Sunday, November 25, 2007

If you were gay...

On Friday I tried to post on the fact that the governor of Michigan had added gender expression as another reason that a person cannot be discriminated against in a state job, the post was poorly written and I didn't feel as though I really made my point, you can see for yourself here, but my fellow blogmate Dcup saw exactly where I was going and helped me out in comments. So I wanted to follow up here on what she had said and also make the point that I initially wanted to make.

First a little song from Avenue Q to help me out.

This is a great show and song, but what I really wanted to pull out is the line, "What do I care what you do in bed with guys?" Why should we care what someone does in the privacy of their own home or in their own relationship? What difference does it make to the conservative Christians what Sam and Edward do behind closed doors or even in public if they are not hurting anyone else? We should not care what you do in your private life and I don't get why anyone else would care what I do in my private life. Lets use Larry Craig as an example. I truly do not care what he does in his bedroom or even in a public bathroom of an airport if they are consenting adults, the issue is the hypocrisy. I am sure I have posted here and commented other places that the hypocrisy is the issue not what you do in your private life.

As I was thinking about this point, I realized that the Christians who rail against gays and anyone else they see as committing sins remind me of children. First, they are so egocentric that they cannot see that someone else may have a different viewpoint than them. According to the work of Jean Piaget among others, it seems that children after the age of 4 gain the ability to realize that your perspective is not the same as the person sitting across from you. So then are those Christians who assume everyone is seeing things within the same viewpoint as them just ignorant or have they just not developed normally and are not able to realize that others have a different viewpoint than them? For me, I have been told that I am going to hell because I do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, but from my viewpoint that cannot be true. First, there is no hell within Judaism and second within Judaism the Messiah has not come yet, so how can I go to a place that does not exist for something that has not yet happened? So, if you do not believe that homosexuality is a sin and hence will send you to hell, how can you go some place for something that you do not believe? It is all a matter of perspective.

Second, and the other way that conservative Christians remind me of children, is their incessant tattling. Whether they are tattling to God or tattling to their preacher or whoever they feel they need to tell, the conservatives are always saying, you are doing something wrong. I have children who will run around the room when they are supposed to resting, but if anyone else gets up than they immediately need to tell someone. My response is, "Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing?" If the answer is yes, than don't worry about others, only worry about yourself and if the answer is no, than you need to figure out what you should be doing. The same goes for the conservatives, are they doing what in their perspective they are supposed to be doing to go to heaven or whatever graces they are supposed to be getting? Again, if the answer is yes, than great, keep it up, and worry about yourself and if the answer is no, and honestly we are human and so we are not perfect, so the answer to this question will always be no, than maybe you need to work on yourself before you criticize others.

To get back to the original point about discrimination in the workplace for sexual orientation or gender expression, what the fuck do you care is Barbie in accounting likes to date women or Roger in the next cubicle over has adopted a child with his boyfriend? By the same point, who cares if the person three cubicles over who was Bob is now going by Wendy and wearing dresses and high heels? Unless their work is affected by these choices, like the French tips they are now wearing is affecting their ability to do their work or they are now afraid to get their new dress dirty while working at the construction site, shut the fuck up and worry about yourself.


FranIAm said...

I could not agree more- who cares who does what with whom, as long as all are consenting adults?

In general, I find that those who shout the loudest are trying to deflect and often have something to hide. This brings us to your point about hypocrisy. That is the key.

It is human nature to want to project any darkness or perceived ill or evil out, rather than to embrace or integrate it.

Which, if many Christians paid any sort of attention and if they had good leaders, would notice is what Jesus was saying, pretty much all of the time.

Because there are so many Christians, for good or ill, it is clear how often gay folks or any sexual matter, becomes the target of their ire.

In general, many Jews are more comfortable with gay life. However, I would in the name of a broad view, point you to a film that you may or may not be familiar with.

It is called Trembling Before G-d and it is about gay orthodox Jews. It is moving and fascinating. I saw it 5 years ago and the director- a gay man who is from an Orthodox background himself, had a Q&A afterward. It was great.

I only bring this up as homoesexuality is reviled in many religions, Islam included.

Now I have read, I can't verify this, that many Native American cultures made allowances for gays in their communities. I have always meant to look into that more, but have not.

Great first post, writing good or not, and great follow up.

You are a thoughtful and good man Boxer.

Boxer rebel said...

Fran- I have seen Trembling before God or at least part of it, I think I saw the whole thing, but I don't remember, so thanks for the reminder so that I can put it on my queue and see it again. It was an interesting and really good film. I am aware that there are strong anti-gay strains within Judaism, but as you noted here in America we hear about it mostly from Christians. But I do hear that in Israel you hear a lot of anti-gay rhetoric out of the right wing Jewish set, so I shouldn't have singled out any specific religion.

FranIAm said...

Have you been to Israel? If you are in Tel Aviv, you might as well be in Miami or LA. There is a huge party scene and it is very secular, lots of tall buildings, a beach, business and so forth.

One short hour away, Jerusalem. There is some gay life there, but the more Orthodox create a very different environment.

For the record, I hope I did not sound strident or that I intended to imply that you singled out any religion.

The wingnut types have created an environment of hate around many issues, and this is one of the big ones, so Christianity in that context must be called out for its (paging Ted Haggard! paging Larry Craig! Etc!) bullsh*t!

Peace brother!