A recent Gallup poll shows that the time has come for the anti-gay activists to hang up their hatred, or at least move it on to another, less fortunate group.
Here is what part of the survey had to say:
PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted each May, finds current public tolerance for gay rights at the high-water mark of attitudes recorded over the past three decades. There is still considerable public opposition to complete equality for gays, particularly with respect to marriage. However, after several years of lower support for gay rights, support is now springing back to the relatively high levels seen in 2003, just before the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2003, decision striking down a Texas sodomy law. (According to Gallup trends, that ruling appeared to produce a backlash of public opposition to gay rights.)
The clearest example of the recent renewal in pro-gay rights attitudes comes from a question asking Americans whether they believe homosexual relations should be legal. Public tolerance for this aspect of gay rights expanded from 43% at the inception of the question in 1977 to 60% in May 2003. Then in July 2003, it fell to 50% and remained at about that level through 2005. Last year, it jumped to 56% and this year it reached 59%, similar to the 2003 high point.
Here are some of the results:
Spectrum of Support for Gay Rights^
May 10-13, 2007
Homosexuals should have equal rights
in terms of job opportunities 89 8
Homosexual relations should be legal 59 37
Homosexuality should be considered
an acceptable alternative lifestyle 57 39
Homosexual relations are morally acceptable 47 49
Same-sex marriages should be legally valid 46 53
^ See tables for full wording of each item/question.
Morality Question Closely Divides Americans
Results on the perceived morality of homosexual relations present a glass half-full/half-empty analysis conundrum. On the one hand, the percentage saying such relations are morally acceptable has clearly grown over the last several years, from 40% in 2001, when the question was first asked, to 47% today. This is the first year that an outright majority of Americans have not said homosexual relations are morally wrong.
Summary of Moral Acceptability Ratings
May 10-13, 2007
The death penalty 66 27
Divorce 65 26
Medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos 64 30
Gambling 63 32
Medical testing on animals 59 37
Sex between an unmarried man and woman 59 38
Buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur 58 38
Having a baby outside of marriage 54 42
Doctor-assisted suicide 49 44
Homosexual relations 47 49
Abortion 40 51
Cloning animals 36 59
Suicide 16 78
Cloning humans 11 86
Polygamy, when one husband has more than one wife at the same time 8 90
Married men and women having an affair 6 91
Let’s look at a few of these–so 49% of these people who took the poll think homosexual relations are morally wrong, and yet 65% think divorce is morally acceptable. Do you think they base their beliefs on the bible for both? They can’t–since God hates divorce and Christ does not allow it (at least in one part of the New Testament). And 66% think the death penalty is morally acceptable, and yet one of the beloved Ten Commandments state that You shall not Kill. Therefore the beliefs that people hold have little to do with religion, and I think more with what they are taught to think.
This is my favorite part of the poll, which shows that the work of someone like Peter LaBarbera, who has spent his entire adult life fighting against the homosexual agenda, is worth nothing:
Homosexuality as an Acceptable
May 10-13, 2007
Men 53 44
Women 61 35
18-34 years 75 23
35-54 years 58 39
55+ years 45 51
Republican 36 58
Independent 60 36
Democrat 72 27
Attend weekly 33 64
Attend nearly weekly/monthly 57 40
Attend less often/never 74 22
This proves that the end is near for the views that LaBarbera and Harp and all the other anti-gay activists hold. A majority of both men and women support gays and lesbians. The older generation does not, but the great news is that a whopping 75% of 18-34 year olds do! In a generation the acceptability of anti-gay statements will be wiped out and people like LaBarbera and Harp will be remembered as we remember the KKK.
A full 89% of adults think that gays and lesbians should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. This percentage has been 80% and above since 1993–although you would not know it with all the screaming that the anti-gay crowd has been doing over the proposed ENDA legislation.
