htp Box Turtle
Hold on to your hats kids, this is the one where I champion google . . . the world is coming to an end.
As reported by guest blogger Javi, the Mormons have launched an expensive campaign in support of proposition 8. They have raised more money than a government bailout to ensure that marriage in California gets permanently defined as between a man and a woman. Worse they have also used higher ed at Bringham Young University to mobilize student labor and funds for the effort. After receiving a rousing pro-prop 8 speech from BYU Law Professor, Lynn Wardle, students were said to have lit up the phones calling friends and family in California to raise money and support for the bill.
Their efforts have been joined by both Conservative Evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jewish Rabbis. Both of whom have spoken out against the measure and, in the case of the former, raised funds to the effort. In the case of Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the support to defeat gay marriage has included a call for “militant opposition,” and sadly I doubt he is alone.
Enter, Falwell’s Liberty University affiliated Liberty Council. Hardly ones to miss the opportunity to blame gay people and people of color for all the nation’s woes (remember Katrina?) they issued the following statement on their website this morning:
Washington Mutual became an active supporter of the homosexual agenda. But today it is no more.
That’s right, WAMU did not go under because of consumer fears and bank speculating, it was those darn queers and their supporters who did it!!! Or at least that is what university employed student sponsored speakers and the organizations behind them want you to believe
WAMU, like a handful of other institutions and Brad Pitt, yes Brad Pitt, have all given funds to the anti-prop 8 folks (the people who believe in everyone’s right to marry) who were literally being outspent by the $100,000s by the Mormons and now their multi-faith allies. Despite these spending disparities, the anti-prop 8 folks were winning at the local level with support from schools and more liberal districts in California. However the spending campaign was making it impossible to get the word out about the language of the bill and the movement (the anti-gay marriage folks are working under the title “pro-marriage movement”) which are both misleading and to penetrate conservative counties. The call has gone out time and again to raise funds against the Mormon funding juggernaut, and a WAMU CEO was among those who felt that Californians deserve to make an informed choice and to hopefully choose equality.
The largest single donation since came from Brad Pitt, who was so moved by the outspending and religious zealotry driving the effort that he wrote a check to the anti-prop 8 folks and stated publicly that everyone has the right to marriage. A few days ago, Pitt was outspent by Google. Yes, Google. And this is the moment where I have to thank them for supporting equality.
Google not only donated to the effort, they issued their corporate support for gay marriage equality and their condemnation of conservative faith based backlashes against peoples’ right to love whomever they choose.
Liberty Council, not to be outdone, issued the following cryptic warning to google and others about “God’s” Wrath:
Companies that promoted anti-family policies have learned the hard way that such policies are bankrupt. K-Mart learned its lesson several years ago. WAMU and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line.
So while the rest of N. America worries about how they are going to eat, if they will have jobs and homes, and if they can retire . . . the Conservative Christians (and some Orthodox Jews) are once again raising the spectre of difference as the root of all evils. And with that spectre always comes the promise of vengeance and hatred.
At a time when the nation should be coming together to figure out a solution to our economic and social woes. Falwell and crew are using their pulpits and their classrooms to convince people all they have to do is round up the queer community and any organization, gay or straight, that has supported their equal rights and send them packing. The sick thing is, that is exactly what Palin’s revered Pastor told the village in Africa just before they terrorized a woman for being a witch and drove her out of town.
Sicker still is that no amount of hatred is going to change the fact that for almost 8 full years the government has allowed predatory lending, encouraged global capitalist exportation of jobs and exploitation of workers, and a system that gives perks to both Congress and CEOs at the expense of your pensions, your jobs, and your livelihood. And while it will take years to drag ourselves out of the mire that greed and ignorance at the top has bred for this nation, we can do it. But it isn’t going to come from symbolic lynchings, beatings and murders of immigrants, or the defeat of gay marriage, it is going to come from the N. American people banding together and meeting each others needs when we cannot meet our own. More than that is going to take remembering the definition of the American government and ensuring that we elect leaders who know it and we hold them accountable for living it. That definition:
government for the people and by the people.
This government owns stock in Haliburton, Enron, and possibly even Blackwell. They take kick backs from big Pharmaceutical companies and oil companies, while you cannot afford your medication or your gas. And they have ties to the banks that let the mortgage crisis happen ranging from the 19 advisers in the McCain camp, the colleagues of Obama, to the stocks owned by various Congressman, and the lobby money that pours into their pockets and down their throats while you lose your house, your businness, your farm, your chance of going to college or surviving the debt you will accrue if you do.
While the Mormons, some Evangelical Christians, and the National Review would like you to be distracted by hatred of people who are guilty of nothing more than wanting their families to be just as legitimate in the eyes of the state as yours, I hope that we are all smart enough to see that the politics of hate is not the solution. It is a travesty that in a country that went from a balanced budget to a trillion dollers in debt in 8 years, that these organizations are trying to distract you from the real cause of the problem and the very powerful ways that, united, we can take this country back.
- If you have not registered to vote, please do it now.
- Please also consider sending this petititon to Congress to prevent banks from passing on their crisis to you through increased credit card and loan interest rates. Sign here.
- Write your Congressperson about what you need and demand that they represent you and not big business over you
- Volunteer your time at a local soup kitchen, shelter, or hospice program.
- Identify the vulnerable people in your neighborhood and invite them to dinner, bring them some soup or a cup of tea (its a little thing I know, but it keeps you connected across difference and it might be the only thing they have)
- organize a swap party – go through your closet or your pantry and pick out the things you don’t want or are not using and have people over who have done the same thing to swap items
- give your old re-usable clothes, coats, and blankets to the school donations lockers and the shelters
- if you do have a little extra in your wallet, pay it forward – pay for the coffee of the next person in line, or put a little down on the next person in line’s grocery bill (even if it is only $10 it makes a difference to most people)
Whatever you do, remember that practicing a politic of hatred and homogeneity helped get us in this mess. It isn’t Google and the queer community that you have to worry about (well yes, worry about Google) but the people who are distracting you from what really matters.