Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We need a new bracelet

We have all seen those bracelets with the letters WWJD (what would Jesus do) upon them.  I think its time for a new bracelet.  From what I can see, what Jesus would do is to deny a place at his table for a sizable portion of humanity.  Religion seems to be more exclusionary than inclusiveness, pushing many people out of the reach of God and churches.  Why else would pastors, ministers, and priests rail against so many humans from their sermons each week?  Gays are evil!  Trans people are an abomination!  They are ensnared by the devil's net, and do the devils work, bringing our country to its knees by their evil deeds.

A country who used to pride themselves on a firm and clear division between religion and government has inexplicably become the religious rights submissive slave, being increasingly shackled by the "word of God".  Which version of God are we supposed to believe in, there are many to choose from.  I feel that we are on a balance point, and life could go either way.  The scales could tip and slide us into a fundamentalist  country on par with many of the middle eastern countries, or it could slide us into a more secular form of society.

The last 50 years has seen a slow erosion away from many Americans belonging to, and regularly attending churches.  And I think that's whats behind much of the noise and fury of many religious leaders.  They know their realm of influence is waning, and they are making us believe their are devils behind every door, under every bed, and evil agendas from the downtrodden portion of society.  Fifty years ago, all of this hatred was heaped upon black americans, arguing that if they could vote, attend the same school, drink from the same water fountain, or marry someone out of their race our country would suffer the wrath of God.  After a few federal rulings, blacks were finally granted their long over due civil rights.  And then the hunt was on to find the new evil, and for a while it was women, but its hard to hate women.  Everyone loves a woman at some point in their lives, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, cousins, girl friends, and as friends.  So, cue the next boogie man, and he is LGBT.

Now I'm a huge history nerd, and have been reading a book about Abraham Lincoln and the possibility that he might have been gay.  I'm almost finished with the book, and yeah I'm convinced he was.  But thats not why I'm bringing him up.  He was a brilliant man thrust into a horrid period of our history, but he was without doubt the right man for that job, anyone else would have messed it up.

I can't help but to make comparisons between Lincoln believing that all Americans should be free and able to enjoy the same civil rights, and his efforts to free the slaves, and our current struggle for civil rights across the whole of LGBT.  At a time when most of our countrymen were of a more religious bent, Lincoln was not.  If you read his speeches he never once invokes Jesus, or rarely God, but talks about man as something stronger, and greater than we know.

While Lincoln was president, many religious leaders would come to him, "that Lincoln might improve himself and  / or his administration in the eyes of God by citing this or that expression of the divine will."  And he stood firm against them by saying, "I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me."




So, I'm proposing a new bracelet, one that reads WWLD (what would Lincoln do).  We know that Lincoln forced Northern generals to fight against the southern armies, and those that wouldnt fight, were removed from their positions.  Many historians believe that the reason Lincoln was shot was his desire to see blacks have the ability to vote, as he wanted complete and total freedom for all americans.

What we need is our own Lincoln. One who doesnt kowtow to the religious leaders, one who isnt afraid to stand up and point out the travesty of a country who prides itself on freedom for all, creating a second class of citizens through laws and statues.  If you read my post on my second blog, you know the plight of transgender americans.  By not allowing gays and lesbians and some transpeople to marry, what you are doing is codifying bigotry and violence, which kills our most vulnerable members, teens and transwomen of color.  Each suicide, each gay/lesbian/trans bashing that leads to a death can be directly correlated to the laws restricting our freedoms and impeding us from our civil rights.  And since most of these laws flow from religious groups, each death needs to be placed on their bloody bloody door step.

It's time to stop sitting in the back of the bus.  It's way past time for us to stop squabbling with each other and start to fight with one voice, one purpose freedom for all LGBT and hopefully a kinder more gentler nation.










6 comments:

  1. An excellent post Biki!

    And I think you might be right about the fork in the national road. But it's certainly not too late to renew the fight and to pursue it to its logical end.

    For the moment you have a broadly sympathetic bloke in the White House (and that only happens half the time at most!).

    So seize the moment! Find your Messiah - your Leader - to spearhead the campaign and for everyone's sake get our whole community organised in defence of everyone's freedom and civil liberties.

    Settle for no 'second best' - only complete equality for all of us will do

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  2. Well said!
    I wish our esteemed leader would get off his a$$ and do something for civil rights. He almost lost the chance at repealing DADT, and it seems that since his first 18 months in office, he managed to lose Congress to the Republicans, so any chance of more progress is likely stunted.

    But I agree with you, it is high time we go after the haters!
    Peace <3
    Jay

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  3. You make the bracelets, I'll buy one for myself and plenty for gifts!

    I think we should have a WWRPD bracelet, too, though. What Would RuPaul Do?

    :-D

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  4. It is striking in my wanders around the internet how pervasive religion is in all areas of American life. Christians (and there are so many of them) proclaim their faith in all aspects of their life. Non-believers are often almost apologetic. Secular beliefs are fair game, but to challenge someone's religious beliefs is seen as a lack of respect. My rule of thumb is simply to not mention religion on American blogs.

    Hopefully the current fervour will fade. Thoughout history these sentiments seem to have a natural cycle. We appear to be living in a time of a reaction against the freedoms we have won through the liberation movements of the 60s and 70s and the struggles that followed. Lets just hope that we can stop that reaction from going too far.

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  5. How about WWYD What Would You Do? We tend to rely upon others directions to much instead of trusting ourselves.

    We are good and moral people. Know that and be happy with that. When we seek the praise of others we succumb to the will of others and their allusions on what is right.

    Lets avoid that error and rely upon ourselves and a unity of individuals. It is far more just to lead by consensus than will.

    T

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  6. victor the discordianFebruary 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    and here i always thought that WWJD stood for We Want Jack Daniels.
    ooops.

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