“We need a leader who is biblically based”

So the Reverend Ralph Martino just got done blabbing his word-flap on CNN about this big shitstorm with Obama alienating lots of black voters by showing that he has a heart. I sort of knew this was going to happen, because black folks in America are slightly more concerned with gender roles and norms than whitey. (Generally speaking; obviously, there are people who break the mold.) Anyway, when asked if he and Watch and Pray Ministries would still be supporting President Obama, he responded that they will be praying for them and went off on a tangent about how we need an über Christ-lover in the Oval Office. I think this is rather coincidental, because I just found out that I got an A+ on my paper about why atheists are qualified to hold public office. If I were clinically insane, I might think this was synchronicity at work.

Anyway, I won’t go into the fine details about why I’m opposed to deeply religious folks running things. If you want, you can read my full project, which is up on my Open Letter to American Atheists page. Really, it boils down to this: Christianity is a deficient belief system, and people who blindly follow its tenets are not going to have the problem-solving skills to run a country. It is perfectly possible to have a secular ethical system based on logic (again, read my paper or this post or the entry on Humanism at ReligiousTolerance.org). In fact, I think it is desirable to have an ethical system based on reason as opposed to faith. You see, the nice thing about basing things on reason is that you actually have reasons for them. Reasons which are objectively verifiable and don’t boil down to gut intuitions.

Also, I was shocked when Rev Martino said that his ministry prays for more than 32,000 minutes a week. What a waste of time. Prayer has never solved any problems. Active doing of things is what gets things done. That’s why it’s called “doing things.” Prayer doesn’t do anything other than shut down certain parts of your brain, causing you to mildly dissociate and think that things coming from your own mind are coming from supernatural fairy-being. Direct action is the way to effect change in the socio-political world.

SOrry, Christians, but you’ve had your millennium of dominance. Time to let the rational empiricists have a turn.


President Obama proves he has a heart

So I picked the best time to go for my afternoon walk: right as the news breaks that Obama has reversed his reversal of his stance on marriage equality. Anyway, now it’s all out of the bag and I’m back at home watching CNN do their obligatory four hours of commentary on a single sound bite. And now Mitchell Romney is talking his head about how gays don’t deserve equal rights. Lovely.

Anyway, let me just say that it’s about fucking time. For the past few decades, the queer community has had the backs of the democrats, and we just keep getting thrown under the bus. Granted, all of this jazz about major Democrats supporting gay marriage smacks of politicking, and I can see several reasons why it’s not until now that he’s growing a heart, but still, it’s nice that he’s getting with the times.

I like to think part of it is the fact that he’s the product of a mixed-race marriage, so he’s probably heard a thing or two about people in love not being able to get married because conservatives are a bunch of sex-obsessed purophiles who like to get their panties in a wad over people not acting proper-like. I also thought that it was pleasant that he mentioned that Sasha and Malia have friends with same-sex parents and that they don’t understand why some people should get the shaft just because of biology. Maybe it really is a generational thing. The average IQ goes up with each successive generation, and people with higher IQs are more likely to be liberal, so maybe we’re just collectively evolving to become cooler with difference. Maybe sometime in the future–hopefully in my lifetime–we’ll see an anti-Amendment 1 amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I’d be pretty cool with that.

Anyway, back to the politicking. It’s obvious that Obama is grasping at straws in a deadlocked election, trying to appease as much of his base as possible. One problem he may now face is alienating his black voters: black Democrats are slightly more anti-marriage equality than your usual Democrats. However, by coming out on one side of a major hot-button issue, President Obama is clearly drawing a line in the sand. It is us against them, and us is the U.S. Executive branch, the part of our government which is responsible for keeping the peace. If you’re a heartless bigot, your enemy is none other than the White House. That’s a major endorsement for queer little transsexual lesbians like me. That’s also pretty scary. The country will now be divided, and those wishy-washy neutral idiots will be forced to form an opinion. Granted, I’d love for them to form an opinion since there is no such thing as neutrality in the socio-political world, but this is shaping up to be Act II of the Civil Rights Movement. It already looks a lot like the Civil Rights Movement proper; all we need now is an eloquent and intellectual minister to unite the queers and allies.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble a bit because I’m still half-watching CNN talk this story to death, so in closing, I’ma just leave you with my favorite sound-bite from this storm:

Welcome to the right side of history, Mr. President.

                           –LZ Granderson

The ups and downs: North Carolina and Tom Gabel

So I’m gonna admit, I was a little anxious about the big North Carolina vote yesterday. I stopped watching CNN around 4PM Central Time since I was getting too worked up over the news and switched to watching foreign horror movies. Some time between 8:45 and 9:00, shortly after starting Them (the awesome French home-invasion flick, not the awesome American sci-fi flick), I got the CNN notification on my Android that the amendment passed. At that point, I felt extremely exhausted and ended up going to bed.

Seriously, North Carolina. Why you gotta hate? I see no reason why anyone would be opposed to same-sex marriage; I have heard no compelling argument against marriage equality. To me, it’s a question similar to that of whether people of different races should be allowed to marry. It all boils down to whether or not two consenting adults who love each other ought to be allowed to express that love through a legal contract. If you think yes, then it applies universally. If not, you’re an asshole bigot and have no right to complain about your rights being trampled if such a thing should ever happen.

But there was good news yesterday as well! Against Me! singer Tom Gabel has come out as a transwoman! For once, I have something awesome on the queer front to look forward to when the latest issue of Rolling Stone pops up in my mailbox! Gabel says she will be beginning her transition soon, and will begin going by Laura Jane Grace. Seeing as how Against Me! is a fairly big band, I’m hoping this will go far in the fight for trans equality. To be honest, I’m wicked excited that young trans folks will have a rock star idol of their own. Hopefully this will be the start of a new day in the fight for queer acceptance.

‘Bout time we got some luv

So I’m blowing up this blog thing today to make up for lost time from the busy hectic-ass semester. Which brings me to the latest thing: Have you been watching CNN today? The news is all crazy about people in the White House coming out in favor of same-sex marriage. It started with Vice President Joe Biden coming out in favor of gay marriage yesterday, and now a few more Obama folks have voiced their support, including education secretary Arne Duncan and HUD secretary Shaun Donovan. (Although, to be fair, Donovan has supported gay and trans rights for some time.) Why’s it taking so long for the President himself to come out in support of us?

Sure, there’s the politics thing: gay marriage is a touchy issue for some folks, and he’s got a hard election to win. However, according to CNN’s little poll thing this morning, 53% of Americans actually have a heart. Why can’t the Pres get in the game here? It’d be a wise move. He won in 2008 by offering change and hope. If he came out in favor of marriage equality, he could create a platform of hope for queers and help us feel like we’re actually part of the tent. Sure, he repealed DADT, but that’s just one battle in the epic war for equality.

And why do only 53% of Americans support marriage equality? For me, that number is way too low. Sure, we’ve got the majority, but still, I can’t believe that 47% of my neighbors are that closed-minded. If gay marriage is against your religion, you don’t have to do it! Find a church that suits your bigoted needs and go there instead of more open-minded churches. Your marriage will be in no way weakened because people who love each other are able to express that love. How would that even work? It seems to me that more people getting to share in the love would strengthen marriage. If anything, Evangelical Christians getting married at the age of 20 and divorced by 25 are the ones weakening marriage.

Anyway, I’m glad to see that we’re getting more powerful allies. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before the President throws his hat in with us.