version of the argument is the joke: "Everyone who hates homosexual sex acts should support Gay Marriage, because that's the surest way to reduce homosexual sex acts in this nation." Or whatever. Har har har.

I'm straight, so is my wife. But the gay couple down the street is one of the better houses in the neighborhood, mainly because they haven't clogged our street with kids =P But I think it's totally obnoxious the shit they have to go through just to fucking write a will, or set up healthcare, and bullshit like that which is hard enough already.

I don't give a shit what your religion thinks of gay people, I don't care if you spend all Sunday concocting hell scenarios for the sodomites (you're a jerk if you do, though) == but for Christ's sake, I can not see the argument for their exclusion from baseline secular civil life and rights.
posted by illovich at 7:07 PM on April 10, 2006


What's odd here is that this shit is already covered in the 14th:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

It clearly says "all persons" -- we shouldn't need line-item bulleting of what that means, ie blacks, women, gays, three legged stumpers, midgets etc. The law is already there. It sad that we have this constant need to get, um, really effing specific.
posted by undule at 7:10 PM on April 10, 2006


And tell me more of this central planning thing, it should work wonders on the belief systems of the Prole!

Right, I'll take my communistic defending of workplace rights back to RUSSIA where it belongs.

In a society where having a job is basically essential to living, people have a right to be fairly considered for one. Surely you wouldn't prefer a fair-sized chunk of the populatuion to be consigned to the dole because of someone's whims?
posted by Drexen at 7:11 PM on April 10, 2006


amberglow: sure it is, washburn, but not if what they personally believe is contrary to the laws and Constitution.

It's perfectly legal for Christians to discriminate against non-Christians in many contexts, so I'm a bit surprised to hear that the reverse isn't true.

It's routine, for example, for non-believers (such as myself) to be excluded from consideration for jobs at thousands of colleges and universities with religious affiliations. Same goes for hospitals. So I'd sort of figured that discrimination on the basis of religious belief was more or less permitted, at least for non-profit organizations.

Of course your top-post is about the "right" to discriminate in private workplaces. I guess my observation would be the (obvious) one that what these Christians are seeking is an extension of a right to discriminate that, unfortunately, they've already managed to establish in many workplaces.

Probably non-Christians could establish anti-Christian non-profit hospitals, universities, charities, and tv stations and then bar Christians from working there. But there aren't enough secularists interested in that sort of institutionalized bigotry to make such a project workable.
posted by washburn at 7:15 PM on April 10, 2006


amberglow write...
tkolar, i bash those who speak in your name to hurt me.

No, you don't. I'm not a Christian and never have been. It gets back to that compassion for everyone thing.

However, as to your argument that someone else hijacking your name requires anything more than a rebuttal:

Amberglow informed me in private mail that he fully supports the current genocide in Sudan, and believes it should be continued until Dafur is completely depopulated.

Now, Amberglow, remember that simply rebutting me is not enough. You must now drop whatever you are doing and spend your time and energy focusing on Sudan instead of whatever is important to you. All because I used your name.

Have fun in Africa!

(note to casual readers, the bolded paragraph above is absolutely false)
posted by tkolar at 7:15 PM on April 10, 2006


"practice their religion" in this case is perhaps stretching it, but it's not such a wild-eyed notion.

That's not a stretch at all; practicing their religion is exactly what they're doing. Now, if practicing my religion involved, say, stabbing your eyes out with a fork, I suspect you'd be less tempted to entertain a strict libertarian position on the matter.

All because I used your name.

Wait, exactly whose name are we talking about? Jesus'? I suspect his advanced state of decomposition has interfered with his ability to rebut the things done in his name.

Also, after all those anti-gay-marriage ballot measures passed in 2004, do we really still have to pretend this is a minority Christian position? Or somehow limited to one particular denomination?
posted by boaz at 7:29 PM on April 10, 2006


Oh yeah I agree, I just think that this argument has gotten a lot less simple than the 'right of privacy in my own bedroom' thing that it started with, and while these folks are nuts, we can use this issue to look at some of the things our government stands for / supports, and why they are supported, and if maybe we should rethink some of those things. If the government is in the business of protecting the sanctity of any marriage, gay, straight, midget, three-legged or otherwise, I'm gonna say I find that pretty disturbing, mostly cause of the sanctity thing, and the government thing.

