links, and tolerating intolerance

(This unobligingly posted with only part of the subject line written. Crossing my fingers that it doesn't do so again.)

This article talks about the abstraction of the No campaign, and of course the fallout in terms of blame.

Here's an awesome analysis of the term "traditional marriage" and how it's misleading.

We can expect a ruling on Prop. 8's legality any day now, according to the Sacramento Bee.

I've been reading a lot more articles about the gay vs. Mormon clashes than I've been posting, and I've been seeing a theme in them. The Mormons interviewed complain that we're being unreasonable, intolerant, and unChristlike. I would like to address those things, not because I think any Mormons are reading this but because I need to talk about this:

1) Unreasonable. Calls for "civility" and complaints that we're, in effect, overreacting. I'm going to have to go pure Californian here and say: dude, your actions regulated how I can live my life. Your actions made me a second-class citizen, a special exemption to the constitutional guarantee of equality. There is no such thing as an overreaction to something like this. There are imprudent reactions, like hateful words and violence, but they're understandable, and arise from the perfectly logical state of being really fucking hurt and angry.

2) Intolerant. A common claim is that nobody who claims to value "tolerance" can actually complain about other people's lack thereof, because that would be intolerant of their intolerance. Quite apart from the odiousness of the word "tolerance," which implies that we should be damn' grateful we're not being lynched, that's a load of poppycock. I do not have to put up with having my rights trampled on, being insulted or attacked, or otherwise being hurt just because I don't want those things to happen. That would make no sense whatsoever. Look, you live your life however you want to, say and do what you want in private, work for your interests, no problem. But your right to swing your fist stops at my nose, and if you don't recognize that and decide to hit me I can complain or take action against you without, in any way, challenging your right to swing your fist in general. Accepting our differences is quite different from accepting other people's attempts to crush them out of us.

3) UnChristlike. Let's review: Jesus sat with the prostitutes and the tax collectors, cured the Roman centurion's servant (or, probably, lover,) told people not to judge each other, and specifically said that you go to heaven by being kind and helping people, not by being faithful necessarily. The question, then, is: would Christ a) condemn gays and go out of His way to make our lives harder, b) condemn gays but "tolerate" us, or c) sit down with us and show His love and acceptance as He did with the prostitutes? Two other texts to consider: John 8:7 and especially Matthew 23:13. And on that latter:

Force does not produce faith. You save no souls by hatred, condemnation, judgment, and oppression. Nobody wants to join you because you tell them, "you're a bad person and doomed to hellfire." Rather, that condemnation drives people away. It has taken me years to accept that Christianity does not mean hate, because when I look at the way self-labeled Christians behave I see too often arrogance, judgment, and lack of compassion. It took me years, with a church full of people who really were loving and non-judgmental supporting me, to hear the word "God" without a stab of fear. You're damaging your church, and making it poorer, with this lawmaking attempt, and it's not going to make people more moral by any standard. Morality cannot be imposed; it must come from the individual's choice, or it is not morality, just meaningless obedience.

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