No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's about Civil Rights, not just Gay Rights

The Wifester and I had a long, serious conversation last night. We talked in depth about my need to take action, and how I feel that I have to shout louder because so many feel no need to speak up at all.
Ani said it well in her poem My IQ when she said "If more people were screaming then I could relax..."

That's exactly how I feel, and I feel passionately about this partly because it is so personal to me, but also just because any infringement on human rights is wrong, and I will always stand passionately, adamantly, and vocally against it.
I asked the Wifester how anyone could differentiate the civil rights movement of the 60's from our plight now.
Easily, she says, apples to oranges. This lands in the bedroom and touches on the fundamental religious beliefs of the majority of the country's population. Beliefs, she says, that had not been threatened by blacks gaining equality with whites.
I disagreed. The backlash to the civil rights movement cited the Bible as the foundation of their argument with such declarations as "God created separate tribes and placed them on separate lands and gave them different languages so that the races wouldn't mix. This is proof that God does not want the races to mix."
Of course, anyone who had read and studied the Bible knows that virtually anyone could construe whatever message they wanted to from it. It is written much like a horoscope or a good fortune cookie: broad generalized tales that can be interpreted in a variety of manners and can apply to an array of scenarios, if you look at it from just the right angle.
I know I'll get some backlash for that, but hey, that's how I roll. Call it as I see it, see it for what it is.
Anyways, as I was saying, The Wifester says no way are we ever going to gather the kind of support and mobilization that created the civil rights movement. First, she says, people today are much more narcissistic and self absorbed than they were in the socially conscious times of the civil rights movement. They just don't care about anything beyond their own noses. Second, she says, is the issue of gay rights rubbing that religious nerve that she feels wasn't rubbed during the days of the race riots and the marches on Washington led by MLK.

Wifester and I both agreed that the general population does not see our plight as being a fight for basic human rights, and that our right to marry really is the same as the right of a black person to marry a white person, or an Asian to marry a white... But we disagreed when it comes to whether or not that will ever change.

The Wifester says no.
She says that because our country is run by Christian fundamentalism and that Christian Supremacy is so prevalent we will never gain true equality in this country.

I don't hold the same grim outlook.
I believe that the majority of my Christian neighbors and friends are not fundamentalists and ideologues. I believe that most of them realize that love between two consenting adults is never wrong. I believe that as we grow and mature, as we learn and expand our knowledge base we begin see that some beliefs we once held may be wrong, some things we once thought have changed, and not everything our parents taught us is the truth.

I believe in the basic goodness in humanity, and that given the chance, most people will ultimately do the right thing- more often than not, and that in the end we will prevail.
I believe that it is the squeaky wheel that gets oiled, and I take it upon myself to squeak as much as I can, until that much needed oil has been received.

What do you think? Are the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement parallel or are they apples to oranges, as The Wifester put it?

3 cookies cracked:

Camlin said...

I'm looking at this from the other side - because same-sex marriage is legal here, and according to our Human Rights code, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. So at first blush, I'd say, yeah, it's definitely possible, because our countries are very similar.

But where we differ is the separation of church and state. Our population is largely multicultural, and historically, we've been more liberal than our neighbours to the south. It would take a history lesson to explain some of the reasons why...but I hope that someday, all people will see beyond their religious differences and only see the human beings that are buried beneath the fundamentalism.

Jay said...

I think that eventually true equality will happen. It just take a long time. And don't forget that our congress is way behind the American people on these issues. They're afraid to do things like repeal DOMA or Don't Ask Don't Tell or whatever, but they've been convinced by the loudest and most aggressive people that it would hurt them politically in their reelection attempts. And they believe those people.

But, I do totally agree with you, it's a human rights issue and the US is behind much of the rest of the western countries on this issue.

Sheri said...

I believe that the Equal Rights movement is a part of the Civil Rights movement. Although might be apples to oranges we are all fruit fighting the same vermin who are using the same tired bible verses.