For those who are foolish enough to think that the culture war launched by the right is only against homosexuals, please wake up. The New York Times magazine has an article this week that discusses how the right is working to outlaw many forms of contraception.
The fact is, the right wing opposes all sex outside marriage. They are certainly entitled to this belief. However, they have no right to punish people who do not agree with them.
What they are trying to do is sinister and downright evil. They want women to die from the HPV virus because they are opposed to vaccination. They want women to unnecessarily get pregnant by opposing Plan B - the morning after pill. And they want gay and straight single people to die if they have sex, by misleading Americans on the effectiveness of condoms and pushing ineffective abstinence-only programs. These right wingers hold their dogma over the sanctity of human life.
It seems that fundamentalism has emerged as the biggest risk factor for unwanted pregnancy, abortion and AIDS. The sick and sad truth is, they actually want there to be severe consequences for sex outside marriage. They truly despise the notion that people can have fun without suffering. This is an old Calvinist mindset and helps explain why many of the fundamentalists I know always look so miserable.
You are so right in your statement that the culture war is not only against gay people. All along they have used the statement that "children need a mother and a father" as an argument against gay parenting, while remaining silent about how that statement applied to single parents. I was dying for someone to call their bluff and it happened recently in Arizona, where they were willing to deny adoption rights to any single parent in an effort to keep kids away from gay people. Thank God the bill died.
A few years back when they ended the so called "marriage penalty" in the tax code, they created a big inequity between what families headed by single parents pay vs. a family of the same size headed by a married couple. The children of most divorced or widowed parents do not get the same tax advantages when it comes to college, child care tax credits, or even the actual amount of tax they pay. Just look at the difference on the tax tables, between what a head of household pays vs. married filing jointly. A single parent with 3 kids in the lower middle class pays $2000-$3000 more in taxes than a married couple with 2 kids and the same income thanks to those who only think there is one kind of family.
I am scared of these people, not only as a gay man, but as a single parent. Somehow we need to get all the single parents on our side in the battle to protect our families. I was hoping what was tried in Arizona would help.
posted by Steve - Geneva, IL, at
5/08/2006 11:49 AM
1. Fundies bitch about how gays are pushing the "homosexual agenda" on children, but think it's okay to push their worthless values on those who are not like them (like the GLBT community, the pro-choicers, agnostics, atheists, etc.).
2. Abstinence is crap. What about those who are going through involuntary celibacy, feeling depressed because they could not find someone to have sex with? The fundies think it's okay because they are not married or having sex right now, but failed to realize that it also brings misery to the involuntary celebate. Another question for the fundies: if sex was made only for procreation, then why did God create the clitoris, the eroginous zone, and the sexual chemicals in the body that would create an orgasm during the process of sex?
3. Speaking of sex, there are a lot of rogue pharmacists who refuse fill out prescriptions for contraceptives (i.e. RU-486/"Plan B") because it violates with their religious beliefs. Also, there are some doctors who refuse to treat gay and lesbians because of the same thing. Remember when two doctors refuse to artificially inseminate a lesbian? And there are a doctor and his nurse in South Carolina who gave a lesbian a pamplet about "the dangers of homosexuality" or whatever piece of evangelical propaganda that is. This is unacceptable because doctors are supposed to treat people, not indoctrinate them.
One of the easiest ways to control humans is through the desires found in the id: the need for food, for shelter, and for sex. Controlling all aspects of it, from who you do with, to how and when you can do it, is their way of asserting control over peoples' lives. Sex outside of these restrictions indicates a freedom of thought and choice, and a free will is completely anathema to the basic principles of religious fundamentalism. If people can decide for themselves "Yes, I want to [act] with [person]", what's to stop them from making their own decisions about everything else?
It's almost a sad state of affairs when a single act of sex becomes a statement of revolution and defiance.
If you don't believe in abortion, don't have an abortion.
If you don't believe in contraception, don't wear a rubber.
Don't believe in homosexuality? Don't have gay sex.
It's fine to have your beliefs, but I thought the great thing about this country was that your beliefs and my beliefs don't need to be the same. When did that all change?
posted by Randy - NYC, at
5/08/2006 2:43 PM
Fundamentalists are emotionally immature individuals who are riddled with a host of psychological maladies, not the least of which are feelings of deep inadequacy which stem from being unable to cope or compete in the real world. They can't compete in it, so they condemn it.
Hence, the creation of mythical creatures like "demons" and "devils" which, not incidentally, are defeated simply by uttering the name "Jesus". As "God's children", they gain a counterfeit self esteem along with a feeling of false power.
