equal protection

Bouncing in My Head, A VERY Disjointed Post

Bouncing around in my head stuff…

I know the words “I can’t write too many like this” sound weak but, when I wrote my last one,  https://millerdavidge.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/we-created-this-and-we-have-to-fix-it/, I had to really face what had been done to some of the people I love. They, specifically, were in it. Yeah, they told me the events were years ago. To me, since I just found out, they happened yesterday. So, please forgive me if I don’t write about abuse rape or the general treatment of women as objects as often as I think those topics are needed. To imagine people deliberately harming people I love, hurts.

By the same token, The Muse, the original muse, Z is a lesbian…well, that’s far from all she is but, in the original context of this blog, that distinction matters. She, too, is not an object. She is a person. A warm, caring, Christian person. She is not a political tool…but, “Z-posts” are easier. All I have to do is get angry or frustrated…and yeah, sometimes, sad, too. Because, you see, Z also fits the group up there. Any post that includes treating humans like humans includes Z…and you…and me…

Anyway, on a sort of related note. Kim Davis…is not a hero. She is an elected official. She agreed to follow the Constitution. Yes, that means the rulings of the SCOTUS. If she feels that, she can not do her job, ALL of her job, she should resign. She does not get to pick what laws to follow. Yes, I know that some people will troll and make responses that the original ruling in Obergefell was un-Constitutional but, that is not a correct view. It is equal protection. Loving v Virginia, among others affirmed marriage as a fundamental right. You don’t get to vote those away. You don’t get to cite “strongly held religious beliefs” as a reason for denying those…and yeah, spare me the Obama and Bush ignored laws comments. Just because you think someone else is wrong doesn’t make a third party right…

So, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Kim did achieve one of my goals, Westboro Baptist is protesting her. I’m jealous…

Anyway, I’ve also been informed that my theology either Heretic Christian or Christian Humanist aren’t really Christian. I think I missed something. I thought “love your neighbor” was Christian. I thought “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” was also Christian. I thought “remove the log from your own eye…” was an entirely Christian concept. That whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” isn’t even in the Bible…and besides, my heresy includes not thinking that being the way God created you is a sin, meaning, specifically, being LBGT is no more a sin than being straight. That being a woman is no less than being a man. That kindness and love are the central messages of Jesus words, not hate and exclusion…so please don’t tell me I can not be a Christian for having my views when you would say “Jesus Hates Fags”…I’ll tell you the truth, from my perspective, I believe he’d love Pagans, Lesbians. Pagan Lesbians, and every other Human on the planet…all of those are people I love…

Anyway, I’ll make that an end for today. It’s been a long week. My head hurts. I’ll have some, I hope, more gathered thoughts tomorrow, my other day off. Thanks for reading this far.

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Your Objections Have Been Noted, Here’s My Rebuttal…

*sigh*

I gotta go back to this…

I was looking. Depending on the poll, roughly 6% of the population of the US is LBG. Broken down, roughly 1.7% Lesbian, 1.7% gay, 1.8% Bisexual. Again, that is, roughly, 8 million people, total. There are some variances in the surveys and the numbers…In the US, roughly 83% identify as Christian. That is, roughly, 264.5 million.

Why is it so hard to figure out? A “Gay Army” is not out to destroy Christianity. Assuming that some portion of the 8 million are Christian, lets use half and make it lower than the stats would suggest, that leaves 4 million. By what reach of imagination do we get to this war against us?

*sigh*

Holy Birdbrain, Batman. Even if the numbers were doubled, there wouldn’t be enough. Even if they cared enough to be out to get you, odds are by the time they got to you, they’d be worn out from trying.

*sigh*

“But my Bible says…” Yeah, I have one, too. I read mine, too. I read the spot where Moses brought down the Law. No words about being gay there. I read the Laws Jesus gave us…

“28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no commandment greater than these.” ”  Mark 12:29-31

There is no ambiguity there. Those are the rules. No exceptions. Anything else is against the words of Christ. I read some preacher, wish I remembered who, say, “Jesus and the Bible hate gays”. Ok, I’ll play, where in the Bible did JESUS say that. Look in the bits that have red letters, those are his words. Find a quote. Cite chapter and verse. No, you don’t get to paraphrase or “read between the lines”, quote the verse, I’ll wait…Never mind, there’s no point, Jesus never said those words.

