I haven’t had much time to post anything substantive lately – i’ve been busy with work, yard, etc., and i’m going on vacation tomorrow so I probably won’t post till I’m back next week.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share something I read today on the Huffington Post. Go there and read the rest if you have time (though I’ve pasted the best part here).

There are billions and billions of reasons to hate McDonald’s. They took the McRib away, for one, and that burns. (Sometimes I almost wish I’d never loved it at all.) There’s at least one good reason to like McDonald’s: They’re being boycotted by the American Family Association.

What did McDonald’s do to cross the AFA, its president, Donald Wildmon, and — by extension — Jesus (R-Nz.)? They donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. McDonald’s’ revenue runs about five billion dollars a quarter, so you can see their profound commitment to destroying the family through sodomy.

The AFA says that by donating one thousandth of one percent of its 2007 earnings, “McDonald’s has chosen not to remain neutral but to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda.”

Which seems like a kind of shrill definition of “full weight,” but maybe it’s like the Quarter Pounder®, and it’s the weight before cooking that counts.

It feels a little like the American Family Association was looking for someone to boycott and it was just McDonald’s’ turn. They’ve already boycotted Sears, Kohl’s, Kmart, Target, Old Navy and IKEA. As a result, they’re naked and don’t have anywhere to sit. The McDonald’s boycott follows boycotts of Burger King, Carl’s Jr., 7-11, Proctor & Gamble and Kraft, which means Donald Wildmon hasn’t eaten anything for sale in America since the late ’70s. You’d think he’d be dead, but no.

(He’s a good guy. I’ll bet he loads up on locusts, beetles and grasshoppers, like it says in Leviticus. The same book that — there’s no getting around it — says homosexuality is an abomination, absolutely as heinous in G*d’s eyes as strong drink.)

Does the AFA hate homosexuals? Absolutely not! It says so, right on their website, under the heading and sub-head: “Does AFA Hate Homosexuals? Absolutely Not!”

Should McDonald’s take the boycott seriously? The customer is always right, I guess. (I think that’s from Deuteronomy.)

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So, the other day I was reading letters to the editor at the Deseret News (this isn’t as bad as reading the reader comments, though people still say some pretty silly things sometimes). And I came across this letter which was a response to this letter.

The first letter asks a question that I have often asked myself, not just about Obama but other Democratic candidates, and not just for LDS members but for all Christians:

What is it about the Obama message that is so off-putting to LDS Utahns? Actually I would think it is the exact message to which we LDS members would gravitate in great numbers. Why have we strayed from our emotional and spiritual roots?

The response from the 2nd letter writer is thus:

Let’s see, maybe it’s because his views are opposite the core of the LDS faith? His stances on abortion and gay marriage are just two issues.

Ah, now I understand.

Except I don’t, really. Even before I became dedicated to gay rights issues (and came out), even when I was a faithful LDS member, I gravitated towards Democratic candidates because I agreed more with their stances than with their Republican counterparts. I think LDS people in general, and the larger Christian community, have fallen too easily for the point of view first argued in the early 80s during the rise of the Religious Right, that abortion and gay marriage/rights are the only two “values” issues that matter.

Why, for instance, does killing an unborn fetus trump killing adults in a war that even many Republicans, the Legislature, independent analysts and most other countries in the world recognize as being started under false pretenses and exaggerated threats? I’m not saying I don’t understand and even agree with people who believe abortion is wrong – but seriously, at this moment in our history, can we really afford to vote for someone who will continue this war and probably start a new one with Iran, mainly because he says he’s pro-life?

Why does preventing gay couples from getting married trump the fact that the number of children living in poverty increased by more than 11 percent between 2000 and 2005. Can we really call ourselves Christians when there is so much needless suffering in our country? Why isn’t more attention paid to the fact that the percent of all children who lack health insurance increased for the first time in nearly a decade in 2005—from 10.8% in 2004 to 11.2% in 2005.

Why not consider electing a man who is not among the nations top 1% wealthiest individuals, and who will therefore hopefully fight for the smallest and weakest among us, those children who need more help than another corporate bailout will provide?

It just feels very hypocritical to me to fixate on abortion and gay marriage, and call yourself a Christian voter. There is a movement among some evangelicals to start focusing on other values, such as poverty and war, but it doesn’t have much political traction yet. Though some are predicting that this is the year we’ll see a shift among that voting base.

The other thing that I think keeps many Republicans still solidly voting Republican (but wasn’t mentioned by the letter-writer above) is fear of socialism. This is also something, from a Mormon perspective, that I don’t quite understand. Mormons believe in the law of consecration, which is basically a form of socialism – pooling collective resources that are then re-dispersed based on need. I’m not saying I think socialism is better for our country, in our current situation, than capitalism – but I do wonder why LDS people in general are so afraid of the idea, and particularly in relation to Obama. Why do the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys only have to say “socialism” in regard to Obama to put so many people off? Just because he’s for mandated health coverage doesn’t mean he’s going to turn the country into communist Russia.

I guess it just seems like the Christian right, for the most part, has been sold a bill of goods about manifesting their values in their voting patterns. If you read the four Gospels, the books that actually focus on Jesus’ personal ministry, there is no mention of abortion or gay marriage. There are admonitions not to sin, or to repent and sin no more, but there are countless more admonitions to care for the hungry and poor, to turn the other cheek, to be kind and loving to one another. Jesus himself outlined what should be most important:

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
–Matthew 22:34-40

I’m not sure how that translates into the current religious-political environment, where working to outlaw abortion and gay marriage seem to be the only laws or commandments that matter.

