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Old 06-22-2007, 04:03 PM   #261
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Originally posted by maycocksean


Actually, the white conservative Christian male position is quite understandable to me (though I don't agree with it).

They recognize that their ability to control over what is considered "normal" and "acceptable" in the United States is in jepoardy. Losing the ability to have society defined according to terms that are comfortable to you is a scary thing. It takes courage and selflessness to say "this is a good thing even though it takes me out of my comfort zone." Not many people have the guts.

This is the appeal of Rush and O'Reilly and Coulter and their ilk. They're speaking directly to that fear and confusion and saying, "Hey, there's nothing WRONG with you being the arbiters, the standards, of societal mores. Your comfort zone is a GOOD thing. You don't NEED to be ashamed of it. Your domination of society should be DEFENDED." And then they take it further. . .they imply that if white male Chrisitan America loses it's hegemony then they will become the oppressed. There won't be an equitable society. The white Christian man will become the new "n_____". It's a perfect storm of self-justification and fear.

If we can put ourselves in their shoes, you can see the power of such an appeal.
Absolutely, I understand where it comes from it's just not valid. It is a narrow and sheltered view. I don't have to put myself in those shoes I used to own a pair.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:07 PM   #262
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Absolutely, I understand where it comes from it's just not valid. It is a narrow and sheltered view. I don't have to put myself in those shoes I used to own a pair.
I asked a good friend of mine (also white Christian and male) this question and I'll ask you as well.

How were you able to step away from that viewpoint given it's appeal? What was it that gave you the courage to, at least on individual level, give up that grip on "running things" in our society?
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:35 PM   #263
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I asked a good friend of mine (also white Christian and male) this question and I'll ask you as well.

How were you able to step away from that viewpoint given it's appeal? What was it that gave you the courage to, at least on individual level, give up that grip on "running things" in our society?
I've always struggled with faith and religion since middle school, but one thing that always remained constant was my attraction to the model set forth by Jesus. Even on the days that I find myself to be more agnostic than anything, I still admire him and his teachings. Completely selfless, love your enemy, love your neighbor, he who's free of sin cast the first stone, turn the other cheek, etc... These are incredibly hard things to do, in fact many will see these types of things as weak, but if we were ever able to do these things, imagine how amazing this world would be. He was always reaching out to the underdog and the downtrodden, to me that was powerful.

I think the biggest irony of our time is that most conservative Christian males set their value system completely opposite of his teachings. Their entire value system is geared towards looking out for themselves, holding on tightly to everything they own, let the poor help themselves, fight for everything, etc...

In fact I think you just recently called someone out on their "do not expect things to be simply handed to me" and what that was really code for. I mean that was a perfect example of doing exactly the opposite of what they claim is their belief. They just baffle me, and I've seen this movement, in fact someone brought it up in here once, the "masculinization of Jesus". This idea that they are taking him back from the hippies, well basically they are just rewriting him...

Anyways I'm ranting now, and I even forgot the original question

But I hope that answers it.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:36 PM   #264
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I dont know about that. I would be proud to be whatever it is that I am, not ashamed. People attack Republicans and Christians pretty often, but I would never for a second pretend to be a Democrat or a non-Christian just to avoid persecution.
You certainly haven't been coming across as believing that gay people should be proud of what they are no matter what others say, and it's not like anyone else is suggesting that to be Christian or Republican is universally and intrinsically morally wrong for all human beings, everywhere, for all time and thus deserving of legalized discrimination. I really don't see how one's political views or religious beliefs are analogous--presumably you've arrived at those you hold now by thinking about them, reading about them, discussing them with other people and so on. I doubt very much that becoming attracted to women happened at all like that for you; orientation isn't an intellectual process. Of course it's physically possible, as Irvine already mentioned, for people of any orientation to 'put themselves up to it' with someone of a gender they aren't in fact attracted to, but if there's no serious possibility of mutual physical and emotional enjoyment from it, what's the point really? Sure, heterosexual sex can also have the 'point' of making babies if you so choose...for one day every month of the woman's fertile years, which I doubt many straight couples out there attempt to limit themselves to.

Also, as others have already touched on, as a straight person, you won't ever have to worry about job discrimination or housing discrimination (both perfectly legal against gay people in 32 states) on that basis, or--if you do fall in love with a woman and wish to marry her--being ineligible for not only that status itself, but also the more than a thousand federal rights conferred by it (freedom of marriage for gay people could have spared the family in the article MrsS posted earlier from the ordeal they went through). And then there's all the "intangibles" like knowing you can hold your partner's hand or put an arm around them in public (or refer to them in conversation) without risking harassment, social isolation or worse; not having to constantly hear denunciations from the "funny" to the downright vile about the type of human being you just are, never 'planned' to be, and have no choice but to be, sexually active or not; not having to fear rejection by your own family members and (former) good friends who suddenly decide you're unfit for their company when they learn the gender of the person you're in love with; etc., etc. ...knowing all the while that there are millions more out there who not only don't care if these things happen to you, but in fact believe you obviously deserve it, on account of the heinous thing you simply are.