We’ve won, or at least we will win this ‘cultural war’ (a favorite catch-phrase of the anti-gay crowd–I personally do not see this as a cultural war) very soon. Maybe it is time for LaBarbera to start thinking about what group he wants to devote his senior years to fighting against–a good bet will be against minority rights because very soon it is going to be very unpopular to be an anti-gay crusader…
It appears my comments are still down. I can post a comment, but it seems no one else can. I have no explaination and my host was not helpful in finding the problem. I have uninstalled WordPress and reinstalled it. Sadly, in that process I lost my style sheet so the blog is looking a bit different. I will try and fix this, but on the other hand. I may not fix any of this. Who knows for sure?
Anyone have a clue what is the cause of these errors?
I have wondered and pondered just what I would write about the death of Rev. Jerry Falwell. His death has brought such varied responses from the left and the right of politics, but I feel one’s death should never be made into a political gain or loss. I have looked at most of the rhetoric around Rev. Falwell and see such passion, anger followed by such love and hate. Amazing how one man’s life could bring about such a varied response of emotion.
I can see pretty clearly this was more about his life than his death. It was about the morals he stood for, the fights and battles he chose and the methods that made those things come into light. From his life I see one important fact. Change happens even to the best of us. Even our most held beliefs are subject to change with enlightenment and this good man was the testament to that change.
At one point in the good man’s life he was in favor of segregation, even in his own church. That changed for Rev. Falwell. In time, he open his church doors to people of all races and colors. He left behind any intolerance, bigotry or prejudice in favor of diversity. This was a display of the change we all can undertake. This was justice in motion and changing lives. This was also inspiration for so many others to do as he did.
At one point the Rev. Falwell was against interracial marriage. He spoke against it. he rallied the troops of the moral majority to fight it. In the end, this too change for the good Rev. Falwell. These small changes made big impressions on our culture that bigotry and prejudice do die with time and understanding.
Falwell made the mistake of blaming gays and lesbians, as well as abortionists for the September 11th attacks on America. This was another unfortunate display of misinformation and hate from a man who otherwise tried so hard to live his life in the Christian light. One cannot help but wonder if Falwell’s view on gays would not have softened with time much like his views on Race. Either way, his life has been a testament that prejudice does die. It changes into good with knowledge and understanding.
I wish his family the best in these trouble times, but I wish more for all of America to look at Falwell’s life and the testament of change. He was a model for bigotry’s death as each year of his life proved that change happens and it can move us all towards a beloved community.
I am not angry nor bitter at the life of this man. Instead, I choose to look at the change and see it as hope for the future that even the most bigoted of us can change. The most racist of us can become champions of civil rights. It takes time, understanding and a level of patience that few of us have but all of us need. Rev. Falwell’s life is a testament to change, I pray we choose that for his legacy, forgive his mistakes and do the same for those living with us today in the same condition.
Forgiveness is the most precious commodity we have. It will take us farther than money, farther than hope and grant us more of the community we all pray for in the world.
(Greenville, County, South Carolina) An 18 year old man is facing a murder charge after a man he punched died.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said that Sean William Kennedy, 20, was walking to his car from a local bar when a car stopped along side him. A man got out, approached Kennedy and then hit him in the face.
Witnesses said the man made a derogatory remark about Kennedy’s sexuality. The twenty-year old was openly gay friends said.
Kennedy later died in hospital without regaining consciousness. Investigators believe that after he was punched Kennedy fell to the ground and hit his head on a curb or the pavement.
Based on witness accounts of the attacker and car Sheriff’s deputies arrested Andrew Moller, 18.
Moller is being held without bond.
Investigators say they have not determined if the two men knew each other, or what led to the attack
The daughter of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. has died at the age of 51. Yolonda Denise King was an actress, writer and nonviolence activist. She even played Rosa Parks in the movie “King”. Her death comes just a year and a half after the death of her mother, Corretta Scott King. She stood with the members of Soulforce in the fight to use nonviolence for civil rights for gays and lesbians. She will be greatly missed.
