Alex Blaze

What I learned this week from the comments

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 23, 2007 9:23 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Christian beliefs, Indiana Family Institute, learning, lists, tony dungy

Bilerico got an awful lot of attention this week from both the Indianapolis Star and other blogs that it doesn't normally get. Other gay blogs link here, other liberal blogs have linked here, and a bunch of smaller blogs have, but it just seems that we have had an influx of peolpe who normally wouldn't read a gay blog showing up. And if you've read the comments, you know what I'm talking about. We've gotten into more heated comments debates than I can remember ever happening on this blog. The server was down yesterday afternoon with all the new visitors. And even Michele O'Mara, our resident advice columnist, got a letter from one such person. (You should send her an email if you have a relationship problem, by the way, because she gives really astute and lengthy advice.)

While it's great to have all sorts of new readers, some of the comments that they wrote left me feeling a bit icky. And I'm sure that some of you feel the same way. But, if I may, I would just like to highlight here some of the things that I learned this past week from the new commenters that I didn't know before.

  • Discussing how a picture was edited by the Indiana Family Institute is the equivalent of going on a hateful anti-Tony Dungy screed that will make people sick to their stomachs.

  • Tony Dungy is entitled to his opinion, the rest of us aren't entitled to disagree with him.

  • Someone stating that their opinion is related to their religion means that that opinion is beyond reproach and beyond discussion.

  • All Christians agree on one interpretation of the Bible.

  • For Christians, Levitican law trumps Jesus' teachings.

  • Disagreeing at all with Tony Dungy is racist.

  • Bizarrely, I learned from multiple comments that Tony Dungy wants to have me over for dinner. I haven't received this invitation yet.

  • One can be in favor of equality and also support two different sets of laws for two classes of people with one set of laws giving far more rights than the other.

  • Being pro-family means being against the legal recognition of certain families.

  • Writing with the caps lock on makes a person more persuasive.

  • Indiana is a theocracy.

  • The best way to fight for LGBT rights is to shut up, go home, and get back in the closet.

  • People who taught me the previously mentioned lesson are completely and only concerned with the advancement of LGBT rights.

But seriously, considering that this is the best that they've got, I'd say that the gay rights movement is in great shape. Of course, we won the logic battle for full equality long ago, now we just need to win the political one.

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I have to admit, I've never seen the comments section light up like it did over Coach Dungy. The only other topic that really brings out strong emotions like this in folks is Indiana Equality. Fortunately, it's not the right wing fundies all over the IE threads, but our own community.

And the server load was unimaginable. I've never seen us get so many hits that we took down the whole server. Yikes!

I'm a Christian and it's amazing how so many people want to pick and choose want they want from the Bible. NO WHERE in the Bible did Jesus Christ approve of homesexuality. But he does love you. Hate the sin - love the sinner. Jesus also hates fornication and adultry. So don't feel like you are being persecuted. I'm sure Jesus doesn't like the fact that over 50% of all marriages end in divorce but nobody is on a soapbox about that, are they??

Allen J. Lopp | March 23, 2007 1:11 PM

I'm a Christian and it's amazing how so many people want to pick and choose what they want from the Bible. NO WHERE in the Bible does Jesus Christ disapprove of homosexuality. But even if you are a homophobe, He does love you. Hate the sin - love the sinner.

Sins such as bearing false witness against your neighbor, sins such as making up religious viewpoints and claiming that Jesus taught them. Sins such as spreading teachings that work against loving your neighbor, so that they are disrespected, fired from their jobs, thrown out of their families, ostracized by "respectable" society, sometimes thrown into prison, sometimes beaten and crippled, sometimes murdered and sometimes shamed into commiting suicide.

Sins like that.

So don't feel like you are being persecuted just because you may have swallowed lies that church leaders in past centuries fabricated for their own political motivations. I'm sure that Jesus doesn't like the fact that over 50% of all Christians (please! try 98%!) are too lazy to study and ponder the Bible themselves, they would rather trust their parents and pastors to teach them how to interpret this difficult, mysterious, and controversial Book, parents and pastors who may have drunk the same Kool-Aid when they were children themselves.

But nobody is on a soapbox about that, now, are they?

"Conservatives" are going to continue to talk in circles, particularly about their support for this amendment, because they have no real moral foundation for the material and practical limits it has on people supposedly protected by the Constitution. Their typical method of setting their circular arguments is to insult people as blatantly as possible and in a personal manner, attempt to intimidate, proclaim that their position is above reproach, and demand that they may comment on the imagined intimate lives of others, but commenting on theirs is a violation of their "privacy." It is a neverending attempt to keep the discussion off the real topic at hand, forcing people to respond in personal defense rather than engage in a discussion of the real issues.