No one's arguing that heterosexuality warrants limitation of rights by the state, despite the fact that millions of heterosexual individuals fail to live up to their own stated ideals ('lifestyle'?) for their relationships...staying faithful to your spouse, waiting until you're married to have sex, being good parents to their children, refraining from birth control or weird kinky sex techniques or whatever one's personal beliefs/religious texts call for...so why the double standard? We don't seem troubled by the fact that so many straight people can be counted on not to uphold whichever ideals the benefits of marital status are meant to honor and assist, so why not extend that same honor and assistance in good faith to gay people as we do to straight? We imagine that their relationships couldn't possibly involve all the noble-but-occasionally-unpleasant-self-sacrifices ours do and are jealous, or what?
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:57 PM   #265
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How were you able to step away from that viewpoint given it's appeal? What was it that gave you the courage to, at least on individual level, give up that grip on "running things" in our society?
I wanted to comment on this even though you asked BVS. But he's lovely so he won't mind.

I was born in a Communist country where you couldn't be openly religious or you'd lose your job (since every job was a government job). This really applied differently based on your position. For example, my Mom was a professor, so she could DEFINITELY not be religious. My neighbour who worked in a bakery shouldn't have been religious, but if she was seen at a church on Sunday, nobody would have really cared. Thing is, my Mom still went to church, and took the kids. My grandmothers also went. None of the men went and about 95% of church attendance was by women - much like what Jesus experienced, perhaps? In any case, my Mom, my grandmothers, they preserved their religion, maintained their relationship with God, and introduced their children to it, had them baptized and so on. This was in the face of real and actual persecution (my Mom was once nearly arrested for singing a Christmas carol when she was in university). But they still managed to have their faith and live their lives in accordance with their beliefs.

When they moved West, they believed in complete secularism. Why? Because they knew that there is no need for a government to mandate that we have a pledge, there is no need that the greeter at Walmart wishes you a Merry Christmas and there is no need to pray at school. None of us did, and yet came out with a faith that was strong and personal.

People who want religion in the public sphere are doing it for political reasons and also out of some sense of hegemony. They are NOT doing it to preserve their faith, because it is absolutely unnecessary. The early Christians did not live in Christian nations, and many Christians today do not either. But that is the beauty of Christianity - prepare your heart for the arrival of the kingdom of God, because Jesus will return like a thief in the night. Who cares about the public sphere - you are either a good Christian on your own, or you are not. It has nothing to do with the government or businesses validating your views.

To tie it all in with my views on homosexuality - I personally don't think it's wrong or unnatural or whatever else gets bandied about. My Mom is one of those people who struggles with it, because she is from a different time, a different culture and much more religious. That said, she has consistently voted for parties who support gay rights, gay marriage and so on. Because it has NOTHING to do with who she is like as a Christian. Gay marriage, which is legal here, has not threatened or cheapened her marriage, nor has it changed her life. It has given gay people rights they should have always had, and my Mom is free to keep her personal views to herself (which she does). It isn't that difficult, but it's because she doesn't feel it's her business to legislate her religious beliefs.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:00 PM   #266
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But he's lovely so he won't mind.

Aw, you just made my day. Thank you...
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:08 PM   #267
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I wanted to comment on this even though you asked BVS. But he's lovely so he won't mind.

I was born in a Communist country where you couldn't be openly religious or you'd lose your job (since every job was a government job). This really applied differently based on your position. For example, my Mom was a professor, so she could DEFINITELY not be religious. My neighbour who worked in a bakery shouldn't have been religious, but if she was seen at a church on Sunday, nobody would have really cared. Thing is, my Mom still went to church, and took the kids. My grandmothers also went. None of the men went and about 95% of church attendance was by women - much like what Jesus experienced, perhaps? In any case, my Mom, my grandmothers, they preserved their religion, maintained their relationship with God, and introduced their children to it, had them baptized and so on. This was in the face of real and actual persecution (my Mom was once nearly arrested for singing a Christmas carol when she was in university). But they still managed to have their faith and live their lives in accordance with their beliefs.

When they moved West, they believed in complete secularism. Why? Because they knew that there is no need for a government to mandate that we have a pledge, there is no need that the greeter at Walmart wishes you a Merry Christmas and there is no need to pray at school. None of us did, and yet came out with a faith that was strong and personal.

People who want religion in the public sphere are doing it for political reasons and also out of some sense of hegemony. They are NOT doing it to preserve their faith, because it is absolutely unnecessary. The early Christians did not live in Christian nations, and many Christians today do not either. But that is the beauty of Christianity - prepare your heart for the arrival of the kingdom of God, because Jesus will return like a thief in the night. Who cares about the public sphere - you are either a good Christian on your own, or you are not. It has nothing to do with the government or businesses validating your views.

