Journey Into the Asylum
Well, today I'm cringing at my own backyard.
If you want to see how, if unchallenged long enough, Christianity can be used and exploited in the name of anything, check this article from today's NYTimes Magazine about how whipped-up a certain brand of American Christians are doing everything but sacrificing their children to the gods to stop gay marriage.
The kids may be safe (well, as safe as they can be with parents like these), but their parents have more hang-ups than Oprah Winfrey's closet.
For some reason, I just can't see what about gay people gets the Lord-impersonators so panicked -- I guess I'm just too focused on fixing my own shortcomings and being a better person as opposed to judging swaths of the population who are different than me. As Margaret Cho has memorably said, "I just can't imagine drag queens breaking into their homes and stealing their wedding photographs and Champagne glasses."
But the cons would gladly do a similar bust-in. Because God told them to.
Is God really going to send an asteroid to earth if gay marriage goes forward, people? Will averting something which has been twisted into something bigger than 9/11 solve our crippling national debt, the wrath of terrorists, corporate greed, the epidemic of poverty, the crisis in our schools, etc. etc. etc. etc.? In short, absolutely not -- it's a convenient distraction to get people's minds off everything else that is actually something to be outraged about.
When Jimmy Swaggart can make hay by calling homosexuality an "a-bommm-nation!" [sic], that basically just sums up how far we have to go as a culture.
Call me crazy, but I have this revolutionary (retrograde?) idea -- as opposed to chomping at the bit against the marriages we don't have, how 'bout working on the ones we do?
If implemented, gay marriage would cause nowhere near the pain, damage to children and destruction of the so-called "traditional" family which has already been wrought by divorce. But it seems the common attitude toward that real societal crisis -- even among the very Evangelicals who would secede if two men got married -- is to shrug one's shoulders and sweep the counsel of Jesus under the rug.
Cons love their distractionary tactics, and this isn't to say that so many divorces are fraught with tension and great sadness. But I'd feel reassured about the motives if we didn't have a double standard of self-anointed cultural police barring marriage to some while their own ilk flout the sanctity they love proclaiming -- so long as they don't have to live by it themselves.
Just me being idealistic, I guess.