There Goes the Ruddy Two-shoes

Archive for the ‘Religion/Irreligion’ Category

Atheists and the Inauguration

Posted by ruddytwoshoes on January 25, 2009

I do not remember how many times I said this in the morning of the inauguration: “All that praying and Bible business should be taken out.”

It should. I acknowledge that this nation was erected upon Christian principles, but this is a new epoch. It is no secret that this country is now home to diverse faiths — and nonbelievers.

This is a great post by Greta Christina to which I have nothing else to add.

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A Few Things

Posted by ruddytwoshoes on December 21, 2008

I thank the universe for the luck it has bestowed upon me. In a rather blue state such as Washington, I have the opportunity to spend forty hours of my week around staunch ultra-conservatives, who have posed good enough reason for a coworker, who leans center-right, to make the pronouncement that I have landed “in the wrong office.” I have, indeed, felt that way a number of times, but instead of harboring anxieties over our diametrically opposed socio-political viewpoints, I consider it sheer luck that I am in the company of individuals who further my personal growth via thought-provoking conversations. Such discussions have not only broadened my knowledge on various matters but also led me to delve deeper into my strongly held beliefs, dissect and improve my reasoning, enhance my analytical skills, and better my rhetorical abilities.

I do not remember exactly how they sprung, but several debates on gay marriage, all of which saw me as an ardent participant, silently broke out in the office in the past week. I was, not surprisingly in this case, one of, perhaps, only two people — the other one being a lesbian who has lived and parented adopted children with her partner for years — subscribing to the idea that the right to marry should be extended to same-sex couples.

Interestingly enough, the only relatively flamboyantly homosexual there, who also happens to be a devoted Republican and member of the Pentecostal Church — something that I find quite mind-boggling — is firm in his conviction that due to the purported sanctity of matrimony, gays, who he insists are all unfaithful to their partners, should not be allowed to marry. Others consistently voice their concern over the hypothetical effects of legalizing same-sex marriages on the traditional, biblically prescribed family unit — that which is created by two parents, one male and one female. Some, on the other hand, slightly go off on a tangent to maintain that homosexuality is a choice, and therefore, homosexuals have the power to choose to be heterosexuals. This gives me the impression that they do not deem same-sex marriages necessary because gays can straighten up to partake in the business of customary matrimony if they choose to do so.

To respond to the third argument, I say some people confuse sexuality and lifestyle. Lifestyle — how you express your homosexuality, what you wear, who you engage in sexual intercourse with, your manner of speaking — is a choice, no doubt. But can you name one homosexual — in a society that forces everyone to go under two and only two gender boxes — who ever said he or she wanted to be gay?

Then, to kill the first two arguments with one stone, I cite the sacredness of marriage and the gleaming, scripturally supportive family model that Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, both perfectly heterosexual, have championed.

And if that does not cut it, we can look at that super-holy matrimonial ceremony that also involved Britney Spears and a childhood friend in Las Vegas a few years ago. Oh, and what about Whitney Houston’s sanctimonious union with Bobby Brown? What about my mother’s short, unfortunate marriage with my biological father who was clearly unable to attend to his responsibilities as a husband, a parent, and a family member?

Furthermore, you are not taking marriage away from homosexuals who supposedly do not have the ability to keep marital relationships. You are taking it away from those homosexuals who are prepared to commit to, or have already committed themselves to, their partners. Besides, there is no question that heterosexuals have the tendencies to be extremely disloyal to their spouses as well. Are there really any grounds for upholding the exclusivity of marriage to heterosexuals?

And, finally, I just have to ask: What is it that really makes a marriage? Is it heterosexuality or the scientific potential to procreate? Or is it love — the magnificence of which unquestionably outshines color, geographical distance, religious denomination, and gender?

Mike Huckabee appeared on The Daily Show two weeks ago. I loved the discussion this video shows, and Jon Stewart was golden that night.

Also, watch and hear Keith Olbermann’s gripping statement a few days after Proposition 8 triumphed in California:

In addition, check out Milk, a powerful Gus Van Sant film detailing the struggles of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay city supervisor of San Francisco, starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco; For the Bible Tells Me So, a stirring documentary on how the Christian right wrongly exploits biblical passages to justify gender discrimination; and Nava and Dawidoff’s Created Equal: Why Gay Rights Matter to America. I am certain that there are heaps and heaps of films, videos, and literary works on gay marriage and gender equality out there, but these are what I have gotten my hands on over the last month or two.

The passing of Carol Chomsky, who contributed greatly to the study of language development, should not go without mention here tonight.

Here is the obituary that appeared on The Boston Globe yesterday.

