Home Page
Contact/Advertising
Jess Knows Best!
Full Bleed
Omnium Gatherum
Comic Culture Warrior
Anything Goes!
Nine Panel Grid
CWR 2.0 Review Archives
Rogue Element
Aisle Seat 2.0
CWR TV
Total Party Kill
Miller's Crossings
Beyond Borders
Guest Columnists
Go Axe Alice

Vincent S. Moore Presents:









 

One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward

Last week, as seems to be our way, the United States of America made history by electing Barack Obama to the highest office in our land. He will be sworn in on January 20th, 2009 as the 44th President of these United States. Amazing, simply amazing.

This past week has seen common folks and political pundits alike patting each other’s collective backs at this momentous step forward. Despite warnings to the contrary, often from Obama himself, many feel that this election has put paid to America’s racial past. That this election of our first African American president makes up for slavery and Jim Crow and the countless other indignities suffered by blacks.

Which it doesn’t but that awareness escapes many in the euphoria of seeing a man of such great vision come to power.

Already, many of us are simply ready to wipe the slate clean of our current president. To send him off into the history books like banishing a demon to the lowest pits of Hades. If only so we can enjoy this new America a’borning. This America of promise and wonder, a place that put aside views of the color of the skin of one of the candidates and saw only the content of his character.

In the days to come, it will be easy to feel that we have taken a great leap forward. And we have, of that there is no doubt.

Yet, as a people, we have also taken a few steps backward.

Here in California, just as we contributed our part to making history, we made another kind of history. The sort of history that takes some of the shine off of electing Obama. We Californians did our part to contribute to the kind of history that America always seems to be running from. The history that says one group, singled out, is less than the others.

As champagne and cider and ripple bottles were being opened in celebration of a breakthrough, we crazy Californians passed Proposition 8, an initiative on the ballot to add an amendment to the state’s constitution saying that marriage is a state that can exist only between a man and a woman. A setback to the gay rights movement. A number of steps backward towards that weird ideal of an America of simpler times. An America where there were confirmed bachelors and spinsters who just so happened to be sharing a house to share the costs. An America that feels no pain in denying rights to some.

What a shame to have this happen just as Obama is elected.

Not that he did anything to stop it from happening.

Obama didn’t campaign for Prop. 8 but he didn’t campaign against it either.

Why, I’m not sure. But I do know that he has been against gay marriage for some time. It may have to do with his beliefs and it may have to do with his upbringing. I don’t know. What I do know is while the Democrats’ tent was open and wide and fully packed with folks of all types, didn’t seem quite open enough to allow the California Supreme Court’s decision of this past spring to stand untouched.

Now I will admit I was just as caught up in the afterglow as many others. And it wasn’t until I watched Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Monday night and listened to his Special Comment that the weird imbalance of the passing of Prop. 8 really meant.

Just as America has taken a step forward, it has also taken a few steps backward.

Which is sad.

I mean, the passage of Proposition 8 says a lot about where we are as a people. That we can be willing to trust a brown-skinned, mixed race man to lead our nation out of the darkness that grows by leaps and bounds as the days pass but we cannot allow two people to get married just because they are of the same gender.

I don’t get that.

Look, I do have a few gay friends. So maybe I have a horse in this race. It’s not like I’m surrounded by gay people. The bulk of my days pass into weeks and months before I see any of my gay friends. I know one gay couple whose home I’ve been in many times. They seem on the surface to be happy and healthy and just as concerned about the minutiae of daily life as the rest of us. Except they are two guys that live together with their dog. And I really shouldn’t put it that way, as if it were a badge of weirdness. They are a couple in love and are living their lives together as a family. I don’t even know if they want to get married. I just find it a shame that, as of now, they cannot exercise that option if they wished.

And is that so wrong?

This world can be many things. It can be good. It can be bad. It can be fair and it can be foul. It can be full of hate and anger and violence. And it can be full of love.

Love is a good thing. It’s a great thing.

Love is the kind of thing we human beings should be doing our level best to maximize in this world which can more often than not lean towards the dark side than the light.

