Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Says who?

Fractured, as a reminder to myself that in high school I used to
get laughs by imitating a gay person, sashaying, gesticulating, throaty,
lisping, too loud, flamboyant, clowning a stereotype. I didn't know any
gay people, so who was I hurting? Of course, now I know better.
I've lived a little, as they say. Now I'm way over here on the side,
waving the rainbow flag.
Everybody, may I have your attention, please?!

Conduct all of your pivotal, historic, norm-shattering news so that it happens on Mondays and Wednesdays, from now on. Thank you.

It's not so hard, really, if you focus.

That way I can appear au courant with my commentary, if only for appearance's sake.

This dropping-a-news-bomb-on-Friday business will not do, because then I've gotta wait all the way until Tuesday to say something about it.

Then I'm late to the party with nothing new to say.

In other words, like always.

The habit of creating news for Mondays and Wednesdays allows me to be first with nothing to say. If I can do Tuesday/Thursday blog posts, how hard can it be to pull your weight?

If you're keeping score: U.S. Supreme Court decides corporations are people and that money can flow in vast unlimited anonymous quantities into elections, enabling purchase of our so-called representatives to the highest bidder, and the people say "Meh!" and politicians say, "Amen!"

Supreme Court decides same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, and half the world feels the sky falling and half the politicians say, of all things, let's get rid of the Supreme Court. Right before we turn out the light, because the world's going to end in a cataclysmic fireball of God's retribution any second now, anyway.

This would all be a madcap riot of a movie, of the kind starring Jonathan Winters and Melissa McCarthy and Dick Shawn and Phyllis Diller and Vince Vaughn and a cast of hundreds, were it not so sadly true.

With lightning speed and straight faces, some of the hundreds of Republic presidential candidates have framed Friday's Supreme Court decision as an attack on religion, that priests and pastors will goosestep to the government's bidding or perish, because that's what their base really wants to believe.

We'd all be more free, I guess, if we goosestepped to some religion's orders instead.

The decision has nothing do with religion, but no matter.

(Last week I drove by a Catholic parish, not mine, and saw a banner hanging over the church sign: "God's marriage equals one man plus one woman." The banner actually obliterated the church sign, and my journalism professor taught me that if an image is placed in front of the headline or masthead, the message becomes more important than the headline or masthead. Since I don't drive that route often, I don't know how long the banner had been up, or if it was hung in advent of the Supreme Court decision. It was gone this week. I think it was Our Lady of Overkill.)

The court has enabled civil same-sex marriages across the country, where it had been legal in most states. Same-sex married couples would have the same benefits across all states, and not risk loss of benefits and privileges as a married couple if they happen to move to a state where such marriages had been illegal.

Would. Had been. It ain't over 'til the fat politicians stop singing.

Mike Huckabee has called for civil disobedience, encouraging county and city clerks across the country to ignore the Supreme Court ruling. Rand Paul says marriage should be privatized and government should get out (What would that leave us with? Oh yeah, churches!). Former Supreme Court clerk and attorney before the court Ted Cruz says the court is lawless.

Who plays Mike Huckabee in that madcap movie? Dan Ackroyd?

This is a states' rights issue! They shout. Let the states decide.

Yes, let's put all civil rights back up to popular vote. What's that? African-Americans go back to the back of the bus?! We have so ordered; is it my fault if voting has been made difficult for you because you may be poor and/or African-American? Women? Too bad about the ground you gained, but a gerrymandered majority voted against it.

Substitute any person or group for whom civil rights are now guaranteed, for "gays" or "homosexuals" in the vitriol opponents are spilling over the court's new decision, and you see how silly is this protest.

It is based on some questionable assumptions, from supposedly the highest minds in our society:
  • God made marriage. Hmmm. I believe God can bless a marriage, but I rather think marriage is a human invention, a solution for many problems of the heart and head. I think religion is an invention too, the human reaching up or in to understand the soul, the mystery of beginning, the wonder of the world, of which we feel guilt to be part. Sometimes this invention of religion is created and used for noble purposes, sometimes for control and evil.
  • God made marriage to be between a man and a woman. Again, hmmm. Because the Bible tells us so? Maybe the Bible is inspired by the word of God, as all other such documents; maybe it is a construct decided on over time by various committees of men, to meet certain needs and cause certain effects, and one of those effects is marriage between a man and a woman, effective for begetting more humans, straight or gay.

    Maybe it's true that children grow up optimally when raised by a father and mother, but that's not the only optimum, as changing demographics and family relationships have begun to show.
  • Marriage has been the way to go since "the dawn of time," a phrase I heard a lot over the week. Says who? The Bible again? On what hemisphere, the one in which history has been written? Has marriage really been the same the world over, since this dawn of time? The way to go for what? Romance? Political position? Acquisition of property? Alliance between nations? Production of farmhands.

    Procreation: Couldn't happen without sexual union between man and woman, not until recently. Marriage: Not necessarily so.
  • Marriage is sacred. Divorce shows it is not. Marriage can be sacred, and as Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion, same-sex couples are seeking the opportunity for that opportunity to higher ideals that are accorded to couples in traditional marriage; and by extension, the risk of the heartache and damage of divorce.
We truly have important and terrifying and real and urgent problems to solve in your town and mine, in this country, in this world. This is not one of them. Problem solved. Live and let live. Move on. Pray or don't, as per usual.

Pray or don't, pray for love.