(Go lifeless authoritarianism! Have the government put aside a small stipend for Raising the Future of The Party, to any kinda of group of adults per child raised. .. Ok, honestly all these government programs just creep me the heck out).
posted by SomeOneElse at 7:30 PM on April 10, 2006


amberglow wrote...
and it's not just Baptists, by any means.

I see, you seek to tar the Methodists with your brush. Let's see now... oh yeah, the official United Methodist Church statement on the rights of homosexuals
Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation

Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for homosexual persons.

We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting their rightful claims where they have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law.

Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against gays and lesbians. We also commit ourselves to social witness against the coercion and marginalization of former homosexuals.
Them Methodists sure are evil.
posted by tkolar at 7:34 PM on April 10, 2006


Whoa!
Tkolar, Amberglow! You two are some of my favorite posters. Back to your corners and think things through a bit?
Please?
posted by Richard Daly at 7:37 PM on April 10, 2006


Oh, sorry for the inadvertent capitalization, you two. I blame my current fever.
posted by Richard Daly at 7:40 PM on April 10, 2006


Dear God, please let the Rapture happen soon so all the evangelicals will just leave us the fuck alone. Amen.
posted by mijuta at 7:41 PM on April 10, 2006


Also, as long as all you other Christians continue to let these people act in your name, you're tarred with their brush.

amberglow, seriously, what should we other Christians do about it? Firebomb them? I'm not going to say "zomg replace Christian with Muslim!1!!", but what should, or what can, we do?

We can try to let everyone know there's an alternative. Oh wait, that didn't work so well. Well, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. 'Course, that doesn't work either.

Hey, at least we can try an individual grassroots approach by saying "We're not all like that" when the topic comes up. Except then we're told that [i]t's beyond tiring how people pop up like clockwork to say that "those people aren't really Christians".

You say we should sue them out of existence. On what grounds? I'm coming up blank, except for trademark infringement, or defamation -- neither of which would ever, ever fly. Really, what do you think we should do?
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:06 PM on April 10, 2006


i'm angry, Richard, and each of these things and new fronts opened by them to deny me rights and protections and even basic safety makes me more and more angry--what sets me off here tho is this truly morally bankrupt bullshit about how there are "good" Christians and then those other ones. I'm not a Christian and i'm gay--i'm their target in more ways than one, and they're not going away, and they're doing it under the Christian banner and they're speaking for all Christians--they don't parse their words like people here do. (in 2003, it was only Falwell bringing these suits to the courts--now it's most of those "other Christians")

I think those "good" Christians are the new "good Germans", and if they do exist in any sort of numbers they must speak out louder than they are, and they must act before it's their turn, because it will be, even if they don't care about those of us who aren't Christian or straight being attacked now. Who do you think they'll turn their sights on when their easier targets are dealt with? Where does this end? Some of us have seen this movie before.

feel better tho--have soup and sleep and drink tons of liquids even when you don't want to.
posted by amberglow at 8:09 PM on April 10, 2006


Maybe you should read that book some more, and figure out what Jesus would want you to do. Possibly preach love for your neighbours?
posted by Hildegarde at 8:12 PM on April 10, 2006


It's beyond tiring how people pop up like clockwork to say that "those people aren't really Christians", when they're using your religion to hurt others--like that somehow absolves you from any responsibility, or washes your hands clean--it doesn't.

it's beyond tiring how people pop up like clockwork to say that "those child raping pederasts aren't really gay", when they are using your sexual orientation to hurt others--like that somehow absolves you from any responsibility, or washes your hands clean--it doesn't.

so until gay folk have totally eradicated all instances of homosexual child assault nobody can say anything positive about homosexuality, wouldn't you agree, amberglow?

geez, ambie, i love ya, but you really ought to examine the bigotry and fascist mindset lurking just under your convictions. they aren't furthering your cause.
posted by quonsar at 8:16 PM on April 10, 2006


Red58: you hit the nail on the head. The religious beliefs of Mormons' were not respected when the accession of Utah to the Union was conditioned upon the Church of the Latter Day Saints giving up their pro-polygamy beliefs. The state must always engage in a balancing test between the rights of majorities and minorities. Religions and members of a sexual minority do not get the same protection as does race (which is because of the origins of the 14th Amendment). Even gender discrimination does not get the same level of protection as does race.

