Tainted Love

Just to point out that bigotry is something we all can share, here’s an interview by Clay Cane with the gospel duo, Mary Mary, by way of Pam’s House Blend, which is an excellent Black, Gay, Progressive, Human Rights Upholding site and funny too.

Clay: I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but you have an extremely large gay following — how do you feel about homosexuality and having a massive gay following?

Erica: We are aware. Ummm… how do I feel about homosexuality? I feel how God feels about it, but I still love them. I don’t agree with the lifestyle, but I love them. They can come to the concert; I’m going to hug them just like I hug everybody else. They have issues and need someone to encourage them like everybody else — just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute — everybody needs God. What your struggle is may not be what my struggle is, but we all need Him. So, that’s what our music is about giving and God, not to condone the lifestyle or to say, Oh it’s okay, but not to bash — but just to give them God. I mean, I’m appreciative of all of our supporters and fans. Hopefully what they’re hearing in our music is my love for God.

Jeeze, I could get the same love at family reunions. For anyone who hasn’t gotten one of those wonderful hugs from someone who thinks you are oozing with corruption, and outside the love of god until you change everything that is authentically you–let me tell you, it’s schizophrenic.

When it comes to love, I’ll take mine straight up, from people who like me as I am.

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7 responses

  1. Nancy,

    I find your postings very thought provoking. always do and I enjoy the read and the seriousness with which you tackle subjects.

    However, I often find myself with equal anecdotal evidence that supplants claims you make. As abstract as that sounds, I’d like to discuss your use of the term bigotry….

    Bigotry: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

    Mary Mary’s response did not to me seem to meet the standard for bigotry, in my opinion. Currently, there is widespread debate and as yet, no proof that homosexuality is a genetic trait. I recently read that there is a new study centering around siblings that are gay hoping to find such a trait but we’re years away from those results.

    Inferring from your post, your inherent belief and/or opinion is that “from people who like me as I am” and Mary Mary said nothing to contradict this. I love my siblings, I don’t always like what they do, be that get themselves into sticky financial situations, get pregnant out of wedlock, date a ‘loser’, etc.

    And so, where I think you and Mary Mary vehemently disagree is on the point of choice. I believe, along with Mary Mary, that homosexuality is a choice. I would think that you do not. Does that place us in disagreement? Certainly. Does that make me a bigot as defined above or conversely, make you a bigot towards me or Mary Mary for holding onto your belief and opinion? I do not think so.

    In our society of political correctness, I find we’re very easy to casually throw around phrases such as bigot, racist, homophobe, et. al. without truly understanding the values and beliefs of others. I think it’s a sad testament to our knee-jerk reactionary disposition whenever we read un-likeminded commentary on positions we hold dear.

    So that’s my opinion Nancy and as I said I really enjoy your postings and hope you will not call me bigot or at least call me bigot based upon relevant comments within this posting to you.

  2. i won’t call you a bigot, but trust me–being ‘loved’ by people who disparage everything that you value and don’t like what you are is a painful contradiction. i am not gay, i am a pagan, but i am not really sure that religion is a choice either. we are who we are. i have a lot of sympathy for people who are gay and must keep their real lives under wraps when they are with their families.
    also, more often than not, the choir director is gay, check out any holiness church and see for yourself.

  3. I’m confused by the first comment. A definition of bigotry is highlighted as if to clarify its inadmissibility as a charge in this instance: In fact, the definition cited says absolutely nothing about inborn traits or beliefs versus chosen ones. Whoever is being quoted here—I work in gay media and have never heard of her, so I’m not sure how big that gay following of hers is—says that she does not “condone the lifestyle,” in accordance with her belief system, adding that “everybody needs God.” According to the definition given—”stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”—this is a pretty straightforward example of bigotry. She does not accept my “lifestyle” as valid, and she believes that I need her God [a.k.a. belief system]. Whether sexual orientation is native or chosen is moot.

    I feel very strongly that she should (and does) have the freedom to believe what she likes, but when she uses her fame as a platform to publicly liken my personal life to murder, citing her belief system as backup, I believe she has crossed into bigot territory with great vengeance. And any attempt to put hearts and flowers on her bigotry by saying she’d hug me anyway does nothing to mitigate the intolerance of her position.

  4. I believe the bigotry comes from the refusal to accept a gay lifestyle is legitimate, or that it’s not a sin. Loving the person is not enough if you condemn and persecute who they are.

    My question to Don: why would someone choose to be a member of the most reviled minority in the world?

    [Just to be clear: by "reviled" I mean by society at large. Fundamentalist Christians & Muslims alike condemn it as a sin; what's the incentive to choose that path willingly?]

    If you truly love the person, you support them in for who they are, not for who you think they should be.

    While we’re on the topic of religion, this actually refers to an earlier post by Nancy. She said something about how Christians who have accepted Jesus then sort of have carte-blanche to do whatever they want, because all they have to do is say they’re sorry and the slate is wiped clean.

    Man, what a cushy gig! What absolute licence! I can be as immoral as I want, because I know I’m saved! Wow. How cool is that? No wonder these megachurches are growing so quickly. Contrary to popular belief, it requires no effort! How cool is that? Do what I want and still know that my ticket has been punched for heaven? Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

  5. Don, I don’t believe I’m missing your point at all.

    I believe that what you’re saying is that you “love” homos the way you love your children—when they’re being bad. Just as Mary “loves” homos the way she loves murderers. That kind of rhetoric is far more insidious than Fred Phelps and his “God Hates Fags” demonstrations, because most Americans won’t tolerate explicit hate speech. What many Americans are comfortable with is hate rhetoric passed off as religious belief, because it gives them a way to hate and still feel righteous and good.

    Let me just ask you, for a moment, to imagine that about 94% of the human race is homosexual (exit polling puts us at about 6%, not the 10% previously estimated by Kinsey), and that your relationship with your female life partner makes you a sexual minority. How would you feel about my calling your relationship a lifestyle choice that I don’t condone but tolerate anyway. And furthermore, as a member of the sexual majority, I vote against your right to get married and raise a family and enjoy the more than 1,000 federal rights, tax breaks, and privileges that I enjoy in my own relationship. And let’s say that I absolve myself of responsibility for any prejudice or harm I inflict on you by pointing to several arcane passages in a 2,000-year-old text I happen to covet—selectively ignoring other inflammatory passages as obviously outmoded—and that I cite that same text when I say that I love you anyway, adding that people who believe what I believe are full of love for the unfortunate, the misguided, and the criminal. Does that feel much like love or tolerance?

    Nancy and Klaus—

    Thanks for moving beyond tolerance—such pejorative connotations in that word—and truly celebrating difference.

  6. in 1967 the Supreme Court decided a case called Loving v Virginia. Prior to that decision a marriage like mine, interracial, was legal in some states but not others. The majority of Americans were opposed to such marriages, but the court ruled that there are some individual rights that are not subject to majority decision. This ruling allows the minority who want to marry someone of a different race to enjoy the same rights as other couples. It seems so normal now, but you could say it was an example of an activist Supreme Court. Imagine if we had to fight it out state by state, the opportunities for racist demagogues to use the issue.

  7. Right on, sister! Did you read Mildred Loving’s press statement this year marking the 40th anniversary of the decision? It’s really rather extraordinary:

    “My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed what that judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone, they have a right to marry.

    “I believe all Americans — no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation — should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others, especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

    “I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people — black or white, young or old, gay or straight — seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all.”

    I generally resist self-promotion in comment space on other folks’ blogs, but you may enjoy a commentary I wrote called “The People v. Loving”:

    http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid49307.asp

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