Reproductive Rights

Momma Knows Best.

Intellectually, it is far easier to get your head around what a pox mankind is for our Mother Earth. Emotionally it is quite another thing. Since we walked out of Africa (we are all Africans) approximately 125,000 years ago, Modern Man has rapaciously consumed the environment, never really pausing to consider our impact upon the planet.

By the 1970s, however, it became clear to the most casual observer that human activity (population growth, agricultural practices and industrialization) was quite literally destroying Earth’s rich diversity of life.

Everyday we are inundated with countless “canary in the coal mine” examples of the specific impact we humans have on the land, water and air that sustains us. Our oceans are warming and increasingly acidic. Our topsoils are washing/blowing away or relentlessly sprayed with polluting herbicides and fertilizers. Our atmosphere is increasingly filled with carbon dioxide. Animal, plant and marine species are becoming extinct at an ever-accelerating pace.

We are fishing our oceans clean of edible species. Our fellow humans are “harvesting” perhaps this moment the last elephants and rhinoceros of Africa. 25 million Brazilians now live in the South American rainforest with more humans on the way. In the next few decades all of Earth’s coral reefs will have succumbed to warming waters and acidification. The fresh water Himalayan glaciers that today quench Asia’s insatiable thirst are inexorably melting away.

All of this we are well aware. All of this is caused by human activity, by human population levels unhealthy and unsustainable for our planet’s ecosystem. And there is virtually nothing we can do about it. Even if we stumbled upon “cold fusion” tomorrow, discovered how to cleanly desalinate ocean water and developed innovative new food sources not requiring yet more untilled acreage or scarce freshwater, mankind is heading to a day of—let’s speak euphemistically—to a day of, uh, adjustment. The bill is coming due.

It’s ironic to me that the one nation on earth that should be at the forefront of building a sustainable population and economy is the United States. But now we are hearing increased rumblings that America is heading for population problems. Our birthrates are “plunging” and we could soon become an “empire” in decline if we don’t increase our national population (look at Japan we are constantly admonished). We are told that if our population is not expanding, that our economy will not flourish. Who’ll support the aging Boomers for gawd’s sake?

Our economic model is predicated on growth. Growth today, growth tomorrow, growth forever. It is a growth based on an ever-increasing population (to be consumers — to buy Pampers, toasters and vacations). Not only in America but worldwide.

There is no economic alternative (sustainable & green) being offered that is not predicated on an ever-increasing world population. More people – more growth – more consumption. To argue otherwise and you are painted as un-American, a collectivist and anti-human. To challenge why America “needs” to be at 500 million people, well, we’re talking jobs. And, that I totally get. It is hard to embrace “sustainability” with so many babies crying for more.

Yes, let’s avoid today’s financial “melt down.” But unless we, as a species (nations), imagine and create a sustainable future, what we now experience as a “cliff” will be remembered as a distraction.

Either we humans wisely reduce our population or Mother will do it for us. Mom will cull the herd, our economies be damned.

I See Republicans . . .

Recall the 1999 Bruce Willis movie titled The Sixth Sense. Out of that quite good little drama came the now famous line, “I See Dead People. And They Don’t Like You.” That catchy expression morfed into many variations but my t-shirt favorite went, “I Hear Voices . . . And They Don’t Like You.”

I’ve been trying to understand what is going on in the Republican Party when it comes to women, their bodies, sex and fertility. It’s essentially a male run concern, the Republican Party, although you have a predictable number of Republican women serving as faithful acolytes. Outliers, if you will, at odds, in their solidarity with their American sisters at large.

American women who willingly participate in their own subjugation remind me of those unfortunate women who perform the barbaric female genital mutilations in Sudan and Somalia. No woman, free of male domination (thinking), would voluntarily oppress other women in such ways.