It is sad that people pay attention to the likes of Ruth Malhotra and her Jewish orthodox sidekick. I do think that a private school ought to have the right to reprimand Ms. Malhotra spewing homophobic bigotry, but I think a more fitting response would be for the students to start spreading rumors that she was caught pleasuring herself while watching The L Word or that she tried to forcibly kiss a girl. Or having men start visiting her church and ask if she was there because she gave a really good blowjob for $5. Or have people start accusing her of having been seen sneak out of the abortion clinic the previous week. She could have her come-uppence in so many ways.

I am increasingly alarmed by how much Christianity is constantly a part of the public discourse here in the US. Every time the Pope sneezes, CNN covers it. This nation was gripped by the succession at the Vatican for weeks, and the majority of people here are not Catholic. It was "The Passion" last year, and now "The Ten Commandments" is going to be all the rage.

That these rabid Christians are going after abortion or gay rights is unfortunate. Previously they used their religion to go after adulteress women, racial minorities, Jews. And if society comes to a consensus that abortion should be allowed and homosexuality is cool, then they will move on to other forms of bigotry, just as they sort of let up on blacks and Jews. That is the nature of the monotheistic faiths. While each of the three faiths preaches goodness and love and tolerance, each is self-contradictory because it also preaches intolerance and defines 'sin' and those who are 'sinners' narrowly. While it is difficult for religious zealots to be whipped up into a frenzy about things like truth-telling and chasing down liars (or frankly even wanting to render illegal adultery), it is easier for them to focus on those who transgress more defined and tangible boundaries (like those who have abortions or who engage in gay sex), and particularly against those who are flagrant about their sinning. This sort of religious orthodoxy is a perversion, and I'm not sure what can be done about it.

However, I don't think all Christians need to constantly distance themselves with the more rabid ones. The same applies to the less rabid in other faiths. That's like saying that every American must self-flagellate him or herself every day for having allowed Dubya to become President, whether one voted for him or not.
posted by Azaadistani at 8:20 PM on April 10, 2006


Maybe you should read that book some more, and figure out what Jesus would want you to do. Possibly preach love for your neighbours?

I'm pretty sure that's, you know, kind of a big priority. Thanks. In case I wasn't clear, I was asking amberglow what he, specifically, thought we should do to differentiate ourselves if it pisses him off when we say we're different.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:24 PM on April 10, 2006


Really, what do you think we should do?
I think you (and we) treat them like other hate groups, for just one suggestion: ...Innovative trial strategies to shut down white supremacist organizations and combat injustice are part of the Center's ongoing legacy. Notorious hate groups, such as the Aryan Nations, have been toppled by remarkable monetary damages won by the Center. The American Bar Association, the ACLU, Common Cause, and the National Bar Association are just a sample of the organizations that have lauded the Center's legal efforts.
As part of its legal agenda, the Center continues to combat the forces of extremism while working to protect the powerless in our society. ...

These people are the forces of extremism.

I think you use every possible tool at your disposal--and there are many social justice tools, and legal tools and civic action tools and economic tools. I think if they truly are making this a Christian nation, then they can be acted against in a truly Christian manner and the system can be used to shame and ridicule them, even if lawsuits are dismissed--the publicity would be priceless. I really think they can most effectively be acted against in some Christian way, which means Christians all over the country have to educate all other Christians about these people, and about how what they're doing is not Christian at all, and then take action against them. If there's excommunication or whatever, that needs to be used too--like what they pulled with Kerry in Catholic Church, by denying him communion. There must be tons of ways, i guess. How come churches all the time kick people out, and excommunicate them, and deny them things, etc, yet you guys are all powerless against these people spreading hate under your name? What good is being millions strong under an umbrella that's supposed to stand for love and care and good things?

They use your giant numbers to bolster their hate, and you're helpless? I refuse to buy that. I really don't want to think that most of you agree with them--please prove it isn't so.
posted by amberglow at 8:31 PM on April 10, 2006


"Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor.

No fucking shit Sherlock.

I dunno, maybe they're marginalized because they're WRONG.

Ever think of that?

And maybe people like you are being marginalized for the same reasons.
posted by Relay at 8:31 PM on April 10, 2006


Jeebus, these people are getting great at manufacturing oppression. As if there weren't enough of the real thing to go around.
posted by moonbird at 8:41 PM on April 10, 2006


I should have the right to do whatever the hell I want.

At the core, this chaps arguments are simple libertarian principles.


No, they aren't. Simple libertarian principles are that your rights end at my nose. Mentalfundalist principles are that your rights end where they stop following the laws of scripture, as determined by whoever can read the loudest.