“But Paul said…” Ok, I’ll play, Paul is NOT the Son of God. He wrote his opinion. Period. The Words of Jesus should be every Christian’s “default mode”. If they aren’t, we have vastly different ideas of what being a Christian is…

*****

Ok, next point and arguments…

“They want to redefine marriage”…How? By saying that they want to make a lifetime commitment? Ah no. Your objection has been noted. “But marriage is for procreation…” So, you are saying a paraplegic can not be married, either. You are saying my marriage is invalid because we are, and will be, childless. “But marriage is a CHRISTIAN institution…” So, you invalidate every couple that is not Christian’s marriage. Tell that to the other 17% of the population that isn’t Christian.

Those objections have been noted and rejected.

*****

Final objection…

They are re-interpreting the Constitution…How? The Constitution has not one single word about marriage in it. It does have some specific wording, though, “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The words you are looking for are “No State “,”citizens”, “due process of law”, and “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. There is not the tiniest bit of wiggle room. There are ZERO exceptions listed. Not “citizens except the gay ones”, just “citizens”. Period. That is the strictest possible way to read it. If your straight Christian marriage is protected, so is every other one. Period.

“Blah blah blah slippery slope to pedophiles or livestock or appliances…” etc. If you are so thick skulled and obtuse as to think that a predatory criminal act is the moral equivalent of a non-criminal act between adults, then there’s no point in trying to reason with that point. You failed the test.

*****

*sigh*

Look, here’s the bottom line, it’s done. It won’t be undone. No matter how much you whine, it’s over.

For what it’s worth, I’ll admit my bias, again. I’m a married, straight, Christian man. My best friend is a single, Lesbian, Christian. She’s no threat to you. She doesn’t want you to do something that makes you feel your religion is under threat. She’s the first one to jump to your right to your beliefs. She’ll be the first one to defend your right to all the non-PC comments you want to make. She was a soldier. She went into Iraq during the First Gulf War. She probably thinks more of the Constitution than you do because she swore an oath to defend it and never quit that oath. I promise she’s more conservative than you ever thought about being. She doesn’t want “special” privileges just “equal protection” since she is a “citizen”. That’s not too much to ask.

You can keep your objections. They have been noted. The War on Marriage, the Judicial Over-reach,  The Against My Religion, allow me to be blunt…or ignore me, I really don’t care. You are being paranoid. That victim mentality you want to use to repress a minority of the population looks ugly on you.

*****

Sorry for the tone of this post. I’m really not angry, just worn out. I love Z. Yeppers, freely admit that I love another woman that isn’t my wife. I hope she does find a woman worth her and get married. *Editorial, loving a girl that likes girls isn’t a threat to my marriage. Nothing is because my wife ALWAYS will be the love of my life* I take it personally, far more than Z does, when I read how she’s going to be the “downfall of ‘Merica”. I take the perception that she’s a threat to people she defends as an insult to her. She earned better treatment than that. So, I HAD to write a rebuttal to the stupidity and hate that I see.

If none of my answers apply to you, pose an argument that is valid, not defensive.

If my answers defend your rights, that was our point. I’ll always have Z’s back…and yours.

In the end, it really is that simple, we are not allowed to judge the quality of an adult’s love for another adult. We are not given the right to demean or devalue someone for being different. We, the majority, should be protecting the minorities. We are, ultimately, ALL minorities because, we are all individuals. When I stand before God, he’s only going to show me the value of MY soul, not yours. My actions and thoughts are the ones I answer for. How I treated the ones I love, not who you loved…that’s it. We were born alone and we’ll die alone. In the middle, we should try to walk in peace with each other…

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Thanks to Shane Turner for allowing me to use this image. Find him here.https://www.facebook.com/shaneturnerart

Thanks to Shane Turner for allowing me to use this image. Find him here.https://www.facebook.com/shaneturnerart

Some Thoughts About June 26…

Some of the randomly good things from yesterday…

As much as I think it’s cool that liking girls is something I have in common with Z, I don’t have to have it be constantly at the fore of my brain. I mean, I, because of the blog, constantly had to think about it because it was the predominant topic of this blog…

I kept watching the Dreaded Facebook and was surprised at the amount of people that are members of the “silent majority”. Those that had never commented either way that were wearing rainbow faces…

The perception that the number of “antis” were really just a vocal minority…

That the issue is settled. No matter how you try, Equal Protection and Due Process apply to everyone…

That I don’t have to be quite so serious *grins*. I’ve been writing these for a year and a half, almost 300. Probably 200 have been about LBGT Rights. Because of the context, I wasn’t allowing my inner goof to come out as much. I like my inner goof. Sure, there will be some backlash, still, it has no legal basis. The deal is done…

*****

Some other thoughts that are just thoughts…

We gotta find a different focus. I’ve gotten used to writing these. I enjoy the process. It’s just that I had a topic that was, and still is, important to me, Z. What or who to write about next?

