Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why defense of gays matters

From yet another awesome article by Leonard Pitts Jr. a couple of days ago:

I just find myself intrigued by the idea that if you're not gay, you shouldn't care about gay rights.


I know also that some folks are touchy about anything seeming to equate the black civil rights movement with the gay one. And no, gay people were not kidnapped from Gay Land and sold into slavery, nor lynched by the thousands. On the other hand, they do know something about housing discrimination, they do know job discrimination, they do know murder for the sin of existence, they do know the denial of civil rights and they do know what it is like to be used as scapegoat and bogeyman by demagogues and political opportunists.

And then Leonard Pitts, a black man, goes on to make the point that I believe is lost on so many people today:

It seems to me if I abhor intolerance, discrimination and hatred when they affect people who look like me, I must also abhor them when they affect people who do not. For that matter, I must abhor them even when they benefit me. Otherwise, what I claim as moral authority is really just self-interest in disguise.

Among the things we seem to have lost in the years … is the ability, the imagination, the willingness to put ourselves into the skin of those who are not like us. I find it telling that Vice President Dick Cheney hews to the hard conservative line on virtually every social issue, except gay marriage. It is, of course, no coincidence that Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian. Which tells me his position is based not on principle but, rather, on loving his daughter.

It is a fine thing to love your daughter. I would argue, however, that it is also a fine thing and in some ways, a finer thing, to love your neighbor's daughter, no matter her sexual orientation, religion, race, creed or economic status -- and to want her freedom as eagerly as you want your own.

I believe in moral coherence. And Rule No. 1 is, you cannot assert your own humanity, then turn right around and deny someone else's.

Sadly, loving the neighbor’s daughter or son, no matter their sexual orientation, religion, race, creed or economic status would spell financial and political ruin for today’s politicians and hate-preaching religious leaders. I don’t anticipate we will see any moral coherence from that crowd any time soon --- there’s just no personal, political, or financial benefit in doing so --- disguising self-interest as moral authority has been a boon for them.



Anonymous said...

If you are not black you don't need to concern yourself with civil rights, if you're not a women you don't need to concern yourself with women's rights, if you're not poor you don't need to concern yourself with affordable health-care/living wage/etc, if you're not an animal you don't need to concern yourself with animal rights. These and so many others are social justice issues that all of us should be concerned about regardless of our race, sex, income, species. How different our community/country/world would be if people would expand their circle of compassion and empathy.

Seething Mom said...

Well said. I could not agree more.

Mark said...

I not 'homosexual' nor am I tempted by homosexuality. I am however concerned. That concern is pretty simple, it's called sin. It is was seperates all humanity from God. Giving into temptation and sinning is a human condition. Celebrating that sin and holding it up before God as Holy will have immediate and eternal consequences. Christ, and Christ alone bears our sins. Faith in Jesus Christ's work on the cross saves us.

We all have our personal battles and weakness with certain sins. Confession and Repentence are not optional. Christ taught us that in no uncertain terms. Same sex sexual attractions should be treated as temptation. Giving into it and celebrating it is damaging not only to the physical body, but it damages the spiritual body as well. That includes all sin! my sins!

Expanding the circle of compassion and empathy is indeed a good thing! That should not however lead us away from God's word and have us celebrating our fleshly desires as Aaron did in the OT Exodus 32. verse 35 Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.

How different our world would be when we stop making excuses and live for God and under His headship of Christ.

Thank you for allowing me to comment seething mom. You remain in my prayers.