A Rhode Island Couple have been the subject of harassment by their neighbor in Kent County. The Rhode Island Office of Civil Rights has filed violations against the neighbor, Paul O’Rouke. O’Rouke was heard yelling anti-gay slurs while being taken away in the police cruiser, including yelling “Homicide, I”ll give you homicide, I’ll kill those faggots”.
You can read the whole story here
My take on this is that having this man arrested isn’t going to solve the problem. Fining him will only make him more bitter and hate gay people even more. Nonviolence is the answer. Mediation is the answer. All parties in this situation are victims, including the man arrested. It was neccessary to arrest him, I can see that, but I can also see he will seek revenge. Restraining orders will only make him resentful and more angry. Hopefully, the judge in this case will see the potential this situation has to get more violent than it has already been.
According to a study released today by the University of Michigan, questions about homosexuality are not addressed to adolescent boys either by parents, friends, or even the media. The study looked at where young men are getting the most influential information regarding sexual Education. Young men, aged 18-24 were asked to reflect and report on what forms of communication most influenced them and their knowledge about sexual issues.
From the Press Release (emphasis mine):
A total of 286 male undergraduates aged 18-24 were asked to recall who had had the greatest influence on their sexual education and, more specifically, who had discussed or been responsible for which aspects. The authors’ goal was to determine whether there is a difference in the information gleaned from parents, peers, and the media, and if the information provided by each group differed in the types of sexual values expressed.
In line with prior studies, the researchers found that most parents had provided some education, but that the type of information provided contrasted sharply to that given by peers and the media. Parents were the strongest supporters of abstinence and provided most information about pregnancy and fertilization. However, for all other topics, parents were seen as having contributed the least.
Communication from peers, conversely, encouraged nonrelational sex and provided models of dating and sexual behavior and information on being ‘cool’. The media appeared to be equally influential and was strongest in promoting gendered sexual stereotypes and in giving messages promoting sexual freedom. However, the authors point out that there was a great variation between the subjects in what had been covered by which source. For example, the media was also seen as providing the most information on AIDS, STDs, and condoms. Issues of love and homosexuality did not appear to be addressed by any of the sources.
This pretty much shoots the idea that today’s youth are being “brainwashed” about sexual issues, even when homosexuality is being discussed. If anything this shows that today’s young men are not learning about the issues, concerns, questions or realities about homosexuality from their peers, parents or the media. This proves what most of the research has shown before. Gay young men grow up feeling isolated and alone.
For years I have stated that the science and propaganda of the religious right is a scary resemblance to the hate propaganda of the Nazi’s in Germany. Now, those fears are being crystallized as writers like Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin has really exposed the key researcher of the religious right as having an agenda to “exterminate” gays and lesbians.
Jim writes as a recap of his article about the things the man the religious right is using as the source of their anti-gay research:
This is a man the such groups as Americans for Truth, The American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council and others have used as the staple to pin gays and lesbians are unhealthy, violent, and diseased. If you read anything about the religious right this week make sure you read Jim’s article.
Warren Throckmorton has also helped this effort by listing the groups that use Cameron’s work. Be sure to check that out too! Notice our friends Matt Barber, Peter LaBabera and NARTH are all on the list.
Let us never forget that Paul Cameron is the same man who said:
At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, “Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.” According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.
Here on this site, and in the upcoming book, “Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters“, and at Box Turtle Bulletin, we have seen time and time again how the so called medical dangers of homosexuality by John Diggs, MD has been refuted. The whole idea that being gay is some sort of deathstyle is just and old tired claim of those who wish to paint gays and lesbians with a negative and broad brush. They say we all live the same exact lifestyle and write us off as the evil in the world. A claim that invites violence against GLBT folks.
