“Don’t Divorce”: The Courage Campaign

The passage of “plain language” anti-gay marriage bills such as California’s Prop 8 have some discouraging consequences. According to Courage Campaign, thousands of families are at risk.

Ken Starr, who led the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton, filed a legal brief last month — on behalf of the “Yes on 8″ campaign — that would forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year before the passage of Prop 8.

Courage Campaign has put together a beautifully sappy video about the happy couples who would be divorced if their marriages are overturned, with their children featured prominently in it. Unlike in other causes where children are pretty much whored out for “causes”, these children can end up deeply affected by the divorce of their parents.

So the best thing for families is …divorce?

One thing that strikes me about the anti-gay rights groups is how their entire line of argument is based in religious dogma or ignorance, usually both. Gay marriage is “wrong” because of the bible or other religious proclamations based on pastoral patriarchal traditions. Of course, they won’t extend this prohibition to hetero couples that can’t bear children; that would just be spiteful.

Even science has turned against the antigays. One term that they used to rely on without sounding too preachy is that homosexuality is “unnatural” – akin to using intelligent design instead of creationism. However, homosexuality has been identified in various animal groups for years, and more and more evidence show support with the “born that way” argument. The scientific studies and theories are too complex for any simple summation, but I think most in the scientific community at large are satisfied that homosexual proclivities and behaviors are neither wrong nor unnatural.

But what about the “yuck” factor?

I hate beets. I think they’re vile and disgusting. Do I think that we should wipe out this tuberous scourge by enacting legal action against the farming, distribution and sale of this heathen vegetable? Absolutely not. Some strange misguided people might use that precedence to do the same to my beloved broccoli. Simply put, if you don’t like gay sex – don’t have any.

But you can tell Ken Starr where to stick his case.

You don’t need to be an atheist to know that divorcing these couples is unsettling and painful for those involved. Why don’t the anti-gays form their own word instead of being so miserly with “marriage”? Heterogamy actually refers to something completely different, but what about hetrimony?

BTF on TV… sort of

During the protest of the protest, the local TV station Fox 10 arrived to cover the invasion of intolerance at Desert Mountain High School. Apparently, this school has the largest gay-straight alliance group in Arizona schools – making them a target of gay-hating Westboro.

Some of our group was present in the background, along with our speaker. At one point a Westboro spokesperson was interviewed but apparently our loud Rick-Rolling made it unsuitable for broadcast. Or, perhaps what she was saying made it unsuitable. Either way, the show of support for rationality and tolerance was very encouraging. Although there were church groups present, BTF felt that their participation was a good sign. Decency is still in the majority, regardless of religious affiliation.

Keep it up!!!

An Atheist Who Loves Christmas?

Taking Christ out of Christmas doesn’t bother me. *   

I love this season. I love the festivities, the decorations, the celebration of friends, family and food. Most of us live frenzied lives and only pay attention to each other one month a year, in a figurative orgy of goodwill and merriment. We have set this time aside to be the season of giving.

I even fully support the materialism of it (and here I may diverge from general consensus). Whatever your feelings on the commercialization of Christmas, exchanging gifts is a substantial part of the season. Of course, some people will take it to the extreme. Mottos like “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” make me want to gag – I much prefer electronics and books. Gifts are an expression of our love and friendship, and the best gifts truly are those that cost little and show how much you care. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

Winter festivals, for those of us in the Northern hemisphere anyway, have been a tradition since humans began marking the passing of seasons, a way to celebrate the previous seasons of abundance and preparing for the cold and often scant offerings awaiting. The end of the old and the anticipation of the fruits of the new year.

There is a lot to love about Christmas, or Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia or what have you. The sense of companionship as we gather together to feast and make merry. The community spirit we share. The cultural and religious rituals we cherish. Take what you like best about the season and run with it. 

So I encourage atheists, agnostics, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pagans, and others too numerous to mention, to celebrate the season together.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Sprightly Yule.

* I also fully support anyone’s right of observing Jesus’ birth, and any other religious holiday. By all means, go to town.**

**A little town of Bethlehem, even.