Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brookin' no more

I have sometimes written that within every victim lies a tyrant. I continue to see evidence of this archetypal enantiodromia.

Certainly the hate crime laws, absent a strongly held First Amendment, would lead to hate speech laws. And where they exist, how often are any of these victim-friendly constructs are ever applied equally? They target the formerly dominant oppressor classes. Are Muslims, Blacks, homosexuals or women ever tried under these vile regulations of the secular faith?

And the continuing devolution of gaydom into a spiteful freedom-hating cult, the very thing they rant on about "the religious Right.". If you oppose any of our causes du jour, you are an evil bigot.

Because a board member of the US Olympic committee (!) exercises his freedom to oppose gay marriage, he had to resign his post. Skating queen Johnny Weir was horrified at this disgraceful opinion.

And because a theologically conservative but socially left Christian magazine would not take an ad which, despite the disingenuous protests of its sponsors, accepts homosexuality as ethically fine, it is now being outcast from the flock (aka herd) of progressive Christianists. Lesbians moaned that without full acceptance, their work among the poor would be tainted by churchly tsk-tsking over their "loving and committed" relationships. Religious Left star Jim Wallis went from Defender of the Faith to Outcast of the Week in a heartbeat. "Diverse Beliefs. Shared Values."

As I, among others, have said, the religion of secular humanism and its progressive politics aims, like all dogmatic faiths, to humble and erase its predecessors, brooking no opposition. So much for speaking truth to power.


Unknown said...

But... free speech can (and does) have consequences. It had for gay people for a long time (and still today) if they so much as hinted at their orientation.

I fully support this not because I feel a victim (quite the contrary), but because is convenient to change social perception and I want to. Ideally thinking being gay is immoral should have the same reaction as someone spousing racist ideas about one race being superior to other.

Anonymous said...

»"It's wrong," Weir said. "I certainly wouldn't want to be represented by someone who is anti-gay marriage. It isn't just about marriage, it is being allowed equal rights as Americans. The fact this man who is very publicly against something that may be represented on the American team is disgraceful."«

I suppose, though, that it was also "disgraceful" for the president and vice-president of the United States to have said during the election campaign that they hold that "marriage" is between a man and a woman.

No doubt the president and vice-president will find it very strange if someone takes the advice of Jim Naughton at Episcopal Cafe and informs them that "Jim Wallis and his minions" no longer speak for progressive Christianity because Sojourners won't *condemn* the opinion that "marriage" is between a man and a woman.

Wallis doesn't say that LGBT relationships are "immoral," does he, Mr Edward?


Unknown said...

"I suppose, though, that it was also "disgraceful" for the president..."

Yes, it was. Yes, it is. But there is the ideal and the real and I can't blame the Democratic/independent gay vote for being pragmatic. Besides Obama's evolving ;-)

I have no problem with Mr. Weir's positions on this issue at all.

I just stated than in general, I'd fall like a ton of bricks on someone spewing anti-gay positions in a place or situation in which I have the opportunity or responsibility of doing so. I consider that unacceptable (think gay is wrong? keep it to yourself and all is well) and it is my right to do so.

I've paid the cost of exercising that freedom sometimes and I've made other people paid that cost too and, boy, the average person does think it twice before doing it again because is too much trouble for taking a stand in an issue that barely blips in their radar.

Of course, honey is better than vinegar. But when we're at homophobic remarks or at affirming "matter-of-factly" that gay relationships are second class to my face we're waaaaaay pass honey.

Unknown said...

Just saying, not all backlash to anti-gay positions come from a place of playing the victim.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wallis may have the perhaps mistaken belief that LGBT community is mostly or entirely affluent white people. He may accordingly think that the LGBT doesn't need the advocacy of Sojourners, the way that the destitute do. Sure, there are LGBT in minority American populations, but as in the world situation outside the western democracies, an advocacy organization with a reputation for LGBT activism would not be welcome in such populations in America. The poor populations may be harming themselves by such homophobia, but Wallis may consider that part of their benightedness. (Obviously in politeness and strategic concern for social ministry one doesn't mention 'benightedness' etc.)

