Tuesday, June 22, 2010

About that Prop 8 documentary

This past weekend my husband and I went to see the movie, 8: The Mormon Proposition. We knew it hadn't gotten the greatest reviews, but we didn't care. We were going to see it no matter what. We need to know exactly who is out to hurt our gay son and by extension, our family. We need to know the enemy. This issue is just too important to us and fully understanding the forces behind Proposition 8 is the first step in securing everyone's right to marry the person they love. And though we pretty much knew who the villains were going to be, we didn't realize just how far right-wing religious zealots would go to achieve their goal of crushing gays and lesbians, their families, and the families (like ours) who love them. We also didn't realize how much money, manpower, and dirty rotten lies they were willing to invest in order to enshrine their religious beliefs into California's laws.

We expected the theater to be pretty empty, but much to our surprise, it wasn't. In fact there was a pretty large and diverse crowd, including many straight couples like ourselves. And I suspect they were there doing exactly what my husband and I were doing, finding out just how deep the involvement of the Mormon Church in Utah was in stripping the gays and lesbians in California of rights that everyone else has.

I thought I knew all the gory details, but I was wrong. I was horrified at just how deceitful and dirty these so-called religious people were willing to get to achieve their goal of defining marriage to exclude anyone who does not meet Mormon leadership's approval. The level of hate, cruelty, and deception went beyond anything I could have imagined. I sat in that theater vacilating between seething rage and shock. Watching the amount of time, money, energy, and methodical planning that went into getting this hateful Proposition passed was almost more than I could take. I am ashamed to say this, but my hatred for the Mormon Church (and the Catholic Church, which played a sneaky in-the-shadows role) has grown exponentially after watching this documentary. These so-called men of God are nothing but evil, mean bigots.

But there is something else in this documentary that upset me even more than the millions of dollars and nasty tactics used to pass Prop 8 and that is the complete and unquestioning faith that most Mormons have in their prophets. The threat of being thrown out of the Church was used to extort millions from the church's members and judging from the millions upon millions that started immediately rolling into California, I'd say it is quite an effective threat. Commands from on high are certainly obeyed. Questions apparently do not get asked. Doubts do not see the light of day. Checks are written for the amounts demanded regardless of whether one can afford it or not. The Mormon faithful blindly obeyed.

But I just have to ask: what about those Mormons who have gay children, or gay friends, or gay co-workers, or gay loved ones? They were certainly asked to give too. The answer is, they gave. And they gave until it hurt, just like everyone else. And that is why one of Utah's dirtiest, but best kept secrets is the very high number of homeless gay and lesbian children living in the streets and sewers. They are discarded like trash because that is what a good Mormon (and for that matter Evangelical) family must do to remain in good standing in these Houses of Hate that pass as churches.

My mind reels at the idea of any parent shunning their child for being gay. I simply cannot imagine throwing my child to the street like trash because some bigot on a stage in a mega-church or temple tells me that my child is evil, nor can I fathom blindly trusting someone who tells me my child or anyone else's child is not worthy of the same rights everyone else enjoys. But I can tell you what I would have no problem imagining (because I did it) and that is dumping any church that is loaded with hideous bigots who spend the kind of money, energy, and resources that the Mormon church spent to get this hateful proposition passed. Imagine how much good all that money and energy could have accomplished had it been spent differently. But no, it was spent to hurt others and strip them of rights. And that my friends is not good Christian love, it is pure evil. Share

Finding his compassion only after he felt the religious-right's vicious anti-gay cruelty and hatred first-hand

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but...

Andrew Sullivan has a Quote for the Day III on his blog today that makes me both happy and ill. Yes, I am glad Ted Haggard seems to have found his humanity and his heart, but it took feeling the full brunt of cruelty that today's right-wing (so-called) Christians dish out in the name of the Lord. And lest we forget (and I never will), Pastor Ted helped feed this gay-loathing monster and profited from it immensely when he was in his hay day as mega-church pastor:

“I believe we are at the end of what church historians will, in the future, call the Billy Graham era... I believe we are also nearing the end of the ‘Religious Right’ representing Evangelicalism... My prayer is that over the next 10 years, there will be a Love Reformation and the Gospel will retake the Bible-believing church," - the tweets of Ted Haggard.

I just wish I could forget his role in the tremendous homophobia that passes as good Christian behavior, but I cannot. The damage he helped wrought is just too great. I can neither forget nor forgive. Share

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dear Maggie Gallagher

With closing arguments in the California Prop 8 trial completed yesterday, the moment of truth is not far away. And if the comments you made on your own NOM website are any indication, you don't seem to be feeling too confident about victory.

And you know what Maggie? I agree with you. You shouldn't be feeling any confidence. You are on the wrong side of this issue and will soon be a sad little footnote in history's chapter on bigots and homophobes.

You see, this country has a long history of doing some pretty awful things to minorities in the name of the bible or some other faux righteous cause. But this country also has a long history of (very) slowly but surely reversing itself on most of those wrongs and eventually doing the right thing. And I believe this is going to be yet another example of good overcoming evil. I can just feel it in my bones.

So Maggie, I have to ask you, what are you going to do with your poor pitiful self once you lose? After all, you have dedicated so much of your life to making sure that other people's misery and second-class citizenship are permanently enshrined into our laws. You have dedicated a whole career to defining victory by how many people's lives (and that includes children) you can destroy and/or make grossly unhappy. You have dedicated your life to creating a whole class of people who will be forever descriminated against and denied rights. You have expended large amounts of energy into telling disgusting lies to make the case for denying others rights you enjoy. And you have created a whole following of bigots who have learned from you how to degrade and dehumanize others under the guise of Christian and family values.

How do you live with yourself knowing that so many consider you a truly despicable and loathsome person?

And Maggie, lest you think it is only the glbt community that you have offended and hurt, let me set you straight. This seething momma would love to be there the day this case finally concludes and all challenges have been exhausted. I want to see the expression on your face when you are told you've lost and your mission of hate is over. I want to see you feel some of the misery you have caused so many others to feel. I want, NO, I need to see the woman who dedicated her life to making sure that one of my beloved sons would be forever denied the right to commit to and marry the person he loves, denied her victory. I want to bask in the joy of seeing your hateful, vengeful, biggoted battle come to an end.

Maggie, let me finish up by saying that I am your worst nightmare. I am a Christian. I am straight. I have been married to my husband for almost 30 years. And we are the parents of three amazing children whom we love so much it hurts. We are that family you claim to be protecting. We have that marriage you claim to defend. And no one knows better than us what you are all about Maggie. And it has nothing to do with families, marriage, children, Christian Values, or Family values. You are a liar and a fraud Maggie and this seething momma knows it.

I cannot muster the energy to hate you Maggie, but I certainly do pity you. Dedicating your life to hurting others is quite an ugly legacy, but you earned it. Now you have to live with it.

H/T to Pam for the picture above.

Update: Here is Kate Kendell's take on the day of closing arguments for Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal challenge to Proposition 8. (Hint: she is pretty happy):