The important difference between religious bigotry and sexual orientation is not that one is a choice and the other isn't, but rather than one causes material harm to other people and the other doesn't.
posted by scottreynen at 8:43 PM on April 10, 2006


it's beyond tiring how people pop up like clockwork to say that "those child raping pederasts aren't really gay", when they are using your sexual orientation to hurt others--like that somehow absolves you from any responsibility, or washes your hands clean--it doesn't.
Nope--simple facts and statistics do--the vast vast majority of pedophiles are straight. And pedophiles don't use the "Gay" banner to do their evil work. They don't justify and bolster their shit by using us and our silence. You show me one example ever of a pedophile group marching to court using the "Gay" label. They don't pretend they're speaking for all Gay people, unlike the Christians trying to remove my rights and protections daily.
posted by amberglow at 8:44 PM on April 10, 2006


Here's another set of links to studies and statistics. It's a very easily disproven myth, only kept alive by those very same hateful people i'm talking about.
posted by amberglow at 8:50 PM on April 10, 2006


"it's those bad christians that make us afraid of THEM"

"it's those bad immigrants that make us afraid of THEM"

"it's those bad blacks that make us afraid of THEM"

sounds like the same old song to me
posted by pyramid termite at 8:53 PM on April 10, 2006


I'm up for treating hate groups like hate groups. In fact, it's funny that you linked to the Southern Poverty Law Center; so does she. In fact, that's partly why the UCC supports tolerance.org. I know there's other stuff going on with the UCC opposing fundamentalism, but it's past my bedtime (early class tomorrow). I'll do it tomorrow if you can't find anything yourself (I'm a UCC Congregationalist, aka "United Church of Christ," if it helps the search).

The problem with the excommunication idea is that we don't have one guy who speaks for all Christians or even all Protestants. Christianity is split into two main divisions (I'm simplifying...a lot). One division is Catholicism, which is run by the Pope; he's their head honcho, and can officially say "You're no longer a Christian" to people he doesn't like (although only Catholics care). But Protestantism branched off from Catholicism, thanks to Martin Luther, and one of the reforms/tenets was that Protestants didn't want one big cheese. Now, a million squabbles later, there are hundreds of different denominations of Protestants. One is really no more legit than another, and none have any way of saying "You have to get out" to the others. I mean, it might be nice in this case, but we can't. We can say "Hey, my denomination A reaaaaally doesn't think your denomination B is right," but since denomination B is convinced denomination A is hell-bound, denomination B doesn't really care.

Some Protestant denominations -- Anglicans, Methodists -- have a big boss or a group of big bosses who run the whole denomination, and who, I guess, can kick people out of the denomination. The UCC doesn't even have that. So there's no formal way Protestants can disavow, or kick out, other Protestants.
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:01 PM on April 10, 2006


ewww!!!

I should have a right not to have seen that pic.
posted by pwedza at 9:33 PM on April 10, 2006


They should just outlaw harrassment of any kind in the workplace, whether based on sex, race, religion, sexuality, wearing the wrong colour t-shirt to work, or whatever.

I don't understand why they have to have these specific rules. When people harrass other people why is it OK in some cases but not others? Why do we say it's ok to pick on someone sometimes?
posted by Jelreyn at 9:57 PM on April 10, 2006


Let us Pray for The End of Faith
posted by oncogenesis at 10:07 PM on April 10, 2006


Jelreyn, that's what these people are fighting against--many places (especially public universities and corporate workplaces) have done exactly that, and they hate it--they feel it puts us on the same level as "real minorities". This is not about her being Christian so much as it's about putting us back in our place--in the closet and afraid and without any recourse if mistreated. If you read the ewww link, you see this woman's focus is not about religion or faith at all.
posted by amberglow at 10:58 PM on April 10, 2006


I have one question for everyone south of the border... where are you going, and what are you doing in that handbasket?

Wait... I just heard there was a sale on those things recently, and Stephen Harper bought one too. Fuck.


And for all of you saying it doesn't matter whther it's a choice or not: it does matter. I'm not going to bother getting into that argument again; most of you simply do not have the capacity to understand it, by simple dint of never having been in our shoes. By the same token, men can't truly understand what it's like to bear a child; this isn't an insult, an attack, anything like that. It's just not a feature that appears on your mental landscape. That's all.

The reason it matters is that so long as these bigots are able to frame the discussion in terms of 'lifestyle choice', despite the fact that it very clearly is not, then they can do several things:

1) Attract people to their banner who may be uncomfortable about homosexuality. Once it's presented as a choice, then those goldurned homos are choosing to make me feel this way!

