Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Big Moral Values Post

I don't know if this is kosher, but I'm going to do sort of a call-response thing on my blog. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Adam, has a blog and posted some excellent stuff today that really got me typing. I typed an absurdly long response on his blog, and I'd like to bring the whole discussion over here. I'm also going to post something my mother wrote to that Catholic leader who was telling people it was a sin NOT to vote for Bush on the grounds of moral values.
"Moral Values" (from Adam's A Violently Executed Blog)

First off, let's make it clear: "Moral values" are about more than gay marriage and abortion. Opposing an unjust war is a moral value. Fighting for health care and jobs is a moral value. Don't let the So-Called Liberal Media or the f'Right-dingers tell you otherwise.

Second, I'd like to address those that are blaming the queers for Kerry's loss. Yes, the Rethuglicans mobilized using us as their recruiting posters. Do you really think that if the GLBT community had stayed out of sight for the entire election period that it would have been any different? There's always something for these ChristoFascists - abortion, evolution, guns, prayer in schools - they always pull something out to beat on the Progressives with. Even Clinton thought Kerry should play the Queer-bashing card, but Kerry stuck to his principles and said no.

I don't think the GLBT community bears blame. We fought like hell for Kerry, despite his lukewarm support. Even the Log Cabin Republicans turned against Bush. Unlike the Naderites, we understood the need to support a candidate that could win.

So don't blame the election on us. You say that shit around me, I'll put a size 10EE so far up your ass you'll taste shoe leather.
And my response:
I didn't know you had wide feet, too! We really are like siblings. I'm an 8.5D, which is wide as hell for a girl. And my New Balance Men's 7EEE fit like a glove, but oh... that wasn't the point of your post, was it?!

I watched a really interesting documentary last night about Gay Republicans, and I was so happy to see the Log Cabin Repubs NOT endorse Bush. It was fascinating.

I don't think the blame is really aimed at the GLBT community. I think the blame regarding that issue is at the insidious homophobia in this country. I blame the 51% that voted for Bush for their homophobia, because you're right... when they say "Moral Values," they mean (as Jon Stewart said) "dudes kissing dudes."

A war just to avenge your dad (in the wrong fucking country, btw) is completely immoral, but "it's war, and war is manly and American and STRAIGHT! Dudes kissing dudes... now that's just wrong because (frankly) I'm threatened by gay people because I'm insecure about my own sexuality and change and things I don't know about."

I'm so enraged by all of this. I love what Jon Stewart's been saying lately... about how if the war were really about terrorism and about what gay people should do, then who is better at knowing about that than New Yorkers. They were directly affected by terrorism, and they live around lots of dudes kissing dudes. And so why, then, did they vote overwhelmingly for Kerry? Steven Colbert said it was because they were too close and "Thank god the people in the red states are saving us from ourselves!"

OK, I should be putting this on my own blog (perhaps I will), but you have such a great point here.

Keep the faith, my brother.
Here is a letter my mother wrote to Archbishop Chaput regarding moral values, after he declared that any Catholic who votes for Kerry is committing a serious sin and should go to confession because they are cooperating in evil:
Dear Archbishop Chaput,

Would you not also consider the proliferation of war a foundational
issue? I'm appalled at your inconsistency and at your interjection of
politics into the church.

Abby's Mom
Mountains of North Georgia
He responded, too.
Dear Abby's Mom,

Thank you for your email. Since you've taken the time to write, I'm sure you'll also have the courtesy to read what I actually say about these issues.

[He then included several links: the original New York Times interview transcript and his thoughts on the relationship of church and state, the death penalty, Catholics and their responsibilities both within their Church and as citizens, embryonic stem cell research, and Iraq. If anyone wants these links, let me know.]

You're certainly welcome to disagree with anything I have to say. But you do owe it to your own integrity -- not to mention common justice -- to know what I actually say, not what others report or claim about it.

Be assured of my good will and prayers.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
And my mother's response to him:
Dear Archbishop Chaput,

I very much appreciate your reply. In fact, I was astonished to get a personal response from you. In fairness, I forwarded the links you sent me to all persons to whom I had forwarded my original letter to you.

I've read everything you sent me, and it seems that we agree on almost everything. Here's the big point of disagreement. Although you certainly have a right to choose your candidate, I don't feel you should be using the power of the church to support your candidate. You say that abortion and stem cell research are foundational issues. I would never have an abortion, and I certainly wish that no one ever would. I don't like the idea of using embryos to do stem cell research. However, I feel that waging a pre-emptive war, refusing to consider not applying the death penalty, following policies which are destroying our environment, and not renewing the ban on assault weapons should also be foundational issues. Neither candidate is consistently pro-life.

To me, using one pro-life issue as an excuse to exhort your parishioners to vote for one candidate smacks of playing God. Because both candidates fall on both sides of pro-life issues, I feel you would show great wisdom in asking them to pray to God in helping them to make their own decisions, not in telling them what to do.


Abby's Mom
I know I'm putting an awful lot into one post, but I have a rare day off to catch up on things, and I've been meaning to blog about this idea of moral values. I even have another topic I'm hoping I get to today, so thanks for your patience if you've actually read this far.

There is more to MORAL VALUES than keeping dudes from kissing other dudes. (It may seem shameless, but I had to make this t-shirt, because I'm going to have to wear one myself.)