Paul Hopper
Paul Hopper [link]
15 October 2004 @ 10:51:00
an email to my mother: thank you
Hi Mom,

I just had someone at work correct me when I said that Michigan's Proposal 2 was about gay marriage.  He said it wasn't about gay marriage, it was about recognizing the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.  Here's the proposal:


This proposal would:

Amend the state constitution to provide that "the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose."

It really frustrates me that people will try to rationalize their bigotry by pretending they aren't supporting discrimination.  There are a lot of issues that come up where I can understand the other side.  Someone disagree with me on a whole host of issues and still have my respect, but gay rights isn't one of them.  Even before I knew enough about most issues to reach my own conclusions, I understood that gay people deserved the same rights as everyone else.

So thank you for teaching me all the things that have become a part of my core belief system, including basic respect for others — black or white, straight or gay, male or female.  I appreciate that because I know it's right and I've never once questioned that.  And it wouldn't even occur to me that this would be something out of the ordinary except, sadly, there are so many people who, as religious as they supposedly are, apparently lack these most basic, most fundamental core values.  Thank you for raising me better than that.

Current Mood: angry
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Brandi [link] on October 14th, 2004 - 21:49:34 ET
Some people...
I don't understand those who use their religion to bring people down or take people's rights. I don't understand how predominantly black churches can sit back and watch the Bible used against another group in the same way that it was used against them. No - not just sit back - support the abuse of the Bible this way.

Religion was designed to be uplifting and inspiring. I would love to see churches doing that, even for people they hate. I would be inspired by that.

I have a writing project in my head about a gay man being hidden among the parishioners in the church. I'm terrified to write it. I'm uncomfortable even challenging members of my church on the gay rights issues. I disappoint myself in that. The sad thing is that there are many of my kind, peppered among congregations all over the world.

Anyway, I just needed to vent. I feel better now :)
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joyhopper [link] on October 23rd, 2004 - 02:22:04 ET
I know that it is hard to respect people who are against gay rights. I happen, however, to know some very good people who were raised to believe that this is wrong. They are kind people, who think they are upholding God's ways. I cannot respect their views, but I can understand that it is easier to hold to the views you were raised with than to be open to new ideas. Being gay confuses them, and they don't like ambiguity and thinking critically (not in the bad sense) about life's issues. It is a sad thing that we raise our children to our values instead of raising children to think critically and make their own decisions. I think that's called free will....although I would like all my children to come to their own conclusions directly in line with my own. I think that's ego, and maybe a little bit of love because my own values have, for the most part, made me happy.
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Paul Hopper [link] on October 23rd, 2004 - 22:27:53 ET
thinking out loud
I think that's ego, and maybe a little bit of love because my own values have, for the most part, made me happy.

I've had that same thought many times before about how my values, for the most part, make me happy. But that seems like a strange way of thinking. How can your values make you happy? Or rather, how could they not make you happy? If you have to sacrifice or miss out on something for the sake of your values, I think you do so because you get more satisfaction out of sticking to your values than you expect to get out of breaking them. So is there any way your values could not result in some sense of satisfaction? Only if you break your values and feel guilty for doing so, I think. But is that the "fault" of your values?

But you mentioned to me (outside of your comment here) the case where someone may believe, for example, that it's wrong to be gay and, yet, they feel guilty for it. Hmm... I guess that'd be a case of your values not making you happy. Personally, I'd want to resolve that somehow. I don't feel comfortable being at odds with myself. I think it's important to hold consistent values... which doesn't mean that, after careful consideration, you can't change your mind about something, but I think that's how you work through things in order to come up with a consistent set of values.

Okay, enough thinking out loud! :)
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joyhopper [link] on October 25th, 2004 - 08:40:12 ET
Re: thinking out loud
I think your values can make you unhappy if they are in conflict with your experiences. When what you believe must be true doesn't match what life teaches you to be true, the conflict causes an unease, and unhappiness. If someone believes that people are meant to be married, but is single and expects to remain so, their values (what they grew up expecting to expect of life) will make them unhappy. Can they recognize new values for themselves? One would hope so, because harmony between one's values and experience can lead, if not to happiness, at least to contentment.
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