Talked to Z. We, the Muse and I, are gonna take a week or so off…

*****

Thanks, Z…

Thanks for the trust you gave me. I’m keeping it…

Thanks for the love you gave me. That’s mine, too..

Thanks for the compliment you paid by allowing me to be your voice. Yeppers, can’t have that one back, either…

One of the things I value most is a word you used in private, “protector”. If you don’t mind, I’ll keep that job. You don’t need one because you’re both tough and brave but, I think the trust that “protector”  implies is something that is worth far more than just a word…

Someone tried to say that my gratitude to you for sharing your world with me implied that my friendship with you was “one sided”. The intangibles of what you’ve given me far outweigh some words typed on a screen. Thanks. It really does go both ways. Always, blog or no blog, you have a space in my heart, always will…

Every gift you’ve given me, you’ve returned. The trust, love, outspoken voice, and protection have been well and truly returned by you. If you don’t mind, I’m gonna have to keep you doing those things. They keep my demons at bay just by being there.

*****

Crap, almost posted without this…

I set out to change the world for Z…and everyone else. I don’t really get any credit because I was just one more voice. Yesterday, June 26, 2015, the World changed. Thanks to y’all for all your support.

I Even Included the Word “Sex” In This One…

I wrote the last one of these in a semi-light hearted tone about kissing girls and playing with boobies. I mean that. Sex is supposed to be fun…and serious. At it’s best, it’s both at the same time. That’s not too much to want for a friend…

Why is it that we think that what someone does in their bedroom is our business? Why do we think we have a right to not be exposed to something that’s against our religion? In all reality, if I see something that goes against the way I see my faith, it strengthens my faith. It makes me consider the reasons why and think them through. If they survive that test, some do and some don’t, then I’ve gained either way.

*****

I suspect that I think more about that than Z does. I probably worry more about what people think about her than she does. I know that all she really wants is to be left alone. I’d say “and not be stared at when she’s out on a date” but, she’s short and cute, people are gonna stare. *grins* I digress…

*****

I do worry, poor word choice, about what she does in her bedroom because I want someone to share it with her. *editorial, she’s single but, don’t ask me for her info. This is not a matchmaking service nor a place where I’ll reveal who she is* I want someone to sit on her couch with her, too. Someone that’s not just sex but, hugs, walks, date night, laundry day, chores, and cooking dinner. I want someone that’s willing to commit for the rest of their lives. So, I am concerned about who she shares her bed with because I’m concerned about who she shares the rest of the house with. Who that person is, is not anyone’s business but theirs. I hope this makes the tiniest bit of sense.

I know that some of my fellow Christians will take issue with me encouraging her to fall in love with another woman. I know they’d be shocked and call me a Heretic for my view. So what? I’m encouraging a human to fall in love with another human. I’m saying that I think being in love is a good thing. I’m saying that I don’t care what gender another human loves. Where is it our business? Where is it our right to say that’s wrong. “But the Bible says…” Yeah, it does. It also says it’s not our place to worry about the mortal soul of another but, to concern ourselves with our own. It says that we are to follow the Laws put in place by men and do what we feel is within our faith within our own households.

I have religious convictions. I also have a strong belief that the Constitution protects all of us. That my convictions are not allowed to be forced on another and their’s are not to be forced on me. Funny that, huh? What right I can not find is a right to not be exposed to something I don’t want to see. I don’t get to ban political cartoons or views I disagree with. I don’t get to tear down institutions that disagree with my personal beliefs. I don’t get to not see people I disagree with. Those are not rights. *editorial, for what it’s worth if you haven’t figured it out, I heartily agree with the way Z lives her life. She’s my friend and I’ll take what exposure to her she shares with me* I for damn sure I don’t have a right to judge someone’s love or their right to be treated equally with me…No one has that right.

