July 12 – Volume 13, #7
“My God is amazing/I don’t need the Masons/I just need the junkies and the liars and the theives/I need the pimps, prostitues and pushers out the streets/That’s where I’m seeking God cuz that’s where he found me” -Killer Mike, God is in the Building II-
We here at Illanoyze first officially came out in support of gay marriage in 2004 to very little fanfare, which was all well and good as the issue of what people do in their private lives gets far more attention than it deserves already. Besides, for us taking this stand was no major show of courage as has been portrayed of the politically calculated public support that Joe Biden forced President Obama into.
This is not to diminish the importance of Obama’s statement. It was historic, without question.
However, it’s simply a common sense stance for any person who opposes discrimination and bigotry. And Illanoyze has made fighting discrimination one of our leading causes since our inception in 1998.
And while our company has not been shy in crafting a pro-black posture, our mission has always been to use our resources to help end discrimination. Not discrimination against black people. But discrimination.
The black church in America has long been a positive force towards forcing America to live up to its ideals of fairness and equality. For most of our history in America, these fundamental rights have been denied to an African-Americans. Greatly outnumbered, blacks lived a vulnerable existence in regard to politics, economics, health and their very right to life in America. The black church has frequently lead the fight to protect our nation’s most disadvantaged populations.
This history makes the stance of some black church leaders to withdraw support from President Obama; based upon his “evolved” stance on gay marriage, not only morally disappointing, but just plain stupid.
Moreover, you dumb ass preachers talking about that you may not vote for president Obama because of this one issue (that doesn’t actually impact the legalization of gay marriage in the least) makes our entire race look just as dumb as you ignorant, bigoted fucks.
I have long found it amazingly convenient for clergymen to cherry pick which sins they want to focus on from their pulpit. While I find taking the Bible as a literal document to be stupefyingly, intellectually naïve, what’s worse is the inconsistency that many religious folks use in applying Biblical standards to human behavior.
After all, there are many behaviors that are much more explicitly frowned upon than homosexuality in the Good Book.
“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving,” demands Ephesians 5:4. “Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee,” is written in Leviticus 19:19 in regard to wearing garments made of different fabrics and planting different seeds together. While I always found them barbaric personally, tattoos have become all the rage in the past two decades among people of all faiths in spite of God’s instruction in Leviticus 19:28 that reads “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”
Leviticus also prohibits shaving in verse 27 where it says, “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” That’s going to be tough news to break to your barber. Just make sure you don’t tell him on a Saturday because he is committing a moral sin by working on the Sabbath day according to Exodus. The Most High is far more garrulous and specific about this common deviation from God’s will than he is about homosexuality in the Bible. Why aren’t the religious leaders up in arms about this violation of God’s law? And while my Christian brothers and sisters may have thought that it was only Muslims who were forbidden to eat Pork, Leviticus 11:7 makes God’s position pretty clear, saying, “And the swine, though it divides the hoof, and is cloven footed, yet it chews not the cud; it is unclean to you.” And fellas, I know you may not want to admit it but all of us may feel God’s wrath for straying from the mandate laid out in Leviticus 15:19-20 where the lord says, “And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even” and 15:20 that says “And everything that she lies upon in her impurity shall be unclean: everything also that she sits upon shall be unclean.”
Leviticus is also the book in the Bible that many preachers use to condemn homosexuality as a behavior that falls out of line with God’s expectation, but Leviticus 18:22’s command of “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable” leaves much ambiguity as it doesn’t offer any directives for women who might be attracted to members of their sex. It seems that even in Biblical times, homophobes were making exceptions for lesbianism.
A more likely explanation for some of the gender specific directives laid out in the Bible for anyone with more than a mustard seed worth of sense is that it is a largely arbitrary document used by powerful men to control the masses, with a particular focus on controlling the behavior of women. It was a book written within the context of the times that it was authored and was never intended to be followed to the letter for all of eternity. Less sinister, if you do accept the Bible as the literal word of God, it seems clear that religious figures like Billy Graham, Memphis’ Rev. Williams Owens, Rev. Emmitt Burns of Baltimore and Rev. Bernice King, who have been outspoken in their condemnation of homosexuality, have been remarkably selective in their protests against sinful behavior described in the Bible. More people of good faith, who are sincerely trying to walk in lock step with their deity need to begin to ask themselves why this disproportionate focus persists.
