Monday, April 27, 2009

Oppression by minorities

  Normally Im rather quiet and laid back, but once in a while something crosses my path that seriously rubs me the wrong way. One of those things happened yesterday.
  Im sitting in the lounge at work, reading a book while on lunch, and was in a position to overhear a conversation between a friend of mine whom Ive known for many years and an acquaintance whos one of the nicest people at work.
  Purely for context only, I have to point out that my friend is Mexican and, at the very least, bi-sexual. My acquaintance is black. Both are minorities, and should know better. Or so I would think.

  Heres how it started.

  A couple days ago at the Miss America pageant, Miss California was asked her opinion on gay marriage - a touchy subject here in California - and she said that she was opposed to it.
  I support her opinion 100%. Shes freely speaking what she believes in, and she has every right to believe that, and nobody should tell her otherwise. But I dont agree with her views at all. And thats a very important point that far too many people seem to disregard all too easily - its ok to disagree, as long as you dont try to impose YOUR values and morals onto someone else. 
  So Im in the lounge and my friend (F) says to my acquaintance (A) "Did you hear about Miss America?"
  A: "Yeah, and its sad that people are trying to make her feel bad for saying that."
  F: "I dont think thats right either, we live in America and we have free speech, so she can say whatever she wants to."
  A: "Thats the way its supposed to be."
  F: "All she was saying was that she didnt think it was right for gay people to get married. Theres nothing wrong with that."
  A: "Right, and she didnt say it was because of her religion or anything, she said it was what she herself believed in."
  F: (Whispering) "You know, Im all for people being allowed to love whomever they want, but I dont think they should be allowed to get married."
  A: (Whispering) "I agree. Thats how I voted."
  F: (Whispering) "Thats how I voted too. We won, and I dont know why they cant just accept that and move on."

  Ok, there is SO much wrong with that conversation I dont know where to begin. Do I start with gay rights, or do I start with religion? Hmm...
  Lets see, first of all, my friend sleeps with girls. Or has slept with girls. Its not my business, I dont care. Regardless, she is one of the "they" she speaks of and I feel sorry for her if she ever falls for one of these girls shes sleeping with and decides she wants a more meaningful relationship. My friend also has two daughters, and while it would be a nice touch if one of them "decided" to be gay, I wouldnt want either of them to have to deal with a Mom who has those views.
  My acquaintance is old enough to have gone through a portion of her life having to deal with racism. Maybe not alot of her life, but enough to know what it feels like to have other people tell you you dont have the same rights that they do. So she has alot of nerve to try and do that to someone else.
  Human rights should NEVER be put to a vote. That idea itself is absurd. But because it was, and it passed, we here in California are now guilty of "legally" oppressing a section of our community. And for those not familiar, the definition of oppression is: "the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner." Simply, it was cruel for the voters of California to exercise their authority and unjustly take away gay rights.
  Continuing: "Racism, sexism and other prejudices are often studied as individual beliefs which, although not necessarily oppressive in themselves, can lead to oppression if they are codified in law or become parts of a culture."
  Lets do a really quick, and simple exercise. Lets start with this sentence: "In California, it is a law that people who are gay are not allowed to get married." Got that? Now go back to that bold "gay" word. Lets change it to, oh, I dont know... black. Now read the sentence with the new word. Kinda screwed up, huh? In fact, if you changed "gay" to ANY OTHER ADJECTIVE like blonde, or elderly, or green eyed, or right handed, or people from Utah, or people with your name, or... ANYTHING... the outrage of such a law, or the mere attempt at a law would be incredible! Yet, gay is acceptable?! How did we come to this? How did "Its my right to take away the rights of someone else" become our motto?
  And think about this, the only group of people in the entire world that are not allowed to get married are those that are gay. If you murder people, you can still get married. If you rape kids, you can still get married. If youre a terrorist, you can still get married. Think about the worst of the worst of society, and it doesnt matter, they still have the right to get married, but if youre gay you cant. Thats ridiculous! And for those out there that think its ok for a child raping murdering terrorist to get married and gay people cant... take a gun and put a bullet in your head now. Go ahead, Ill wait. 
  And dammit, if youre so convinced that "you won" and youre right, dont fucking whisper it in a lounge when you think nobody can hear you - speak up, be proud, and tell everyone else to kiss your ass. Or, you know, continue to huddle in secrecy and whisper to your minority friend cuz youre embarrassed by your beliefs. Whatever validates your view I guess.
  For the record, and contrary to my acquaintances statement, Miss California said “The way that I answered might have been offensive... but for me, it was being biblically correct.” So it WAS about her religion, which is fine.
  She also said “It did cost me my crown. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I said what I feel. I stated an opinion that was true to myself and that’s all I can do. It is a very touchy subject and I see where [Hilton] was coming from and I see the audience would’ve wanted me to be more politically correct. But I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything.” And again, good for her, she had a very public stage and didnt hide from her view no matter how unpopular it was. No whispering for her. 

  Which brings me to the bible portion of our program.

  Though I dont go to church, I do not actively read the bible, nor am I religious in any way, I am also NOT anti-religion at all. Again, I think people should be allowed to live their life how they please and if following the bible is what they choose to do, then nobody should tell them otherwise.
  That said, and using a wide brush to paint the world generally, I have not known a single group of people to be more close minded, judgemental, hypocritical, and flat out mean spirited than those that call themselves religious.
  The bible is law, the bible is Gods word, the bible is, well, gospel. And it should apparently be swung around and used as a weapon... as long as the swinger can twist the words to suit their needs and be allowed to pick and choose which portions to follow and which to ignore.
  Nowhere in the bible does it say that being gay is a sin. Yet people continue to take verses out of context, misinterpret passages, or flat out make stuff up - such as the oft quoted Leviticus - all in an effort to keep the sanctity of their third marriage. If thats not true, dont tell me, SHOW it to me. Yeah, thats a challenge. Accept it or shut up.
  Truth be told, the bible is full of a bunch of screwy things. Some real head scratchers. So for fun, here are a couple things the bible does talk about, and where to find them.....
  DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
  If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
  If a married person has sex with someone
else's husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.

  MARK 10:1-12
  Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
  MARK 12:18-27
  If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
  EXODUS 21:7-11
  It is acceptable for a man to sell his daughter as a sex slave.
  LEVITICUS 11:6-8
  Its a sin to touch the skin of a dead pig.

  So while the bible doesnt say Adam and Steve cant get married, it CLEARLY states that most of the people I know should be put to death by stoning, which would save me money on Christmas presents. It also clearly states that I can walk up to someone and ask how much I can have their daughter for, so I can... umm... you know. But Christ! I love football, so what am I gonna do about that dead pig thing?
  Thank God I have the option to do what all the other bible thumpers do: "Its a sin if it goes against my morals, but if it pertains to me, then the bible shouldnt be taken literally." Convenient, huh?
  Anywho, if you choose to read more about being gay in the bible, go here:

  I guess the point Im trying to make is that you have every right to disagree with gays who want to get married, but its your obligation as a human being to support them for wanting to do so.

  Ok, Im done ranting now.

  -- DBW --

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