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Why can’t republicans stop talking about abortion and gay people and start talking about jobs?

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They are the most genitalia and sex obsessed group of people I have ever encountered.
And that’s saying a lot.
They scream “small government” and run on a platform of jobs. Then since 2010, ten states have banned abortion past 20 weeks. When none had a ban before. And how many jobs bills have they proposed? Try zero.

I wrote this 8 months ago & it sat as a draft.
But published it today as it is sadly still relevant.
So that’s really all I have to say.

 

Photo from politicalcarnival.net & @gottalaff on twitter

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What the Bible has to say about homosexuality… and a few other things. (Yes, it’s a long post. The Bible is long, ok?)

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Here’s a collection of quotes of things that God does not like from the Bible: I’ll give my summary or example at the beginning of each one, followed by the actual quote. And then you’ll get a bit of commentary. Hey it’s my blog. No one’s making you read this. (Except my partner who I make proofread everything- sorry sweetie… )  So, here we go! A quick summary of God’s immutable rules:

Having slaves is cool as long as you buy them locally: Leviticus 25:44: “Both your male and female slaves, whom you shall have, shall be of the nations that are round about you; of them shall you buy male and female slaves.”

No tattoos or piercings: Leviticus 19:28: ‎”Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”  (So that Jesus tattoo on your arm was a bit misguided.)

Don’t wear cotton-poly blends: Deuteronomy 22:11: “Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.” (I told you to rethink that jacket.)

Yes, you can sell your daughter as a slave but she will never be freed like your son might: Exodus 21:7: “”When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are” (Good to know during recessions like this.)

Just don’t go anywhere near a woman when she is having her period: Lev. 15: 19-24: “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean.  Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening. If a man has sexual relations with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.” (They really want to make sure you know not to go near a woman who is having her period.)

No working on Sunday: Exodus 35:15: “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.” (So pray you don’t get the Sunday shift at StarBucks- it’s death for you!)

Don’t eat shellfish: Lev. 11:10: “But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12‘Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.” (So, sorry, no more Red Lobster for you!)

Don’t shave your head or beard: Lev. 21:5: ” They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard.” (Vin Diesel has some repenting to do.)

Women who have slept with another dude are off limits: Lev. 21:7: ” They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.” (Too bad this one isn’t enforced- the Kardashians wouldn’t be able to continue procreating.)

If you’re a preacher’s daughter that has sex outside wedlock, you’ll be burned to death: Lev. 21:9: “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.”

Only marry a woman who is a virgin: Lev. 21:14: “A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.” (Funny that again, it’s just women who must be a virgins-I wonder why God is so concerned with women’s sex lives but not men’s?)

If you’ve got almost any kind of physical deformity, you can’t approach the altar of the Lord- sorry: Lev: 21: 18-21: “For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.” (Funny how that seems to directly contradict what Jesus taught.)

Don’t eat rabbit or pork- or touch a football:  Lev. 11:6-8: “And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.” (So much for Easter Sunday- ham and football- both forbidden.)

Mules are unholy. Don’t mix crops in your field: Lev. 19:19: “Keep my decrees. “Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.” (These are just random and weird.)

Anyone who takes the Lord’s name in vain shall be stoned by the entire community: Lev. 24:13-16: “Then the Lord said to Moses: Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.” (Seems harsh.)

Mediums/fortunetellers should be stoned: Leviticus 20:27:  “A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death.” (Bad news for Dionne Warwick.)

Also, apparently, if you’ve ever called Dionne Warwick, you’re in kinda big trouble too: Leviticus 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” The penalty for that? Lev.20:6: “As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”

Hitting your parents is punishable by death: Exodus 21:15:  “Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death.” (although I’d think he’d create a loophole for Tatum O’Neal and Lindsay Lohan.)

If another country disagrees with you religiously, it’s ok to invade them and kill them all. In fact, God will be happy about that:  Deuteronomy 13:13-19: “Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (I think we might still be taking this one too literally.)

Cursing God’s name is punishable by death: Leviticus 24:10-16:  “Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD’s name will surely die.”  (Death for saying Goddammit. Wow.)

If someone goes against God, kill not only him, but all men, women, children, and animals around him:  1 Samuel 15:2-3: “I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.” (Mass murder as punishment for one guy’s sin. What could possibly be wrong about that?)

If someone asks you to hit them and you don’t, you’d better hope God wasn’t commanding you through them or a lion’s gonna kill you ass:  1 Kings 20:35-36:  “Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, “Strike me!” But the man refused to strike the prophet. Then the prophet told him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me.” And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him.” (I just like this one because it’s bizarre and features death by lion. WTF?)