To tie it all in with my views on homosexuality - I personally don't think it's wrong or unnatural or whatever else gets bandied about. My Mom is one of those people who struggles with it, because she is from a different time, a different culture and much more religious. That said, she has consistently voted for parties who support gay rights, gay marriage and so on. Because it has NOTHING to do with who she is like as a Christian. Gay marriage, which is legal here, has not threatened or cheapened her marriage, nor has it changed her life. It has given gay people rights they should have always had, and my Mom is free to keep her personal views to herself (which she does). It isn't that difficult, but it's because she doesn't feel it's her business to legislate her religious beliefs.
Wow, that was quite compelling. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:36 PM   #268
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Indeed, that was a great post, anitram.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:09 AM   #269
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, kicked off San Francisco's annual gay pride parade Sunday by splitting with her husband over support for legalized gay marriage.

"I don't know why someone else's marriage has anything to do with me," Mrs. Edwards said at a news conference before the parade started. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."

She made the remark almost offhandedly in answering a question from reporters after she delivered a standard campaign stump speech during a breakfast hosted by the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, an influential San Francisco political organization. California's presidential primary is Feb. 5, one of the earliest contests in the nation.

She conceded her support puts her at odds with her husband, a former senator from North Carolina who she said supports civil unions among gay couples - but not same-sex marriages.

"John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted," she said. "He has a deeply held belief against any form of discrimination, but that's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town."

No serious presidential candidate from either major political party has publicly supported gay marriage.

"John believes that couples in committed long-term relationships should enjoy the same rights, benefits and responsibilities regardless of whether they are straight couples or same-sex couples," Edwards said earlier during her speech. "He supports civil unions."

When John Edwards was asked about gay marriage during a debate earlier this month, he emphasized his support for civil unions and partnership benefits but said, "I don't think the federal government has a role in telling either states or religious institutions, churches, what marriages they can bless and can't bless."

Elizabeth Edwards delivered her speech before a roomful of San Francisco's most powerful politicians, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, who in 2004 legalized gay marriage in San Francisco. The California Supreme Court has since prohibited same-sex marriages while it considers the legality of the issue.

Edwards also said her husband believes in ending the "don't ask, don't tell" government policy regarding gays serving in the military.

"The military is already sexually integrated," she said to laughter and applause.

Julius Turman, the Toklas organization's co-chairman, said all major Democratic candidates were invited to address the club, but only Edwards accepted.

San Francisco's gay pride parade is a campy civil rights celebration, sprinkled with drag queens, leather chaps and a healthy dose of nudity _ but very few, if any, mainstream, national politicians. Even San Francisco resident Sen. Dianne Feinstein, when she served as mayor here from 1978 to 1988, never rode in the annual parade that started in 1970.

That's why local politicians and activists hailed Elizabeth Edwards' appearance Sunday as another step for gay civil rights.

"It's very powerful thing," Newsom said. "The symbolism is very important."

San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno said Edwards' appearance didn't go far enough.

"This is definitely a step in the right direction in the evolution of the civil rights fight," Leno said. "But it's not like she's out there riding with me in the parade."
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:49 AM   #270
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and smart politically, too. Elizabeth becomes a friend to "the gays," while John gets to highlight his differing opinion from his wife.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:00 AM   #271
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I don't know, maybe I'm just too naive but I think she's a very genuine person. I am reading her book Saving Graces and I am impressed with her. I think she has heart and real empathy for people, she's not just all about politics and what's politically expedient.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:47 AM   #272
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my guess is that, deep down, most of the Democratic candidates and their spouses are for marriage equality, it's just not politically possible to say that right now as the mainstream opinion is in favor of civil unions, but balks at the word "marriage."

i would also bet that Giuliani and McCain don't really care one way or the next, either, about allowing gay couples to marry. and Romney doesn either. unless the wind shifts.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:11 AM   #273
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And thus, is the reason why the two-party system is bullshit.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:04 PM   #274
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) —"John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted," she said. "He has a deeply held belief against any form of discrimination, but that's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town."
And all presidential candidates are chicken-shit on this topic.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:10 PM   #275
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And all presidential candidates are chicken-shit on this topic.


too true.

and i still don't understand the love affair some gays -- like, i dunno, the HRC -- have with the Clintons. they've thrown us to the wolves several times, and the new Bob Shrum book said that Clinton advised Kerry to actually come out for that horrid FMA in order to help his chances in some of the swing states.

and good for Kerry to ignore that advice.

i'm fine with the Clintons for the most part. but they hardly deserve to be treated as champions of equality.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:36 PM   #276
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and i still don't understand the love affair some gays -- like, i dunno, the HRC -- have with the Clintons.
But who else is/was there?
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:53 PM   #277
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But who else is/was there?


Elizabeth Edwards?
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:57 PM   #278
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And all presidential candidates are chicken-shit on this topic.
Which, unfortunately, is a result of the two-party system.

That and the conservative misteachings of the Bible.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:17 PM   #279
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The politicians who are chicken shit to say they support gay marriage are because they're afraid of the political consequences. When even so called liberal Democrats won't come out and say it (as opposed to "Bible thumping" conservatives) I think that's an indication of that. As soon as gay marriage becomes more widespread and mainstream the politicians will become less chicken shit about saying what they really feel. They are just chicken shit about most issues if you ask me.

The governor of MA openly supports gay marriage, he marches in gay pride parades too. Presidential politics still has to play it too safe.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:28 PM   #280
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Elizabeth Edwards?
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