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Oh, New York…why not legalize same-sex marriage?

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

This came to be rather shocking for me. I guess I always figured that New York would be one of those states that would legalize same-sex marriage. I was, however, wrong.

Today, the Senate voted down a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, with the vote of 38-24. Eek. We can’t forget that there are 30 Republicans and 32 Democrats in the New York State Senate, so that could have something to with it as well. But clearly, some of those Dems voted against this bill to be passed.

The Catholic Church is of course rejoicing, and I am continuing to find more reasons to dislike this institution so much. However, it is so refreshing to hear what Senator Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat, who considers himself to be a man of faith, said: “When I walk through these doors, my Bible stays out,”. That is music to my ears. Absolute music to my ears. He gets it. So many religious people think that they need to bring their personal religious beliefs into government and law, but in fact, it’s the other way around. As a pastor’s kid and person who is still practicing my faith, this is something that I have discovered slowly, but surely. Now, if only more people of faith (or here, I could probably use the more staunch “religious” term) could see this, understand this and demonstrate it in their own lives.

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Breaking News: The Catholic Church cares more about their homophobia than actual PEOPLE

November 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh wait, that’s not breaking new. Everyone already knew that! Sorry!

So, the Catholic Church has decided to partake in disgustingly hateful, ridiculous, discriminatory actions in D.C. My literal reaction was “Are you fucking kidding me?”

So, here’s the rundown.

1. The Catholic Church is threatening to shut down all of their social services in D.C., which serves about 68,000 if D.C. doesn’t change the proposed same-sex marriage bill.
2. The Catholic Church would not have to perform same-sex marriages, or even let couples have use of their buildings, but they would have to stop discriminating against gays and lesbians.
3. The Catholic Church says that they have issues with being “secular”, but really, they actually don’t have to be.
4. The issue is ultimately that the Catholic Church uses public money for their social services; therefore, they should not be able to discriminate with public money!

I mean, they are pretty much making sure that everyone knows the kind of power they have and how exactly they are willing to use it. They don’t want to use their power for good, they want to use it to make sure that homophobia remains pervasive, while forgetting about people in need. They don’t actually care about providing services for people. What the hell? As a born-and-bred pastor’s kid, growing up in a Baptist church, this sickens me. This also reminds me why I hate being in the same category as these “Christians”.

Have they not even thought about the consequences of these actions? Also, have they not even thought about what this is doing to how people view the Catholic Church? It’s no wonder that more and more young people are skipping out of any religious affiliation. It’s because of this hateful shit that’s going on!

Luckily, the D.C. City Council isn’t concerned too much about this threat. One even calls it “somewhat childish”. Another description I like is from Peter Rosenstein, from Campaign for All D.C. Families, is that the Catholic Church is trying to “blackmail the city.”

This issue doesn’t just bring up the issue of heterosexism, but it brings up power structures, economical issues, political issues and the very tangible employment of people who actually run these services. This is all of course for another post, but something to keep on your mind. Ultimately, we are reminded once again how hateful a powerful group (or at least a few high up individuals) can be. We can’t just sit back and let this stuff happen. If you’re from D.C., or just want to make your voice heard in this matter, contact the City Council and show your support for the same-sex marriage bill!

Reminder: There are some religious pro-choicers out there!

December 20, 2007 Leave a comment

A new article, by Rev. Jim Luallen, is up on RH Reality Check. He’s a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and explains that it’s kind of “the Christian thing to do” to let women have a choice with their reproductive health.

Because of the wide range of religious beliefs on this sensitive issue in American society, I am among the millions of people of faith in this nation who believe reproductive decisions must remain with the pregnant woman, to be made in keeping with her religious principles. For me, this is clearly “what Jesus would do,” because, ultimately, she alone is to be held responsible by God our Creator – not the rest of us.

He makes a good point. For those who are religious, it makes sense that one would be held accountable to God. Not anyone else, and no one else should be making decisions for other people. And obviously, as he states, there are so many religious beliefs (and non-religious beliefs) that a government can’t simply say “no abortions” because of Christian principle. I realize America is still very much a “Christian” nation, even though I only find it to be a Christian nation when it comes to oppressing women, but America has been touted the “land of opportunity,” not “come here and we’ll convert you.”

But, most of all, she has an inalienable human right – bestowed by God – to self-determine her reproduction. The Bible tells me so. This is why I do not refer to “choice.” Instead, we are discussing an issue of an essential freedom – to have control over one’s own body and whether or not to give birth. This freedom is as intrinsic, as inalienable to a woman as her free will bestowed by our Creator God. No earthly authority can ever justifiably deny her this freedom without violating God’s Will – just as much as if we enslaved or imprisoned her.

I love hearing a minister say that the Bible says it’s her choice! It really is just a breath of fresh air, even if you don’t agree with it. As a pastor’s kid and a person whose gone to church her whole life, I agree with what he’s saying about essential freedom. There is very much the idea that God gave people free will in the Protestant Christian religion. That’s why I’ve always had such a hard time seeing why abortion rights would be taken away, considering it’s Christians who are lobbying for this.

Sometimes…I just don’t understand people.

Update on “Muder over hijab?”

December 14, 2007 1 comment

This story has apparently sparked a wildfire across North America, and I imagine maybe further than that. The Toronto Star states that,

On Facebook, at least 11 groups have surfaced in response, with more than 5,000 members, some ranting, some pontificating and others spewing racial epithets.

On YouTube, at least 11 videos, viewed in total more than 16,000 times, have been posted. One website, somalinet.com, published a story on Parvez’s death and included a poll about whether the father was justified in the alleged killing. As of last night, five of the 19 who responded agreed.

