I started to go down this road in the previous post about black homophobia, after some thought, it seemed better to address in a separate post. Besides the previous post was getting kind of long. It's something I've actually wanted to blog about for a while, regarding homosexuality and morality. I started putting together a post a several weeks ago but then thought the moment had passed, but with Hillary and Obama's recent comments it became topical again.
It comes down to a basic question: Can you be gay and be a good person? Can you be good person and be gay? Can you be gay and good? Good and gay? From religious conservatives, there seem to be two answers: Maybe. And no.
In his remarks during and after the NBJC Black Church Summit, Bishop Harry Jackson seemed to go back and forth on this question, of whether homosexuality and or same-sex activity are inherently immoral, but then seemed to come down on the side that one can't be homosexual and moral. I started writing a post to address that assumption, but Leonard Pitts basically did it for me.
I've referenced Stephanie Coontz's book, Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, before and am looking through it now to pull some passages for reference in an upcoming post. Of the books I've read on marriage, Coontz's is the most comprehensive take on how the "institution" has changed with every social change that's come down the pike. In fact, it's been in a constant state of flux. If you don't read any other book on the history of marriage, I'd recommend Coontz's book.
In the meantime, you can check out her recent op-ed, "'Traditional Marriage' isn't as Straight Forward as All That." (Love the play on words in the title. Don't you?)
More homophobic than whom? More homophobic than whites? More homophobic than the general population? Or all of the above?
One of the things I wanted to blog about last week, but didn't get a chance to was this Alternet post featuring video from the National Black Justice Foundation's 2nd Annual Black Church Summit, in which Michael Eric Dyson addresses the question that's been on my mind a lot in as I've been reading stuff online lately: "Why are black people so homophobic?"
I had one reaction upon watching this video.
Once upon a time I was that little boy, in more ways than I could begin write about here. If I could give a word of advice to his parents it would be this:
Let him be who he is.
Accept him for who he is.
Be on his side.
Even if you don't fully understand.
Reading the news this week caused me to have a flashback to my school days. I've written before about the implications of Obama's candidacy, being underwhelmed Democratic line-up for '08 thus far, and having already lowered expectations on gay issues for the next few years. But seeing two of the front running Democrats not just trip over themselves running away from gay issues, but also come off sounding like their right wing counterparts reminded me of something I wrote when I asked what the Democrats' strategy on gay issues might be.
We had a pretty good weekend with Parker. Nothing newsworthy or that I even planned on blogging about. That is, until I read about Michael Savage's latest bit of bigoted blathering. Having just spent most of the weekend with our son, I couldn't help seeing Savages remarks in that context.
On Saturday, we took him to his swimming lesson and then to the library for our regular (once every three weeks) visit, where we checked out some books for him that we spent the better part of the evening reading to him. His favorites right now are Curious George and The Magic Schoolbus.
Well, yesterday's post about marriage, money, and Suze Orman's coming out generated a lot of attention. I hadn't intended to post about it again, except that somethings come up that I should have expected, but didn't address in my initial post (which was running long anyway). It came up briefly in the comments here. But Jim, over at Box Turtle Bulletin points to a more overt reference from Exodus International president Randy Thomas.
I've never read Suze Orman's books, and I've only seen part of one of her television appearances. I got as far as writing down my "money fears," as she called them, but no further. Talking finances alternately confuses me, frustrates me, and — on occasion — depresses me. But I listened to Orman and watched her enough to get a "vibe" from her; one that made me wonder if she had secrets that weren't just financial.
Turns out, my "gaydar" doesn't just work with men. Albeit somewhat reluctantly, Orman came out recently about her seven year relationship with another woman, and some "money fears" of her own.
Jim, over at Box Turtle News attended the "Love Won Out" conference in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this month. I can only imagine what it was like, but I'm sure I'd be loathe to subject myself to it. And that's a shame, because I don't know first hand what's said and done at these conferences. Fortunately, after taking what was probably some very necessary time to digest the experience, Jim has begun posting a series of essays about what he saw and heard at the conference. He begins with an explanation about why he chose to attend.
I often say that you should never take anyone’s word for anything if you can observe things directly for yourself. So if I’m such a show-me kind of guy, if I believe so strongly in going directly to the source, why should I let my perceptions about Love Won Out be shaped by what others are saying? Why am I not practicing what I’m preaching in this case? The more I thought about it, the more obligated I felt to go directly to the source itself — just like I always try to do with everything else.
Last week, in a meandering wrap-up post on the Edwards blogger debacle, I posted this.
In fact, one of the things I've been thinking about in light of this weeks events is that the religious left and the non-religious left (or "the left" and "the other left," and you can decide yourself which is which) have got to find some way of working together, and coming to an understanding on how to fight stuff like what I mentioned above from both a religious and non-religious perspective. Is there's a way to do that while respecting both religious belief and non-belief? I don't know, but we're close enough to being in the same boat to make it worth considering.
Well, it looks like this week that conversation is starting to happen. Of course, it's a bit bumpy, but it's been interesting to see the discussion going back and forth.
Well, when it comes to the Edwards blogger flap, quite a lot. It's been interesting to read through the aftermath of responses from all sides. Edwards' statement on his blog has assured some religious groups of his intolerance of religious intolerance, but not everyone on what I guess could be called the "non-religious left" is completely happy with it. And the most interesting reaction probably comes from folks on the religious left. More interesting, even than the initial reaction from the right.
It's even more interesting when compared with other statements made in the media, more recently, but without raising nearly as much controversy. Taking it all in has left me with more questions than answers rattling around in my brain.
Not to beat a dead horse, but that last post about Mary Cheney felt incomplete to me. I wasn't sure why until I read Robbie's post, suggesting that gay activists ease up on Mary. I started writing this as a comment on his post, but it started running a little long, so I decided to post it here. I've beenmore than a little critical of Mary and her parents in the past, but this time I kind of agree wit her, and posted as much.
As a gay dad, I'm glad she's speaking up. I know she won't reach people like Dobson, but maybe she'll reach some people that folks like me can't.
On the other hand, I understand some people's frustration.