Saturday, January 21, 2012

Downfall, Part 5

There's something very surreal about seeing a predominantly Christian audience boo a speaker for appealing to the Golden Rule. There's certainly a debate to be had over whether (and/or how) the rules that apply to individual relationships can be applied to foreign policy, but for a political movement that shouts so loudly about "biblical" values to respond so derisively to an appeal to what is arguably the highest biblical principle of all speaks volumes.

It's a small example of how thoroughly American evangelicalism has been tainted and debased by politics, but it also encapsulates the problem quite succinctly.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life Soundtrack 29

Uprising, by Muse

An apt theme song for the Arab Spring (with the hope that what comes next represents a step in the direction of freedom and human dignity). And no doubt a song that both the Occupy movement and the Tea Party would claim as their own...

(And here's a link to the official video, which was nicely produced...)

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Shattering Stereotypes

The process of recovering from a heavily conservative background involves a lengthy process of stripping away multiple layers of misinformation interspersed within years of baggage. Sometimes those old illusions disappear so quietly that their absence initially goes unnoticed.

Growing up I remember being taught that all lesbians were man-haters. That myth no doubt coincides (or at least overlaps) with the oft-repeated claim that all lesbians are victims of sexual abuse. I even remember once reading a quote by a lesbian activist (who knows if it was quoted in context) that supposedly proved that the political alliance between lesbians and gay men was purely temporary and borne of necessity.

Such ideas no doubt seem laughable to anyone who actually has female friends who happen to be gay. Not that individuals who genuinely hate members of the opposite sex don't exist - but they're far more likely to be straight than gay.

As I look back to the days when I accepted myths like that without question I'm torn between laughing and crying at the base ignorance that bred them. I can now count so many lesbians among my friends - people that I love and respect - that I find myself taking offense at such stereotypes. They deserve far better, not that those on the religious right would be likely to take the time to get to know one of the people they're demonizing.

As I post this, I'm getting ready to head out to spend the evening with two of my favorite people (who just happen to be lesbians). How much poorer would my life be if I were still hiding from people based on stereotypes that I was fed about them?