It is as if Republican men are ignorant of history. For past 8,000 years, the male boot has been firmly placed on the neck of females. I do not know if we’ll ever understand the historical origins of why men came to consider women as “less” than men, but it is undeniable that that is/was the case. Bigger, more ferocious, men like to dominate.

Religions, too, historically, have played a tragic role in the marginalization of women. Although, interestingly enough, it was Martin Luther who, during the 16th century Reformation, jump-started the change in the status of women. He advocated that women be taught to read (imagine that!) and he married (radical idea: a married clergy). Educating women (reading) was the game-changer, however.

Go back and examine the status of Western women even during our more enlightened times. They were hardly enlightened for women. Plato’s Greece, The Renaissance, The Age of Reason were all unquestionably oppressive for women. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft issued her now seminal A Vindication Of The Rights of Woman and the case for female equality was formally up for public discussion.

It took until the mid-19th century before British women could make any claim to personal property or even to her own wages. Reflect one second on this fact: the United States gave the right to vote to emancipated male slaves—SLAVES—decades before America’s daughters were afforded that right. That is how little women were considered.

There was a time in my grandmother’s adult life when she could not vote. Less than 100 years ago, American women could not vote. That is a nano-second ago, historically speaking.

The Republican Party is the party of female oppression. It revolves around who will control a woman’s sexuality and fertility. The Republican Party Platform (Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan) would have the government, for all intents and purposes, regulating and managing a woman’s uterus. Will our daughters someday—upon the onset of menses—be required to register their uteruses to ensure their compliance with state fertility laws?

Abortion, birth control, fertility, reproductive prerogatives are individual, fundamental female (human) rights. To interject the state into this dynamic is totalitarian and unacceptable.

Republicans would deny female autonomy, would continue to place the historical boot heel of oppression upon the necks of our daughters. Expect each American woman to think and act for herself.

I See Republicans . . . And They Don’t Respect Women.

Vote accordingly.

I Am A Liberal.

I am a liberal. Probably not your typical liberal as I genuinely do believe, “The cowards never started and the weak died along the way.” That’s an unattributed observation describing American pioneers who walked alongside their Conestoga wagons to Oregon in the 1840s.

I am a liberal who does not want to support other men’s children. I don’t. Do not have children you cannot afford or are unwilling to parent. That goes for the women associated with such men. Do not breed unless you have the wherewithal to support your progeny. Have the decency and self-respect to take care of you and yours.

That said I am a liberal who believes everyone who is here today is part of the Home Team. Everyone. Addled homeless war vets, too.

Children, however, do not ask to be born to mindless, irresponsible, impoverished (fiscally, emotionally, intellectually) parents. They arrive and as such it behooves us (America) as a culture to make sure that their parent’s “shortcomings” are not visited upon their progeny. To break the circle of poverty, we must invest in America’s mothers and in prenatal care. We must provide (encourage) safe, accessible and affordable birth control to limit the number born to impoverished Americans. Nutrition, housing, healthcare and education for all our children are societal obligations. Half measures, as are readily apparent, produce stunted children, ensuring that the cycle of poverty is perpetuated.

I am a liberal who does not believe “jobs” is the answer to “all” our problems. Our environment is crumbling (melting if you will) before our eyes. The coming havoc that is on our horizon—once thought to be a century away—may yet arrive fully realized in my lifetime. Half of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is dead or dying from acidification and rising oceanic temperatures. The Northwest Passage we all learned about in grade school will soon be a reality. Imagine the day—that will arrive—when the waters from the Himalayan glaciers no longer flow into India and China. Imagine when the Colorado watershed cannot sustain the populations of America’s West?

I am a liberal and I do not care one iota what religious beliefs you embrace in order to make sense of our world of sorrow. I laugh out loud at Christians who say Mormonism is nothing more than a bizarre sect. That getting your own planet upon death is just too far out, yet God sending Himself to be tortured, to die on a cross for our sins, only to be literally resurrected is somehow more believable.

