Saturday, May 17, 2008

IDAHO - Not a State - But A Frame of Mind

Today is
International Day Against Homophobia

I can't decide if this is a difficult post or an easy one. I'm sitting here at my laptop in my room literally surrounded by my life: a 16' wall of books and memorabilia, my black cat, Katie Scarlett looking at me with that yes-I-love-you-now-feed-me look, sliding glass doors leading to two decks and what I call my "faerie portal" - a narrowing path of flowers ending in a tiny oval mirror surrounded by rhinstone "stars". I've been HIV+ for almost 30 years (disabling AIDS for 7). I'm comfortable - yes, and lucky.

But many gay people are not so lucky. One may even be killed tonight. What can I do to stop it? Nothing except rant. Can anything be done to stop it? Of course, but it sometimes takes an entire nation to stop one murder.

It is unfortunate that right-wing Christians will not make the attempt to stop a murder if it involves someone gay. Many Christians have defined their religion by what they have not done: they did not speak out against the Holocaust; they did not (immediately - or even for the first ten years of the epidemic) help AIDS victims; they do not do anything to stop homophobia. In matters of crisis, many Christians are inert with fear (some call it praying). Being defined by what one does not do is rather shameful - sinful, in fact. And that yearly reminder from the pulpit that we should "love the sinner but hate the sin" is ludicrous, especially when the person who least believes it is behind the pulpit.

Of course, every society has its professional haters: the latest one to come on the scene is Rod Parsley. Not only does he hate homosexuals, but he hates a whole religious nation: Islam. (Hey, that "America was created to destroy Islam" is ridiculous - and it's given stand-up comedians a lot of great material). He gets a great deal of money and exposure in telling people who to hate and how to hate. In a way, it would be more fitting to be George Bush's spiritual mentor than John McCain's. There would have been more irony in Bush's "appeasement" speech.

I recently saw a list of signs that our country may be going fascist. Let's go beyond homophobia and see just how much of a chance we have of goosestepping to Onward Christian Soldier:
(I've emphasized some that seem more pertinent to us, although all of them apply to some degree)
Early Warning Signs of Fascism:

Powerful and continuing Nationalism
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause

Disdain for Human Rights Supremacy of the Military
Rampant Sexism

Controlled Mass Media
Religion and Government Intertwined

Corporate Power is Protected

Labor Power is Suppressed

Disdain for Intellectuals and The Arts

Obsession With Crime and Punishment

Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

Fraudulent Elections

Homophobia is a symptom of something more sinister (if that's possible): Christo-Fascism. And the closest we can come in description of Christo-Fascism is today's Reconstructionist movement. When you see a Rod Parsley, a John Hagee or even a Pat Robertson, pose one question: could he possibly be a Reconstructionist? I'm not trying to advocate being judgemental or suspicious. Look at the preacher's own background and what he has espoused. How far is he or she from the Reconstructionist philosophy of an entire Christian world governed by Biblical law?

When it comes to battling homophobia, it's just part of one BIG culture war. And a long war if we let the Parsleys and the Hagees go on their merry way of hatred.

Here are some images (some funny, some not) from the trenches:

Separated at Birth? - Fred gets Punk'd - Start 'em young - Protected Hate Speech

Truer than you think! A New National Emblem?