Camille Reyes

Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Behold the man who thinks himself kind, as he marginalizes you with a smile

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2010 at 5:14 am

A friend just passed along a link to a disturbing blog post by Orson Scott Card re: the gay marriage debate.  I promise I’ll get back to non-sexual-political-religious topics in the media soon enough, but I must, in good conscience, respond, even as it delays my considerable grad school work.  If you can stomach the piece, it is worth a full read.  I address his particularly insulting conclusion here.

Dear Mr. Card,

“What’s the hurry? Why the hostility toward even the slightest opposition? Can’t our opponents wait to get their way until they have persuaded a clear majority? Can’t they listen to people with ideas that are different from theirs?”-Orson Scott Card

While you wrote these sentences, I’m sure a same-sex partner somewhere was denied visitation rights (afforded by marriage) while their dearest died.  How dare we be in a rush?  How dare we seem upset?  How dare you, a member of a faith subjected to violent persecution in history, a fellow minority, seek to disguise your prejudice and justify your political gamesmanship in the name of religious freedom?  Your ancestors fled to Utah to build your own community away from the tyranny you found in Missouri.  Now you seek to actively interfere with a different community in California.  Where would you have them go to seek equality under law?  I’m afraid I already know the answer to that, and I’m not a fan of your brand of heat.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.  Thou restoreth my soul.  -Psalm, 23:5

While you execute your own brand of tyranny in the name of majority rule, you ignore your own history and the countless examples of minority triumph in American politics, often gained through the courts first, and later society at large.  I would still not have the right to vote were it for people espousing the kind of arguments you make.  Black people would still not be a part of your congregation, I venture to guess, had the courts not first established that such prejudice was unlawful.  The Southern states, most notably, made similar pleas about their autonomy with religious zeal and even violence, yet through the courage of a few and the slow moral hand of the law such offensive bigotry (notice I do not say intolerance) is at least somewhat pushed to the fringes of our society.  The KKK wears veils now less for the attraction of a secret club, and more out of fear of discovery, less they be lynched in the court of public opinion.

Anything that can be used for good, can also be used for harm.  The law is far from above this basic fact.  To suggest that we homosexuals, of ALL people, should be keenly aware of this, seems silly, especially coming from a Mormon.  Mormons have found themselves on the “wrong” side of the law for their beliefs throughout their history, yet you still fight for your freedom with all urgency, as you should.  I accept that I will not change your mind about homosexuality, and I acknowledge your right to public dissent.  What I object to is a religious organization throwing around financial weight in a civil matter, especially with funds largely from Utah, a far cry from the community of California.

I realize the LDS church is not alone in such manuevers.  Catholics have intervened in health care/reproductive law time and time again, for example.  You claim the lack of majority in California as some sign of societal norm, yet by flooding Prop 8 with Utah/LDS dollars you showed little faith in the majority opinion you so prize.  You obscure the actual will of Californians.  I am sure many other groups, including pro-Gay ones, pour money into questions outside of their jurisdictions, too.  Yet I would expect you to stop pretending like your church dollars do not hold sway in the majority when you actively seek to control that majority.  If the majority in California has spoken, it is partially because the LDS church in Utah tampered with the majority.

On Easter, I am reminded that our, yes our, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rolled the stone away from his tomb, overcoming the ultimate persecution, on this you and I no doubt agree.  He preached a gospel of love, teaching us to go after the lost sheep, not fence them in, preventing them from leaving in the first place.  This is what you seek to do by blocking, through political/religious rhetoric and cold hard cash, the benefits of a legal contract to a different kind of family.  I happen to think I am not a lost little lamb, but let’s say you’re right and I am wrong; why not follow Christ’s example and allow the freedom I seek?

Expanding the definition of marriage does no harm to your reproductive agenda, anymore than a new bar opening in San Francisco hurts your ability to teach your flock to “choose the right” and eschew alcohol.  To say otherwise is to bear false witness against your neighbor, and frankly, sir, you should know better.


A Fallen Football Hero

In Advertising on January 29, 2010 at 4:40 am

My first question when it comes to controversy is, “Who paid for it?”  This question and the answer are at the center of my anger about an advertisement set to appear on the Super Bowl, starring Florida Gator football legend Tim Tebow and his mother.  Notice I’m not calling the ad anti-abortion or anti-choice.  On the surface, the ad actually sounds like a celebration of life; I can get behind that.  No, the happy shiny message tarnishes the instant I get the answer to who paid for it: Focus on the Family.

Focus on the Family uses that kind of Bush administration, Karl Rovian evil genius language we were numbed by for so many years.  You remember, stuff like the Clean Air Act that actually relaxed pollution controls or the Patriot Act that actually took away more freedoms than it preserved.  Focus on the Family would have you believe they exist to strengthen our nation’s families, to promote love and community.  Annnngh (buzzer sound), thank you for playing.  Focus on the Family only wants to support families consisting of one man and one woman (preferably at home & pregnant) with children, all of whom Bible thump in an exclusive way.  Their definition of love is narrow and dangerous.  Now if they just stopped at supporting their kind of family, I would be less vocal in my opposition to them.  No, this organization-this cyclops of love-engages in buckets of hatred.

For a look at this in action, I encourage you to rent the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So.  You’ll see how a focus on their kind of family actively rips apart actual living breathing families with gay children.  You’ll see their brand of love in action.  The word ‘brand’ reminds me–this ad is going to be played on the Super Bowl on CBS–a branding bonanza.  Times must be tough for CBS to interrupt the ad beer pong long enough for a public service message.  Free speech advocates get their panties in a bunch (mine included) when you suggest that this might not be the appropriate venue.  Again, I’m not even calling this an anti-abortion ad, but I am calling the organization who paid for it some choice names.  I also have to raise an eyebrow at CBS who conveniently changed their “no advocacy commercials during the Super Bowl” rule AFTER this commercial came their way.  They just want to make a buck you say?  Well, due to the timing of their decision, they made sure it would be next to impossible for a counter organization to raise the funds to pay for a response.  In other words, they could’ve made even more money, but for some reason (read: politics), they chose not to rake in any extra cash.

The NPR story I linked to in the first paragraph drives home the fact that most people do not want to watch any kind of advocacy messages during the big game.  It is the one time of year when people actually enjoy watching commercials, when the ad agencies put forth their most creative work in the hopes of selling more cheese powdered, carbonated goodness.  Clearly, Focus on the Family wants to take advantage of the broad audience and of their great pawn, Tim Tebow.  Many of you know I’m a vocal Florida Gator football fan; my parents met and married at the university.  Even non-fans are aware of Tebow’s missionary zeal, a characteristic well covered in the press.

Until this incident, I supported his unusually mature and seemingly loving devotion off the field.  Of course, I supported his unprecedented performance in the shot gun at the Swamp, too.  How sad for me personally then that the man they dubbed Superman, #15, has aligned himself with one of the most wicked organizations on the planet.  I’m glad Tebow’s mom gave birth to him, as is the rest of Gator Nation no doubt.  I just wish I could be ignorant of this unfortunate detail.  In a sort of reverse Tiger Woods, I long for my sports heroes to keep it on the field.