Sunday, August 29, 2010

Candi that Kills

In an August 29, Denver Post article, Focus on the Family educational expert, Candi Cushman claims that anti-bullying efforts in public schools push the gay agenda. From the article:

"School officials allow these outside groups (national gay advocacy groups) to introduce policies, curriculum and library books under the guise of diversity, safety or bullying-prevention initiatives, said Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman."

"We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled," Cushman said.

"Public schools increasingly convey that homosexuality is normal and should be accepted, Cushman said, while opposing viewpoints by conservative Christians are portrayed as bigotry."

Sometimes the veil lifts for a moment and the naked emperor comes clearly into view.

Does this woman hear herself when she talks? Candi thinks teaching kids the values of respect, kindness and compassion toward their peers is “belittling” to Christians? Am I reading this correctly?

Candi Cushman has taken upon herself the thankless task of addressing national issues like the promotion of homosexuality in public schools, censorship of Christian students and the “evolution debate.”
That’s right, folks. Candi thinks there is a debate around evolution.

In a January 28, 2010 Denver Post article, Candi had this to say about the politicized and sexualized nature of anti-bullying initiatives in the schools.

"We think the best thing would be policies that prohibit bullying across the board for any reason against any child," said Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family Action. "The emphasis should be on the wrong action of the bullies, not why they did it or what their perceived thoughts were."


According to this educational “expert,” it is perfectly possible to address a bully’s behavior while never examining the root thoughts and emotions that led to the behavior in the first place.

Keep in mind, Candi thinks evolution is up for debate.

Candi is offended that public schools are beginning to view homosexuality as normal. She is incensed, I tell you, that schools are encouraging young people to be accepting of their LGBT brothers and sisters. And ooooh does Candi get mad when Christian viewpoints are portrayed as bigotry!

You see, Candi Cushman is a bully herself. And bullies get really pissed when you call them on their bullshit.

Oh, Candi doesn’t look like a bully. With her blue eyes, warm smile and flip cut, Candi looks sweet enough to eat, gosh darnit!

Careful though! Don’t bite into her in search of a chewy center. Candi may be sweet, but she’s made entirely of saccharin.

And saccharin causes cancer in lab rats.

Also, she has bangs. And people with bangs are not to be trusted. It’s just a fact, people.

So the next time you hear Candi and others from Focus espousing their particular brand of Christian “viewpoints,” don’t be fooled. Candi and her ilk are bigots, plain and simple. They do what religious fundamentalists have done for millennia. They cloak their bigotry in religious language and then cry foul when anyone tells them to knock it off.

These really are the worst kind of people. And yes, listening to them will give you cancer.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Love Is Love Is Love

I’ve always freely drawn comparisons between the fight for marriage equality and anti-miscegenation laws from the past. Many others specifically cite Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that made it legal for blacks and whites to marry for the first time, as the key decision that demonstrated the complete ignorance of and utter futility of criminalizing racial mixing.

Anti-miscegenation laws were morally indefensible, to be sure. But they were very different from the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans a group of citizens from marrying, not simply other types of people, but any other person. Period.

As The Atlantic senior editor, Ta-Nehisi Coates put it in an article on August 3rd, “the ban gays suffer under is unconditional and total and effectively offers one word for an entire sector of Americans--Die.”

There are distinctive differences between the struggle for gay rights and the Civil Rights struggles of the ‘50s and ‘60s. No one should ever compare the two in terms of the nature of their respective struggles. Nevertheless, we can make meaningful comparisons between how the two struggles unfolded.

Loving v. Virginia illustrates a very relevant fact about American Democracy and majority rule, and that fact is the majority is not always right.

When the high court decided on Loving v. Virginia, public opinion was overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the status quo and upholding anti-miscegenation laws in many states. Thankfully for the nation, a group of nine elders decided it was not in the country’s best interest to maintain that status quo if we were to remain a functioning democracy with a Constitution that was worth more than the parchment it was written on.

In this instance, reason won out over popular opinion. There are very few Americans today who would tell you otherwise if pressed on the issue. Our nation’s founders established our particular brand of democratic governance for this very reason: to enact and uphold intelligent laws as a means of protecting the vulnerable among us from the cruel offenses of the mobs and tyrants among us. This is what our nation was founded upon, and it runs in the blood of everyone who understands what it means to be subject to the will of those who would do harm or destroy.

Defense of Marriage Act supporters nationwide claim that the family is the building block of civilization, and that to monkey with the current definition would result in the unraveling of society.

Here’s what I think. Family is a form of defense. It’s a form of defense against homelessness, against poverty, against disease, against persecution, against loneliness, against lack of love and nurturance.

No matter what a family looks like, it can also be a form of protection against Neanderthals in our society who would deny you your rights, your happiness, your liberty, even your life.

To the “Defenders of Marriage” I pose these questions.

What does your family protect you from? From the likes of me? From gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered and queer people? From gender non-conforming folks in general?

If family indeed defines our civilization, does yours guarantee or deny others their rights?

What does your family stand for?

Does it actively work to deny others their happiness, health, freedom... their lives?

Funny how you "Marriage Defenders" can read the Constitution and completely gloss over a citizen’s fundamental rights in the very first paragraph. The Constitution is as good as butt-wipe if you’re only going to use it selectively to support your notions of who’s worthy of a right and who isn’t.

I want to marry the person I love. This doesn’t harm you in any way.

I can beg if that’s what you’d like. I'm not above it. Of course, I would prefer to meet you on common ground as equal citizens of these United States who come to well-informed conclusions about what’s good for all of us through authentically adult dialogue deeply informed by open-mindedness. But I’ll do whatever’s necessary to protect myself and my family against tyranny. Even beg.

American Democracy frequently has nothing to do with majority rule. There are countless examples of this, but it’s not my duty to educate you. That’s your own responsibility. My duty as an American is to do whatever is within my power to ensure that we all have access to the same rights and privileges where life, liberty and happiness are at stake, not just certain groups. Even if they constitute a majority.

This is also your civic duty as a freedom loving American.

In its Loving v. Virginia decision, the high court wrote the following:

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

I’ll let you extrapolate. I suppose it’s all open to interpretation and scrutiny anyway. Isn’t everything in a democracy? What I can say that isn’t up for scrutiny is this.

With every fiber of my being I know this one thing: my love is not less than yours.