A World Away, and a World Apart …

First, I give you (the relevant part of) President Obama’s Inauguration speech.

President Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural address

Unless I’m mistaken, this marks the first time in an inaugural speech that included the homosexual community in the context of universal civil rights.  And, while I counted at least two references to God in his speech, he apparently doesn’t put so much weight in the bible to labor under the belief that the same rules that once applied to the ancient Israelites regarding human sexuality in 1500 BC should apply to America in 2013 AD.  Progress!

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.  (Applause.)

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began.  For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.  (Applause.)  Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law  –- (applause) — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. 

I generally enjoyed the speech up to this point; then, I felt as if he upped the ante.  Not only did he cover same-sex rights, but climate change, voter disenfranchisement, and a number of other issues that have fallen victim to nonsensical Republican and evangelical fear-based talking points.  It’s my hope that with these words comes action to follow them up, so that the rest of the industrialized world will soon be able to look at us again with respect and not this sort of amused pity.

I’m just reminded that with every speech I hear in support of LGBT rights, there are an equal – if not larger – number of vitriolic screeds about the evils of sexual deviancy and how it has contributed to the decline of our society along with feminism and rock music.  It would be amusing if they didn’t have such a frightening degree of control over the GOP.  If you want to get a look at what the country could become if we had an anti-gay Christian “soldier” at the helm with his finger on the button, look no further than Russia:

Russia moves to enact anti-gay law nationwide

[L]egislation being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with information that is defined as “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism.” It includes a ban on holding public events that promote gay rights. St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities already have similar laws on their books.

An executive with a government-run television network said in a nationally televised talk show that gays should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm and organs for transplants, while after death their hearts should be burned or buried.

What are they, fuckin’ vampires?  You know, this reminds me of a blood drive back at my old university.  A friend of my wife’s was there along with his boyfriend in a form of protest.  Every time there was a drive, they would go and donate, even though they knew their blood would be rejected on the basis that they were homosexual and therefore more at risk for disease.  Never mind the fact that they got tested on a regular basis, were monogamous, responsible, etc.  Their sexual orientation apparently told the Red Cross everything they needed to know.

Meanwhile, a … very demonstrably heterosexual ex girlfriend of mine donated without a hitch, despite her lack of regular testing, lack of monogamous behavior, and her STD-positive status achieved after said behavior.  Granted some of them don’t bar you from donating blood but the deciding factor should be what you do, not who you do.

“Until this scum gets off of Russian land, I fully share the views of those who are trying to purge our motherland of it [by way of violence],” Rev. Sergiy Rybko was quoted as saying by the Orthodoxy and World online magazine. “We either become a tolerant Western state where everything is allowed – and lose our Christianity and moral foundations – or we will be a Christian people who live in our God-protected land in purity and godliness.”

Well, Sergiy, you have friends in the United States who feel the exact same way you do.  Again, I feel comforted that we have a president who is bold enough to stand on the steps of the US Capitol and demand that members of the LGBT community are treated as equals.  The problem is that I know that all it takes is a Republican president and a sufficient majority in Congress to wipe it all away and enable those who want to turn us back into what we were during the 1950s … where women were in the kitchen, blacks were in the back of the bus, and homosexuals were in the closet.

You know, the good old days!

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Religion and Public Life, Society Marches On and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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