Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bigotry is Pervasive in our Society

Bigotry is so pervasive in our society that even some "good" people may not realize they are bigots.

Heck, just look at the recent flap over the Sesame Street petition to have Bert and Ernie be gay. I saw many people saying "no" because gay sex or the gay "agenda" shouldn't be promoted on a kids' educational show.

However, the show features couples, and the store owner is married. Showing straight couples but refusing to show gay couples is simple bigotry, no matter how you dress it up.

It's important because if more kids see a gay couple on Sesame Street, then maybe those few kids who turn out to be gay later won't feel odd about themselves and commit suicide. Likewise, maybe they'll get bullied less.

I'm sure that decades ago, people would've been upset about showing an interracial couple on TV. Heck, a Louisiana justice refused to marry an interracial couple in October of 2009.

Sesame Street responded to all of this by saying they are puppets and don't have a gender. I don't buy that. How do you explain Kermit and Miss Piggy? I know that's The Muppet Show, not Sesame Street, but they're both Jim Henson puppets. The Sesame Street response also doesn't say why Bert and Ernie couldn't be a genderless couple. There's also the fact that there have been numerous puppet families and couples in numerous sketches (Oscar's girlfriend Grundgetta, the Count's Countesses, The Twiddlebugs). Sesame Street's response is simply dishonest.

While I wouldn't say it's bigotry to not want to have Bert and Ernie be a gay couple, it is if that response also includes not wanting any human gay couples or gay couples involving different puppet characters.

The evidence shows that being gay, straight, or bisexual isn't a choice; therefore, singling out gay couples is the same as singling out interracial couples. However, the whole "it's a choice" argument is really a red herring. It's entirely possible to be bigoted against a lifestyle.

It's time to recognize and end the bigotry whether it stems from religion, homophobia, or feeling insecure in one's heterosexuality.

Friday, August 26, 2011

America: A Christian Nation (Let's Take a Look)

As most everyone knows, many religious folk claim the USA as a Christian nation. Mostly, these people are highly conservative and will go on to tell you how we must protect marriage from "the gays" and cut government spending by eliminating Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), welfare, and other entitlements.

If America was truly a Christian nation, it would mean that it would be the government's job to carry on the will of Jesus. In other words, the government's job would be to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and stop coddling the rich who are going to have a hard time getting into heaven (something about a new meat processing method of passing camels through the eyes of needles - check out Matthew 19:24). And if we want to actually heal all the sick, Obamacare, with it's "evil" desire to enforce personal responsibility by slinging an additional tax on those who choose not to carry insurance but instead want to ride the system when they get ill, simply won't cut it. The government is going to need to simply say, "That's it, we're just insuring everyone," using one or several of the options available to do that.

A compassionate nation that takes care of its own? That sounds pretty good. Where do I sign up for this Christian nation? Crap, what do you mean I can't eat meat during Lent? Hey, why is everything closed on Sunday? It's illegal for me to work overtime on a Sunday? That's not all bad. Though, I am curious why the story of Adam and Eve is being taught in science class during the human development chapter.

Unfortunately, any of the programs required to make this a Christian nation would be called socialist by a large number of people with a narrow and incorrect definition of socialism. We have universal health care? Why obviously, that means we live in an economic system where the workers control the means of production! It's almost as if the workers own stocks in their employer and are encouraged to work harder because they receive economic benefits of their hard work! The horror! Although, I wonder if they mean state socialism which is where the state has ownership of all businesses (basically, communism)? Why, that sounds exactly the same as me working in a capitalist economy and then paying taxes so that the government can exist and provide a service to me, such as police, firefighting, or health care! Wait, that sounds completely different from socialism!

Therefore, my main problem with people telling me that the USA is a Christian nation is that everyone who has told me that is a freaking hypocrite. What they should really be saying is that the USA is a country that happens to have Christians in it. In regards to the assertion that the founding fathers were all Christians and that means the USA is supposed to have a government that rules according to religious law, the founding fathers DID NOT AGREE. Fortunately, the Constitution doesn't anywhere claim that the USA is a Christian nation. The Constitution, at best, has a few references to God which are agnostic in nature.

The US has even made treaties in which it declares " . . . the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion . . ." Just check  Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli.

I'll leave you with a few of these Thomas Jefferson quotes which came to my attention via Jim Walker's Thomas Jefferson page.

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

Although speaking of a Christian nation, we have a deficit, and this is BS:
Military Spends Millions Evangelizing Troops