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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Should You Be Arguing Against Gay Marriage: A Helpful Chart

This week the gay marriage debate has, once again, been thrust into the media forefront. Oddly, this time around, by chicken.

While I'm sure that many people expect me to write a long, well-thought-out blog post about Chick-Fil-A and their latest shenanigans, the truth is...

I just don't have the energy.

I have already written about the gay marriage debate, and my views on whether or not Christians should be pro gay marriage or against. The day I posted it was mentally exhausting. I lost my shit in my own comments section and have since been chastised for it. My only defense is that when I talk about gay marriage, it is not some philosophical discussion being held at Bible study in someone's basement filled with like-minded people, or from the safe anonymity of the local paper's online comments section.

No, when I talk about the rights of gay people to get married, it is with actual people in mind. Real names and faces. Loved ones. People I care deeply about and for whom I have tremendous respect.

So, yeah.

I get heated.

I post too much about the subject.

That's what you do when you are passionately defending real people, not just abstract opinions.

I have other stuff going on in my life. Personal struggles that need attending.  I am also super busy at work, which is a good problem to have.  All that said, I have had raging insomnia the last few weeks and last night was kept awake by nightmares of cows and Muppets and Dan Cathy.

So, for now at least, I do need an outlet for my anger over the issue and a way to have the arguments that need to be had, without taking time away from my work and my life.  So I've done what any obsessive compulsive person would do.

I've made a helpful chart.

For the foreseeable future, anyone who wants to debate me on or shame me over the gay marriage debate will simply be referred to "The Chart".  This includes my gay friends who think I don't talk about it enough and my fellow Christians and extended family members who think I am going to burn in hell.

If you are like me and can't believe we are actually having this debate in the year 2012 and are sick and tired of talking about it, but afraid of enabling this covert bigotry to continue by becoming cynical on the matter, feel free to also refer others to "The Chart."

I am now going to spend the remainder of my lunch break exercising my God-given right to read articles about men who dress up as goats, and stuff my face with fast food that is politics-free.


azteclady said...

I love you more every day.

(and you realize, this means we really need to get on with the legalization of same sex marriage)

Ann Bransom said...

The only thing standing between us is chicken. Well...and the supreme court. But still.

Chris R. said...

If I can't eat cupcakes can I still be at the party?

Ann Bransom said...

We could probably come up with some Funfetti bagels or something.

Robin Sijbesma said...

I'm going to write a (large for me) piece on the whole gay marriage (and equal rights) thing, as soon as I find my outlet to publish it on (one that fits me ;-) )

But until then I will point everybody that wants to argue on this with me to your chart.

again a great piece of (ch)art, when will it go on sale preferably as poster ;-)

btw: over here in the Netherlands gay marriage is legal, but the whole believe thing is a topic as well, not as heated as over there in the US but still.

swiggett said...

Awesome chart.

And amazing what putting actual people, with faces and feelings, on an issue can do.

Anything I can bring to the funfetti party?

Ann Bransom said...

You could bring an alternative dessert, Swiggett. I am getting some reports from gay friends on Twitter that they believe they DID catch the gay from Funfetti cupcakes. Waiting for research reports before printing an official redaction.

DC Dane said...

Ann -

As per usual, another outstanding post. I have to admit a bit of healthy skepticism at first... while I am a fan of your writing, and certainly agree with you when you are discussing Sr. Carreon (how I discovered your blog in the first place...), I did not know what your take on the whole gay marriage debate was going to be, as I had not read your previous post on the matter, but did notice your religious leanings...

Suffice to say, I was quite pleasantly surprised. Of course, your post was well written and your chart entertaining - but more over, you demonstrated free logical thought - something that, in my experience, too few people who profess to be "Christian" (or other religions) seem able to do. (This opinion is consistent with my overall view that organized religion is nothing more than a mechanism to control people and silence dissent (see, i.e., The Simpsons: "Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." (Superintendent Chalmers) and, thus, was relieved to see how you approached this topic.

Of course, I assume that I don't agree with all of your political/religious/social views, yet I will still continue to read your blog, because of the fresh insight you bring to your topics, and because you are a top-notch writer.

Keep up the great blog!

Ann Bransom said...

Thank you, DC.  

My relationships with God and Jesus are very personal and ever evolving.  I don't make those relationships a secret (although, I'm sure there are a lot of Christians that wish I would), but I also don't expect anyone to understand those relationships, as I don't fully myself.  Basically, I have distilled my heart, experience, and religious teachings down to some simple principles that I try to live by, though I often fail. Above all else, I just think we're called to love each other. 

I can certainly understand your skepticism about organized religion, and I bet if we went out for a beer we would share a lot of the same skepticism. I think doubt is a healthy emotion and imperative to an authentic spiritual life. Alas, it's also where I tend to deviate from a lot of other Christians. I think it doesn't make you a bad Christian to question how the Church interprets the Bible and I DEFINITELY don't think that it makes you a bad Christian to disagree with something that the Church does when it violates your sense of values, common sense, and basic fairness.

You have to have dissent.
You have to question things.

