January 18th, 2010 by M. French

Nathan Harden had this to say on the oftentimes anti-Christian Huffington Post:

In today’s political landscape, we normally think of the mixing of religion and politics as the doing of white conservatives.

But if you know your history, of course, you know that The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded by a group of black religious leaders, the most important of which was the group’s first president, Martin Luther King.

The real work of the Civil Rights movement — everything from rallies to bus boycotts — was carried out through the organizational infrastructure of the black church. And the words that inspired the movement were mostly the words of preachers. Without religion, and Christianity in particular, it is not certain that the Civil Rights movement would have taken place at all.

Harden later points out that “King’s commitment to non-violent resistance was motivated by his faith,” quoting Dr. King as saying:

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.

Dr. Brown adds more to the picture with his account of a pivotal moment in Dr. King’s life:

By January 1956, with the Montgomery bus boycott in full swing, threatening phone calls, up to 40 a day, began pouring into King’s home. Though he put up a strong front, the threats unsettled him. One midnight as he sat over a cup of coffee worrying, the phone rang again, and the caller said, “Nigger, we are tired of you and your mess now. And if you aren’t out of this town in three days, we’re going to blow your brains out and blow up your house.” King later described what happened in the next few minutes.

“I sat there and thought about a beautiful little daughter who had just been born. . . . She was the darling of my life. I’d come in night after night and see that little gentle smile. And I sat at that table thinking about that little girl and thinking about the fact that she could be taken away from me any minute.

“And I started thinking about a dedicated, devoted, and loyal wife, who was over there asleep. And she could be taken from me, or I could be taken from her. And I got to the point that I couldn’t take it any longer. I was weak. . . .

“And I discovered then that religion had become real to me, and I had to know God for myself. And I bowed down over that cup of coffee. I never will forget it. . . . I prayed a prayer, and I prayed out loud that night. I said, ‘Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. I think I’m right. I think the cause we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I’m weak now. I’m faltering. I’m losing my courage. And I can’t let the people see me like this because if they see me weak, they will begin to get weak. . . .’

“And it seemed at that moment I could hear an inner voice saying to me, ‘Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo I will be with you, even until the end of the world. . . .’ Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared.” Christian History 65 (Vol. XIX, No. 1), 40.

Posted in News, Revolution & Justice Tagged with: , , ,

January 11th, 2009 by M. French

Editor’s Note: The text below is slightly altered in wording and punctuation from the originally published version. Unless otherwise stated, we make no endorsements of the links, media, organizations, or people we report on.

In the ongoing cultural debate over gay marriage, those that oppose it will at times attempt to show that the arguments used in favor of same-sex marriage can just as easily be applied to polygamy, thus opening the door for its legalization if gay marriage is legalized. In response, the pro-gay-marriage crowd usually responds mockingly, with phrases like “we graduated from the second grade,” or “this is a straw man you’ve set up, polygamy has nothing to do with gay marriage.”

What happens, however, when a pro-gay writer on the biggest liberal blog on the net argues the same point as those opposed to gay marriage? On January 6th, Lee Stranahan published an article on The Huffington Post called Why Are Gay Marriage Advocates Not Defending Polyamory? He ends his article with the following:

But what’s a poly person to do if they want to enter into a committed relationship with the people they love? Polygamy – marriage to more than one person – is no more an option for conseting [sic] adults in the United States than gay marriage is in all states expect Massachusetts and Connecticut. If the rights of gay people are being trampled on, then it’s two states worse for poly people.

If you follow the same argument template as many gay marriage advocates, anyone who opposes polygamy is a bigot and a hater. Rick Warren has made it clear that he opposes poly relationship, too. And even comparing consensual poly relationship to Jeffs is equating polyamorists with PEDOPHILES!

If Melissa Etheridge has the right to marry Tammy Lynn Michaels – and I think she does – then [sic] Melissa and Tammy also have the same right to make it official with David Crosby, it they choose to do so. In fact, if they wanted to marry Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Linsday Lohan, Samantha Ronson, Mark Ronson AND Ani Difranco…it’s their choice and their right and it’d make quite a tour, too.

There’s no argument you can make against a poly marriage that wouldn’t work just as well as an argument against gay marriage.

Aside from reasons of consistency, advocates of gay marriage should also be vocally in favor of polygamy since it allows bisexuals to be actively practicing married bisexuals. Bisexuals are the B in GLBT but they really get short shrift in the marriage discussion.

