Dave Trenga #79

    So all of you people who use the bible to conveniently use the bible and religious teachings to conceal the fact that you’re nothing more than an ignorant bigot may soon have even more justification for your misguided point of view. Thanks to the Bush administration’s proposed amendment to the constitution that would define marriage as a sacred institution between a man and a woman. This proposal was suggested in a desperate attempt to shift the national focus from George W’s deserting the Texas Air National Guard that had been saturating the media. It worked all too well on the media and the American public who possess an attention span about as long as the list of George W’s truthful statements. I have yet to see a single mention of George’s desertion since he proposed this despicable amendment. So not to be willfully duped by the administrations distraction tactics I would like to mention that George’s desertion is something I’ve already ranted about but will quickly sum up. George W. deserted. There’s’ absolutely no doubt about that. He used his family’s political power to move to the top of the Guard’s waiting list to hide from Vietnam in the National Guard and then he deserted. He’s a chicken hawk and a coward who hides from danger while ordering the slaughter of innocent Iraqis and sends his own people off to their deaths. And his administration’s failure to dispute those facts with thirty-year-old dental records and pay stubs in the face of the media who, for once wasn’t just taking Bush on his word, had been starting to question Bush’s service record. But the administration was very successful in this capacity. By making the gay and lesbian movement the political scapegoat for a panicking administration Bush has propelled the debate about same-sex marriage into the national spotlight while escaping back to the shadows to hide from danger once again, solidifying his coward status. So moving along to tackle this issue and enthusiastically point out the overwhelming contradictions of those defenders of the sanctity of marriage let me get started. Ok, first of all, I keep hearing people make the argument that the sacred institution of marriage has existed for thousands of years between a man and a woman and now gays and ‘activist judges’ want to change that sacred bond. Well let’s take a look at the sanctity of marriage throughout history. The bible, which is the main point of reference for those condemning same-sex marriage, does talk about marriage being between a man and a woman. But also between a man and women. That’s right, women as in more than one. As long as you can afford to pay your perspective father-in-law for each woman you want to make your wife then the bible gives a thumbs up! So not only can a man marry as many women as he wants or can afford to buy but they, according to that enlightened book of scripture, become his actual property, living their lives as his slaves. Furthermore, if a woman enters into marriage without her virginity intact then the bible suggests, or demands (if you want to take everything as literal as the homophobic references that these people love to throw out to back up their arguments) that she be stoned to death. Doesn’t that make you just all weak in the knees and teary-eyed over the beautiful institution of marriage? Well if that’s not enough did you know that divorce is strictly forbidden in the bible? Divorce however is not only recognized by the American government but it seems to be whole-heartedly embraced by it’s ranking members. Many of the very same people who condemn same-sex marriage as immoral and an attack against the sanctity of marriage seem to have come to terms about angering god by kicking their wives to the curb. Some are so comfortable with it that they do it over and over again. Like Newt Gingrich who’s on his third marriage while preaching and defending it’s sanctity. Now if these people want to use the bible as their justification for their bigotry then let’s be consistent, shall we? Newt, among others, (according to the bible) was not entitled to divorce his first two wives. He could’ve still married wife #2 and #3 but not divorce any of them. Whoa! Back up. My mistake. Newt wouldn’t have been allowed to marry wife #3 because she already had children when they were wed. So unless of course she came to be with child by Immaculate Conception she should have been (according to the bible) stoned to death.
    Now onto an important aspect that’s truly been associated with marriage for thousands of years, domestic violence. Surely domestic violence is a much more appalling act then that of two people simply wanting to marry who happen to be of the same sex. Well apparently not if you’re a conservative Christian or a member of the Bush administration. For all the time they’ve spent bashing the very idea of same sex marriage I have yet to hear any one of them take any kind of stand against the abuse of women in or out of the sanctity of marriage. But I can only assume that if you believe, as the bible tells us, that women are property and not an equal partner then that ultimately justifies violence against women. So maybe they are being consistent in not taking a stand against domestic violence, my apologies. But as far as divorce goes, if you’re going to take the bible, as law then shouldn’t these people be consistent about it? Shouldn’t they be demanding, with the same self-righteous fervor that they do in banning same-sex marriage, that a No-Divorce amendment be signed into law? Apparently the big difference in bible interpretation and religious convictions with law is self-interest. Divorce is a convenient tool for those who wish to bypass the word of god that they supposedly cherish. Now obviously I don’t think we should do away with divorce as I don’t put any stock in the bible to begin with but I’m just looking for some consistency in these people’s arguments.