No one does this better than the misguided and misinformed, Peter La Barbera of the group Americans for Truth (AFT). (Of course, from this writer’s point of view, I think Peter’s group is as far from truth as you can get). His entire site is just one huge negative picture of GLBT folks. We all know that a rational person who is only shown one side of a group of people and that side is painted as a threat to children, marriage and society, is going to have hostile emotions towards said group. We also know that words have power and that this type of propaganda is passive violence. It is also a form of structural violence that leads to hate crimes, discrimination and bullying for GLBT folks, but Peter can’t seem to see that from where he is standing. He sadly rejects any attempt to show him the view from the other side. This post is my latest attempt at stopping this violence.
Today, AFT has two articles posted on their website that push the idea of homosexuality being “dangerous” and unhealthy, including links to the overused and highly refuted work of Dr. John Diggs. While both of these articles of filled with venomous remarks about gays and lesbians, they are also filled with inaccuracies about GLBT folks. I will address the specifics of these articles posted today because they display so well the myths, hate and misinformation that so easily come out of these organizations like Americans for Truth.
The first article addresses a school in Chicago where a substitute teacher showed the film, “Brokeback Mountan” to a group of 8th graders. Mr. La Barbera states in his article:
Alas, more corruption of youth at the hands of pro-homosexual activists. The movement that once asked just to be left alone is now pushing homosexuality on middle school students.
I am not sure what Peter was thinking but I see one substitute teacher who showed this movie. She doesn’t appear to be a homosexual activist and she may not be homosexual herself. So what movement is Mr. LaBarbera talking about? Is every person that supports equality part of the same movement? What is Peter’s fascination with lumping all gays and lesbians into one group?
I have no idea why she would choose to show a group of 8th graders, “BrokeBack Mountain” since it is filled with bad language, sex and violence. I don’t condone showing kids “R” rated movies when they are not accompanied by an adult. I also don’t condone showing movies filled with violence to adults let alone children. On the other hand, I have taught 8th graders and know fully well that many of them have seen things in real life far worse than anything in that movie.
Where this article takes a turn for the worse on Peter’s part is his language. He uses words like venom on a knifed tongue. A sample excerpt:
I saw Brokeback Mountain in the theater because I had to. It is a highly effective propaganda film well-suited to exploit today’s widespread confusion over “sexual orientation” and “same-sex love.” The film is about two male cowboys who “fall in love,” and features a sudden sodomitic encounter in a tent that is, well, let’s just say, biological and medical fantasy. The film, of course, seeks to advance the fiction that “gay” romantic love is just like the normal variety except with different genders. But that ignores, for one thing, the terrible damage that sodomy (i.e., anal sex) exacts on the body. That’s why many male initiates into homosexual sex get high on drugs or alcohol first — to dull the pain (and the shame) of this unnatural and sinful behavior.
A few points about this paragraph:
This is the analysis of only one paragraph of Peter’s writing skills. While he is a terribly effective writer, his words are filled with misinformation, lies and hate. While I know he jumps up and down screaming that he is not engaging in hate speech, that doesn’t change the fact, he is.
The next paragraph:
Predictably, in Brokeback, one of the male lovers is savagely murdered by homosexual-hating hetero cowboys - another lesson I’m sure the militant Chicago teacher wanted to impress on her captive audience: if you disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, you are a “hater” and mean-spirited “homophobe.” Never mind that the vast majority of people who oppose homosexual behavior do not hate people but merely agree with God about harmful and changeable behaviors that do not define a person; and decent people are rightfully outraged at the idea of promoting this dangerous homosexual lifestyle to impressionable children.
Here are the talking points of why this is just hate speech:
He then goes on to ask people to take action:
TAKE ACTION: If you are an adult, dedicate yourself to educating the young people in your sphere of influence about the truth about homosexuality. Tell them about former homosexuals like Charlene Cothran and Steve Bennett. Visit NARTH’s (National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality) excellent website. Show them Professor Rob Gagnon’s site, which ably refutes the nefarious “gay theology” that seeks to negate the Bible’s clear proscriptions against homosexual acts.
Now keep in mind, I am only dissecting one article to show you and Peter, since I am sure he will read this, how and why this is hate speech and not “truth” as Peter claims.