Why does it matter if those sharing love just so happen to be of the same sex?

And please don’t bring morality or religion into this argument. Because that move is meant to stop conversation not to foster it.

It has always bothered me that a faith built upon a philosophy of universal love would be the first ones to deny and have disdain for a love that’s a bit off the beaten path. Where that attitude of doing to others as one would have done to them just isn’t a guiding principle when it comes to homosexuality. That hating the sin but loving the sinner goes right out the window and somehow justifies hating both sin and sinner (as if love itself was sin) with a passion that almost defies logic. [Scratch that, we’re talking about hate here so logic does not apply.] And where loving one’s neighbors isn’t applied equally.

It has always bothered me yet it does not appear to have bothered those that used that faith and the money gathered in its name to pass Proposition 8.

In the past few months, as the vote for Prop. 8 approached a strange thought occurred to me. Not that Prop. 8 would pass, because a similar measure had passed a few years ago; California is liberal but not as liberal as other Americans think. No, the thought that came to me was about the never-ending battle between Christians and homosexuals. As a product of Catholic education, I had heard many of the theological and biblical arguments against homosexuality. I had heard them but never thought they were valid enough reasons not to care about about people who were different in one way. [You know, because I’ve got that whole black skin, African ancestry thing going on.] Especially since the message of Jesus was of love and kindness and forgiveness. It seemed odd this message didn’t apply fully to all.

And that’s when the thought hit me.

If you are a Christian and you buy into the whole package of beliefs about where the world came from, etc., then you believe God is infallible. If you believe that, then you may have to believe an infallible God cannot make mistakes, right? If so, and this is a stretch I will admit, then what are homosexuals? Are they a mistake? Are they sin made manifest? Or, as I wondered, are homosexuals a test for believers?

Not in that oddball sense of tempting poor, unsuspecting Christians away from the path to righteousness, blah, blah, blah.

I mean what if homosexuals are a test to see just how much Christians buy into the philosophy of universal love?

To see if they could extend that universal love even to those they find disturbing and different in their expression of love.

If such a test were on, then California and the rest of the United States, as a predominantly Christian country, has failed. Just as we passed another test of history.

That Dr. King’s dream of a black man being judged by the content of his character instead of the color of his skin came to life. Just as an entire group of citizens were judged not by the contents of their characters but by the way they express love. Viewed that way, America has not gone as far as it is congratulating itself for.

And that is a utter shame.

We Americans could believe in a black man that offered us hope in our hour of need.

Yet we cannot believe in giving equal rights to marry to people that want to share love and lives just because they so happen to be two men or two women.

I feel proud as an American at this time. I also feel ashamed.

Just when I think my country has grown up it shows me it is still a scared little kid at heart.

Namaste.

 

Vincent S. Moore



 

 

 

 

 

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com


The Important Stuff!!!

Comics News!

Comics Reviews
CWR 2.0 Review Archives
Happy Nonsense: Pop Culture Confidential
Marc on Twitter
CWR on MySpace
CWR Atom Feed
CWR RSS 1.0 Feed
CWR RSS 2.0 Feed
Friends, Family, and Other Cool Places To Visit
The Beat
Comics Reporter
Journalista
Comic Foundry
Comics Continuum
Quick Stop Entertainment
Kevin Smith
Comic Book Galaxy
Chris Allen
Beaucoup Kevin
John Jakala
Matt Maxwell
Elliott Serrano
Saurav Mohapatra
Art Baltazar
Naomi Nowak
Danielle Corsetto
Bill Sherman
Elayne Riggs
Mark Evanier
John Layman
When Fangirls Attack
Peter David
Steve Lieber & Co.
Valerie D'Orazio
Evan Dorkin
Nat Gertler
Dorian Wright
Savage Critic
Spoilt!
Comics Worth Reading
Laurenn McCubbin
Warren Ellis
Steven Grant, Hannibal Tabu, Rich Johnston and More!
Comics 101
Newsarama
Copyright 2006- 2010 Marc Mason/Comics Waiting Room. All rights reserved

Website Builder