22 October 2008

yeah, what he said, vote NO on prop 8!

Recently the LA Times published a full-page ad from S.R. Grubb in support of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that would prohibit marriage between non-heterosexual couples. The ad suggested that somehow such a prohibition would safeguard “straight” marriages and was what Jesus would have us do. As I reject both suggestions, I am compelled to respond.

I am a 54-year old straight male, married to my one and only wife for the last 14 years. In 14 years of marriage my wife and I have dealt with the strains that afflict any marriage -- demands of too much work, too little money, a child to try to raise to be a whole person who values the good in everyone. Along the way we have had our share of disagreements, some quite vocal. Never once did we argue about the behavior of other consenting adults unrelated to our marriage. Put most simply, it is not a threat to our marriage that others with different sexual preferences than our own would seek to express their love using the same terms by which my wife and I have tried to do these past 14 years. Quite frankly, I cannot understand how that is a threat to anyone's marriage -- and indeed, I have never once heard anyone claim that their heterosexual marriage was undone because a homosexual couple was allowed to wed.

I am similarly unimpressed by the ad’s selective citations to the Bible, for as it is well known, "the Devil can quote scripture." Rather, it is worth noting two things: First, the citation to Matthew says nothing about homosexuality -- and indeed, Jesus never said *anything* about homosexuality. He did, however, have a great many things to say about not judging lest you be judged and loving your neighbor.

Second the citation to Leviticus is not persuasive. Jesus frequently ignored or flatly contradicted Leviticus as not binding upon the New Covenant that he brought forth – for example, think of his rejection of the Levitical admonition of "an eye for an eye" and replacing it with tolerance and acceptance of those who do you ill -- "turn the other cheek."

At bottom, Jesus preached love and acceptance of our brothers and sisters. I doubt sincerely that He would approve of the New Law that the ad’s author advocates out of prejudice thinly disguised as Christianity. As for myself, I will vote No on Proposition 8.

(this was a letter to the editor of the LA Times, written by my friend Jim Jenal)

21 October 2008

the calm before the storm...

or just a lone night of calm in the midst of a storm?

i am at home tonight, curled up with a good book (yes dad, tom friedman does write good books), in an apartment bereft of the bother of another (for the first time in weeks), ignoring the news on television and the internet, steering clear of my campaign and work inboxes, and simply enjoying the energy of me, in the solitude of my own soul (well, and that of hot, flat, and crowded).

i've somehow even managed to empty my head of the noise of the past several days, weeks, and months, so that even my fingertips tell a tale of calm. with the election but two weeks away, it's hard for me to find peace, and even harder to find a breath of life outside the madness. even when i'm not inundated with emails, calls, responsiblities weighing atop my shoulders, stress about what i haven't done enough of, or the cries of help from states far and wide, i still feel it all. it's all in the air about me, the energy overwhelming any chance i have at a moment of solitude and peace. but tonight is different. tonight is mine.

it doesn't mean that tonight i haven't been stopped in my tracks by the reality (i have bumped into a calendar) that in 14 days, my life's purpose these past nine months will come to a screetching halt. 'tis something i try to push from my thoughts every day, because its verity terrifies. push as i may, it's still there. it hovers, it floats in and out of my consciousness, settles in at night when i close my eyes, inflitrates my dreams and those long moments of darkness sans sleep at night. it catches me off guard when i inhale a lovely scent of jasmine (though out of season now, i do have some bottled jasmine lying about), take a deep breath, or feel a tear of stress roll down my tepid cheek. never far from my idealism, hope for the future, or ever-adjusting confidence that 15 days from today, i will wake to the dawn of a new america, is the fear that for a girl who's spent her whole life searching for a way to make the world a better place, and found it in organizing communities around a presidential candidate, that once the candidate is the president, i'll have lost my means to that end which has brought such beauty and meaning to my life.

i mean, then what?

i'll go back to work. get back to writing novels i don't have the balls to sell. see if i can't get back into my circle of friends (i do miss you guys). focus more on my budding romance. celebrate my birthday. sleep in on the weekends. read a book. watch some television. see a movie. buy a handbag. maybe play some goofy golf or some skee-ball. maybe i'll even hop on the freeway and go ride a roller coaster. go back to life as usual. a life i always enjoyed, but never felt quite measured up to my greater ideal. has my search for my greater ideal been satisfied by a nine-month march through the ongoing battles that've made up this historic campaign? can i return to life as usual without feeling the loss i fight off now, in these final days of my life's greatest journey?

the hopeless optimist in me knows that the end of one journey marks the beginning of another, but the very teensy slice of realism can't help but wonder how any journey can surpass the beauty and wonder of the one i'll soon be ending, and there's just no denying that i'll never be satisfied with less than the greater ideal i've been being these past nine months...