Here is Peter’s last paragraph before giving you the story about the teacher from the news:
We have no choice but to be aggressive with the truth, because our foes are so aggressive in promoting their lies - even to innocent kids in the classroom. I’m afraid that in our society, even children brought up well by moral-minded parents will have drunk some of the pro-”gay” Kool-Aid by the time they reach adulthood - so saturated is our culture with politically correct, activist nonsense on this issue.
The talking points on the last paragraph:
This is the amount of untruth in just one of Peter LaBarbera’s articles and he has an entire site of this. The time to take action is about the only thing Peter and I agree on in this article. We need to take action as every great movement of oppression has in the past. Learn the art of nonviolence in the spirit of Gandhi, King, Chevez, Thich Nhat Hanh and fight back with love. It has worked in the past and it will work again.
I just received an action alert from Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council (which is not about family or real research, but that is beside the point…). It is the worst piece of hypocrisy I have seen so far. Perkins is complaining about Lou Dobbs, a CNN person. I didn’t see the Lou Dobbs piece, so I can’t vouch for what Perkins has to say. Apparently Dobbs wants churches who get involved in the political process to have their tax-free status taken away. I couldn’t agree more. However, what is so disgustingly hypocritical is that Perkins has the ultimate nerve to quote Rev. Martin Luther King in his defense of the clergy getting involved in politics. What is so hypocritical about this? Perkins was involved in the buying of the KKK’s mailing list. It was Tony Perkins who signed the authorization slip. This mailing list was obtained from none other than the Grand Wizard of the KKK–David Duke. You can read all about it here.
Of course Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council, said he couldn’t remember the $82,000 that was spent on obtaining the KKK mailing list. At that point Tony Perkins was the campaign manager to Woody Jenkins, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996.
This is what Tony Perkins, today, had to say (the bolding is his):
Throughout American history, church leaders have spoken out on the vital moral issues of the day - whether it be slavery, civil rights, or in defense of the family and the dignity of human life. One of the enduring lessons the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught is the power a religious community can have in society. Reverend King said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”
I can’t believe the nerve of this guy. He dares to talk about churches speaking out against slavery (and certainly not all of them did–in fact, it was a minority of clergy that spoke out against it) and civil rights, and dares even more to quote Martin Luther King–knowing full well that his boss, Woody Jenkins, had bought the mailing list of the KKK and knowing that it was his own hand that signed off the authorization slip. Maybe the next time black clergy members get up on a podium with Tony Perkins to spread their hate against gays and lesbians, they should remember who they are standing next to. And they should also remember their own history…
Following the same pattern of lies they have been engaging in, members of the anti-gay industry is trying to frame ENDA, the law that would protect lgbts from discrimination, as a piece of disciminatory legislation:
Matt Barber, Policy Director for Cultural Issues with Concerned Women for America (CWA), warned, “This bill would force Christian, Jewish or Muslim business owners to hire people who openly choose to engage in homosexual or cross-dressing behaviors despite a sincerely held religious belief that those behaviors are dangerous, sinful and not in keeping with basic morality.
So exemptions for religious institutions is not enough for these groups. They are trying to break it down to the fact that business owners who have a personal aversion to homosexuality should be able to discriminate?
Sorry that just doesn’t make sense.
What’s the next step? Christian business owners with a “sincerely held religious belief” against Islam or Judaism should discriminate? And that crack about “behavior” won’t help Barber’s argument. Defining homosexuality by what one does rather than who one is actually hurts Barber’s argument. After all, people choose to follow a particular religion. Should they be discriminated against because of it?
I think that Barber’s poor argument for allowing discrimination against lgbts underscores just who we are dealing with here. Barber’s group, Concerned Women for America, and other so-called pro-family groups aren’t interested in fairness or any values that don’t embrace their world view of things.
They have a right to believe that homosexuality is a sin but the way they go about trying to justify ways to codify their beliefs into public policy just goes to prove how un-Christian they are.