2) Reinforce the ideas of sin and shame and repression.

3) Very conveniently ignore their own religion's central teachings. If we are, as they claim, responsible for our desires*, then we deserve anything they do. If, as is the case, we are simply born this way, then they're forced to realize that maybe God has a reason for it. Not just that, but they would be forced to actually treat us as people. As victims, possibly--I'm sure many would. Look at the proliferation of groups like Exodus, and 're-education' camps for queer youth.


* Yes, we're responsible for our desires inasmuch as we choose to act on them. We're not responsible for having the desire in the first place, no matter what Saul of Tarsus had to say on the issue.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:07 AM on April 11, 2006


Uh...dirty, some of us who are not feeling all that sure about the inborn trait/choice dichotomy are gay.

I realize it's politically expedient to buy into the inborn trait/choice debate by shouting out "I WAS BORN THIS WAY". That doesn't make it more accurate, however. Saying that doesn't immediately throw us into the lifestyle category, however; I'm just saying I'm fairly sure there's a third way, and that defining ourselves based on the bigoted worldview of the nutty Christians comes with a price.
posted by Hildegarde at 4:45 AM on April 11, 2006


Religion is a choice. Does that mean he thinks we should be able to discriminate actively against christians? Or what?

Congrats, delmoi. You get the "I was too lazy to even read FOUR comments into the thread" award.
posted by beth at 4:48 AM on April 11, 2006


I don't understand why they have to have these specific rules. When people harrass other people why is it OK in some cases but not others? Why do we say it's ok to pick on someone sometimes?

Because people are assholes. Just look at us - we are social apes that arrange ourselves in hierarchies. Hierarchies imply being able to harass those below you. It's in our genes.

We're getting more civilized, but it's a very slow process. Made slower by the fact that we let even the most uncivilized among us breed as much as they want. *Sigh*.

But I'm a radical psycho who thinks we should breed things like inappropriate aggressiveness and rape out of the species, for the good of all. No one agrees with me. So this stuff will be with us forever.
posted by beth at 4:52 AM on April 11, 2006


The reason it matters is that so long as these bigots are able to frame the discussion in terms of 'lifestyle choice', despite the fact that it very clearly is not

The reason it doesn't matter is that framing is not successfully countered by facts, rather by better framing. See Don't Think of an Elephant. The "not a choice" debate doesn't get us anywhere in the struggle for equality even if we're proven right. Depression is not a choice either, but suicide is still illegal. Congratulations, you've proven your facts, but we still have inequality!

most of you simply do not have the capacity to understand it, by simple dint of never having been in our shoes

I don't want to live in a country with systematic inequality. I may need your shoes to feel sorry for you, but I don't need them to care about justice.
posted by scottreynen at 5:28 AM on April 11, 2006


yup. the fact that they believe our sexual orientation is some kind of "choice" (unlike their religious beliefs???) is meaningless in court, in terms of our rights and in terms of the equal treatment they refuse to let us have. Any workplace or college has all sorts of rules and regulations--some deal with inborn traits, and some deal with choices.

We can't fight this kind of court case on why it is that we are how we are in the first place and they know that--it's the proven record of harassment and discrimination against us and against other groups named in the policies and rules that have caused these policies to exist. People who bring these cases to try to eliminate these policies--or to wipe us alone off of them--must prove that the harassment and discrimination against us and/or other groups either doesn't exist--or that their own group should be added to the list, i think.
posted by amberglow at 6:43 AM on April 11, 2006


It's funny and sad how there's no mention at all of her faith in that "ewwww" link about her campus attacks on feminism (not from a religious perspective at all, btw). She's one of many college students being funded by the right wing to bring these kinds of suits, and describes herself as a "conservative activist" there.
posted by amberglow at 7:30 AM on April 11, 2006


As an Aztec I’m offended by policies to protect the deeply religious from my right to cut them open and burn their still beating hearts as a sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli, the God of the Sun. People with great (albeit misguided) faith have the spiritual power of their hearts trapped in Mictlan. They are not born with this power, rather they choose to limit the flow of spiritual power to the Sun by their ignorance or non-acceptance of the true faith.
Understand - I do not merely wish to slaughter people by the hundreds of thousands (that’s merely a side benefit). The universe will cease functioning after a cycle of 52 years if the Gods are not strong enough to support another cycle. By offering this kind of human sacrifice it gives strength to the Gods to survive another 52 year cycle.