If you’re having sex with your brother’s wife, and you, ya know, pull out early to avoid getting her pregnant, God will be displeased with you (bc you didn’t get her pregnant) and make you suicidal: Genesis 38:9-10: “Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also.” (OK. This is my favorite. Really? If you’re gonna screw your brother’s wife, make sure you inseminate her with your sperm. Really?)

If your junk is deformed, you can’t come to God’s altar. Sorry dude: Deuteronomy 23:1 reads (this is the God’s Word translation, which spells it out better), “A man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off may never join the assembly of the Lord.”

If you’re an illegitimate child or a descendant to anyone who was, you can not approach God’s altar: Deuteronomy 23:2 reads, “No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” (Sorry Oprah. No praying at the altar for you. Or any of your descendants.)

Ladies- all that jewelry and those braids. God isn’t a fan- : Timothy 2:9: “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.” (Only pertains to women so I guess Mr. T is ok- except for the shaved head.)

Anyone who is divorced and remarried is an adulterer. (Not such good news when you see Leviticus’ punishment for adulterers below): Mark 10:11-12, “And He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” (Rush should have been stoned 3 times by now.)

Adultery is punishable by death: Leviticus 20:10:  “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.” (Ergo: Newt Gingrich and Calista Gingrich must be put to death.)

Don’t argue with priests or judges. Ever: Deuteronomy 17:12:  “Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel.” (So… don’t question authority?…)

If you are in a fight with another dude, and your wife tries to protect you and she touches the other guy’s junk, even accidentally, you’ve got to cut off her hand: Deuteronomy 25:11-12: “If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.” (That’s just weird. I mean, how did THAT rule come about?)

Mind your angry oxen: Exodus 21:29:  “If you are an ox that has attacked a person once already or if you are its owner and it kills someone the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.”

And finally, the most famous one of all, the one that is the word of God, even when all of the above are ignored on a daily basis:  Leviticus 20:13:  “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Interesting women lying with women isn’t mentioned at all- free pass for lesbians? or maybe women just didn’t matter in that society…?)

Just to be clear, Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. Only the old testament. Which dictated most of the rules above. He did say a lot about the hungry and poor, though…

Also, let’s note what activities are punishable by death according to the Bible:

Murder

Adultery

Rape

Sodomy

Working on the Sabbath

Not crying out while being raped

A woman not being a virgin on the night of her wedding

Worshiping other gods

Witchcraft

Taking the LORD’s name in vain or cursing his name

Cursing a parent

Kidnapping

Homosexuality (but only male)

A woman speaking in church

Bestiality

Being a psychic or spiritualist

Lying about virginity (women)

Not penning up a known dangerous bull

Sexual activity with a woman who is menstruating (possibly- so why chance it)

Raping a virgin who is engaged (if she’s not engaged, you can just pay her father and it’s fine)

Being a rebellious son

Also- not necessarily capital offenses (depending on the source) but definitely not OK with God:
Consuming blood, including blood in meat
Cooking a goat in its mother’s milk
Eating fat
Eating pork
Eating a meat more than three days old
Eating shellfish
Transvestism
Consuming the meat of strangled animals
Consulting a psychic or spiritualist
Planting more than one kind of seed in a field
Wearing clothing woven of more than one kind of cloth
Cutting the hair on the sides of your head or clipping of the edges of your beard
Tattoos
Touching the dead carcass of a pig
Disobedience by slaves

So it looks like it’s not only the gays that need to be concerned. In fact, given that there’s really only one line in the Bible about homosexuality, some of those other things on the list are actually more thoroughly reviled by God. So when you’re about to go get your Jesus tattoo, just remember, you’re no better than the gays.

A Religion I’d Follow:

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I have a  hypothesis I want to run by you. It’s kind of out there, but just read the whole thing before you decide whether or not you think it’s bullshit. Then, if at the end you still do, go ahead and tell me. That’s fair.

First I should start by saying I consider myself agnostic. What I mean by that is that I don’t know whether or not there is a God, but I don’t believe in the one defined by modern Christianity… ie…the Bible is the Word of God. I believe it’s a moral code. And I don’t know whether it was inspired by any greater being or not. But if it was, I’m about to propose the God I would believe in and a church I would attend.