The next argument Barber brings up further insinuates my point:
For instance, female employees would have to endure both systematic sexual harassment and a hostile work environment by being forced to share bathroom facilities with male employees who get their jollies from wearing a dress, high heels and lipstick.
Barber’s claim is a prime of example of anti-gay industry technique number five as outlined in my upcoming book - dire consequences, or predicting that pro-gay laws will cause all sorts of mayhem to take place. Barber offers no proof of his predictions because he is relying on the ignorance and fear that many have of the transgender community to quantify his lies.
The fact of the matter is that I really don’t think that Matt Barber actually believes what he writes. I think he believes that homosexuality is a sin and therefore any technique or claim that keeps lgbts from being more protected and visible is permissible.
In other words, I think that Barber is looking at what he is doing as the job of a political operative trying to win an election.
Now for a political operative attempting to win an election, Barber’s techniques are tolerable; awful, shameful, but tolerable. Politics is a world of compromises where sometimes the ends do have to justify the means.
But for a man such as Matt Barber and a group (i.e. Concerned Women for America) who puts themselves on a pedestal as being pro-family and the purveyors of morality, if the means are not pure then the ends cannot be pure. God does not like ugly, even if it is done in his name.
Using evasive claims about “sincerely held religious beliefs” and horror stories of abnormal crossdressers is yet another hole in Barber’s and Concerned Women for America’s careful built wall of integrity.
They obviously did not learn anything during their unsuccessful fight to keep the House from passing hate crimes legislation. How long will they continue to dig their well of lies before they fall in?
The other day in my own blog I posted a letter that some guy had written about the Hate Crime legislation. As you can tell from my postings, this has become one of my favorite things to blog about because the level of lies has increased from these anti-gay activists. I am totally sick of these lies and what they do to people. Today (May 12, 2007), the San Francisco Chronicle printed my response. I’ll print the original letter and my response again (the paper added the title):
Stop all hate crime
Editor — It’s not often that I agree with President Bush. But a veto of the proposed federal hate crime law now before Congress would be the right thing to do.
The problem with the law is that it makes one victim’s life more valuable than another’s. If a gay person is murdered because the killer hates gays, the penalty would be more severe than it would be for a killer who murders someone in a robbery. That makes the gay person’s life more valuable than that of the robbery victim. That is just plain wrong.
Here is my response:
Motive does matter
Editor — The main reason why so many people are upset about this newer version of the federal hate-crime legislation is because it will include gays and lesbians, pure and simple. Thus, there have been many lies and misunderstandings regarding the hate-crime bill. Some anti-gay groups claim it punishes thoughts, which is a total lie and all it takes is five minutes to read the proposed legislation to see that it only punishes violent actions based on hatred — not violent speech based on hatred.
Another lie is that it would make the life of a gay person more valuable than someone else.
Our system is based on motivation, which is why we have first-degree murder, second-degree murder and so on. The life of a person who is killed by someone who planned the murder is not more valuable than someone who is killed accidentally. But the penalties for these two crimes are different. The same goes for hate crimes. Crime motivated by hatred against a religion, against a race or against a sexual orientation is not based on who is more valuable. To say this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the justice system.
This showed up in my RSS feed today from Box Turtle Bulletin. It’s a terrific project, so I’ll just let Steve Schalchlin tell it in his own words:
You might know, or know of, Gabi Clayton whose son, Bill, committed suicide after a gaybashing. She’s been a longtime PFLAG mom and advocate. This coming Tuesday, the John Lennon PEACE Piano Project will take its place in her home on the anniversary of Bill’s death. Led by George Michael and his partner, Kenny Goss, the project takes the piano John Lennon wrote “Imagine” on and brings it to places of violence where they are taking photos for an exhibit and a picture book telling these stories. There’s also a documentary of the event being shot.
