Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Can't Believe I H8 the Whole Thing

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A post-Prop 8 California resident who's somewhat of a public figure expressing intolerance for gay marriage is bad enough. It's akin to kicking a man while he's down. I'll stop short of using as a metaphor Matthew Shepard and Allen Schindler but if my liberal readers wish to extend that metaphor, please feel free.

It was bad enough when professional airhead and wouldbe porn star Carrie Prejean came out last year swinging against gay marriage. The backlash against Prejean no doubt surprised many conservatives and all the former Miss California did was reinforce not America's ongoing prejudice against the LGBT community but the stereotype that depicts all California blondes as bubble-brained bimbos (to see a smart, liberal and Christian exception to the rule, one need look no further than liberal blogger and actress Lydia Cornell).

But Lauren Ashley's views went a step further than Prejean's: Not only did she air out her support for traditional marriage (that is to say, betraying her bigotry against gays wishing to get married), she even quoted the Draconian Leviticus in the New Testament, especially the part in 20:13 (King James version) that says, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."

Fox "News'" website picked up on the story, coming thicclose to painting her detractors and critics as conspiracy-theory wackos but giving more time to her supporters in the National Organization of Marriage (NOM).

In the lead video above, KO and Dan Savage raise good points about so-called Christians cherry-picking parts of the Bible that seek to discredit those whom they think are evil while openly breaking several of the ten Commandments and the other edicts of the Bible. I'm not going to belabor that issue because after Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Savage had their say, I don't think I can add anything to that.

I will, however, use this as a springboard to, once again, delineate the difference between conservative and liberal thought. It's a basic distinction (and hardly an original one, I have to admit) that I'm amazed hasn't caught on with the rest of the American public. The words "conservative" and "liberal" are ultimately unsatisfying and abstract labels that could reference anything from basic political ideology to economic theories (free market vs. regulation, for instance) or social/religious dogma.

And "dogma" is the operative word here. Conservatives tend to use inflexible dogma. They seek to impose their notions of what's good and moral on the rest of us and tend to get very testy when their beliefs are challenged. They shun debate and automatically default to blustering and incoherent screaming when shown the foolhardiness and ignorance of their arguments.

Liberals do not need to use dogma. We liberals, especially those of us in the LGBT community, are not screaming about the evils of traditional marriage. As with President Obama's mantra of you being able to keep your employer-based health care plan even after a new HCR bill has been ratified and signed into law, the LGBT movement is saying, in essence, "Traditional marriage is fine if you're hetereosexual. Just give us the same rights to marry within our own gender."

That's it. That's the "evil homosexual agenda" and this all-inclusive liberal thought tends to extend across the spectrum of modern-day thought. When liberals rail about the need for single payer, universal health care, we're fighting for the rights of all Americans, not just liberals, but also Tea Partiers to have quality, affordable health care. When we insist on tighter regulations on rapacious corporations, we're also fighting for the rights of all Americans for the right to be treated fairly and with respect by the same corporations and industries whom we'd bailed out without much of a voice.

When we call for higher standards of workplace safety and advocate for unions, we're not stopping to think how such measures and initiatives will benefit only liberals and not conservatives. When we protest Monsanto tightening its grip on the world's food supply and call for stricter FDA and USDA standards to make safer the food, beverages and pharmaceuticals we ingest, we're not seeking to lock out our conservative fellow Americans.

When we liberals call for tighter clean air and water standards, we're well aware that conservatives breathe the same air and drink the same water as us and that we're also fighting for them. When we call for measures to be taken to reverse global warming, we're very well aware that that we all share the same planet, the only one we have. Our liberal philosophies may be flawed at times but at least it's consistently all-inclusive.

Conservatives think only of themselves and when they call for us to adopt their ignorant initiatives, they're saying, "You're either with us or against us." When they advance their own Biblically-based agenda against same sex marriage, they're dictating to the gay community whom they can't marry.

And Lauren Ashley's comments about gay marriage and how the Bible is "black and white" about such "an abomination" that calls for the deaths of gays the world over immediately puts her at the vanguard of virtually all right wing groups that similarly seek to abolish gay marriage in the five states that still have it (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Iowa).

Ashley falls back on the, "Oh, I don't have anything against gay people. Some of my best friends are gay people" tried-and-true counter-argument. It doesn't matter that she's an ignorant airhead whose brain cells had long ago been replaced with Biblical confetti. It's gaining traction. It's a sad commentary on America but it's true: No matter how ignorant, stupid, cruel, racist, intolerant and Draconian your views, a certain percentage of our population will not only listen but cheer from the sidelines, even figuratively (if not literally) hoist you up on their shoulders.

Yet Beverly Hills immediately disavowing itself from Ashley itself serves as a mini bellwether of the latter-day intolerance of the intolerance against the LGBT community. NOM's president Maggie Gallagher saying,
But I have to say, I am impressed with her courage in coming forward and for speaking up for Carrie. The elected officials of city of Beverly Hills are not demonstrating tolerance or kindness by continuing the avalanche of hatred against supporters of Prop 8

comes off as sounding more than a little audacious and hypocritical considering Ashley's own intolerance and using the Bible as a justification for more Matthew Shepards and Allen Schindlers.

It's one thing to advance a cause, agenda or opinion. It's another thing entirely to try to impose such notions on those whom you do not understand and have no wish to understand and to the point of espousing death to be visited upon those who are mandated by nature to live a different lifestyle.

It's not Beverly Hills that's being intolerant. It's people like Carrie Prejean, Lauren Ashley, James Dobson and every other opponent of same sex marriage who simply cannot stand the idea that people would want to live their lives in peace, quiet and dignity in an extra-Biblical way.

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