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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Things that goeth before a fall

This weekend, I marched in the Columbus gay pride parade with a whole bunch of my fellow Unitarian Universalists. It was the sort of day that makes you almost physically high with bliss, and my face muscles still hurt a little from smiling. 
Gay people, straight people, trans people, people in rather inadequate orange loincloths, everybody was grinning and hugging and loving the crap out of each other. And I'm not sure what more I have to say on the subject.
I could write about the protesters, and how I was struck more than anything about the fact that they show not the faintest desire to turn us away from our evil ways anymore, not the slightest desire to save our souls. They seem there only to gloat over our impending trip to hell. I could write about how, though their behavior couldn't be less Christlike, it's pretty in line with the teachings of the Old Testament. I don't know how I feel about that.
I could write about my mixed feelings over the rampant pantslessness. I'm not sure it doesn't reinforce stereotypes, and I'm not sure about how I feel about the fact that it'd be nice to have an event folks could bring their kids to without, you know, having to do a whole lot of 'splaining to the wee one. I'm not sure how I feel about that either. 
On the latter subject, I kind of came to this conclusion: heterosexual sexiness is so ubiquitous, you barely notice it anymore. You look around and pay attention, to commercials, to billboards, to magazines, and the gay boys in their underpants don't seem so unusual. And while it'd be nearly impossible to keep my theoretical kids from seeing half-naked women and hetero couples simulating the nasty, all I gotta do to keep my kids from half-naked gay folk is not bring them to a Pride parade. 
Also, Gaga appears to have completely supplanted Elton John as the bard of the gay movement. 

I thought about doing a whole big thing about how irrational it is to condemn people for homosexuality based on what little the Bible has to say on the subject (six to twelve verses, depending on interpretation). Pointing out how prohibitions against heterosexual sex acts in the Bible outnumber prohibitions against gay sex acts about a gazillion to one. Spell-check approves of gazillion. But I don't think I can say it much better than our nation's greatest* president, Josiah Bartlett, had to say on the matter.
"I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21 : 7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35 : 2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11 : 7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side-by-side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you?"



Bonnie Jacobs said...

I AM thinking about these things ---> I'm reading The Year of Living Biblically right now:

A. J. Jacobs, the author, brought in a specialist rabbi to determine whether his suit contained both wool and linen. I've gotten to about his second month of his "year" of trying to be literal, and I've gotta say it's been entertaining.

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

I've been thinking about reading that. I've heard good things.

Anonymous said...

In the end, anyone who quotes the bible when it comes to homosexuality is forgetting one of my favorite parts, when asked which of the commandments is the greatest Jesus's reply was simple, there's two that trump all the rest. Love God with all your mind, heart, soul and self (depending on which of the Gospels you read that varies a bit) and to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR!

Call me crazy, but doesn't that include people that are "different" than you? These people need to get off their high horse and take a look in the mirror and realize that none of us are anywhere near perfect. Believing oneself to be better than someone else is a sin too.

Anonymous said...

For those that don't know me, in case the above didn't imply it, I don't see homosexuality as a sin. I realize the final sentence may suggest that.

Anonymous said...

That is one of my all time favorite West Wing segments. So simple, so true. Whenever people get on their high horses about the Bible supporting x I think back to Peace & Justice class when we had to do the debate with both sides supported by Catholic writings and how it's possible to cherry pick words to support just about every argument.

Things to Do said...

I'm going to be in San Francisco this week and it's Pride week. I'll report back and see if I noticed some of the things you did. And I so love the west wing (especially seasons 1 and 2). That episode is one of my faves.