Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bigotry In The Name Of Jesus H. Christ

This week, 14-year-old Shay Clark was expelled from a Christian private school in California because her parents happen to be lesbians. And deservingly so, because we all know how much of a threat lesbian parents are; what with the fully loaded lesbian firearms they pack in their children's lunch boxes and how, by sending their child to a Christian school, they're clearly devil-worshipping heathens -- sub-humans bent on the destruction of all things American and Christian.


But that's not all. In a long overlooked section of the Bible called "Jesus H. Christ's Rad Blog", the Son of Man's online journal which he kept for a short time then abandoned when he lost interest, we find this passage dated March 10, 32 A.D.:

"Gays and lesbians shall be pwn3d for the rest of eternity. For they are really goddamn disgusting."

I know what you're saying. Jesus didn't invent the word "pwn3d". True that. It's probably an error in the translation. He did, however, invent the phrase "true that". What Mel Gibson didn't tell us is that when Jesus was asked whether he was the King of the Jews, Jesus responded, "True that! Um. I mean, it is you who say that I am."

Would it strike you as odd that Jesus never condemned homosexuality? In fact, as my friend John Christian Plummer pointed out this week, he never mentioned a single word about it. Probably because he was too busy saying things like, "Blessed are the peacemakers," and "Blessed are the poor." Here's an actual Jesus quote which is interesting:

"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man."

Within this sentence, Jesus condemns bigotry and persecution in his name, which today happens to define the policies and actions of the modern right-wing who ironically embrace Christianity -- the teaching of Christ -- as part of their strategy. Throughout his documented life story, Jesus’ most incendiary comments and actions were aimed at, 1) Satan, and 2) the men who mixed business and religion. Does that second item sound familiar? Nary a single word which denounced same-sex marriage -- well, except in the Bible used by the right-wing and Christian Fundamentalists known as the "Fake Bible Which We Made Up To Suit Our Bigotry: Large Print Edition".

The Bible contains a lot of hogwash which, in a modern context, has little or no validity. The Bible tells us that anyone who comes into contact with a woman who is menstruating must do penance. The Book of Leviticus, the section of the Bible which is the cornerstone of the frightening Christian Reconstructionist movement, condemns homosexuality under pain of death. It also condemns the touching of pig flesh on Sundays... under pain of death. That would certainly make football interesting. Whoever touches the ball dies.

One of the most dominant arguments against same-sex marriage has been the dictionary definition of marriage: "The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife." That's a pretty weak argument, no? The dictionary? At one point in time, a definition taught us that a sperm cell contained a fully formed little man called a "homunculus". Just because George W. Bush cites the dictionary definition of marriage as "between a man and a woman" doesn't make it right and justified. This from the same man who thought "misunderestimated" was a word.

The Republican movement against same-sex-marriage is purely a political tactic which feeds off the unjustified fears of easily influenced Americans -- as we witnessed during last year's presidential campaign. Gay marriage does nothing to threaten you or your marriage, but the anti-gay right-wing wants to make you feel that way in order to consolidate their power. The Republicans have told you that there's a Toe Monster under your bed and if you don't vote for them, the Toe Monster will get your toes! Ooga booga! You allow yourself to buy into that? Seriously?

Plainly put, I can't figure out how our government, founded on freedom, can continue to make attempts at legislating bigotry. Ironic that the same officials who have sent our soldiers do die for the freedom of the Iraqi people (in-so-far as a theocracy will allow freedom) have also engaged in an effort to forbid the freedoms of an entire group of Americans. Ironic, but not surprising. Our elected officials have been the catalyst behind some of the most horrible events ever recorded, and most of those have been in the name of morality, fear, and ignorance. You know the list. It includes genocide and slavery, to name a couple. So in that respect, this latest effort is no surprise, however difficult it is to grasp.

But Christians? I'm ashamed of you. I'm ashamed to have spent the first 18 years of my life in your service. I'm ashamed of the dollars I put in your collection baskets every Sunday. Shay Clark's parents wanted her to be raised amongst your teachings and you've inexplicably found a loophole to exclude her. But maybe, like our president, you're only a Christian as a convenience to somehow justify your hatred and nearsighted worldview. If you actually read that book on which you base your life, you'll find that Shay Clark's lesbian parents should be the absolute very least of your worries. What you'll find in the teachings of Jesus is that, if anyone, you are your own worst enemy. God's speed.

POSTSCRIPT: Christian Fundamentalists and their ilk should probably rethink the effort to blur the line between Church and State. If history has taught us anything, it's shown that policy is cyclical. If you want your Republican government to legislate your dogma, be aware that when the next regime takes over -- the group which has typically explored tax hikes as a means of reducing the federal deficit -- your tax-exempt status might be in jeopardy. If you want the separation of Church and State to be permanently blurred, prepare to be taxed. In case you didn't notice, our government loves to pursue anyone who might help pay the bills. And without a clear separation, that means you.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Check out Marc Evan Jackson's "Cheney Blogcast" over at Reality Based Nation. You'll be happy you did.



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