Religio-Politics 101: Symbolism, Love and Law–and an Extra Letter…

Image result for rainbowFor an entire segment of the population to be granted equal rights in one fell swoop is a glorious thing, whether it be people of color, immigrants or LGBT (sounds like a sandwich; I’m hungry). The love between two people is probably the most beautiful thing in the world, whether male or female in tandem or in unison, or universal agape, mouth wide open. But religious groups have a point, too, in their feeling that they have been dealt a blow. They have, in many cases. No major religion ever envisioned this in their view of the ‘sanctity of marriage’. Culture wars continue.

Proponents of same-sex marriage have never been satisfied with the concept of ‘civil unions’, whatever the exact terminology, and there’s logic in their rejection of any ‘separate-but-equal’ solution. But we also have a strong tradition of the separation of church and state, and to force a preacher, pastor or priest to perform the rite of marriage on a LGBT(Q?) couple may be going too far, if that is indeed ever the case. I certainly agree that same-sexers deserve all the rights, but maybe not all the rites.

I get the feeling that for some liberals and same-sexers this is more than just vindication that by any and all laws, ‘we’re okay’, but maybe more than just a little bit of rubbing it in-yo-face to the losing party that maybe they the losers are not so okay. They are, of course, and they should probably have the right to lay claim to some sort of ‘traditional marriage’ in their repertoire of ideals and ideas.

There have always been religious services and civil services, so this should not be an issue. Same-sexers have laid claim to the word ‘marriage’ and won. Don’t press your luck. What’s in a word? Apparently a lot. Dignity and symbolism count. I wonder what word they lay claim to in other languages? I guess in French that would be—mariage. Hmm, I wonder…

Symbolism is also at the heart of another issue I’ve thought of a bit, in my adopted state of Arizona: whether to allow waste-water to be used for snow-making on Mt. Humphreys, near Flagstaff, AZ, which is considered sacred to the local Native Americans. Why not? Because waste is not sacred—symbolism, pure and simple. Pure pristine water would be more appropriate, something in rare supply up there. So my environmental principles are conflicted.

On the one hand, recycled water is environmentally sound; on the other hand, it’s impure. For me there is nothing terribly disgusting about recycled water, i.e. ass, and its waste, but I’m hip that in other cultures there is. So I side with the Natives, because I believe they have prior rights, AND… I don’t want to see the mountain developed any further anyway. Payback’s a b*tch, a b*tch of contradictions.

Finally there’s Charlie Hebdo, who I support little or none, not a popular opinion among Western liberals, which I consider myself, generally. BUT: what they were doing amounted to hate speech, IMHO, and once again—in-yo-face, you silly religulous fool. This is not a healthy attitude. Pictures of the Prophet are proscribed, no way shape or form, and that should be respected, all concepts of Western freedom of the press held in abeyance in favor of freedom of religion. This is not about Sharia law. This is about respect. I notice that there are no draw-a-Jesus-cartoon contests or pictures of Jesus having sex.

These three cases are all different, but with a common thread: respecting people’s beliefs in a very complicated and crowded world. To survive the coming Trials, Travels and Tribulations will take all that and more. Fortunately I’m not a betting man. Oh, yeah: one more case, of the Mississippi blues, that cursed Confederate flag and all that crap. Well, here’s one former Mississippian’s opinion: burn it, bury it, and beg the lord for forgiveness. ‘Nuff said. I finally saw ‘Selma’ last night and had to fight back tears.

So now that anybody and everybody has a lawful claim to ‘marriage’, can we drop the BS pretense of being ‘born this way’? I mean: what does it matter? Are same-sexers ashamed, otherwise, and feel like you need to hide behind a cloak of plausible deniability? Sexual experimentation is okay, or so I hear. There is no evidence of a ‘gay gene’, of course, and likely never will be, though I suspect that there is a predisposition level that runs the full range from 0-100 with cultural considerations and personal predilections making up the difference.

It’s complicated; okay, I get it. Such are genes and genomes, far too few for them to do all the things that hard-core determinists would like them to do. I just don’t like language being appropriated for stretching the truth. Say what you mean. The sudden extra ‘Q’ on LGBT says it all. ‘Questioning’, really? But if there are questions, then there are no genetics. Genes don’t ask questions. Or do they?

Or if ‘Q’ stands for that other ‘Q’ word, then it might as well be LGBTQFH. Oops. Now that’s TOO complicated. Enjoy the moment; it’s all good.  But please don’t gloat.  It ain’t polite.  We liberals will not prevail by operating on the same gutter level as some redneck politicians…