First we just have to assume that a God exists. What if God inspired the Bible all that time ago with the intention that we would take it, read it, consider society at the time it was written, learn from science over thousands of years, and then develop our own moral code, informed by facts and history, as our society matured? I know that’s crazy talk. It means that instead of being a narcissistic power freak, God would be a kind and teaching God. He would give us the room to evolve and grow as our understanding of the world grew. He wouldn’t hold us to some set of standards developed by men thousands of years ago… when slavery was normal, women were property, our understanding of science and the world was minuscule. I mean, we thought the world was flat until someone figured out it wasn’t. But the Bible said it was. How do you explain that? I can’t.

I’d like to think that if there is a God, he isn’t worried about whether I’m eating pork or shellfish, crushing on my neighbor’s wife, or attracted to the same sex. I think he’s hoping we all figure out how to live together without murder, rape, robbery. He’s hoping we just aren’t assholes. He’s hoping we keep in mind the things that are really important- the things Jesus taught: Love. Forgiveness. Compassion. Peace. Maybe he’s hoping we’ll figure out how to work together, in communities, and possibly with structured governments to ensure everyone is cared for? I know. Crazytalk.

I’d like to think if there is a God, he’s hoping we take everything he’s given us- life and a moral code… and also science and evidence… and putting it all together to create and even broader understanding of life. But we don’t seem to be doing that. We just seem as a society to be using the Bible to condemn people we don’t agree with. Meanwhile we ignore the parts of the Bible that condemn the things we think are OK. How is that following his word?

I don’t think it is.

Why Marriage Equality Matters. (Hint, it’s not about God)

Thank you National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for summing this up nicely.

Congratulations on Your Marriage!
To honor this special occasion, the US Government is happy to present to you:
-access to social security after spouse’s death
-the right to custody of children after divorce
-access to health insurance through spouse’s workplace
-visitation rights for non-biological children
-joint parenting rights, such as access to children’s school records
-bereavement leave after spouse’s death
-burial determination after spouse’s death
-domestic violence intervention
-sick leave to care for spouse or non-biological child
-legal validation of a long-term relationship
-ability to live in neighborhoods deemed “family only”
-access to life insurance in spouse’s workplace
-access to survivor benefits in case of emergency
-access to spouse’s crime victim’s recovery benefits
-ability to file wrongful death claims
-right to shared property, child support, or alimony after divorce
-ability to file joint home and auto insurance policies
-joint rental leases with automatic renewal rights if spouse dies or leaves
-access to adopting children
-automatic inheritance of shared assets after spouse’s death
-automatic exemption of property tax increases on shared assets gained after spouse’s death
-ability to file joint tax returns
-access to tax breaks for married couples
-veterans’ discounts based on spouse’s armed forces status
-assumption of spouse’s pension after death
-ability to file joint bankruptcy
-ability to collect unemployment benefits after leaving a job to relocate because of spouse’s job move
-ability to transfer property from one spouse to another without transfer tax consequences
-access to fostering children
-automatic next-of-kin status for emergency medical decisions and hospital visitation status
-immigration and residency priority for spouses from another country
-ability to invoke spousal privileges in a court of law
-access to reduced-rate memberships at health clubs, social clubs, organizations
-prison visitation rights

*reserved solely for unions that consist of one man and one woman.
See below for same-sex couples:

You get nothing.

You see, gays don’t want God’s approval. They just want the same benefits and protections straight people take for granted every single damn day. The churches can do what they want. Take away that list of benefits, people wouldn’t be so KEEN on getting married just to make a promise to God.

The federal government either needs to get OUT of the marriage sanctioning and reward business, or treat everyone equally.

This is NOT a valid argument:

But for some reason, these are the people being listened to by our federal government. That needs to change.

Tiffany Alston meet Karma

Tiffany Alston. Wow. You, madam have some balls.

You ran for office by supporting gay marriage. So, lots of people believing in and hoping for equality voted for you.

Then you dicked around and pulled a no show on the marriage equality bill, thus killing the bill the senate had already passed. As an lgbt member of your community, that alone disgusted me beyond belief and prompted me to be sure everyone in your district knew your name and what you did.

And now, oh dear Tiffany, you are being accused of and indicted for using campaign funds (some donated by your lgbt supporters) for your own wedding. This new information brings forth a few emotions and thoughts. Let me break them down:

1. Wow. Just wow.

2. How stupid are you? People do look into how campaign funds are spent.

3. You used constituents’ donations to your campaign (promising support for gay marriage) for your own wedding. And then you single-handedly killed the bill. That’s just gross. I mean that’s a real asshat move. And that’s putting it politely.