The main reason that we hear so much about gay marriage in a time where wages are stagnant, jobs are scarce and houses are under water is that it is always easy to pick on unprotected, unpopular, outnumbered minorities for political benefit. When Republicans aren’t using people’s knee jerk hatred of gays to garner political support, they are using blacks and Mexicans as scapegoats in explaining to middle class whites why they can’t find work. All of a sudden because of this one issue, (that God spends less time on than he does in instructing people on which cud-eating animals are suitable for humans) some black religious leaders have seem to have forgotten this political reality.
In addition to your social amnesia, you morons come across as remarkably politically naïve with such a position and it actually dilutes any would-be political power you might have. Furthermore, this is an important election that has many important implications for many black church goers across this nation. When I wake up each morning in America these days, I am immediately greeted by 99 problems, and what my gay neighbors do in the privacy of their own homes damn sure ain’t one. I’m concerned about the crazy ass prices of gas, where my tax dollars are going, my student loan debt and what’s going on in my nieces’ and nephews’ schools. Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have made it crystal clear that they are not overly concerned with the problems of people like me as both a middle-class American, and a black American more specifically. The campaign is not even really getting started yet, and already Governor Romney couldn’t have made this more clear. A vote for Romney, and frankly damn near any Republican these days, is to be in league with those who are enemies of the black community, plain and simple.
Unless you’re a multimillionaire, you’d have to be crazy to be black and vote for Mitt Romney. And to sit out the election altogether is a vote for Mitt Romney. As I wrote in 2004, my intent is not to change your mind on homosexual behavior or gay marriage. People of good conscious can certainly disagree. But to make this a political issue that supersedes all others is dangerously stupid in these times that try men’s souls.
There is a reason that Republicans have focused so heavily on social issues like gay marriage over the past 20 years. They don’t want the conversation to stay on economics for too long because even a cursory glance at their economic record shows that they are not at all aligned with anything that Jesus would do considering his anathema towards the rich and everything. The Republicans hold up prosperity and selfish individualism as some sort of divine virtues in spite of Jesus’ crystal clear declaration to the contrary found in Matthew 19:23-24. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” While there is much that is left to interpretation in the Bible, it is hard to walk away from that statement with any other conclusion.
And yet black preachers bring little attention to the considerable vice of the wealthy and powerful, choosing instead to single out the perceived sins of the politically weak and vulnerable gay community.
Such actions show political, moral and righteous cowardice of the first order. Additionally, the Jesus that you claim to serve so dutifully was a messenger of love, understanding and tolerance. It seems dubious that Jesus would dehumanize and demean people in the way that is done to homosexuals in this country. This certainly wasn’t how Jesus of Nazareth behaved towards the thieves, drunkards and prostitutes that he kept such close company with in the Bible.
But like our gay sisters and brothers, each of our relationships with God is a personal one. So in the end times, you all will have to come to grips with your moral hypocrisy and sins that violate your God’s laws. This fundamental truth is at the heart of my lack of panic over what gay people do. As imperfect men and women, we all violate some of the mandates laid out in our various books of scripture. And we’ll have to all answer to that individually one way or another someday, whether in this life or a supposed after life. It is certainly not up to me, a highly flawed man if there ever was one, to cast judgment on other transgressors. Whether that transgression be gluttony, sodomy or not adhering to a divine dress code by wearing a wool-polyester blend. For the most part, like that fashion faux pas, our sins only harm ourselves and this is the worse hell of all.
But our individual political sins can have major impacts upon our fellow man for generations. All of us would pay for the sin of electing someone like Mitt Romney, just as we did the last time voters elected an anti-gay, Bible thumping candidate to serve as president in 2000 and 2004.
Peace and God bless to everybody,