I’ve been invited to fly to Olympia, where Gabi lives, and play “Imagine” on this piano. I’m also going to sing “Will It Always Be Like This? (Gabi’s Song),” which I wrote about Gabi and Bill. If you have space on your blog, I would love to have this event mentioned. The blog item describing it in detail is here.
Congratualtions, Steve! This is a terrific way to bring attention to the senselessness of violence.
On a side note, being a huge John Lennon fan, I would love to take the piano to the spot in New Jersey where I was beaten with baseball bats and play Imagine. I can sing and play the song as well as anyone and would love to do that for the healing I might find in such a thing.
A new study out of Canada is showing that lesbian parents are just as good, if not more nurtuing for children when compared to heterosexual parents. The 74 page study references about 100 others studies done on same sex parents. The majority of research has been focused on lesbian parents seems to conclude what many already knew. Lesbian couples raise healthy, happy, well adjusted children.
What is interesing about this study is the conservative party in the government tried to distance itself and hide the study when it discovered the findings were pro-gay parents. The study authors used the access to information act to release the study.
You can read the full news report here
I’ve been reading quite a bit about American history and I have just hit the point which deals with the anti-slavery movement that took place before the Civil War. There are parallels galore to what black people went through then and what gays and lesbians are going through now–and from people who claim to be Christian. I am going to quote some material that is from a book by G. B. Tindall and D.E. Shi, America: A Narrative History, vol. I (New York: W.W. Norton, 1993, Brief 3rd edition), pp. 379-380, on the Defense of Slavery:
Antislavery in the upper South had its last stand in 1831-1832 when the Virginia legislature debated a plan of gradual emancipation and colonization, then rejected it by a vote of 73 to 58. Thereafter southern partisans worked out an elaborate intellectual defense of slavery, presenting it as a positive good.
The biblical argument in favor of slavery became one of the most powerful. The evangelical churches, which had widely condemned slavery at one time, gradually turned proslavery, at least in the south. Ministers of all denominations joined in the argument. Had not the patriarchs of the Old Testament held bondsmen? Had not Noah, upon awakening from a drunken stupor cursed Canaan, son of Ham, from whom the Negroes were descended? Had not Saint Paul advised servants to obey their masters and told a fugitive servant to return to his master (see Philemon in the New Testament–Kevin). And had not Jesus remained silent on the subject, at least so far as the Gospels reported his words? In 1843-1844 disputes over slavery split two great denominations along sectional lines and led to the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Presbyterians, the only other major denomination to split, did not divide until the Civil War.
Another, and more fundamental, feature of the proslavery argument developed a theory of the intrinsic inferiority of Negroes. Stereotyping the poor and powerless as inferior is an old and seemingly ineradicable human habit…Others took a more “practical” view of slavery. Not only was slavery profitable, it was a matter of social necessity….
I’m sure we can all see the parallels between what some ‘christians’ of the past said about the justification of slavery and what some ‘christians’ have to say about gays and lesbians. These groups said that slavery was found in the Bible and indeed, Paul wrote about slavery and did not condemn it. This led to many who believed that slavery was sanctioned by God Himself. Now, 180 years later we have the same kinds of people saying that the Bible condemns gays and lesbians. We have the same groups saying that gays and lesbians are inferior, in the same way that people said black people were inferior.
I think when these people take to the airwaves and do interviews, people need to start asking them hard questions–ask what their view of slavery is and compare it to what is found in their Bible. Then compare it with what they have to say about gays and lesbians. Make them think about what they are saying and doing. These people seem to think that the word of God is unchangeable, but yet the Bible condones slavery.
Besides, it is my view that religious views should not be injected into the making of new laws that restrict the freedoms of people. All of these anti-gay marriage laws are nothing but religious persecution on a minority. All of these anti-gay laws are created using the language of religious texts. This is fundamentally wrong. We are not a theocracy. I don’t understand how the courts can uphold these anti-gay laws–it is clear they are religious persecution and this goes against the most basic tenets of our Constitution.
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