I am a liberal who does care, however, if your religious beliefs impair the national conversation by limiting the discussion of how we rationally, reasonably address issues of climate change, environmental desecration, population control and women’s rights.

I am a liberal who feels too much humanity, too many hungry mouths at the trough is not some divine plan but a catastrophe building upon itself. Why, if America has so many impoverished—even in the best of economic times—why is another 200 million citizens acceptable population growth?

I am a liberal who believes “humans” are shortly out-of-the-trees (so to speak) and that we are quite nasty little monkeys still learning how to live harmoniously together as a species.
If we worship anything, it should be in our ability to rationally construct a better future. For all Americans.

I am a liberal and that just may not be in our cards (future).

The Message Versus The Messenger

A gentleman provided a letter to Monday’s (10/01) Orlando Sentinel that read in part, “If it’s God’s word . . . there needs to be no discussion – end of story.” He closes with, “God’s word is final and supreme in the United States of America.”

This is “red meat” rhetoric of a Bible literalist. I sometimes fanaticize about publically debating such an individual (Possible topic: “Is a belief in a personal god necessary for living an ethical life?), but then realize what would be the point? I’d stand-up and give what I believe in and why (something along the lines of the Crash Davis, “I Believe In. . .” speech from the movie Bull Durham). The opposition would stand and say, in essence, “Cuz the Bible says it’s so.” I’d offer some facts (science/logic/history). He’d respond with dogma/scripture/faith. And, as is said, “never the twain shall meet.”

He’d leave the debate thinking me a “damned” apostate and I considering him little better than the village simpleton.

One of the real joys in living in 21st century America (the West) is we can experience our individual lives (generally speaking) without fear of censorship or repression by the state. Believe what you will but mind your own business – that’s the ticket to a free society. Unfortunately, my conviction of “Believe what you will and MYOB” bumps into the prescriptive dogma of the religiously certain. You see this when it comes to such issues as stem cell research, abortion rights, birth control, Gay rights, Gay marriage, women’s rights, censorship, climate change, population control, stewardship of the Earth, etc. And, unbelievably, facts are irrelevant.

Facts are irrelevant? If I were to characterize one of the most troubling changes in America during my lifetime it would be the diminution of fact as the basis of discussion and public discourse. I believe as Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed, “You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.”

Here’s the crux of the challenge facing America. We’ve substantive problems needing to be addressed. We know what they are. Poverty. Opportunity. Racism. Education. Economic viability. Sustainability. Infrastructure. Environment. Imperialism. Healthcare. And on and on. The polarization we see in America has a number of explanations but one of the primary reasons is, again, as Senator Moynihan pointed out, “You’re not entitled to your own facts.”

Oh, I can hear the objections now, “Jepson, who died and made you Pope? Such that “YOU” get to determine what is fact?” I don’t. But I will rely on learned, scholarly minds, scientifically-based research and reason to make a decision or formulate public policy. And here’s the rub, whether you are conservative or liberal in perspective, who “gives” you the facts is often as important (sadly so) as the facts themselves.

In other words, the messenger is as important as the message. Imagine if Billy Graham’s last words to the faithful were, “God wants you to cherish Mother Earth as fervently as you love God Himself. The environmental desecration of the planet must stop today. It is sinful not to.”

Or, if Bill Clinton said, “We need to means-test Medicare.”

Opinions—even ones we don’t like—should stand on their own merits (Just the facts, Ma’am.). Sometimes, however, they are more palatable when they “stand” on the shoulders of those we already believe.

What A Woman!

In the spring of 1988, while working at Winter Park Memorial Hospital, I received a phone call from the Executive Director of Crealdè telling me that a new newspaper was forming in Winter Park and looking for columnists. From that one fortuitous call, 2013 will mark 25 years that I’ve written a weekly Observer column. Over 1200 columns, approximately 650,000 words. It, the writing, has been incredibly rewarding at a personal level.