I’m in favor of real marriage equality. Love the one you’re with. Love the two or more you’re with, if you can work that out. Marry them if you’re into that kind of thing. But until the gay marriage movement embraces polygamy…well, they are just acting like bigots and haters, aren’t they?

“There is no argument you can make against poly marriage that wouldn’t work just as well as an argument against gay marriage.” Exactly! And on the flip side, there is no argument you can make for gay marriage that wouldn’t work just as well as an argument for polygamy. Lee Stranahan sees this, perhaps others in his camp will soon see this as well.

The reaction from the gay community has been shock and confusion. Jeremy Hooper from Good As You writes: “We’ve seen many anti-gays make the ‘gay marriage = polygamous marriage’ argument. But when it comes from a professed supporter of same-sex marriage equality, it’s a little harder to swallow.” He then responds to Mr. Stranahan’s article with the arguments that “Bisexuals are not innately polyamorous. We thought this went without saying, but apparently not. Bisexuality just means an attraction to both genders, not a CONCURRENT RELATIONSHIP with both sexes!” and (before changing it) “the fact is that marriage has always been considered a commitment between two people.”

Let us first consider his statement concerning bisexuality and polyamorous behavior. This was Mr. Hooper’s response to ADF’s Glen Lavy asserting that bisexuality and polygamy are related:

No Glen? You really don’t see any difference between a bisexual who wants two partners and a same-sex couple who wants one? Oh, well here, we graduated from the second grade — let us help you:

BISEXUALITY, LIKE HOMOSEXUALITY OR HETEROSEXUALITY, IS AN ORIENTATION, NOT A CHOSEN PATTERN OF COMMITMENT!!! Just like a man who is attracted to two different women must pledge a legal commitment to only the ONE of them who he intends to marry, a bisexual person must also enter into a union with only ONE PERSON! Bisexuality doesn’t mean a person is attracted to multiple partners — it just means that their capacity for finding their true love is not limited to only one specific gender!!!! It’s BIsexuality, not SIMULTANEOU-sexuality!! Stop pretending like you do not know this!!!!!

Alrighty, we feel better now. But you know what would REALLY ****(sexual reference edited out by VOR’s editor)***? If these self-professed good Christians would stop lying through their ever-loving teeth!

Glen Lavy and Lee Stranahan asserted the same belief, and yet Good As You treated Mr. Lavy with ridicule and contempt, accusing him of knowingly lying, while giving Mr. Stranahan nothing more than a humble correction. Without addressing the accuracy of their specific statements, what possible reason could there be for treating them so differently other than anti-Christian bigotry? Good As You declares that they “strive to provide a safe, progressive, and positive forum in which we work to eliminate discrimination and intolerance.” I ask Mr. Hooper to publically apologize for the glaring discrimination and intolerance shown by him towards Mr. Lavy and the Alliance Defense Fund.

Finally, let us look at his statement on historical marriage. Thankfully, Mr. Hooper eventually changed his laughably inaccurate statement “the fact is that marriage has always been considered a commitment between two people” to the toned down and slightly less absurd “marriage has largely been considered a commitment between two people.” However, one has to wonder how such a statement could ever have been published in the first place. The reason is that many in the LGBT community really believe it to be true. How? Could it be that many Americans have had their understanding of what marriage is supposed to look like shaped more by Hollywood than historical fact?  To many, marriage is exclusively a matter of falling in love, thus they have neither considered the historical foundations of marriage, nor the long-range impact gay marriage will have on society. The historical facts about marriage in reality (as opposed to made up ones) are as follows:

  1. The majority of cultures throughout history have defined marriage as the formal union of one man and one woman.
  2. A minority of cultures throughout history have defined marriage as the formal union of a man and one or more women.
  3. An infinitesimally small number of cultures throughout history have given some kind of recognition to same-sex unions, but even then, these relationships were primarily pederastic relationships, and even in those cases, these relationships were often abandoned when the older party involved got married to a person of the opposite sex. So, even in these rare instances of recognized or formalized same-sex unions, the union of two people of the same sex was not considered to be on an equal plane to marriage.

The truth is plain, I pray that those at Good As You, and gay activists everywhere, are willing to see it.

Posted in News, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: , , , , , , ,