I am not asking that my right to worship and to save the universe be placed over the rights of a human to live. I am merely stating that by accumulating and hoarding spiritual power, these people have chosen to harm the universe and that energy must be released in order to keep the Gods strong.
Those who do not choose keep this power from Huitzilopochtli, Ehecatl, Huehueteotl, and the other skybearers will of course not be harmed.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:52 AM on April 11, 2006


WWJD:
Let's see: knot up some cords into a nasty whip, then chase them all away. Jesus wasn't always sweetness and light.
posted by Goofyy at 9:23 AM on April 11, 2006


To answer your questions:
No and no.
You do realize that these people are not actually "Christians" -- don't you?
posted by mooncrow at 9:31 AM on April 11, 2006


Also -- this is exactly the kind of arguments that could have preceded the abolition of slavery and that little American spat we called the Civil War -- to wit: "our Imaginary Giant White Father in the Sky says its just dandy to consider other human beings as property. If you say that is bad, then you are calling us racists! Boo hoo!"
Please explain how this is any different. Provide detailed examples without reference to the Bible or similar mythological meme systems.
posted by mooncrow at 9:37 AM on April 11, 2006


amberglow wrote...
i'm angry

Which pretty much sums up your original post and all of your comments since then. Why you thought the news that you were angry deserved an FPP, I'll never know.

The two largest and most successful civil rights movements in the last century were the Indian Independence movement and the American Civil Rights movement. Both of them succeeded by managing the anger of their participants and using their reserve to gain the moral high ground. Both of them produced true heroes, Gandhi and MLK, who followed policies of building bridges to other groups wherever possible.

The Gay Rights movement needed a Stonewall to galvanize it, but the progress made since then has been based on the gay communiity reaching out to others. More than any other group, GLAAD has reached the media with a "gay people are just folks" message. They have sought, successfully, for people to recognize that gay people are all around and already part of their lives.

Suits such as the one linked to above will be not be decided, thankfully, by angry ranting on the internet. They will be decided by judges or juries that have gay family members, friends, or neighbors. They will be decided by people who identify with homosexuals as "just folks", trying to get through their day like everyone else.

Fortunately, the larger Gay movement recognizes this and has made continuing progress in "normalizing" homosexuality. Oprah and her homosexual friendly show is welcome in households across the U.S. The only person who competes with her demographics? Ellen Degeneres. Both of these shows include homosexuality as something that just is, and neither of them spew random hate and vitriol at Christians.

I would encourage you to take your anger, manage it, and use the driving force it gives you to reach out to other groups. People don't respond well to emotional blackmail, but you'll often find they're willing to help if you just ask them, one human to another.
posted by tkolar at 10:53 AM on April 11, 2006


Suits such as the one linked to above will be not be decided, thankfully, by angry ranting on the internet. They will be decided by judges or juries that have gay family members, friends, or neighbors. They will be decided by people who identify with homosexuals as "just folks", trying to get through their day like everyone else.

You're wrong--the past few years has shown that while social acceptance grows and grows, legal acceptance and very hard-fought rights and protections are being lost. This article shows just another example of that drive to remove protections and rights. The anti-gay state amendments supported by majorities show that as well, and there are more to come in November.

There is direct negative correlation between us being "just folks" trying to get through their day like everyone else and the gaining of rights desperately needed, and the prevention of the loss of those rights. In fact, the "normalization" of gays and lesbians as "just folks" contributes to the non-support we receive in the polling booth, and the courthouses. This non-support is hurting us greatly, and gives straight people an out. Populations made up of "just folks" don't need ENDA or fights about Sodomy or protection from being kicked out of jobs or housing or schoolhouses or being prevented from adopting.

We're losing rights and protections daily--we're not "just folks" until we have those rights and protections that our neighbors have. Every school or company that removes us from or amends their anti-discrimination policies as a result of these hateful assholes hurts us--it doesn't hurt our neighbors at all, and they've shown they don't care, if their votes against us, and apathy towards our struggles are any indication.