The girl who was murdered, Aqsa Parvez, is going to be buried tomorrow and over 1,000 people are expected to show up. This really is huge. It’s one thing when a teenager dies, but it’s a completely different thing when their parent kills them. And of course, with all the Islamophobia in the world right now, it’s even a bigger deal.

An Islamic leader spoke to the press yesterday about the situation and stated that “parents fail and bring shame upon themselves if a child chooses to abandon holy writings and not wear the hijab.” As well,

“It is their duty to convince their kids that this part of their culture,” he said. However, he said Muslims “categorically” denounce acts of murder. “This is not allowed in Islam, totally.”

I really don’t like that statement. I mean, yes, he’s saying that murder is not allowed in Islam, yet at the same time he’s defending the father. I can understand a parent wanting certain things for their children, but parents must respect their children’s choices if they choose another way.

Finally, at the end of this article, Shaila Kibria, who works on human right issues within the Muslim community, said that this is a greater, greater issue than the hijab, which is something that I stated in my previous post about this issue.

“It’s so controversial because there are so many interpretations about whether the hijab is a requirement in Islam,” said the 32-year-old who chooses to wear the hijab. “But the hijab and religion are not the real issues. What this poor girl went through, which is domestic violence and violence against women, isn’t being recognized; what’s being recognized is the hijab.”

If the discussion remains centred on the issue of the hijab, Kibria said she fears Muslim men won’t take responsibility for the “extremist religious patriarchy” that exists within their community.

I completely agree with her, and hopefully more will see this. This heinous violent act has unfortunately been covered up by the hijab, and not taken for what it really is.

Murder over hijab?

December 11, 2007 2 comments

I really am not trying to attack Islam in any way, but today, it’s just how the stories are coming!

A 16-year-old girl in Toronto was declared dead after her father allegedly attacked her for not wanting to wear a hijab. Of course, this is not the whole story. The two were having arguments about this and she didn’t want to follow the conventional way and was possibly planning to run away.

Aqsa Parvez’s friends told CBC News that the teen had been having arguments with her father because he allegedly wanted her to wear a traditional hijab.

“She kinda wanted to go a different way from the way her family wanted her to go,” said one friend.

They also said that she wanted to escape the family conflict by running away.

The father has been arrested and has admitted to the murder.

This is just one extremely sad and unfortunate events. It looks like a generational disagreement at first, but it had to take the next extreme step. I’m not really sure what to say. It seems as though religion, conservatism and sexism rear its very ugly head here. But let’s just strip away the religious aspect. Too much is blamed on religion nowadays, in my personal opinion. This is a heinous crime that no father should commit against his daughter. I have a very hard time believing that this is a purely religious conflict. I could be completely wrong though. I honestly don’t know enough about Islam to say much more about that. But the fact is that a 16-year-old daughter was killed by her father. I hope justice is brought to this case.

Women are being killed in Basra for “Westernization”

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

I’d say that this is very serious. Women are being killed because they don’t look “Islamic” enough with their dress. And even some men are being killed at the same time.

The police said women were being apprehended by men patrolling on motorbikes or in cars with tinted windows before being murdered and dumped in piles of rubbish with notes saying they were killed for “un-Islamic behaviour”. He said men had been victims of similar attacks.

Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the rise of Iraq’s Shia-dominated government, armed men have forced women to cover their heads or face punishment. In parts of the predominantly Shia south, even Christian women have been forced to wear headscarves. In some areas of Basra, graffiti warns women that forgoing the headscarf and wearing make-up “will bring you death”.

There is so much oppression and misogyny going on here. The new Shia dominated government isn’t any better than the former Sunni government. The war in Iraq has created a huge mess, and we all know that. And there are three wars essentially going on. Of course, Iraq and America, a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites and this mental, emotional and political war between America and the rest of the world. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you get my drift.

That got a little off track, but it’s not something to forget about in our everyday lives. This is a humanitarian issue, but a major feminist issue as well.

Reminding everyone of Puirty Ball creepiness!

December 3, 2007 Leave a comment

I came across this interesting news article from the Chicago Tribune that discusses Purity Balls, sex, abstinence and the question of daughters being property to their fathers. It’s definitely a good read.

He signed a pledge to be the protector of her purity and to live his own life with integrity. She gave her father a gold key to her heart, and asked him to hold on to it until her wedding day, when he would hand it over to her husband. They walked down the aisle with locked arms and she laid a white rose beside a cross, sealing her commitment.

“It’s like I’m devoting my virginity to my dad, saying that I will stay pure because it is the Christian thing to do,” said Lindsay Anne Schell, 18, a freshman at Bradley University in Peoria. “The rose shows the world that you are devoting your purity to God and to your father.”

Huge issues. Devoting your virginity to your father? Sounds really messed up. Of course, girls need these purity balls because they obviously can’t stop themselves from having sex. Their father has to make sure they don’t have sex. And this gold key thing? Eww. That reeks of the time when women were property. And why the hell don’t they have these things for boys? Riight, their sexuality isn’t worth as much. They can just go fuck around if they want. But girls, nope, they need to remain pure! So many sexist issues and double standards come out of this. Too many to really talk about right now.

So, property? I say yes.

“These events represent an idea that there is something about female sexuality that needs to be controlled by dominant men in the household,” said Mary Zeiss Stange, a professor of women’s studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. “That relates to a patriarchal position in the evangelical movement that not only defines female sexuality but females themselves as property. What happens with purity balls is, in effect, the daughter becomes her father’s property until he hands her off to her husband.”

How are these balls even accepted or allowed? Are people still so old fashioned and sexist that they think this is just the best thing since sliced bread? Oh…one more thing. Why aren’t mothers involved? They gave birth to their children. They deserve a little input, I’m thinking.

Sooooo many things wrong with these things.