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Dec 11, 2008
American history conveniently chronicles countless examples of injustice, intolerance and discrimination perpetrated upon non-white, non-Christian, and non-straight people. In fact, our history clearly illustrates how religion, notably Christianity, has been involved in many, if not all, of these occurrences.

Protestant reformers made history by burning suspected witches at the stake and southern Christians used Christianity to defend slavery. It was preached from the pulpit that the master class was charged with the burden of Christianizing heathens in exchange for rewards in the after-life; and slaves were tricked into believing that disobedience to their white masters would be perceived by God as disobedience to Him. Later, racial segregation in the South became the standard of accepted societal discrimination supported once again by Christian scriptures.

Many other groups continue to use Christianity to defame, discriminate, and harm minority individuals. They include, but are not limited to, the White Aryan Nation, the Neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan , and the Westboro Baptist Church. These groups believe that Christian scriptures condone the killing of Jews, gays, and gypsies; or the lynching, and murdering of black people.

The Catholic church, in concert with other Christian churches, continues to fight to repeal a woman’s right to have an abortion even if the mother’s life is in danger. And the Catholic church has also been a fierce supporter of abstinence-only sexual education programs for children; they blatantly refuse to accept and endorse the use of condoms despite scientific studies that have concluded that condoms can save lives by preventing the spread of deadly sexually transmitted diseases as well as preventing unnecessary abortions.

Sadly, Christianity, and especially the Catholic and Mormon churches have not always been a friend to women. The inequalities and injustices that women have had to endure over the centuries due to the patriarchal hierarchy entrenched in Catholicism and the Mormon church are indeed staggering. Women, like black slaves, were the property of their husbands or white masters; women could not own property, they were frequently traded or purchased as if they were commodities, and they could not vote. For all intensive purposes, women were objects of convenience for men. They were baby-making-machines, mothers to their husbands children that they carried in their wombs, cooks, cleaners, and receptacles for their husbands pleasure and seed.

What a nasty walk down memory lane! I find it thoroughly amazing how Christianity can rewrite itself according to the times. I have come to call such revision, morality of convenience. For if one carefully reads Christian scriptures, one might be surprised to find that it shares many similarities with what many Americans refer to as radical Islam.

Last month we witnessed the Mormon church in Utah hijack the state of California after pumping millions of dollars into the California November elections to help repeal Proposition 8. This religiously-motivated political coup resulted in the redefining of marriage as a union between and man and a woman prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples in California. Again Christianity resurfaced to steal the full citizenship of gay Americans in California.

Christianity also prevented gay Americans from equal protection under federal law. Just this year, The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, commonly known as The Matthew Shepard Act, was a bill introduced in the US Congress. This bill would have extended the 1969 United States federal hate crime law to include among other things crimes motivated and committed solely based on the perpetrator’s hate for the victim’s sexual orientation. Although the bill was passed by both the House and the Senate, it never reached the Oval Office since our Christian President, Mr. Bush, had made it known that he would veto it. Imagine, a nation founded in part on religious tolerance for all people, becomes the schizophrenic, divinely-inspired oppressor of gay people. So much for the separation of church and state.

Full citizenship should not be dependent and contingent upon one’s sexual orientation. American history has chronicled the painful and unjust suffering of women (gender discrimination), Native Americans and African-Americans (race discrimination). The plight of gay Americans centers around sexual orientation. We’ve been a minority group disenfranchised from full citizenship ever since the founding of this nation. Legal, religious, and social roadblocks and detours have always stood in our way when we, like women and African-Americans, challenged the white Christian and straight status-qua. Indeed, America needs to erase the last remnants of apartheid that plague the our nation.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently stated, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” All Americans regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation should be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Just as America defaulted on its “ promissory note ” with African-Americans, it continues to default on its “ promissory note ” to gay Americans. And instead of honoring this “ promissory note,” the US government simply writes “ bad checks ” to gay Americans, and these checks always come back with “insufficient funds” stamped on them. Still, we endure this inequality even as we pay our taxes which are then used to subsidize the full citizenship of our straight neighbors who live on Main Street USA. Talk about forced tithing!

Although Christianity does not have a monopoly on intolerance, injustice and discrimination, the United States was founded on Christian principles and beliefs. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider and review our history through the looking glass of Christianity. There are many denominations found in Christianity-- liberal, moderate and conservative. It’s imperative that the liberal and moderate Christians come forth and speak out against the injustices being committed to gay people by their conservative Christian brothers and sisters. Just as many Americans expect peace-loving Muslims to speak out against terrorist atrocities committed in the name of Allah, we expect and welcome liberal and moderate Christians to stand up and fight against those whose interpretations of God’s words only seek to do harm to God’s children. Not only is it the responsibility of gay Americans to mobilize and combat the injustices in our nation, it is the obligation of all Americans to stand up for those whose causes have yet to be resolved. Remember, silence is indifferent acceptance, and ultimately the fuel that fires all evils.

I am optimistic that Barack Obama will make gay rights an important issue in his first year in office. Often it takes another minority person to recognize the needs and injustices faced by others who live across town, not on Main Street, USA. Nevertheless, while we wait, we will continue to be creative and productive tax-paying citizens of this nation. However, we will also continue to fight for what is rightfully ours and we will settle for nothing less. And just as women and African-Americans finally secured their full citizenship through amendments to the US Constitution, gay Americans soon will, too.
Sep 25, 2006
Rosie O’Donnell: We were attacked not by a nation, and as a result of the attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries.

http://www.care2.com/news/member/138190545/184923

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Posted: Sep 25, 2006 10:47pm

 

 
 
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Eco M.
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