I could not foresee in 1988 how serendipitous, how valuable for the quality of my life writing for the Observer would become. Out-of-the-blue, I would be contacted by individuals who read my “stuff” and wanted to meet. I became so close with one such reader, John Fisher, that we met every Thursday for lunch for 17 years (nearly 800 lunches). What an immeasurable gift. I so miss Fisher and his acerbic wit. In 25 years I’ve developed over half-a-dozen such relationships, readers who became friends, folks I have vacationed with, people who changed my life.

This column is about one such person, Nancy Chambers. About eight or so years ago I received a call from a stranger who wanted me to come to her residence for a chat. She liked my “perspective” and wanted to compare notes on the world.

For a number of years back in the late 1990s I occasionally received humorously threatening, quite creative, anonymous postcards, mailed to the Observer recommending for example that, “Jepson should be used as roadfill for interstate potholes.” That’s a classic. Needless to say, I have a reluctance to meet anyone for the first time in their home. But I did with Nancy and what a gift.

She must have been 79 or 80 at the time. She’d had a stroke a few years earlier but had recovered nicely. Nancy was a lovely woman, the type of gal you just knew was stunning (Gorgeous!) in her physical prime. Diminutive in stature yet anything but demure in personality. She was outgoing, quick, witty and extremely well read. A bit of a flirt. We’d lunch and she’d laughingly say, “Sit down and tell me some gossip.” Nancy divorced three times, thought the institution (of marriage) vastly overrated yet was a hopeless romantic. She’d moved to Winter Park in the 1950s, a doctor’s wife. She had three accomplished sons she forever bragged-on. I met them all and she was right to feel pride in their lives and achievements.

And so with some regularity we’d lunch or have dinners at her residence. I invited her to parties I hosted. Sometimes after a lunch she’d recommend we’d go to the Thrift Shop on Canton and I still have a great cotton robe she insisted I buy for a buck and a half. Nancy knew value.

I was then serving on the Planned Parenthood board of directors when Nancy and I first met. She was an ardent feminist, pro-choice, a woman who understood that history had proved particularly challenging to assertive, strong-willed women. We attended a few PP events together. Nancy had one pronounced regret in life, that she didn’t finish college. She was of the last generation of American women who came of age experiencing “the” rigid societal ceiling for females—that motherhood was the only appropriate expression for what it means to be an accomplished woman.

Nancy Chambers died September 8 and I will dearly miss her enchanting, impassioned femininity in all its delightful manifestations. What a woman. What a gift.

Is It The Stockholm Syndrome?

Gays, blacks and women. I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend why a gay man or a black woman or women, in general, would claim or want membership in the Republican Party? What is going on? What have Republicans the last 50 years represented that would have you as an African-American, gay or female identifying with them? I simply do not understand.

Depending on the specific state, anywhere from 85% to 96% of Republican Party affiliation is white. The Republican Party is the party of older, white, male America. Which is fine. All Americans have the right to associate with their like-minded brethren. I want it no other way. Such polarity, however, suggests underlining values that make the Republican Party exactly what it is, the party exclusively of old, white, straight America.

I am frankly stunned (SHOCKED!) that there is a group such as the Log Cabin Republicans purporting to represent the interests of gay and lesbian Republicans. Why belong to a political party so at odds with who you are as a human being? Not only at odds but aggressively militant (see GOP platform) in opposition to gay rights.

Oh, I imagine the indignant responses now, “Jepson, the gay and lesbian community is about more than just sexual identification.” Un-huh. As well we all should be. We all have issues (economy, environment, banking reform, etc.) that concern us but to belong to a political party that for the past several decades has vilified you and your “choices” begs the question, “Why?”