4. I have a renewed faith in the old saying “what goes around comes around.” For that I thank you.

Enjoy the publicity! It’s likely to be the last you get. I hope your short-lived political career characterized by denying some of your constituents the equality you promised was fulfilling. I won’t miss you.

Tiffany Alston indicted

Regarding Don Dwyer and MD Attorney General Doug Gansler

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I am so sick of this bullshit.
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(Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer)
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This is a copy of the letter I sent to my Governor, Martin O’Malley.  I also sent similar copies to my delegates, state senator, and congressman.
Dear (insert delegate, state senator, congressman, and governor’s name here),

I am writing as a tax-paying resident of Maryland, in regard to Representative Don Dwyer’s recent motion to impeach Attorney General Doug Gansler.
The Attorney General was simply doing what was asked of him by the governor in granting an opinion.  It seems to have enraged Representative Dwyer that this opinion was that Maryland should recognize out of state same sex marriages, and it enrages me that he is misrepresenting his true motives in this matter by purporting a phony premise for impeachment.  I feel this is a ridiculous, homophobic, money and time-wasting effort on the part of Representative Dwyer during a time when I’m certain our legislators have much more pressing issues of actual importance to address in our state.

This is most definitely a personal issue for me.  I am a gay resident of your district.
My partner and I own a house, pay our taxes, vote regularly, and try to be active, positive influences in our neighborhood and community.  We have plans to marry in DC in June and were looking forward to the possibility that our marriage could be recognized in our home state.  This movement to impeach the Attorney General appears to me to be a blatant act of discrimination as well as a massive sign of disrespect (dare I say even animosity?) towards myself as a resident of this state.  It is insulting, disappointing, and not indicative of the wishes of Marylanders.  I am so very tired of my rights being continuously targeted or sacrificed by our legislators in ginning up fear or simple politics simply because of who I love.
I am a person.  I am not a pawn to be used for purposes of re-election using fear and hate based tactics. Our elected officials should be fighting for the residents of this state, not against them.  In fact, if legislators such as Mr. Dwyer fought half as hard for issues such as ending poverty, creating jobs, and saving the environment as he does for pro-discriminatory stunts, I can only imagine our state would benefit immensely.  And, if Representative Dwyer stopped his Facebook rhetoric long enough to look around, he would also realize that his gay constituents (and he does have them) have no secret agenda to fear. They only want what is fair and what their heterosexual counterparts enjoy: security and protection for their families. As I understand it, that is why you were elected: this is his job and yours, to fight to ensure that security and protection.  Representative Dwyer (and anyone who would support this motion) should be ashamed of their actions in this matter.

I am also appalled by Representative Dwyer’s actions as I feel they are solely politically motivated and will result in our state and the assembly spending time and money on this frivolous action.  This is money and time that would be better spent on actual important issues to our district and state.  How much money and time have we lost to this inane motion?  Does our state want to spend its time and money on an action based on fear and hate?  An action meant only to discriminate against its very own residents and those who might wish to move here in the future.  Does our state want to spend time and money hearing an argument against equal rights that has NEVER been validated or justified with facts?  Does our state want to spend time and money hearing an argument based solely on someone’s personal prejudices?

I certainly have no intention of voting for any representative who feels that our state should.

I am writing as a resident of the the state to ask you to please oppose this ridiculous, insulting, detrimental, discriminatory and  backwards move attempted by Representative Dwyer. This is obviously nothing more than an attempt to forward Representative Dwyer’s hateful political agenda: to withhold rights to residents of this state who simply want equality.

I encourage you to read this letter and consider where our representatives’ priorities should lie. Is it with the rights and freedom of their constituents?  Or is it to advance some old, worn out, backwards agenda that does nothing but hurt your voting families?  I was under the impression that he was sent there to represent US, not his own narrow-minded beliefs.  If you feel I write too passionately, I ask you to consider how you would respond if you were in my shoes.

I respectfully thank you for your time,

(my full name and contact info)

We need a leader.

We have a large divese LGBTQ population in this country.  But we don’t have a community.  We need a leader.  Not one person to represent us all and speak for us all.  But one person to bring us together.  To remind us why we are all on the same side here, to inspire us, and to hold us accountable for our responsibility to each other.  We need to be reminded that despite our differences, we are one community.  Otherwise, we’re just pissing in the wind and on each other, really, aren’t we?

We need a common goal.  Well, we need a reminder that we already have a common goal… but can we walk the walk?  We sure talk a good game about love, respect, fairness, open-mindedness, kindness, and equality.  Do we really mean it?