The media is often compliant with this attitude, having identifiable double standards in the material published. Heterosexuals may make whatever manufactured, vile, vicious and arrogant remarks about gay "behavior" (which makes me wonder how such pure individuals can claim to be moral themselves) but gays may not make references in the same manner about straight behavior. It is a set-up. Trying being as graphic about heterosexual behavior in a comment to, say, the Indystar. . .chances are it will never appear because it is "offensive" to the same conservatives who engage in projections of our sexual behavior.

In my opinion, this is why we lose these amendment fights. The "discussion" isn't on any sort of level playing field at all - the comments and letters are all about defending "gay marriage" even though the amendment isn't about legalizing "gay marriage" - it's about removing the rights of one group of citizens from seeking redress for grievances over hundreds of statutes codified into state law. None of the newspapers even read any of these statutes; most of the legislators don't read them either. So there is no education, no real discussion, and no information to encourage people to make an informed decision. What plays into the the hands of conservatives is the constant refrain of "immoral" . . ."this is a 'christian' nation and WE are the official "christians" and "marriage is between a man and a woman."

Now we all know this amendment is about much more than that. Where are the bible verses which say "No one may visit anyone in the hospital unless they are a biblically-designated family member?" Where is the scripture which dictates that the state must offer "a different, unmanageable and sometimes unenforceable collection of legal documents to legally "single" people because God said marriage cannot be protected without the state providing special rights."

Every time we engage this nutcases over their claims of "Christian" superiority, we lose sight of the real fight here. And frankly, this has more to do with their paranoid, special privileged obsession with their own golden peepee than any commitment to morality. No one who spends so much time obsessing about the imagined private and intimate acts of another person is principled enough to be married themselves - yet we let that hypocrisy pass right on by. . .

We know that they cannot and will not live by their own claim to holding "moral" tenets - and their church has no say in regulating or governing their own 'marriages." Yet they claim it is an appropriate tool to use to regulate MY relationships, so we know that is another line of, excuse me, bullshit.

So this is how it stacks up. Even the friendly press is not going to take the time to read and write about the origination of many statutes involving special rights for married people only - including alluding to those that were NOT created as an "incident of marriage" but because it was the easiest route 100 years ago for the state. Our failure to point out the difference of the demographic makeup of Indiana is an opportunity that again buys into their shallow claims of moral and religious foundation. I'd wager none of these statutes mention scripture, mention God, mention religion at all. Yet THESE are the things this amendment is all about?

As for Dungy, it seems to appropiate line of reasoning should have been that it is nice that the coach likes to hold his "family values" above those designated by state law. But the question should then be asked why he believes that his "Lord" and HIS values should be added to a constitutional amendment regulating the lives of all others. We know the answer - these people do not believe in religious freedom, nor in their claim that "we can do whatever we want at home, but you have no right to ride in an ambulance with your partner because that offends my religious beliefs." Dungy should be handled, in my opinion, by politely asking why the coach thinks his "Lord" is violated unless a same-sex couple is denied the right to make a partner's funeral arrangements.

We can acknowledge that Dungy has a right to his own opinion, and we can also politely ask which of his religious beliefs should be required law punishing other citizens. There's nothing wrong with asking him for clarification - after all, he said he didn't intend to "downgrade" anyone. Let him explain it, then - starting with each regulation this amendment would prevent us from petitioning for, and then ask him about what "family" rights he believes all Indiana families, no matter what form, should have in the state. Make him enumerate every ounce of his personal bigotry until it becomes obvious that this has little to do with commitment toward his own "family values" and much more to do with attacking the families of other citizens.

Right on, Allen. I'm getting real tired of these "Christians" telling me what morality is - while neglecting to tell their own stories. They seem to know all about the sins of others, but don't want themselves to have constitutional amendments forever limiting THEIR rights because of their sin.

Instead, they reinvent "Christianity" as a convenience for themselves whenever church attendance drops too far to make much profit. Suddenly what was forbidden ain't so forbidden any longer - as long as it applies to themselves.
Their demand that law should be based on nothing more than their own fluid and personal religious beliefs is the greatest danger of all in this country. It is most certainly intentional tyranny - not morality. I have never seen any of these people tell their story of how they never spanked the monkey nor had a wet dream until marriage. They talk about being gay as a sinful choice, but fail to have a story to talk about how they made the "right" moral choice. It is nothing but a deliberate, manipulative, deceptive pack of lies. . .which escapes their scrutiny because their "Christian" beliefs entitle them to lie at will if it accomplishes the political agenda.

Religion has nothing to do with this issue. Nothing. And its time we met those arguments by asking them to quote the verses which dictate that their God said only married people can inherit property without a court fight.