It’s raining again, I’ve finished my work, waiting now on clients. The Mountain Goats are cued up and I’m ready to rant. Do you mind? Oh, you do? OK. Well, that’s too bad. Here goes.
Open-Carry & Peet’s Coffee:
Today, Peet’s Coffee (oh glorious Peet’s how I savor thee) issued a statement which has drawn criticism from a particular few, namely – the Open-Carry ‘movement’. In short – people who are increasingly displaying presumably unloaded sidearms in public for the sake of displaying them. I believe their tenet is “a right not exercised is a right lost”, or something like that (I do however find it humorous that opencarry.org uses such fancy-speak as “Raison d’etre” on their frontpage). Yeah yeah yeah, there’s the Second Amendment, but there’s also the rights of a property owner to dictate what is, and is not, allowed on the premises (although the latter is not constitutional, it’s still a proper right). What’s sad to me is that little ole’ Peet’s deemed it necessary to issue a statement to keep these wing-nuts out of their stores, when it’s common sense that should keep anyone from flaunting their gun in a hippie-lovin’ coffee shop in the first place. Why flaunt a firearm? That’s nothing I can answer. Can you? Probably not. (Please note this isn’t an argument against gun ownership – I think guns are cool, I enjoy shooting, but they have their place). I wonder: “are these the same people who bring firearms to political rallies?” I suspect so. What are they afraid of? Surely it can’t be something as simple (or complex) as an exercise of the 2nd Amendment, right? There is something larger, something ever-more ominous and insidious dwelling within these people. The irony, from my viewpoint, is that these are predominately the same folks who are so afraid of a military state, while their actions create an air of just that. With rights come responsibility, jerks.
Oh, just Phelp yourself, a-hole:
Hey, guess who’s in town? Yup – followers of Fred Phelps, that anti-Semitic disbarred lawyer cum “pastor” from Kansas who parades around protesting against such things as homosexuality, dead soldiers, Swedes, Catholics, Minneapolis (according to him, MN is the “land of the Sodomite damned” – huh?), and just about anything that doesn’t fall squarely into his stunted world view. (Interestingly, his church has some 71 core members, 60 of whom are related to Fred. Can you say ‘cult’?) Anyhow, they were in town protesting our little Prop 8 hearing before stomping off to Texas for who-knows-what, returning to San Francisco to protest – get this: TWITTER! Now, I’m not a twitterer – but really, Fredfolk? I guess it’s better than what they put their poor children through on a regular basis. I can only hope this little guy can emerge even partially in-tact from the hell he’s unwittingly apart of. Would you want to explain to your children why that little boy is holding up a sign that says “God hates Fags”? I suspect not. It brings tears to my eyes.
Ding Ding Ding! I just had an idea! How about we get the open-carry folks to load their pieces with some silver hollow-points and have a showdown at sunset with the Phelpsians? That could solve a few problems: the planet is rid of these vile cult members and the courts can take care of the others! Sorry – that goes against my personal mission for tolerance. Never mind. Although, I have to say I appreciate the locals protesting the Phelps protest outside the Twitter HQ. [check out the photostream on flickr – good stuff]
Anyhow, is this the same ‘god’ that the Prop 8 supporters believe in? I suspect so.
No Props to 8:
As many of you know, I support & participate fully in the institution of Marriage, and believe that any two people, regardless of orientation, should be afforded its splendiforousness. Unfortunately, a mind-numbingly large segment of our denizens’ crotch-less panties and ass-less chaps are up in a bunch about two men, or two women – that being two people who LOVE one another, tying the knot. This is an issue that can be argued until our balls are blue – trust me, I know, but I’ve learned that those fielding opposing views are as closed-off to the concept of same-sex marriage as I am to the thought of denying it.
The one question I have time & time again asked is this: “how does the marriage of two people of the same gender affect your ‘traditional’ marriage?”