Whenever I witnessed African-Americans at the Republican convention (all six or seven blacks) I wondered are these individuals bereft of memory? Did they just fall off the bus (homage to Rosa Parks) that they do not recall President Nixon’s 1970 Sothern Strategy (see: Kevin Phillips) of picking-off disaffected Southern whites, disillusioned with the 1960s civil rights initiatives? It is a strategy still very much in play and one that has state Republicans nationwide attempting to suppress minority voter turnout. Shameful. As one critic observed about the oddity of black Republicans, “Isn’t that like black Klan members?” Harsh? Unfair? Tell me again the exact intent of Nixon’s Southern Strategy?

I wonder about the mindset of gay and African-Americans who identify with Republicans. I don’t get it. Anymore than I do with women, in general, who align their futures with the Republican Party. Again, for thousands of years men have run roughshod over women. It has only been in the last several generations that American women have achieved anything like equality with men. Someday historians will proclaim that one of the most significant developments of the entire 20th century was safe, effective and readily available birth control for women. It changed everything. Undeniably. Yet Republicans eagerly restrict your daughter’s fundamental right to control her own body and fertility.

I suggest the Stockholm Syndrome as an explanation as to why some women align themselves with Republican values. Drink the Kool-Aid long enough and you eventually do “embrace” the shackles that bind your thinking and limit your freedom. You end-up identifying with your oppressor. Yet, it can be different.

Join a better future and attend the Friday, September 7th (5:30 PM to 8:00 PM) grand opening of the Winter Park headquarters for the Re-election of Barack Obama. The Obama office is again in the Fountain Building, at the corner of Morse Boulevard and Denning. Jacqueline Jones and her quintet will be entertaining. Bring your enthusiasm and your checkbook.

What’s Wrong With Republican Men?

What is it about “modern” women that Republican men just cannot seem to stomach? Is it that women have minds of their own? Is that it? Or, is it that they have bodies Republican men want to manage? What a shame, huh, that “those” bodies come with minds unfortunately attached, well, at least in Republican circles.

Republican autocrats, ur, excuse me, Republican politicians nationwide feel they are on a quest to save women from themselves. How so, you might legitimately ask? Women have bodies, their own for example, that they simply cannot mange without the “authority” of the state. Ironically, tragically, that is the Republican position.

The typical American woman is incapable of managing her own body. Because of this obvious “biological” fact, Republican public policy argues that the state (government) is morally obligated to supervise “her” fertility, “her” sexuality, “her,” in other words.

Big Brother may be dead in the old Soviet Union but is alive and well in the American gulag (gutter) of Republican politics.

I return to my opening question, what is it about women that Republican men simply cannot tolerate? Is it that women are, in fact, too stupid to manage their own lives, their own bodies? Is that it? Women are simply too stupid. Or, is it that women are obviously too emotional to handle that task? You know, women are so awash in “monthly” hormones, well, their judgment, empirically impaired. Or, does Republican misogyny stem from Biblical pronouncements such as Genesis 3:16-19, “Your husband shall rule over you.” Husband, state, what’s the difference? Get a bridle on that gal.

Republican men nationwide, it would appear, are on a mission from God to save women from themselves. Interesting, however, America is not a theocracy.

What is it about female sexuality that so absorbs Republican men? Why would any reasonable, sane man have the temerity to think that he can legislate what a woman does with her body? Birth control? Abortion? Family planning? If and when to have a child? If and when to have a “fourth” child? These are so inherently personal, individual matters that it boggles the mind as to why Republican men are so intent on introducing the state into such private business.

Perhaps, as has been observed, all American women should incorporate their uteruses, then maybe Republican legislators would keep their hands (laws) off them. Are you laughing yet?

No. Because you have a Missouri Republican U.S. senate candidate (Todd Akin) arguing last week that, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.” This Republican despot, ur, excuse me, honorable six-term member of congress was explaining why he opposed abortion rights even in a case involving your raped daughter and if, gosh, she unfortunately found herself pregnant.

Golleee, Gomer, I wonder what an illegitimate rape feels like?