I said something up there about kissing girls, playing with boobies, and sex. It isn’t about that. It’s about not being insecure. It’s about being confident in our own faith and our own relationships. Her doing what she does, in private or public, is between her and another adult, whatever their gender. It’s not about “redefining marriage” anymore than Loving v. Virginia was. If marriage is “the state of being united to a person”, then there is no change. Period. If you choose not to support marriage equality, don’t marry someone of the same gender. If you choose to not extend the same protections that you take for granted to “all citizens”, you don’t get that right…

As for me, life’s too fleeting and love’s too precious for me to want to deny it to anyone. A desire for lifetime commitment is too valuable for me to want to deny it to anyone.

*****

If you wanna hold it against Z that she’s attracted to women, then hold it against me because I encourage her. I’ll always have her back. I’ll stand in front of her and write these words. I’ll hope she finds the person of her dreams. I’ll keep saying my prayers that she marries a person that is truly worth her mind, body, and soul. I’ll keep wishing that she finds a partner that she will spend Christian Eternity with. That it’s a woman only makes a difference because that’s how she’s wired and where her attractions are. Not because it diminishes her or her love in the tiniest bit.

Why Do We Need Allies?

Okie dokie, I have a question. Before I ask it, I’ll admit that I have a skewed perspective. My friends, the ones I write about and for, are strong people. They have suffered the “slings and arrows” and come up fighting and stronger. Given that, why do “allies” have to exist? People like Z really don’t need me, in the sense that she needs reassurance of any characteristic of herself is lacking in worth or value. She doesn’t need to be told that she is a valued and treasured human being. She is all of those.

I’m not writing this to say that we shouldn’t speak out for people. I’m not even trying to make an excuse for silence in the face of stupidity or bigotry.

I’m not saying the rules should be changed, either. What I will say is that the rules should be applied evenly. As a Christian, secular rules protect my freedom to worship in the manner that suits me. Without civil protections of my rights to my personal beliefs, anyone that disagrees with me may dictate how I live my life. It is a matter of principal that those same protections be applied across the board. Simply put, equal is equal. “It’s against my religion” or “I think it’s uchy” are not reasons to blatantly discriminate.

As a straight person, my marriage is also protected. Yes, my wedding was a religious act. It was given civil legal protection. I could have had a wedding by a JP that would be given the same rights. No matter how many excuses anyone makes, NOTHING outside of my house will ever have any capacity to cheapen it.

*sigh*

Anyway, back to my point. I love Z to pieces. I call her my “cousin” because I love the idea of having her as family. I haven’t written about her as much this year because I haven’t written as much. I didn’t ask her to be a member of my family because she’s gay, I asked her because of the person she is. I wish I could make that point about the entire issue of equal rights. If you want to dislike someone because of the person they are, that’s fine. The world is full of jerks. If you want to take away civil rights because of criminal actions, again fine. That’s why prisons exist. If you want to judge based on something that happens between consenting adults, that’s not. If you want to dictate based on your views, be prepared to have the same done to you.

I don’t really want to be an “ally”. I want to be a friend. I’ll be glad when allies aren’t needed.

That question I started to ask, Why do we need allies?

*sigh*…again

*sigh*

I’ve read the Constitution. I can not find a single place where it grants us “freedom from being exposed to what we disagree with.” We have no right that is “freedom to repress.”

It really doesn’t make any difference if you dislike the idea that some people are LBGT. It doesn’t matter if you feel that you have some religious ground. “It’s uchy” is not an excuse. *editorial, that last was not intended as a judgement on my part. Sex is fun…and uchy* It doesn’t make any difference at all what excuse you use. You are not allowed to repress.

If we were allowed to repress because someone did something we dislike or did something we can not imagine ourselves doing, there are a bunch of things my opinionated, grumpy, middle-aged self would put before being LBGT. *editorial, willing stupidity and musical taste being high on the list* *grins* *I digress*

As many times as I’ve said it, I’ll try again. Who someone loves is their business, not your’s. What adults do in their bedroom is none of your business. That two women or two men love each other and are willing to make the commitment that marriage vows entail should be celebrated. If we grant protection to straight married couples, and we do, we should grant them to LBGT couples. Equal Protection has to protect equally. The Constitution is clear on that point.

I am a Texan and an American. I write about and for my home. We pretend that we are the moral high ground of the world. We pretend that we want ALL Americans to be treated with dignity and respect. Yet, what we really mean is that we want “Americans that think and act like I do” to be treated that way. That is not the same thing as actually protecting everyone.

*sigh*

We need to get over ourselves. Our defacto motto “E Pluribus Unum” should be celebrated. Being LBGT doesn’t make someone less a part of the “many” or the “one”. It just makes them human.