Thank you for being open minded to my weird little blog here. I'm sure we have as many views in common as we don't. I'd much rather spend my energy writing for people who are willing to hear all sides, challenge me to examine my own views, and have a sense of humor about issues like this, than the alternative.

(P.S. you have no idea how much I needed your comment this week.  The barrage of shaming I've received over the Chick-Fil-A crap has been astounding. I've got a pretty thick skin, but this week has worn even me down.)

DC Dane said...

Ann -

Whew! After rereading my comment, I was concerned that it may have come off in an offensive manner (not my intent at all!), and I was relieved to see that you took it as intended.

Of course, your relationships with God, Jesus, etc. are your own, and it is never anyone else’s place to foist their definitions of those relationships on to you (not that people don’t do it, of course…). While I, personally, may be an atheist, I respect others’ personal faiths, and admire those that are able to use their relationship with a higher power to improve their own lives. At the end of the day, regardless of whether we are trying to be “good” or “moral” based on divine or secular principles, we are both striving towards the same goal: traveling through life in a manner we are proud of. It isn’t faith or religion that I take issue with; it is the compulsion (manifested by so many people who claim to be religious) to force their beliefs down others’ throats and to try to use the law to impose their morality on others, while simultaneously squelching dissent (or even conversation) by insinuating that those who question their dogma lack faith.
My earlier comment was not based on what I’ve read on your blog, so much as my delight that, while you are vocal about your faith, you are not like so many of the faithful I’ve encountered in my life, seen on the internet, or endured on the television (or hijacking the political process ala Rick Santorum).

When I first graduated from law school (yes, unfortunately, I’m yet another lawyer who happened upon your blog when you made the mistake of writing about some interesting legal shenanigans) my first attorney position was in Monroe, a small “city” in North Central Louisiana. Having grown up in DC, I was unfamiliar with the “bible belt” and was completely unprepared for the barrage of religion (and conservative politics) that I encountered there. I was lucky, however, because I got engage in conversations (discussion and argument as well) with people who were really smart and saw the world very differently from myself. I was able to shed my liberal, East Coast assumption that someone is stupid if they don’t believe in evolution or think that the USA is supposed to be a “Christian Nation,” and I learned a lot about myself and my own views from those relationships. I was even more lucky, however, because I was able to escape and return to DC after about a year and a half.


DC Dane said...


But I ramble. Getting back to your points:
> I can certainly understand your >skepticism about organized >religion, and I bet if we went
> out for a beer we would share a > lot of the same skepticism.

I bet that if we went out for a beer we would share more common ground than merely religion! I think that you and I see the world in many similar ways – a result of which is why I enjoy your blog so much, because the insight you bring to your posts resonates with me and the way I think.

> I think doubt is a healthy >emotion and imperative to an >authentic spiritual life. Alas, >it's also where I tend to deviate >from a lot of other Christians.

I could not agree with you more. It feels like too many people use religion as a substitute for free thought - unquestioningly following religious leaders because thinking for themselves is too damn hard.

> You have to have dissent.
>You have to question things.

One of my favorite quotations, and a principle I try to raise my children by, is: “Think for yourself and question authority.” (Timothy Leary, Sound Bites from the Counter Culture (1989)). I think that the two of us really do have a lot in common. :)

> I'd much rather spend my energy >writing for people who are >willing to hear all sides, >challenge >me to examine my own >views, and have a sense of humor >about issues like this, than the >alternative.

Amen to that sister! I might never change your mind (and don’t really desire to), but the process of discussion and debate enrich everyone. Only reading/watching/exposing oneself to viewpoints and perspectives that one already has deprives an individual of opportunity to learn and grow and to develop their own thinking, and, in my opinion, is akin to intellectual masturbation. That being said, however, I still cannot bring myself to tolerate Fox News for any substantive period of time.

>(P.S. you have no idea how much I >needed your comment this week. >The barrage of shaming I've >received over the Chick-Fil-A >crap has been astounding. I've >got a pretty thick skin, but this >week has worn even me down.)

I’m surprised that you received that reaction. First, didn’t the people behind the “barrage of shaming” (nice!) actually read your chart? Had they done so, they probably would have determined that they fell into the category of those that should *not* be discussing the subject, and I assume that would extend to shaming you for your views. Second, aren’t these folks supposed to “turn the other cheek” or something like that? It must be much easier for them to push their views and outrage on others that question them than it is to focus on their own thoughts and conduct. Finally, I’m assuming (maybe incorrectly) that the negative comments you’re receiving have something to do with your failure to tow the Christian party line regarding Chick-Fil-A’s stance on homosexuality. But how are these folks serving their cause or “being good Christians” for attacking you? Keep your head up Ann. You kick ass. Your blog kicks ass. Those who need to “shame” you for your viewpoints can go read some inferior blog. Or they can just go to hell.

Bryce Thomason said...

President Obama is firmly committed to the homosexual agenda and recent promises made to the LBGT and others have caused some in the conservative movement and the evangelical and Pentecostal churches to shudder. It is also clear that the church's concerns have little bearing on the President's position to throw the doors open for the "gay agenda by closing the steel doors around those who make so much as a whimper against the gays. Signing the untested and highly suspect Matthew Shepard act is the latest evidence of that.