The LGBTQ population in this country is huge.  It has many stories, many causes, and many interests.  What’s the common thread?  A desire for Equality? Civil rights? Social justice?  That’s what I always thought…that’s what I thought made us a community.  I’ve always seen it as a community.  Have I been wrong?

Divide and conquer.  It always works.  It’s working now.  So many subgroups of the LGBTQ community, each with their own valid perspective and goals, fight with each other instead of for each other.  Why are we making this harder for ourselves?

There is sexism, racism, classism, and more within the LGBTQ community on  daily basis.  Gays bash trans people.  Trans people bash “cis”gay people.  Men continue to marginalize women.  Lesbians shun trans women. We rally to our separate corners and insult each other for not being able to understand our separate experiences and perspectives.  And, in true American form, the people with the loudest voice are the ones with the most money.  That type of discrimination is what I hear most people within the LGBTQ community decry.  But they do it.  To each other. Every day.

We should be celebrating and supportive of our differences.  Instead we splinter into more and more fragments of a potentially large and powerful group, our collective voices growing smaller, and our cynicism of each other growing larger.  Why is that?

I challenge anyone out there in the LGBTQ community to ask yourself if you’re doing it too.  I know I have. We do seem to have the same desires… simply equality.  Don’t we all just want to be able to be ourselves and treated as full and equal citizens within the law?  It’s not really that difficult.  But we make it so hard.  We fight everyone on the “outside” who hate us and fight to deny us basic human rights.  Are we fighting FOR each other, though?  If you’re a gay man, are you actively supporting the lesbians and trans people in your community?  Or are you competing with them,unaware of them, or even in some cases mocking them?  I’m not just picking on gay men.  I ask that of every group.  But, gay men,  especially gay white men, it is time to suck it up and admit to yourselves you’re the most privileged of us all.  And if you’re not sure what that means, then that proves my point.  We all have a story that is unique.   We all have hopes and dreams.  We all have our own struggles.  We don’t have to be alike to be allies.  We don’t have to be the same to respect and fight for each other.

Which brings me to selfishness.  I fear our generation of LGBTQ has become apathetic and selfish.  We operate on a “I’ve got mine, so screw the rest” mentality, and as  result, we don’t support each other.  We just marginalize other groups within our own community to help our own subgroup.  Is that progress? Progress of policy, perhaps, but at what cost?

Which leaves me with responsibility.  That’s a hard one, isn’t it? Conservatives are big proponents of “personal responsibility”.  There’s nothing wrong with that…. unless you claim to be a proponent of social justice and equality.  Then, the bar is much higher.  Doesn’t that intrinsically demand that we stand up for all those who are shunned, marginalized, abused, abandoned, and hated simply for who they are?  I see glimmers of that within the LGBTQ community, but more often I just see infighting.  And to complicate it further, wouldn’t that also intrinsically include all of those not within our own community facing the same challenges? We rely heavily on our allies.  Whose allies are we? Simply our own?

Compassion and perspective serve us well.  We need to use them more.  We all know what it feels like to be ignored, bullied, even hated.  Are we doing the same thing to someone else?  Just because they are different from us?  And no, I’m not saying you have to love people who hate you.  That’s a very difficult thing to do.  It’s time-consuming, and often a waste of energy. But what about people who need help, a voice, a proponent, who are different from you and may not understand you?  Is it ok to ignore or condemn minorities of people who are different from you because you don’t understand or agree with them?  Or because they don’t understand you?  Not if you’re asking for equality for yourself.  That would be extremely hypocritical. 

I’m also not saying you have to be perfect in your attempt to understand and connect outside of your circle of interest.  We are infamous in our own community for tearing each other apart for one poorly spoken politically incorrect statement.  Instead of teaching each other how to be supportive and loving, we bash each other for being wrong.  No wonder we retreat further and further away from those who may be different and into our own little safe corners where everyone agrees with us.

I’ve struggled with why, it seems, that people of  christian “faith” seem to be the least tolerant of those who are different in this country.  To date, I really can’t answer that. I don’t understand how a religion based on the teachings of a kind, accepting, mild-mannered man has been almost proudly twisted into a weapon with which to threaten, ridicule, condemn, and legislate against those who are different.  People’s motives, it seems, will always be a mystery.  Or maybe it is just fear and greed.  I like to think it’s more complicated.  But is it?  What makes us ignore and turn on groups within our own community?  Fear and greed? Powerful stuff, I suppose.  I like to think there’s a lot more to our community than that.