*editorial, too early in the morning for this train of thought to seem less disjointed than it does. It needed to be written and this is when I have time*

Equal Protection

Amendment XIV

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

*****

The SCOTUS is finally going to take up the case for Marriage Equality. It is simple. No matter the arguments against it, it boils down to “are people being deprived of ‘equal protection’?” The answer is “yes, they are”. I know a very loving married couple. They are fiercely devoted to each other. They can not travel to Texas because their marriage is not valid here. If something were to happen, God forbid, to one or the other in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage, the spouse would have no say in their medical treatment. That state of things is not “equal protection”. If something were to happen to my wife, no state would question my right to make decisions.

*editorial,I know I haven’t made as many posts as I should have, this year. That’s my bad. I digress.*

The fact that the couple, I mentioned, are a pair of Ladies makes no difference. It is no one’s place to judge the love of another. *caveat, as long as it doesn’t involve a minor and as adult* Just because someone is LBGT doesn’t make their love less than mine. It also doesn’t make my love for my wife worth less.

No matter your perceived religious belief, imposing them on an issue of civil rights is invalid. You should be protecting those that differ. If you do feel that you have a right to vote away rights, consider, you won’t always be a majority.

*****

Anyway *sigh* it is personal. I’m not gay. I love my wife. Having said that, I truly enjoy watching the couple I was talking about. Z is gay. *yeah, you had to know she was going to be in this post* I want, for her, all of the things my wife and I have. I want, for that couple, the same protections that my wife and I have in every state. I don’t question the capacity for love that any of the Ladies I am talking about have. The issue is simple, either extend the same protections for my marriage to their’s or remove them from mine. Now, could we please get this done and move on?

*Sigh*

Where has rationality gone? Why do we see enemies where none exist?

I keep trying to write another blog post as a plea for reason. I’ve waged a quiet and peaceful protest with my words. I’ve used the forum that is this page to try to convince people that different does not equal wrong or enemy. *sigh* I don’t know that I’ve succeeded in changing a single mind. *sigh again*

We say WE want Freedom of Religion and claim a war is being waged against us by those we would mock or vilify. We say we don’t want the government to interfere in our private lives and yet, would dictate how love can be expressed. We pretend that we want Equal Protection and would deny that same protection to those that are different. It gives me a headache just trying to wrap my mind around those concepts.

No one I know that is LBGT or Pagan wants anything more than my straight and Christian friends demand. They are not asking for extra rights or protections. What they are asking for and what I am begging for is fairness. It really is that simple. Just give people the same room to be themselves that we demand  for ourselves. Don’t say that your actions are not a “choice” and someone else’s are. Don’t claim protection for what you believe without being willing to share those protections with others.

It isn’t easy. I know that going against a lifetime of being taught one thing only to find that it is not true is hard. I know that we do not want to change. I know that our thought patterns make us more comfortable when we can perceive an “us against them” mentality. Things don’t have to be that way. We can be part of a greater whole and retain our identity. We can find friends and people we respect in groups outside our own. We can learn to realize that “different” and “threat” are not the same thing.

I don’t know that any of these or the sum of these have changed a single mind. I know they’ve shown support. Perhaps that’s enough. *sigh*

Perception

I’ve been thinking about perception…

Why is it that we think what is right for ourselves is universally right for everyone?

Why do I assume that I have exclusive title to correctness? I KNOW I’ve been wrong before.

Why do we perceive “different” as “threat”?

Why do I think that my religious views give me the right to impose them on others?

At what point do you change your views? Mine were changed by experience. I learned that although my values are correct…for me, I should not force others to fit my mould.  *editorial, they were changed by Aj, my best-friend-that-is-not-my-wife and Pagan, and Z, a friend I truly admire and Lesbian. I couldn’t “force” either to change and wouldn’t if I could* Anyway, to live is to grow. Views need to change as we age. Perceptions need to be examined, and if proven false, need to adapt. It’s not the reality of things that have changed, it’s our view of it. The older I become, the less important the way other people do things becomes. *editorial, I do not mean criminal acts or actions that, non-criminal, still cause harm or repress* I have stopped finding other people’s faiths or loves to be a danger to my life. In fact, I have come to celebrate the differences that my friends have. It seems to me that having Pagan and gay friends has exposed me to views and people I would have never known. *I hope those friends that have broadened my views read these words and to them, thanks*

I think I’ll let this wind down now and ponder it more.