You paint me however you want--i know what i'm losing, and i know who's being hurt by the fights being waged against us. I also know that calling it "angry ranting" is shit, and further makes your point about "just folks" a lie. I am "just folks" just as much as that sweet gay couple down the street whose house is so beautifully decorated. Too bad one of them was fired the other day just for being gay, huh? Too bad they can never marry or adopt, huh? Too bad that when one was sick the other couldn't even visit in the ER, huh? ... Their "too bad"s don't help, and they're not willing to go further than that--it's been proven already.
posted by amberglow at 11:39 AM on April 11, 2006


You're wrong--the past few years has shown that while social acceptance grows and grows, legal acceptance and very hard-fought rights and protections are being lost. This article shows just another example of that drive to remove protections and rights. The anti-gay state amendments supported by majorities show that as well, and there are more to come in November.

Really? What rights have we lost, exactly? The anti-gay state amendments may keep us from gaining rights we didn't have, but we've never had them.

Personally, as an openly gay man, I'm more confident than ever that what we're seeing is the beginning of the end for anti-gay discrimination. It may take many years for it to end entirely, and we'd both like it to be gone now, but where you see setbacks, I see progress.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:08 PM on April 11, 2006


From the article:
Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

It turns out that Georgia Tech's speech code only prohibits things that create a hostile learning environment. So Little Miss Jesus Freak is lying through her teeth.
posted by darukaru at 3:16 PM on April 11, 2006


You really have my deepest compassion amberglow. I hope some day your life will take you to a place where you are not so wrapped up in anger that you all you can do is lash out.

In the meantime however, whenever you attempt to spread hate and intolerance when I am around, you can expect me to call you on it.
posted by tkolar at 4:36 PM on April 11, 2006


Really? What rights have we lost, exactly? The anti-gay state amendments may keep us from gaining rights we didn't have, but we've never had them.

You're mistaken--many many local and municipal domestic partnership, equal benefits, and other laws and all their attendant rights --fought for for decades--were and are and will be wiped out by these state amendments. There are more coming too. All you have to do is Google for them: take Florida, Michigan, Utah and Ohio, for just some examples: ... In their brief, backers of the initiative claimed that it would not disturb domestic partner health benefits offered by several municipalities in Florida because they are not the "substantial equivalent" of marriage. However, Liberty Counsel took the opposite position when it challenged the City of Gainesville's policy of providing domestic partner health benefits to its lesbian and gay employees. In that case they argued that the city's domestic partner benefits "mimics marriage" and "establishes a relationship that is the equivalent of marriage" in violation of state law prohibiting marriage by same-sex couples. Attorneys for the Liberty Counsel drafted the proposed anti-marriage amendment and are the attorneys for the group pushing the amendment.

Today's reply brief notes that similar initiatives have passed in other states and have subsequently been used to cause harm to same-sex couples. Michigan's Attorney General has claimed that the amendment passed there bans domestic partner health benefits for state employees. Similarly, a Utah court is being asked to decide if that state's amendment bars Salt Lake City from providing domestic partner health benefits to its lesbian and gay employees. An Ohio amendment has been used as basis to deny straight unmarried couples access to protections from the state's domestic violence laws. ...


I could provide a long list of the rights lost just since 04, let alone 01. Public opinion changes are not translating at all to legislative, rights, protections, or other wins, and in fact this emphasis solely on being good neighbors and "just folks" is setting us back by making it seem that we already are ok and protected --like every single straight person and couple and family around us.
posted by amberglow at 4:36 PM on April 11, 2006


In terms of what people can do to stop these hateful people from hurting us, i got a very nice email from a lurker who's right now on an Equality Ride: It's a two month bus trip around the country to 19 religious and military colleges and universities that have policies that ban the enrollment of GLBT students. Our basic thought is that religion based oppression of GLBT people is at the source of all societal oppression of GLBT people. At these schools we're a) speaking to the LGBT students and letting them know that they are NOT a sickness or a sin and that they can indeed be gay and Christian and b) talking to the rest of the campus about what they can do to be allies to these students. Obviously there's a lot more involved but that's a really basic rundown and I thought you might be interested in hearing about it. Right now we're at Brigham Young University. Several of us were arrested yesterday for attempting to give a speech on campus

And she goes on to say something i never ever hear here: I did want to address the concept of Christianity and gayness. I've got tons of thoughts on the concept because it's pretty much all I've been thinking about for the last five weeks. I constantly question what makes me stick with Christianity knowing how much has been done in its name to hurt GLBT people. I think I just have so much faith in the Church as an institution to do good works and to affect positive, real change within the world. I do feel like straight affirming Christians are called to work to end discrimination toward GLBT people within the Church and to speak out and say "NOT in our name."
posted by amberglow at 5:08 PM on April 11, 2006


“And she goes on to say something i never ever hear here...”