    I think it’s an extremely sad and all too familiar characteristic in humanity that most people only care about oppression when it directly affects them. And even more pathetic is how people will become furious and defensive at the very mention of any sort of oppression directed at them (rightfully so) but will not only ignore the oppression of others but will genuinely support it, justify it and even demand it. I keep seeing polls that suggest that a clear majority of Americans support passing an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. And even more infuriating is that politicians are exploiting this public opinion and recommending letting the people vote on the proposed amendment. Now it doesn’t bother me that they’re suggesting people vote on it but the very manipulation of the process is very infuriating. First they take poll after poll to make sure that public opinion is on their side and then, very confident in the outcome, they suggest a vote. Don’t think for a second that if public opinion wasn’t on their side that they’d even entertain the idea of the public voting on it. These people do not take pubic opinion into consideration. When public opinion leading up to the unilateral war with Iraq was overwhelmingly against the war do you think for a second they would have put it to a vote? Of course not. When public sentiment differs from their opinion it is ignored. And even if the majority of Americans support banning same-sex marriage does that make it right? The majority of Americans were against inter-racial marriage when the Supreme Court legalized it. And as far as I can see the American public are in no position whatsoever to be making any sort of claims at moral authority. We are responsible for most of the poverty and oppression that take place in the world by either exploiting slave labor supporting oppressive regimes for self-interest or outright theft. We are responsible for the majority of destruction taking place of our planet. We are the gluttons of the world and we are on no moral high ground.
    Are social movements, human and civil rights supposed to wait around until public opinion suggests that it’s all right to provide people with the same protections and benefits that we should all be entitled to? I would argue that it’s the grassroots movements, usually involving a minority, to bring about important social changes that will then, in time, become a part of society’s accepted values. If the grassroots movements waited around to have public on it’s side then nothing would ever change. Especially in this day and age of unprecedented media manipulation, bias, distortion and suppression of information. Without progress we’d all be living in an area like Dayton, Tennessee, the county where the ‘monkey trial’ took place in 1925. This was the famous trial where teacher John Scopes was convicted of teaching the theory of evolution. Well in keeping with the tradition of ignorance, this county is asking the lawmakers of Tennessee to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature. The county commissioners approved the request by a vote of 8-0. Evolution is obviously still absent from Dayton, Tennessee.
    Even within the punk scene, which is supposed to challenge the pitfalls of prejudice and oppression, we can see that homophobia is either not regularly challenged or swept under the rug, same as sexism. Racism does not enjoy the same acceptance in the punk scene as homophobia and sexism seem to but there is absolutely no difference between one form of prejudice or another. A bigot is a bigot and in my opinion if you’re homophobic or sexist then you’re absolutely no different than an ignorant klansman or nazi. You can hide behind bible interpretation, government policy, tradition or public opinion as much as you like but that doesn’t change the fact that you are indeed a bigot.
    I recently read an article by columnist Cynthia Tucker who wrote about the same-sex marriage issue within the African American community. She writes: “you’d think black Americans- still struggling against a lingering, if muted, racism- would occupy the front lines in the battle against bigotry.” Not the case, as she points out, with the majority of African Americans opposed to same-sex marriage as well. She goes on to talk about how disappointing it is to see black ministers ‘brandishing the bible against gays’ like those who wielded the billy club against civil rights marchers. The same way that whites used the bible to justify the enslavement of blacks for some 300 years. Several black ministers wrote: “to equate a lifestyle choice to racism demeans the work of the entire civil rights movement.”  That’s truly sad, discouraging and hypocritical beyond belief. So again does it merely come down to people only caring about oppression when they are the ones being oppressed? To the majority is oppression fine as long as it’s directed at someone else? Can every other form of oppression be ignored, rationalized, and justified? No, there is absolutely no justification for oppression. There is no way that anyone can try to restrict another persons rights under the guise of  “protecting the sanctity of marriage” or “doing god’s work” and be considered anything other than an oppressor, no matter how much you try to distort your position and try to convince yourself that you’re the one under fire from the gay lifestyle trying to destroy your religious beliefs. Oppression is oppression and a bigot is a bigot. And if you think that an amendment needs to be passed banning same-sex marriage then you are, quite simply, a bigot, no matter what you tell yourself in order to be able to look in the mirror everyday.