"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Christie Said (A Must Read)

I have been wondering how I feel about Obama's pick of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his Inauguration, some of you have been witnesses to what seems like anger in me and have pointed it out, I have also been trying very hard to deny it, to say that I'm upset, that I'm disappointed of people whom I have believed to be for equality, but are not, or rather, they make exceptions for people like me or others.
Christie is right when she says that there are so many issues and struggles, yes, she is right there is so much that I'm involved in where there are many allies and much more to do, I don't want to jeopardize that
And yet....
I hope you read the Diary and join me in spirit this Christmas, another one in which I'll be pondering and wondering about so many christians having a jolly good time and doing 'good works' during these days, such as wishing everyone to have a merry Christmas, or feeding some hungry people, or giving some present to poor children, so as to quiet what has been in their hearts and for their deeds of the past year and to justify what they will do, or not, in the next.
While the above are worthy causes and I celebrate their doing them, It is the hypocrisy that gets me, their selectiveness (sic) on what the Bible says and how they apply it.
You may read the Diary, or not, it really doesn't matter - these few words are not really for all of you and should be taken as they apply, or as the saying goes 'if the shoe fits', and they are also for me, as a reminder that I need to do one of the things Jesus of Nazareth did the most, which was to criticize the hypocrites, because he didn't have more contempt for others as he did for those, he also had a very apt description for them "Like Sepulchers, white on the inside and empty inside"
Yes, I am hurt and angry but in any event, may your heart be filled with kindness throughout the year and I also wish for you and your loved ones, health, love, happiness and prosperity.

Lastly, while I can forgive, forget I can't.

Posted by: Sapphocrat
December 23, 2008

This is one of the best Kos diaries I have ever read. Excerpting won’t do it justice, so I’ll give you just enough to compel you to read the whole thing:

It’s not Obama I’m mad at;
it’s way too many of you

. . .

I have not been one of the “OMG Obama is betraying us” crowd. …

But when I heard Warren had been invited to pray at Obama’s inauguration, I felt sick to my stomach. I cried. It wasn’t a judgment; it wasn’t an intellectual assessment; it wasn’t a political strategy. It was just genuine pain.

But it was nothing — NOTHING — compared to what I felt when I started reading diaries here on Daily Kos, full of smug, ignorant pontification on how we need to not be SO ANGRY or SO HURT, and lumping us in with the “What Obama is doing wrong” crowd, and ignoring that our response to the Warren invitation is a completely separate phenomenon.

Let me explain something very carefully, for those who don’t know: none of what’s going on in the fight for LGBT rights is part of a strategy, as should be apparent by our lack of a cohesive movement and any viable leaders. It’s a true grassroots uprising among people who got a taste of freedom and decided we wanted more. We were no longer willing to settle for a long, slow, state by state battle, for death by a thousand cuts, for an extended period of second class citizenship.

I’ve lived through a lot of watershed moments in this movement, including the assassination of Harvey Milk and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and the rise of ACT-UP. I know like I know my name that this is another one.

Whether it’s “strategic” or not, whether it’s what our “leaders” think we should do or not, it’s pretty clear that real actual LGBT people are done with the closet. We’re seeing things in a new way. We’re no longer willing to settle for simply not getting beaten to death, for being able to live in our constricted safe zones without fear of baseball bats to the head and getting fired.

It’s not okay anymore to have to decode when and where we can be out, who can and can’t be trusted to really know us. We’re done with glancing around the restaurant or the street before taking our partner’s hand if we’re not in a gay bar or walking down Castro St. Done with paying for living fearlessly with broken bones or even death.

But to people outside of this struggle, I think that sea-change is invisible. Many of you really have no idea what just happened or what it’s done to us, both good and bad. It’s outside your circle of perception.

So I can understand that our anger must be kind of scary to some of you. It looks like it’s way out of proportion to what you think happened. And it’s not like us, really, even if our movement was born at a riot.

So in the interest of building bridges, which apparently many of you are really big on, I’ll share a secret: my anger is scaring me, too. I haven’t summoned it, cultivated it, or even welcomed it. It’s just there, like the bricks and bottles thrown at Stonewall. It’s real like that.

At first I thought the fact that many of you had no idea what’s going on for us was our fault. We must not have been telling you our stories. …

So we wrote diary after diary explaining what it’s really like to grow up queer in America — to often find no safe harbor even in our own families, who throw us out, or in our churches, which call us sinners, or in our schools, which fail to keep us safe or even alive, or in the army, which uses Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as a license to rape female soldiers and cleanse the ranks.

We told you about how many of us are haunted by things that happened to us — like when I had my head smashed into a car windshield for being so utterly uppity as to use the ATM while lesbian — or to others — like Jennifer Gale, who last week died of the cold on the streets of Austin because the only shelter in town, run by the Salvation Army, wouldn’t let a transgendered woman stay under its roof.

We thought you knew, but in case you didn’t, we told you how our youth are being tortured, isolated, and abused in religious centers that claim to be able to change them into straight people — places people like Warren advocate and even run.

But I saw that to far too many of you, knowing our stories made no difference at all. There's just something about the fight of LGBT people for our civil rights that makes a whole lot of you here feel uncomfortable.

You keep saying things like, "Just because someone is against gay marriage doesn't mean they're a homophobe or a bigot," even though there are no non-bigoted, non-homophobic reasons to oppose marriage equality.

You say that equality for LGBT citizens is an "issue" that needs to take its place on the list of progressive causes, and not a fundamental civil right that is the very foundation and bedrock of our entire constitutional system: equality under the law.

You say we're too angry and it's not an effective strategy, completely missing that we're not strategizing; we're really this angry -- even me, a 49 year old lesbian who lives in San Francisco and has a good job. I'm so furious I often can't sleep, can't eat, and sometimes I shake with rage.

You keep telling us we need to reach out and build bridges to the religious right. Do you really think there is any point at all in telling us we need to reach out to homophobes and bigots, to the people who run the churches that abuse our youth and shove us out the doors, that have brainwashed our parents into rejecting us, that tell us they "love" us while they knife us in the hearts with their laws?

Why don't you tell them to reach out to us? We're the ones who have been wronged and harmed, disenfranchised, electro-shocked, had our kids taken away in ugly custody battles, lost our homes when our partner died, been thrown out of the hospital rooms of our lovers, had wills overturned and benefits denied. We're the ones who had our equality thrown up for a popular vote, and whose rights are denied us in the constitutions of 29 states. Telling us to reach out to them is like saying battered women need to reach out to their abusers, or children to the priest who molested them.

You lecture us not to hold this against Obama, but newsflash: at least for me, MORE....

Permalink | 1745 comments |

If you read no other essay this week, read the rest of this one. Trust me — it is more than worth it

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities."

"Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic."

The voice of the majority is no proof of justice.
-- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Any law which violates the indefeasible rights of man is essentially unjust and tyrannical; it is not a law at all.
Maximilien Robespierre
In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.
Mahatma Gandhi
It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
Lord Acton

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