Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It Just Doesn't Seem Right...

Religion is a touchy subject, I realize that. It's typically bad protocol to engage in a religion-based discussion, especially when dealing with the devout (this is a generalization, there are obviously unique cases). If you do intend to make the plunge, take note — common sense and reasonability have no place in such settings. I'm not one to religion-bash (at least not openly), but in the wake of Prop 8, "Milk" and the resulting demonstrations, I had a few things I wanted to get out in the open.

Believe what you want to believe. Pray to whatever god you deem appropriate. Spend your Sundays however seems proper. But when you decide you're going to bring the concepts of your religion to a public forum and criticize the choices of others, some serious introspection is necessary.

I intended to bring this up after seeing Gus Van Sant's "Milk," starring Sean Penn as San Francisco politician and Gay Rights Activist, Harvey Milk. I saw the film soon after the passing of Prop 8 (the anti-Gay marriage act), and was moved by what I saw. Milk was fighting the same fight in the mid-'70s that the state of California had just rejuvenated nearly 30 years later. And just like in the '70s, the greatest opponents to legalizing gay marriage were the religiously-motivated. And by "religiously-motivated" I mean narrow-minded and prejudiced.

The way I see it, take all of the Prop 8 supporter arguments ("the Bible says this and that," "the sanctity of marriage," etc.) toss them off the soapbox and realize one thing — this is modern-day racism/bigotry. Don't validate your argument against Gay Marriage with scripture from the Bible; the Bible makes a number of controversial claims and endorsements which most would view as absurd (check out this insightful and hilarious Prop 8 response, "Prop 8 - The Musical"). Instead, try practicing a bit of rationality and common decency.

Regardless of sexual orientation, this is an issue about people; living, breathing, loving, crying human beings. And these people are being refused what should be a basic human right. Why? Because the majority of their fellow voters are too close-minded and insecure in their own lives to allow others to live life according to what they deem appropriate. Why shouldn't James and George or Jolene and Isabella enter into a legal union? What *expletive* impact does that really have on all of the "traditional" marriages? What right does any human have to try to dictate the life of another? I am yet to hear a single justifiable answer to that question.

People have the right to believe what they want to believe. But when it becomes an issue of effecting the lives of others, there needs to be a degree of rational thought. What bothered me about the pro Prop 8 voters was that the majority of those people I talked to had no rational explanation for why. For the most part, the arguments boiled down to, "I'm not comfortable with homosexuals."

I'll end this rant with one final thought: "A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." Consider those words by Mohandas Gandhi. At its root, the Prop 8 supporter campaign was one driven by fear; fear of change, fear of the unknown. Maybe it's about time to make a few revisions to scripture that was supposedly written well over 2000 years ago.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

One comment:

It's bigotry, not racism (although, the analogy is correct). I agree with you completely, and will never understand how so many people in this country can "cling" to their intolerant ideals.

One more:

Let's talk about the astounding divorce rate in this country, before we begin to "uphold the sanctity of traditional marriage".