Silence is NOT Golden

I read once that a person’s intelligence varied directly with how often they agreed with you. If that’s the case, in this instance, Dan Savage is a freakin’ genius. I have long felt those of us who feel loving our neighbors is more important than judging our neighbor’s behavior have dropped the ball by not standing up for our LGBT neighbors. And, it doesn’t matter that we’re working to make our voices heard now, hearing how our silence has wounded our brothers and sisters makes me feel miserable and ashamed. All we can do is ask forgiveness and work to show them and the rest of the world that to follow Jesus is to love everyone, especially the modern-day Samaritans: the poor, the homeless and, in this case, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. One way we can do this is working to overturn or defeat all the laws passed to “protect” marriage, like the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the numerous state constitutional amendments that are so obviously discriminatory.

The Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling on California’s Proposition 8 is huge step in the right direction, stating that the law

“…serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

As I said, this is huge, but it’s not enough. It’s nowhere near enough because, as Savage,  when talking about how fundamental, anti-gay religious leaders have given the world the impression that to be Christian is to be like them, said

“They did it with the silent complicity of liberal Christians and liberal denominations who allowed them to hijack Christianity.”

Whether we like it or not, we’re neck-deep in the culture wars and we’re losing. We’re losing because we haven’t told Tony Perkins, Donald Wildmon and Maggie Gallagher and every other anti-gay bigot hiding behind a pulpit or the Bible that they’re wrong. And, because we’re losing, young people are committing suicide because they’ve been told as long as they can remember that something is wrong with them, that a vital part of who they are is an abomination in the eyes of God. Because we’re losing, in the country called “the land of the free”, American citizens are denied the right to marry the person they love. Because we’re losing, discrimination is being codified as the law of the land as way to “defend” marriage while divorce, infidelity and abuse go unaddressed. No matter how you slice it, that’s just wrong.

If you live in North Carolina, you’re going to get a chance to rectify this situation. On May 5th, we will have the opportunity to vote on Amendment One, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Any and all of us who believe that a God-ordained marriage is between two people who love each, regardless of their sexual orientation, need to show up at the polls and make our voices heard. Otherwise, we’re not really any different from those “right-wing, fundamentalist, bat-shit, asshole, douche bag” Christians that Savage is talking about.