However, this self-deception usually results in an ever-expanding neurosis. Many are eventually unmasked for what they truly are; small, inept, childlike individuals who simply cannot bear to concentrate on and live their own lives, for they are usually "bottom of the barrel" type people who would rather not face the reality that they so often condemn. It is a reality that they deeply fear.
posted by Chris L., at
5/08/2006 2:50 PM
In many ways, it's about more concern that WOMEN and gay people be controlled, than the population as a whole. When I sought a tubal ligation (in the years prior to Norplant) I was stonewalled because I wasn't married and hadn't had children yet. When the whole point was, I was certain I wanted no children, and marriage wasn't or isn't an option at all sometimes.
Men don't find nearly as much obstruction when they seek a vasectomy prior to parenthood. And like gay sex, those of us who choose not to have children hurt absolutely no one and no thing by not having children. Those same pharmacists who refuse doling out Plan B, have no objections to doling out Viagra or inquiring on the marital status of the men who purchase it.
Pregnancies need to be either planned, prevented or terminated for any number of reasons. One could argue that any pregnancy can be considered a medical emergency. And many contraceptives are used for other medical conditions-so a pharmacist or any government entity that interferes with medical options, especially for women, is playing with lives, not just inconveniencing a person. Our society created medical interventions and cures regarding sexual health because suffering is something that doctors are committed to to EASE it. We might as well go back to the dark ages for all the fundies care to appreciate medical technology and medicine when it comes to sexual health and information. But what do they really prove by doing so? We can look at the devastation in Africa for lack of what we have here in American medical care...and their answer is right before them. They are cruel people. Invested in that the populace SHOULD suffer based on archaic beliefs, rather than belief in the miracles of modern medicine and the importance that a woman or anyone else, is a better parent, professional and spouse, when they are HEALTHY and well educated.
Diminish the opportunities for the masses for education, health and self determination, and that is a society on it's way to destruction.
posted by Regan, at
5/08/2006 4:23 PM
We could all benefit by encouraging progressive people of faith, especially Christians, to speak out for what they believe. There are many wonderful people of faith who support gay rights from a deep belief that the Bible says most clearly to love thy neighbor. They believe that gays are God's creation, not a demon to be driven out. They live in the contemporary world, and find it wonderful.
Rev. Ignacio Castuera, Walter Wink, John Shelby Spong, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Sister Joan Chittister... the list goes on. All are people of faith who embrace gays, and as you might suspect, people of different faiths. They go beyond tolerance all the way to respect, love, and hope for us all.
Who better to speak to Christians who are uncertain about the world and stuck in fear.
posted by D Pecan, at
5/08/2006 9:44 PM
I read the NYT article on Sunday morning and, although parts of it are very scary and depressing, it also sort of made me laugh. Just exactly how popular is THAT going to be, telling straight people they can't have sex? Or that they have to have sex in a certain way (i.e. intercourse only, only when the woman is fertile)? Not to get too crass about it, but how many guys are going to say, oh, yeah, let's ban oral sex? What's next, let's ban hot fudge sundaes because they taste so good?
I am sure people will disagree with me, but in some ways I feel like, let's let the RR let it all hang out. Go ahead, tell everybody they can only have sex in order to have kids, and that they want everyone to wind up with 15 kids, and, by the way, anything that feels good except intercourse, you can't do it. Oh, and if you're anything besides a fertile male, and a fertile female, and married, you can't have sex at all, even with yourself. It just seems to me that there is a level of extremity and ridiculousness that's being reached here, that the vast majority of people will find laughable and would dismiss out of hand. And to the extent that it betrays the RR for what it is - a bunch of folks with cruel, extreme, and bizarre beliefs - that's just a good thing.
posted by Anonymous, at
5/09/2006 8:29 AM
Not to get too crass about it, but how many guys are going to say, oh, yeah, let's ban oral sex?
If they banned oral sex, there would be non-stop rioting in the streets.
I thought it was rather amusing that Focus on the Family quoted one of 365.com’s articles concerning the failure of getting enough signatures to get a gay marriage ban on the California ballot this year.
California Marriage Initiative Won't Make it to This Year's Ballot A petition drive in California aimed at placing a constitutional amendment to protect marriage on November's ballot failed to gather enough signatures, 365Gay.com reported. Two pro-family groups -- the Campaign for Children and Families along with Vote Yes Marriage -- sought to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Though the signature drive fell short, the groups will begin the process again.
posted by Anonymous, at
5/17/2006 1:13 AM