On the reasonably good chance that the News-Review chooses not to print the letter to the editor I wrote them this morning, I am going to post it here too. I will be heard, damn it!
I am writing to express my absolute disgust at what I saw while driving to work in Petoskey this morning. A group of anti-abortion activists was lining both sides of US-31; young people stood on either side of the road holding up massive signs depicting the bloodied corpses of dead babies. Believe me, for those of you who were fortunate enough not to see this atrocity, it looked far worse than it sounds.
Abortion politics aside, I must express my horror and condemnation at these protestors’ tactics. I ask you, would it be acceptable for people who protest the death penalty to hold similar signs depicting the burnt and mangled corpses of those who have been executed in the electric chair? I think not.
No matter what side of the debate you favor, I am hard pressed to understand any logical argument why children who happen to be passing on the street should have to see these horrific, scary images. Such images in a film would get it an “R” rating, and yet for some reason it is okay for them to be shown on the street.
Indeed, these individuals have a right to free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment, a fact that I would not change even under these circumstances. However, with that right comes the responsibility to respect others, an obligation that these protestors seem to have missed.
There are far better ways to make a point. Seeing those signs this morning did absolutely nothing to change my stance on abortion. It simply made me disgusted by those individuals who were there this morning to voice their opposition to it. I cannot imagine listening to the opinions of such obviously demented individuals.
Clearly I am in the mood to be righteously indignant today. I am personally offended at the drop of a hat. Among the other things that have truly pissed me off is a document entitled “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons” written by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an office of the Roman curia (the governing bureaucracy of the Catholic Church). This 2003 document puts forth the official church standpoint on gay marriage, including the following points:
- homosexual activity is intrinsically unnatural and immoral
- Marriage was instituted by God between sexually complementary persons who are able to procreate (ha! Notice it doesn’t say HOW MANY! Hehehehehe)
- Gay marriage would undermine the traditional concept of marriage, thereby causing great damage to society
- It is the duty of Catholic politicians to openly oppose and combat gay marriage.
Luckily this document was presented within the Catholic Church edition of the Opposing Viewpoints book series. I highly recommend this series. It provides both sides of a wide variety of issues under certain topics. Thankfully, I was saved from spontaneously combusting in a rage of fury, by the counterpoint, written by Matthew Fox (as far as I know, this is not the same Matthew Fox from Lost and Party of Five and is, thus, credible). Fox’s points are as follows:
- The church has a history of being somewhat behind the curve when it comes to dealing with the disconnect between faith teachings and scientific fact. Just Galileo, who was just recently (in 1992) pardon by the church a mere 359 years after he was condemned by daring to suggest that the sun, and not the earth, was the center of the solar system.
- Homosexuality IS natural. Approximately 10% of any human population is homosexual and there are at least 64 known animal species with homosexual populations including (gasp!) dolphins. (Had the religious right known this all those years ago, perhaps we could have been spared the antics of Flipper…)
- “A church that wants to teach love ought to be encouraging monogamous and established relationships of love instead of forcing gay people into self-hated and sometimes into practices of promiscuity that separate love from sexual expression.”
- Gays do, indeed, serve the common good. For example, a gay artist named Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti (you may know him simply as Michelangelo) painted a pretty awesome ceiling in a chapel in Rome. Perhaps you have heard of the Sistine Chapel? It only took him 4 years to finish. Not bad, eh? Other famous gays who contributed to the greater good? Socrates, Plato, Virgil, Leonardo DaVinci, Sir Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, Caravaggio, Lord Byron, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, Ma Rainey, Cole Porter, Margaret Mead, Marlene Dietrich, Langston Hughes, Greta Garbo, Tennessee Williams, Leonard Bernstein, Michel Foucault, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol and Audre Lorde among countless others.
Now...nobody better cut me off on the way home...