Tag Archives: LGBT


What Would Jesus Blog?

Seriously. If he were to blog today, turn off the “Mythbusters” DVD Thomas is watching, shut the office door to wall out the noise of the Sons of Thunder, plunk himself down at a computer, what would he have to say?

Continue reading WWJB?

The Semantics of Straightness

I’ve been struggling for the last 18 hours for a blog topic, and you know how it is: 20 minutes before it’s time to jump in the car and head to work, you’re hit with something you’re ready to share, and possibly even worthwhile.

It came from a friend in a text message: she said “My turn to wait at the orthodontist office.” Both my boys have been doing the Tooth-Straightening Twostep for a few years now. Daniel just got his braces off a couple weeks ago. this sent Alex into a fit of anger because he got his braces on first. At one point he even muttered “My teeth are straight enough…” and wanted us to scrap the nearly $12,000 worth of treatment we shelled out. Yeah. I’m not seeing it, bucko. If your dad had to have 4 teeth extracted, and wear braces from 7th grade until AFTER his senior pictures, you can have yours on a couple years too.

And now all my friends are doing it! bless ya, you’re in for a ride.

My next thought was why? Orthodontics has no discernible health benefit. It doesn’t decrease cavities or reduce stomach cancer rates, or even make us feel happy about ourselves. We just like things straight! We put a lot of money into straight things. Straight teeth (orthodontics) straight back (chiropractic), straight bones (orthopedics). We like stuff straight. As I reminisced further, I realized that even seemingly innocuous terms pervade our metaphors: “the straight and narrow.” “Straight up, dude!” Tidy white picket fences. Little maidens all in a row. We queue up, true to our mostly-anglo roots, and behave ourselves, because, like to confound all nature, straight is good.

On the contrary, the crooked path is bad. “Come straight home” says mommy. Saving time and steps are good. Meandering will lead you down a bad path full of sloth, gluttony and non-puritanical stuff. What’s the opposite of a nice straight pine tree? Gnarled? Twisted? The opposite of “straight up” is “gnarly” (I haven’t talked to a surfer in a few years so I may be corrected on this).

So where’s that lead words like “gay” or “homosexual”? I think you see what I’m getting at. What’s the opposite of “gay”? You know what it is. Again, to our old buddy “straight”. My point is that, semantically, anything that’s against straight has to fight a cultural, semantic bias in order to overcome it.

Smarter people than I (I’m thinking George Lakoff and Howard Kurtz) have realized that words matter. If you want to win a war, you need to change the language. Metaphor is so thoroughly engrained in our cultural and linguistic psyches that we can’t really separate the some concepts without lots and lots of work.

Maybe the simple act of embracing the term “straight” has led the LGBT movement to a half-century of panemonium. It’s like being branded on the forehead for LGBT folks: Well, if Straight is good, and I’m transsexual, then I must be… What? Gnarled? Twisted? Bad? Rotten at the core? Maybe even evil?

No. I don’t buy it. Fight the metaphor, people. You need to rethink your language, if you want to rethink your identity.

Another Random Thought about Gay Marriage

This is not the final word. I’m convinced that, as long as the Church exists, there never will be a final word on the topic.  You all know my opinions on the matter, if you’ve read my blog at all, so I’m not going to bore you with a defense. First, the numbers:

Pew Research. Data released March 20, 2013.
Pew Research Center. Data released March 20, 2013.

OK, folks. I understand these statistics are ultimately “meaningless”. The more people who like something does not make it more correct or incorrect. I got enough of the Logic Bug in me to understand this. Almost 2 years ago, I posted a blog about this topic. That day, I was angry. Christians were attacking a close friend of mine and in an overnight snarl, I wrote out my thoughts. It was probably not the most intelligent thing, blogging-while-angry is about as brilliant on the Decide-o-Meter as driving-while-drunk. But I did it anyway.

I soon realized two things. Gay marriage is a hot-button topic for Christians. Duh. I’ve never had a more active post, before or since. It made people angry, and viscerally so. People who I admire, and whose company I enjoy, deleted me from Facebook as a result. In the interest of being fair, I should admit that I also got dozens of private messages thanking me for taking a stand. I wasn’t completely alone in my desperate thoughts of equality. I realize many of my friends stand with me.

The second thing I learned: In my fit of blogging pique, I described the Bible as a “musty old tome”. Boy, oh boy! More people deleted me from Facebook for that one statement than *ever* did my stance on Gay Marriage. I got a message from one former subscriber who said “you did irreparable damage to the Kingdom of God.” Really? God can’t defeat little-ol’-me and my 800-word post where, once, I said the Bible was musty?

Anyhow, I was struck by a thought today as I reminisced. The question for Christians isn’t “Do the LGBT folks deserve the same rights as others?” They’re asking a completely different question: “if Christians accept gay marriage, is the Bible still inerrant, and as a consequence, is God still God?” It’s not about gay marriage at all, when it comes to it. It’s about inerrancy.

This fight has been fought many times, as we’ve dismantled our cultural fences for, first foreigners, and then slavery, and then women. Read the Pentateuch. Little by little, come to accept (like it or not…) the Bible as a NON-inerrant work. We Christians no longer hold to Jewish food restrictions. We kind of unintentionally pick on impoverished people, but aside from them, but  today, no group is rejected  and denied status more vehemently than those who differentiate themselves sexually.

I believe that LGBT folks are the last group Christians are allowed to marginalize as the “People of God.” I don’t think we recognize it as such, be because we think ourselves, we good citizens of the 21st century world, as beyond bias and marginalization. A wise friend told me once, we all have bias and prejudice, whether or not we choose to admit it. I’ve tried to remember that every day. Is the sanctity of our holy Book worth the pain it causes yet another group of folks?

Take it or leave it. Argue if you like. I know there are lots of facets I haven’t covered, but I’ve tried to limit myself to around 500 words. Blessings upon you all, and espeically you who I’ve offended or hurt with my thoughts and actions in the past.

Our Gay Neighbors

Well, folks, this post is bound to get me in trouble.  I seldom write about controversial topics, or if I do, I elide from one stone to another, in order to not offend.  This very well may be the first time I’ve stated, unequivocally, in a non-joking matter, that I am for or against a controversial topic. Well here it is:

I believe that lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals  should be accorded the same rights and dignity as everyone else in American society. I think they should be allowed to marry, to file joint tax returns, to visit one another in their hospital deathbeds, enjoy health benefits of a family member, to be beneficiaries of estates (upon death of a same-sex spouse), and every other right accorded the supposedly-normal population of the the USA.

I know. I can’t believe I’m saying it either. Stop reading if you will. I won’t be offended.

Two Iranians, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni. They were tried for being gay, at ages 15 and 16.

Continue reading Our Gay Neighbors