I am deeply saddened by the news and sincerely hope that Noam, who reached his eightieth year on earth just a few days ago, does not run out of fuel to stay around a little longer. This world is going to keep needing him for a bit.

Posted in Life, Medleys of Mental Activities, Politics, Religion/Irreligion, Society and Culture, TV, Film, and Literature | Leave a Comment »

Give It to Love

Posted by ruddytwoshoes on June 22, 2008

One boisterous Saturday night in a Silverlake bar, I stumbled upon a tete-a-tete with a man who, I then recognized, had many a story to tell past the inanity that drives nights such as that which I happened to be living at that moment. With conversation as invigorating as a bottle of organic kombucha glugged down after a three-mile jog under the wrath of the California sun during the summertime, he tendered me a bizarrely mind-fulfilling weekend, far from the stretches of mountainous desires to guzzle into the proverbial inebriation that used to snatch me from the enveloping realities and transport me into emptiness so fugaciously blissful. That night, he cracked an opening on the door that lead into my being, and I merrily capitulated.

That was the beginning of the companionship that has every single day illumined the reasons for life being worth living.

Seventeen months later, much to the surprise of everyone outside the rock-solid circle we had drawn around us, we brazenly exchanged our vows and stamped them with a “forever” seal on a Hawaiian island, and then put the last touches on papers needed to make our union lawful in the books of the government of the United States of America.

People have various grounds for getting hitched: money, benefits, citizenship, accidental pregnancies, religious dogma, and whatever it is that sparks jarringly ephemeral Hollywood marriages… In the quotidian world, however, the one element thought to be the numero uno prerequisite for marriages is something we call LOVE, and you may call me naïve, but I myself submit to the ideology that this is what makes a marriage. I do not believe this has gotten debunked.

I find the greatest pleasures in loving and being loved by the man I just know I will spend the rest of my life with. Why, love shared is just a wonderful, wonderful phenomenon. And though it, conceivably, may not be as important as what occurs within the boundaries of my marriage, I find huge pleasures in the public recognition being rendered to the brand of love I am able to give and receive with exclusivity, and I deem it my right to be acknowledged as the woman my husband swore his commitment to, till death do us part, at any time, in all corners of the globe. These delights have made my marriage nothing short of perfect, and I sincerely, fervently wish that everyone — and I mean everyone — in the world is presented with the opportunity to find themselves in the same boat because there is nothing as happiness-inducing, life-changing, and earth-moving.

There is also nothing as category-fucking. It transcends the margins between colors, geographical distances, economic statuses, and evidently enough, sexes and genders.

Sexes and genders, sure. Here’s proof (photos from SFgate.com):

Phyllis Lyon (83, in blue) and Del Martin (87, in brown) have been together for fifty-five years. Fifty-five! They joyously got married in San Francisco on Monday, June 16th, and were the first to get a same-sex marriage license after the California Supreme Court, in a non-unanimous decision, overturned the same-sex marriage ban last month, finally giving same-sex couples the same privilege bestowed upon heterosexuals. Phyllis and Del actually first wedded in 2004, but the marriage was later voided by the state Supreme Court.

More photos of some of the thousands of same-sex couples in love who were granted marriage licenses this month (from the LA Times):




Now, the presence of a referendum in the November ballot can possibly again outlaw these marriages in California. There remains a high preponderance of people who choose to remain rigid in their conviction that the actuality of love can only occur where heterosexuals are romantically involved, joined by the huge percentage of the state population who classify even the most minor attraction to the same sex as “abnormal,” notwithstanding the elimination of homosexuality from the DSM-IV. And then there are, of course, those who claim to be ardent saviors of the purity of sexual morality on earth as the bible has it and wish retribution, Matthew-Shepard-murder-style, upon those who disobey “holy” doctrines including “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads,” stated in Leviticus, the same brain who — horrifically — preached to readers that “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.” Like I said — moral. Really. Anyway, count those who question the ability of same-sex parents to raise kids, too, even though it would be an enormous logical fallacy to conclude that one‘s sexual orientation alone affects his or her child-rearing ability. In any case, the anti-gay-marriage populace are going to be excitedly jumping on the opportunity to again sweep some gay rights under the rug come November.

To those of you who might be on the fence, however, I hope you take as much time as needed to think about the persons around you, who, in spite of their sexual orientation not falling on the same boxes you have always been taught to see, belong to the very same country whose people the powers that be describe as “equal,” and mull over the rights you are robbing if you make this ban happen again. And while you’re at it, think about love. Think about the way it, in point of fact, works.

I really hope you can give it to love this time. Yes, give it to love. Don’t bring the ban back.

Posted in Life, Politics, Religion/Irreligion, Society and Culture | 3 Comments »