Can’t help you on that front amberglow, I’m not a Christian.
I’m not gay either, but I suspect that’s fortunate if you’re promoting acceptance.

Personally, as an openly straight man, I’m entirely in favor of the eradication of anti-gay discrimination and I make my views known.

I recognize that there have been setbacks lately, but I agree with me & my monkey that there has been a lot of progress.

I think social acceptance is fairly crucial. That’s already solid in many quarters. The matter of equal representation under the law then becomes self-evident. I think the idea behind the “just folks” thing is acceptance as humans. Sorta like the Rosa Parks thing. Stop seeing her as a ‘negro’ as an ‘other’ and see her as just a tired working person and the situation becomes obvious.

I was walking downtown (Chicago) a bit back with my wife, holding hands. We saw two men walking towards us holding hands and my first thought was “another couple.” Then three guys came out of a store and started laughing at them. I think they said “fags” or some such. I said “What are you fucks from Kansas?” The female in a M/F couple behind us said “Assholes” about the same time. Her guy was pretty large as well.
And we all had a nice ‘do something about it’ look between the four of us males at the three of them. They split.
It was a nice day in the city.

The point is more and more often people like that will be looked at in more and more places as stupid and hateful. Consider - what if they said “kikes” to a Jewish couple or “niggers” to a black couple?
Two couples who didn’t know them were instantly appaled and, more importantly, spoke up.
10 - 20 years ago, would we have spoken up? Today, it pissed off strangers enough to insult and threaten the idiots.

I’m a conservative. If we were talking 30 years ago I’d tell you it takes time to change. On principle I agree that all humans should have equal treatment under the law. But 30 years ago I would doubt that society was ready.

Now, I think it’s not only ready, it’s the standard. I think the discriminatory law in this case is artificially attempting to impose itself on society.
Anyone who knows history knows that’s the last gasp of any dying tradition.

You’re not alone. But - I’ve got black friends. I trust anyone I call my friend at my back and they trust me at theirs.
But I’ll never know what it’s like to be black. As much as I can sympathize or whatever I can do - it’s not my fight.
Certainly as a human being, it deeply concerns me. But it’s not personal. It can’t be. I’m not gay. I can do what I can do. But I’m not living it.

But again - doesn’t mean you’re alone man.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:56 PM on April 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I know, and thanks--i get very angry about it all--this death by a thousand cuts, in a thousand places at the same time is perhaps the worst thing that can be fought against--more and more places are under attack for not allowing hatred to flourish from companies to colleges to statehouses to high schools, and 9 more states have hate amendments on their ballots in Nov. which pushes the total to well over 30 states. There's still no federal employment protection, nor housing protection, let alone marriage and family rights. The Supreme Court is quickly becoming not an option for justice either.

So, where to turn? To you guys--to all of us--does it matter or not? Once an amendment is passed (and the majority of them are passing), it's not easy to get them removed. In June, Frist will be pushing the Fed. Amendment again to rile up voters. There aren't enough of us gay and lesbian people to fight this alone, and seeing us as "just folks" and neighbors doesn't really make people understand the problems people face daily, nor the essential injustices. Just as some people thought that SD banning abortion would have to happen to wake people up about women's rights and that they're not automatic, God forbid we find out what it would take to wake people up about us and our rights--it'll be way worse.
posted by amberglow at 8:20 PM on April 11, 2006


It was "The Passion" last year, and now "The Ten Commandments" is going to be all the rage.

"No quarter. Kill them all. It's God's will."

Rage indeed.
posted by homunculus at 11:19 PM on April 11, 2006


"It is our diversity that gives us strength."
-- Gov. Ernie Fletcher, proclaiming "Diversity Day" in Kentucky in a speech to schoolchildren -- after signing an executive order removing sexual orientation from the state's anti-discrimination laws. ... Fletcher replaced the 2003 employment policy of former Gov. Paul Patton with one that bans employment discrimination because of "race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, veteran status and disability."

It makes no mention of sexual orientation. Patton's policy included protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

posted by amberglow at 6:36 PM on April 14, 2006


Private Christian colleges would be excepted from local and state non-discrimination laws under a proposed amendment to the Higher Education Act - a move that would allow the schools to legally reject LGBT students.

The amendment, proposed by Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), would prevent accrediting boards from making adherence to non-discrimination laws a requirement.

The measure passed the House last week and is currently before the Senate ...

posted by amberglow at 10:41 PM on April 20, 2006


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