10.29.2008

Write to Marry California

The Mormons, Catholics and the Evangelicals are pulling out all the stops to win Prop 8, a ballot measure that will see thousands of marriages invalidated and write discrimination into the state constitution.

The Christian church in North America has spent years raising money fighting gays. These churches were seeing declining membership when Jerry Falwell decided in the early 70's to declare war on homosexuals. With the help of celebrities like Anita Bryant, politicians like Jesse Helms, they ascribed every failing in America to the acceptance and or tolerance of gays.
“Having Governor Schwarzenegger on board since the beginning made it easier to get other people,” Republicans Against 8 campaign director Scott Schmidt. “San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders, L.A. sheriff Lee Baca. ... Big government shouldn’t be telling people who they can marry.”
This was designed to bring people back to church, to fill the pews, to fill the coffers. It worked with local and state governments passing regressive laws prohibiting recognition of same-sex couples, health benefits, adoption, housing and employment rights, and more.

They formed an alliance with politicians through coercion, either you oppose all gay rights or we kick your ass out of office. These actions accompanied many other actions as well. The imposition of laws forbidding women from accessing abortion, common law couples received fewer benefits from the state than married couples, sex education was changed to abstinence only, often without discussing sex.

"Prop 8 is an unfair and unnecessary measure that would eliminate equal protections for same-sex couples and write discrimination into the California state Constitution," siad co-organizer Dana Rudolph, founder of LGBT-parenting blog Mombian. "As marriage equality spreads throughout the country, people in all states have a vested interest in making sure this hard-won right is protected."

These churches and the politicians beholden to them pressed for and got regressive criminal sentencing, more death penalties, longer sentences. The result was more crime, even higher numbers of Blacks and Hispanics in jail, higher poverty rates, fewer workers rights.

The other major effect the Churches have had is stopping a national health care plan that would see every American having health care. The Churches, their politicians, have formed an unholy alliance with profit making insurance companies and drug companies. Framed as socialist, health insurance remains very profitable and in many cases unaffordable. Even those with coverage, half of the personal bankruptcies in the US are due to medical bills.
"In my lifetime, I've seen discrimination," said United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, "and I see it again in Proposition 8." Regardless of your position on marriage, she said, vote against the measure to vote against discrimination.
The fight to stop gay marriage is solely a religious one, made to support the coffers of churches. These institutions need fear to keep people in the pews and the donations coming in to fight these fears. Ironically, the church needs gays to keep fighting in order to keep the fears going.
Republicans against Prop 8

The yes side of Prop 8 in California is throwing every imaginable falsehood into the fight. They are asserting schools will teach children about homosexuality, that churches would eventually be forced to marry gay couples and it goes on. The Mormon church has poured over 20 million dollars into the campaign, by far the most generous spender in this effort.

California is ground zero in the fight to stop gay marriage in America. If the churches lose this ballot measure, they will see other states go the same way. It will eventually see more and more states approve gay marriage. If they win, they have bought some breathing room.

In the end this is not a fight to protect America, but an effort to keep the churches full, the coffers overflowing and the right wing politicians in power. Keep that in mind if you are voting.

4 comments:

Ryan said...

Not sure it's entirely fair to state "The Christian church in North America has spent years raising money fighting gays." It's kind of a blanket phrase suggesting that there is a homogenous monolith called "Christianity," where there are many churches that have consistently been on the side of same-sex marriage and GLBT rights.

Rick Barnes said...

I do not intend to tar the whole christian church. I do point that out in my post. The thing that is clear, its big business for many churches to slam gays. They speak many untruths, they make stuff up, they about who and what we are and they do it all the time.

In Canada the mainstream churches like United and Anglican are more likely to support same-sex issues in a positive view. Unitarian and other smaller groups do as well.

That said the most vocal and organized against gays are the Evangelicals and Catholics. In the US the Baptists, evangelicals, Catholics and many many others form a giant majority of Christian organizations that fight gay rights with voters and money.

Ryan said...

I understand the assertion. I don't think you're intending to do this, but I'm just saying that there's no such thing as the "whole Christian church" and I'm not incredibly fond of being grouped in with those who are actively opposing human rights.

Perhaps a bit nitpicky & I understand the reason for the sentiment, but I have encountered a wee bit of pre-judgement in terms of "going to church" for the very same reason.

Rick Barnes said...

point taken Ryan!