Do you know what? They fall flat on their face as they fumble and mumble something about it just being “wrong” or “it’s bad for the community” or more often than not, it is “against God’s will – the bible says so…” Yaddy Yaddy Yaddy.
More recently, I’ve heard a few people try to make a case of Marriage’s only real purpose being procreation. And here I thought it had something to do with love. Sorry – my bad. By this “logic”, there must be some pre-requisite that forbids any woman over the age of say, 51, from getting married on account of her child-bearing ability winding down, right? Au contraire! Obviously, there are other components to Marriage – and curiously, those who sit and bleat that it’s meant only for ‘one man and one woman’ are typically already married, with children, who may at this very moment have some horny Catholic priest (who knows nothing of marriage, really, except what he’s been told) making eyes with them. That’s another issue for another time though. Sorry to digress. Where was I? Oh, right…
I fail to see how a same-sex couples marriage can possibly degrade the traditionalists union (terminology swap intended), unless they’re in a closet with all sorts of leather-clad skeletons or dare I say, are bi-curious… Curiously,
Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by…
So says Benjamin Edelman of the Harvard Business Journal [article here]. He goes on to point out that:
Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don’t explicitly restrict gay marriage.
See where I’m going here? It’s hypocrisy. It’s homophobia. It’s patently absurd to discriminate against caring, kind and equal (or greater) contributors to our society. It’s saddening and embarrassing, that’s what it is.
One of my discussions last year pretty much ended when a friend said he’d never let his children hang out with kids that had gay parents. No way, no how. Well, I lost a lot of respect for him in that moment, and if I had kids, trust me: I wouldn’t let them hang out with zealots bigots holier-than-thou traditionalists – at least not once their kids were brainwashed. ‘They’ say same-sex parents are somehow “dangerous” or “harmful” to kids, all while studies debunk that hollow claim.
I’ve also asked them what they’d do if, at age 18, their son or daughter broke the news that they were, in fact, gay. The few that could even wrap their heads around the possibility just said “well, I’d still love them, but…..”
I’m sorry, you lost me at “but”.
Another stated that homo/bisexuals could possibly be “rehabilitated” (at and by their church, of course) and get back on a path towards ‘normalcy’. Not only does this show complete disregard to increasingly sound evidence that homosexuality is more about nature than nurture, it exemplifies the closed-mindedness and incapacity for acceptance (well, that’s not very ‘Christly’, now is it?) of our fellow women and men. Not to mention this key point: the “rehabilitation” strives to “make” the person heterosexual, and if (to be read: when) that doesn’t work, steer them towards celibacy. CELIBACY!!!! Wait a minute: I thought the goal here was to procreate. Can someone explain this to me? I didn’t think so.
Like I said, patently absurd are most arguments against same-sex marriage. You can see the fear in their eyes and hear it in their quivering voices. While I’ve got you, check out this finding, particularly the part that concludes:
Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli.
What? The outrage! Shocking! Or is it?
Here is what I know: I’m having an increasingly difficult time respecting people who are so closed-minded as to think their way is the only way. And, I acknowledge that my liberal opinions may seem equal-parts closed to them… But, my brain and heart tell me to continue the dialogue, continue the questioning – even when the other side of the coin can’t seem to open their minds to the possibility of another way of life and living. My hope for them is they can come to terms with their fears, or whatever repressed issues they’ve not taken the time to confront.
I also know that personally, my traditional marriage would be absolutely enhanced if we could truly share the joy of what our legal and spiritual devotion to one another means with our dear friends who so happen to be with partners of the same gender. They aren’t ‘gay’ in my eyes – they are dear friends who I want nothing more for than happiness and freedom from persecution.
This is an expansive, gray world we live in, and the erosion thereof continues to occur at break-neck speed, all in the name of ideals. Ideals are just that – black and white and non-applicable to our global community. The sooner we all realize that, the sooner we can move on to more important things.
Comments are of course open…