And in terms of religious political prophecy, Mr Wallis pragmatically wishes to stay 'this side' of the liberal-evangelical divide on the big three issues (abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality). If he affirms LGBT marriage, he will have much less power to use the Bible to apply guilt screws to white evangelicals. ... It's curious why these three issues are the dividing line for conservative vs liberal Christianity, but there they are. Recent progressive Christian journalism asking Christians to 'move beyond' such "stereotypes" was trying to remove these three issues from concern: good Christianity would emerge as seriously theistically believing or at least 'passionate' about God or spirituality (that's the element that's to please the conservatives) and have a progressive agenda in voting in American elections and possibly even in terms of social ministry. Very comprehensible: wishing to have those conservative Christians who attend church take up the programmes that liberal Christians 'support' but mostly don't generate much activism for in ordinary white population.

Perhaps Wallis fears that he would experience the fate of Matthew Fox were he to affirm LGBT marriage. When Matthew Fox was a Catholic, he had some credibility on 'social' issues. But now that he's a liberal Anglican or however he may wish to identity, he has no traction with the church-going population.

By staying on the 'evangelical' side of those three issues, Wallis retains a plausible identity as an evangelical Christian. That is, 'evangelical' as a meaning that really occurs in the culture. For of course academically etc, 'evangelical' can be described in a variety of ways. Without a claim to be evangelical, Sojourners would be just one more American liberal or progressive activist Christian op-ed set who speak for few churchgoers and few actual activists.

It may be also a pragmatic consideration for the RCC that affirmation of LGBT evidently correlates with emptying of churches in the protestant communions. This empirial situation would be remedy'd from the perspective of LGBT concerns if someone could figure out a Christian affirmation of LGBT that didn't correlate with declining church attendance -- or even that motivated LGBT to start attending church. This to me is also very curious. Even now, the only churches that LGBT persons seem really to seek affirmation in are those that don't affirm LGBT.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps also pragmatically, the elevation of LGBT as "marriage" will somehow seem to confirm the meaninglessness of "marriage" not to the elevation of LGBT relationships. I don't say or imply that the fault in that experience of meaninglessness is primarily or even hardly at all caused by LGBT activism. Only that what seems happening empirically in the culture is the devaluation of marriage. LGBT activism merely goes along with the tide? e.g. that the first version of the Gay Liberation Manifesto declaim'd against such things.

Perhaps gay liberation made a mistaken turn when mainstreaming was demanded, rather than a rich position as a valued and not 'immoral' but not mainstream subculture. ... In any case, if the real purpose of the tide were a clearing away residual charismata of Christendom in preparation for Islamic sharia, well, then, you know, unintended consequences, the road to the Caliphate is paved with activist intentions and all that.

Not necessarily that this is an objection. I guess anyone who feels that an acceptance of LGBT relationships that still privileges marriage for the union of man and woman is not meaningfully different from direct "homophobia" will not notice the transition from Jim Wallis's Christianity to Sharia.

Anyway, Wallis wishes to be able to claim prophethood vis-a-vis white evangelicals in America, and acceptance in the global multi-racial community of evangelical Christians. I guess something changed that made Episcopal Cafe decide to condemn the pragmatic considerations in Wallis's decision.

Unknown said...

I respect Mr. Wallis' pragmatism; he has a bigger fish to fry and that's about it. I don't know enough about his work to pronounce an opinion on it thought.

If (and this is a big IF) there is a comprehensive deconstruction of Christianity I assure it does not follow a takeover of a wholly foreign religion/culture whatever that might be.

Heck, some other kind of conspiracy theoryish things like Mexico conquering the southern U.S. and the rest would happen first and I assure you Mexicans would not take it kindly to have their culture and liberty done away with. So rest assured, that kind of religious law is not coming to this continent again. Ever.

And yes, marriage has been evolving for some time. Gay people are just getting on with program. Obviously there is a meaningful difference between a heterosexual and a homosexual union: the obvious. But first we eradicate the prejudice by calling attention to what is equal about both. Only after that we can be all about the differences (which is the fun of life) when the equal dignity of both is well established. As you can see, we're still in for a long ride of being all about "equality".

Anonymous said...

Re "calling attention to what is equal about both": Okay, what is equal about both?

If differences are the meaning of life, then isn't assimilating LGBT to the hetero pair bond a mistake? Shouldn't LGBT create some other patternings for government bureaucracies to approve of?

Perhaps you are right that no new contents involving Law will rush into the vacuum created by the going under of residual Christianity in America. We're all sitting pretty and can rest assured!

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