June is upon us once more, which means, among other things, that the Pride Parades have begun in earnest. Today my new hometown of Buffalo enjoyed theirs. It was a fun spectacle, and always great to see so many queer folk and our allies out there refusing to be silenced. No more being forced into closets no matter how much some may howl that we belong there, or in hotter places. I was fortunate that my friends and were nowhere near those poor baying beasts, but out there they were, shouting their hate and fear to any who would listen. Continue reading
Cardinal Glick: Fill them pews, people, that’s the key. Grab the little ones as well. Hook ‘em while their young.
Rufus: Kind of like the tobacco industry.
Glick: Christ, if only we had their numbers.
It is so easy to set a kid’s attitudes for life while they are young. Yes, they will go through a rebellious phase. They will challenge what they are taught, but most of those early lessons stick with us through life. It is why in general I have a personal problem with taking kids to church early. This isn’t due to my lack of belief, but if you really want them to display actual faith, and not just habit, how can you indoctrinate them so young? Later in life, how can they ever be certain that what moves them is belief and trust in the divine, and not just a pattern that was placed in them early in life? Still, that is a question each family has to answer for themselves, though I hope they at least ask, and reflect upon it. Continue reading
When the Supreme Court first started hearing arguments against California’s Proposition 8 and the ironically titled Defense of Marriage Act, I wrote that we could expect to see some vicious backlash among the homophobes of our country. They see their privilege coming to an end and that is something they cannot allow. They quake with fear at losing their sanctified place at the head of the table, of having to treat us like human beings. They rage against losing our very being as a punch line for their cruel humor and a reason to deny us basic human rights. This is why they will lash out every chance they can get to punish as many of us as they can for the sin of being ourselves. Continue reading
I often hear, usually from someone who is not struggling against the particular form of privilege being discussed, that “identity” politics are a distraction from the real economic struggles in this country. I am chastised that in focusing attention on LGBT issues, racial issues, or women’s issues, that I am taking time and energy away from the “real” problems of corporate malfeasance and the need for jobs. Never mind that I spend plenty of time writing about our economic issues in this country and that my paying gig, canvassing for Working Families, focuses very much on the need for jobs, identity politics still need to be addressed. Continue reading
This past week saw a pretty remarkable breakthrough in the LGBT world. Some may want to play it down but Jason Collins’ coming out is a huge deal. Pro sports in general, and in particular the big three team sports in America, have long been an important pillar in the heterosexist narrative. Excelling at sports has been, for a very long time, the proof that you are a manly man, and failure at sports is still often derides as being effeminate or “gay.” Mr. Collins boldly coming out of the closet while he is still playing will do a lot to tear down this horribly destructive culture and help build a new one, where people’s basic human dignity is respected. Continue reading
The right to exercise your faith does not include the right to have that faith enjoy a privileged position. I am tackling nothing new here. What I am writing about today has been repeated, often, by bloggers, journalists, pundits, and politicians. It has also been ignored multiple times by those the message has been directed toward. This is in part to blame because we all live in our little echo chambers, listening, and often speaking, only to those with whom we agree. There is also the stubborn persistence on the part of the privileged to claim any attempt to lessen that privilege is an attack on their person. Continue reading