Wednesday, January 18, 2006

On Equality and morals

Stolen from
The overwhelming trend in American history is toward increased equality,
equal treatment under the law, and equal treatment in every sphere of
life: in the workplace, in schools, in politics, in the military, AND in
marriage. At one time, black citizens were deemed to be 2/3rds of a
human being. Even though many Americans--quite possibly a
majority--believed that blacks were less than human, it was unamerican.
At one time, women were considered unfit to be voters. That was
unamerican--doesn't matter what the numbers were. At one time, the law
winked at wife-beating, and made divorce nearly impossible, and always
blamed bad marriages on the woman. That was unamerican. The list is very
long of groups of citizens who were considered less than equal, with
white male propertied citizens being the standard for "most equal" and
every other group taking hits of bigotry and unfairness. And the bigots
OFTEN used FALSE "Christian" beliefs--false because, if there ever was a
true egalitarian, it was Jesus--to support white male propertied
privilege, and to treat other human beings as less than human.

The gay marriage debate is no different than any of these other debates.
To deny equal rights to gay citizens is unamerican. It doesn't matter
how many people voted for it. They are wrong.

Each time an excluded group has asserted its right to be treated
equally, it was a new thing. It was disturbing to some people. It
challenged their settled beliefs on who "deserved" equal rights. But
America is a REVOLUTIONARY country. As a nation, we asserted the
REVOLUTIONARY principle that "all men are created equal"--a principle
that overturned ten thousand years of rule by kings, emperors and
nobles. The principle was righteous--AND it was CHRISTIAN (real
Christianity, based on Jesus' own words and life example)--but
government and society, being imperfect, the principle was imperfectly
applied at the time of the Founders--only to POOR white men (making them
equal with rich white men)--and has undergone a CONTINUING REVOLUTIONARY
PROCESS toward more and more perfect application, of which the Founders
would be very proud, indeed.

Thomas Jefferson, for instance, tried to include an anti-slavery plank
in the Declaration of Independence--and knew that slavery had to
end--but was overruled by his southern colleagues. He foresaw that it
WOULD BE ended, and HAD TO BE ended eventually, if "all men are created
equal" was not to be just words. The American Revolution was INTENDED TO
BE an on-going revolution.

Those who use "Christianity" to STOP this revolution are WRONG. They are
un-American--AND un-Christian.

Jesus was more revolutionary than any other person in the history of
western civilization. Love thine enemy. Turn the other cheek. "He who
casts the first stone..." Give all you have to the poor. Those are words
that overturned the established order, just as surely as the American
revolutionaries overturned rule by kings. They asserted the equality of
poor fishermen, and even common whores, with the kings of Israel and the
emperors of Rome. And, if you read "Jefferson's Bible," you know that
this second revolution was based on the first. Christianity in Europe
had gone far, far astray from Jesus' revolutionary message--into
ASSOCIATION with the rich and powerful, into Church acquisition of vast
properties, into male domination, into persecution of women and others,
and into bloody warfare with OTHER Christians and with non-Christians.
The American revolution was the remedy: adoption of JESUS' principle of
equality, and SEPARATION from the gross errors of religious warfare by
making all CHURCHES and all religions EQUAL. The Constitution ELIMINATED
religious warfare, and enshrined the principle of equality in the Bill
of Rights.

It never has been important HOW MANY people reject the equal rights of
scapegoated groups. Even if 99% of the American people supported
slavery, it would still be wrong. Even if 99% of the American people
opposed equal rights for gays, they would be wrong. They would be
unamerican. And they would not be Christians in any true sense of the word.


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