I’m not saying I don’t understand the moral argument behind the anti-abortion and anti-gay stances. All i’m saying is – aren’t there more important things that we, as Christians, should be voting to protect?

I had an interesting conversation with my dad tonight about the presidential race. He is a pretty dyed in the wool conservative, but I think he is more a fiscal conservative than a moral conservative, so we can have fairly in-depth conversations without too much disagreement. Even though I believe in social welfare programs and the role of government in making people’s lives better, I can completely respect the ideology of the fiscal conservatives and the goal of small government. I think if we were all slightly better people, individually and collectively, small government would be best because we would also still take care of each other. But since we don’t do that, or at least enough of it, I do believe government has a role to play in helping those in need.

I think that’s why I like Barack Obama so much – because his message of “we’re all in this together” really resonates with me. We have to be in it together, because I think we can really only be as great as the very least among us. If we are neglecting the poor, the sick, the uninsurable, the unemployable, the mentally ill, how can we really call ourselves great? Sure, when you have social welfare programs, there will always be people who take advantage – people who could work, who won’t; people who don’t really need services requesting them anyway. But isn’t that what Jesus taught us? “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me?” I have a hard time understanding the motivation of the so-called religious right, when they are more worried about who is sleeping with whom and not very worried at all about the poor and the weary among us. Where would Jesus really be spending his time and efforts?

Sometimes I think that, while I live in Utah, I shouldn’t watch the news or read the newspapers. It rarely fails to make me angry.

Today,this story ran in the Deseret News (and I’m sure other places as well). I made the mistake of reading some of the comments after the story, and was flabbergasted at the sentiments expressed. I shouldn’t have been…I’ve lived here long enough to know the score. And yet, I still can’t help myself from believing that people’s views are shifting, even if it’s slowly, towards more educated and tolerant viewpoints on being gay.

But nope, the posts decrying being gay as a “perversion,” as “dangerous” and “evil,” the aphorism that we can “love the sinner but hate the sin” – they were all there, more than once. One person said it makes her cringe when she hears people say being gay is something you’re born with. The few posters who were brave enough to say anything contrary to that were met with hatred and accused of promoting the Gay Agenda.

That’s probably my favorite one – the Gay Agenda, capital G and A. As though we are all meeting after work every day to plot ways to force all the straight people to be gay. Come on! Can rational people really not recognize how ludicrous that is? I know there are always going to be haters out there, but really, are we still so very far away from reality that people think the superintendent in this Utah County school district is somehow under the power of the Gays (cue spooky music) and cannot decide for herself on this issue? It astounds me!

And then it really really discourages me.

Sigh.

I guess I do have an agenda, as a gay person, but I certainly don’t feel like I have the power to make anyone else adhere to it. If the Gay Agenda was so powerful, why was Mayor Becker forced by the legislature to change the name of the partnership registry so that it didn’t sound too Gay? Why do these people not see that if the Gay Agenda was really as powerful as they seem to believe, gay marriage would be legal across the country at this point. It’s because it isn’t true, people! We have almost no power, and fewer rights. I had to endure a nudge nudge wink wink from my freaking accountant yesterday when I went to pick up my partner’s tax returns, because he had to call her and get her permission to let me pick them up. He’s all “even though you guys are the best of friends. guffaw guffaw.” Yeah, it’s really funny. Thanks dude. I won’t be seeing you next tax season.

blah. sometimes i really hate it here. not that it’s really that much better anywhere else, but this little lesbian still has hope in her heart that it is. somewhere out there.

Well, it seems like the thing to do these days, so here is my blog. It’s a funny thing, here at first. I spent a lot of time trying to decide how anonymous to be. Realistically, I don’t expect anyone to actually read this. But online, you can never be sure, so you have to start out assuming you’re fine with the whole world reading it.

My motivation for starting this blog is to have a place to occasionally rant, though I hope all my posts won’t be angry. 🙂 Right now, just coming off of the end of the Utah Legislative session, it’s hard to imagine not being angry, but I’m sure it will wear off. Not that Utah is alone in having embarrassing and, let’s just say it, stupid legislators. Oklahoma, for instance, has a legislator who is in some hot water now for saying some incredibly stupid things.

Read what she said.

It almost makes Chris Buttars sound sane. Okay, that’s a stretch. But still…Chris may hate gay people, but at least he’s not saying out loud that he thinks we’re worse than the terrorists. I wonder which he’d say was scarier? It would probably be a tough call for him.

Still, what happened to freedom of religion in this country? If I believe I am who God made me, why are these people allowed to infringe upon my rights because they believe differently? In some ways, Sally Kern is close to right, but her logic is inverted. I do believe that the fight for gay rights in this country could end up destroying what is left of the Constitution, not because God hates gay people, but because these religious extremists seem willing to decimate our nation’s most sacred documents and founding principles out of fear and ignorance. They will turn us into a religious state, all the while proclaiming that the founding fathers, who came here for freedom of religion, actually intended all along for this to be a “Christian nation.”

Hmmm…I must have missed that part of the Bill of Rights.

It’s because of this line of thinking that I felt a need to put my story out there, into the great dark void of the blogosphere, in the hopes that if people do read it, they might have a change of heart. For me, I have been a religious person most of my life, and I had to really battle with myself during my coming out not to completely turn my back on God. But in the end, coming out was an incredibly spiritual journey for me, and I came to believe that this is part of how God made me, and the sin would be in denying that and being unhappy for my whole life.

So, in future posts, I will talk about the things that have guided me and shaped me during my life, and we’ll see what happens. In the end, it will probably just be some good cheap therapy for me. But in the off chance that someone comes across these ramblings…I hope if nothing else, they can make you stop and think about the things that we all share, which are so much greater than the things that divide us.