Thursday, December 03, 2009

Controversial

So that long hiatus was completely on purpose. That Rockies game was so awesome I thought it deserved to stay up...for multiple months.

And what better way to get back on track than to say something controversial!

Tami and I have been spending our down time watching curb your enthusiasm. I love it because its like improv Seinfeld. In this certain episode we were watching its Christmas time, and the main character, Larry (David, creator of Seinfeld) is shunning all the christmassy stuff because, well, he's Jewish. His wife is Christian, and as they go along with their celebrations he stays out of the way, but is occasionally perturbed, notably for the caroling.

But this got me to thinking. How is it that Jewish folks, those who outright deny the existence of Jesus, are treated more fairly by the religious right than, say, gays, many of whom believe in all things Christian but just struggle within the system. Why? Gays seem to be treated more with the label of "outcast" or "unclean".

And no I'm not here to be a big gay rights activist, I just like to point out the inconsistencies. Maybe I'm just more comfortable with these issues than many because with work I have so many gay friends.

I dunno, just a thought.

8 comments:

me said...

For one thing, I don't think Jews deny the existence of Jesus, they just don't think his existence was religiously significant. :)

And I think you're confusing two different things here:

The difference between Jews and Christians is a RELIGIOUS difference, so both sides can accept each others on a social level, if not a religious level.

There is no difference between gays and Christians, as the two groups are not mutually exclusive. What I think you're talking about is the difference between the "christian" belief in the tradition of heterosexual relationships and the gay belief in the the personal choice of homosexual relationships.

Because this issue is a SOCIAL issue, those who believe that heterosexual relationships are the accepted norm in society are of course not going to accept those who view that homosexual relations are the norm.

You're confusing a RELIGIOUS issue (Christians v. Jews) with a SOCIAL issue (heterosexuality v. homosexuality). Yes, many Christians (but not all) believe certain ways about about marriage and relationships, but that is not a component of their religion (well, unless you're part of a certain denomination).

I hope this makes sense.

Also, you have to understand that sex has always been considered a taboo subject, and many aspects of it are considered "unclean". Not just homosexuality. The difference is that in modern times many homosexuals are open about their choice, instead of keeping it something quiet and private and a personal perference. Whereas those people who may indulge in other "strange" fetishes keep those things to themselves - if they shared them with the public or broadcasted them to everyone in their daily life, people would probably treat them as "unlcean" too.

For the record, I am no longer really a Christian, I don't really care what someone finds sexually attractive, and I have lots of gay friends (um, I live in L.A.), but I still strongly believe in traditional heterosexual relationships/marriage as the backbone of society.

Tamara said...

Me makes some good points. For example those of the Jewish faith do believe Jesus existed but they definitely don't give Him the weight Christians do. However, I don't think you're trying to confuse religious issues versus "social issues, especially when (in light of LGBT persons) they can end up VERY tangled. An LGBT individual who desires the same social rights as a straight couple can not obtain them in the United States.

But that's not the point I'm trying to make...and I don't think it's what you are trying to point out in this post. I think you are trying to touch on the subject of acceptance. Specifically, the level of acceptance from the point of view of Christian believers.

For example, Christians and Jews are relatively accepting of one another. As you pointed out, they marry...there can even be Jewish Christians (Messianic).

On the other hand, Christians and the LGBT community in today's world have a relationship filled with much, much more persecution. While I could say "Jewish Christian" in the above paragraph, "gay Christian" is perceived as an oxymoron. However, someone who identifies as LGBT may be striving to seek Jesus whereas those of the Jewish faith do not make Jesus a central part of their faith.

me said...

I think it also depends on where you live. I find it interesting that Tamara mentioned that "gay Christian" would be perceived as an oxymoron. I disagree. (but then again, I live in Los Angeles). "Gay" refers to a sexual preference and what is considered acceptable sexual behavior is largely dictated by society. So "gay Christian" merely means a person who practices homosexuality yet holds the Christian faith.

To me, with the people I've encountered (my husband works in Hollywood, so I have a TON, seriously, a TON, of Jewish friends), the thought of a "Jewish Christian" seems like way more of an oxymoron! :) Most Jews I know don't claim to be even the slightest bit Christian. Of course, I'm talking about the religion of Judaism, not the heritage. Messianic Jews are Jewish in culture, but Christian in religion.

Therefore "Jewish Christian" WOULD be an oxymoron, cause it a clash of religious belief, but "gay Christian" would not...unless you are claiming that Christianity is a not a religion, but instead a societal code.

me said...

Tamara - I noticed that you mentioned that an "LGBT individual who desires the same social rights as a straight couple can not obtain them in the United States". What rights are you talking about?

I don't mean to turn this into a debate, but I've heard this so-called "rights" argument used so many times, I think people use it incorrectly. People use the word "rights" loosely, the truth is, our "rights" only guarantee us so many freedoms, not the freedom for everything. No matter if a person wants to have sex with the same sex, or another sex, or an animal or their brother, they still are granted the same basic human rights as all American citizens.

Many things are NOT inalienable rights though. The right to marry is of one of them. Opposite-sex marriage exists as the foundation of society through procreation and the family unit, that is why certain tax exceptions, etc. are granted to opposite-sex married couples...it's an incentive to build a family and the next generation of society. The inability for siblings to marry is not discrimination, but a recognition that incestuous offspring are more likely to pass on undesirable traits, and are therefore not sanctioned. Siblings may may other people, though they cannot marry themselves, just as LGBT people may marry, just not their same sex.

If you are talking about the right to medical benefits, etc, then have you done your homework on this issue? I don't know about your state, but in California, it is a law that registered domestic partners have all EQUAL benefits as married couples. Essentially, LGBT people have the exact same "rights" as everyone else.

And there is no such thing as the right to marry the person you love. If you open up the definition of marriage to just mean "who you love" then you have erased all boundaries and specificity of what marriage is. I hate to use this argument, as it sounds so slippery-slope, but by re-defining marriage as "who you love", there is nothing to hold back from recognizing sibling marriages, polygamous marriage and even bestiality marriages as legitimate. Denying the definition of marriage to the above groups is not denying their ability to love.

Jeremy, I am so sorry that I just used your comments area as my mini-soapbox. I just feel like this is an issue that people are becoming very misguided about about and I really want people to understand all sides of things. :)

Tamara said...

LGBT is a term used to encompass the majority of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. I gay couple (in many states) could not obtain the rights of a married couple. In this case, not being allowed to marry does restrict some civil rights.

Christianity is by no means a societal code, however it would be ignorant to ignore its presence as a huge factor in deciding what is considered right and wrong in American society. Yes, some places are more liberal and some are more conservative, but there is an over-arching effect that Christanity has on our history, past and present, and therefor our culture and society.

Also, as I said above, I'm not saying that a "gay Christian" would be an oxymoron to me personally, just as it is obviously not to you personally either. However, to the majority of Christians it is an unquestionably damnable lifestyle. The influence and organization of conservative Christians in the States is very powerful. I refer anyone to examine their movement for and against many of the amendments and propositions pertaining to gay marriage and/or rights as well as the move to solidify the definition of "family." Please note that I specify a difference between marriage and rights; they are not the same thing.

I understand that you live in California, but there are 49 other states...all with their own law regarding the issue and some are not as fair.

bscarter said...

Honestly, most of the religious righties that I know hate the Jews just as much. They hate a lot of different things, but hating the gays is just their flavor of the decade.

Tamara said...

Good point, well said.

Justin said...

FYI, You're so my hero!