I do not have a complete answer (Do you?) as to why Republican men do not sufficiently respect women to allow them the management of their own bodies. I do know that for the past thousands of years men have treated women like chattel, property to be managed and disposed of at will. It has only been in the last 200 years that there has been any movement for female equality.

Perhaps Republican men today are the last gasp of a dying, reactionary order. For our daughters, we can only hope.

Can We Talk?

When did it occur to you that maybe, perhaps, humans weren’t so good for the planet? This is not a particular popular subject in Republican circles for two primary reasons. One is religion, the other is money. But both, however, are based on exploitation.

In Genesis 1:28 it is noted that God instructed Adam and Eve to, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

In the 1960s and 1970s a certain religious system developed out of that Biblical command called Dominion Theology. Regardless of your specific Fundamentalist beliefs the earth is an orchard to be plucked. Some mix in (of course) that diabolical Satan. In the mean time, if Earth is left a plundered, barren desert, well, it’ll all get worked out after the Rapture.

A much more time-honored justification for raping the planet is based strictly on the economic behavior of greed and profits. Exploiting the environment is hardly a new human phenomenon. Whenever or wherever humans have concentrated the environment has suffered. There have been countless historical extinctions (or near extinctions) tied to overpopulation, land exploitation and inclement weather. From the Tigris-Euphrates River valley civilizations to China to Easter Island to the Ancient Mesoamerican cultures, humans have come and gone predicated on ill-informed behavior and poor decisions.

We might cut our ancestors a little slack because they did not have our extensive knowledge, based on science, of exactly how inter-connected human behavior and the environment truly is. That cannot be said of 21st century mankind, however.

It dawned on me when I was in my 30s of exactly how lethal humans are to our planet. We are the first generation of human beings to fully comprehend that we are unequivocally murdering our Mother. We are causing the extinction of countless species. It was recently announced that within my daughter’s lifetime all the coral in all our seas will be dead. Go ahead, shed a tear. Gone. I am confident much of the world’s rain forest will be logged. Every month it is said China brings on line yet another coal powered electrical plant with the resulting environmental degradation.

The question becomes, “What should we do about it?” Actually, a more honest question is, “Is there anything we can do about it?”

This is where I differ with my more optimistic friends. Oh, humanity will survive, of that I am confident.

This is the problem. Every attempt at a realistic planet-wide environmental solution to limit climate change and species extinction(s) will essentially be met with one word: jobs. We’ve billions of human beings here and billions more on the way, all requiring housing, food and clean water (that’s at a minimum). Add any modern amenities (AC, color TVs, cell phones, cheeseburgers, a Prius or toilet paper) and for every human added, the planet incrementally suffers. It’s a fact, Jack.

One of the best scenes in the movie “The Matrix” is when the villain, Agent Smith (ironically, a software program) compares humanity to a virus, a disease organism that would replicate uncontrollably until our environment (Earth) was destroyed. Which, if art imitates nature, pretty much sums-up our future.

Is that, indeed, Earth’s prospects? With the two types of Republicans in control, any different outcome is, well, doubtful.

Shame On You.

Ah, fatherhood. Granted this is from a male perspective but if I were to assess who got/gets the short end of the stick (no pun intended) I do believe it is women. I’ve taught history for years and one of my favorite “prompts” particularly for my male students is “Why have men historically treated women so poorly, held them in such low regard? Where did such ideas/feelings originate?”

You can name on one hand (counting fingers) the ancient civilizations that treated women with any semblance of equality. Interestingly, Ancient Egypt was one such culture that did “okay” by women. Ironically or tragically, as the case might be, Egypt today is not nearly so enlightened as their ancestors were, oh, about 3,000 years ago. Women have not fared well by religion. Pick any religion.

It is inexplicable to me why my/our male ancestors were such chauvinists. Why? Why treat women as inferior, secondary or incidental? Why not offer to women the same rights and privileges as those extended to men? Any number of explanations is offered. Size. Ferocity. Job/task delineation. Female sexuality. Fecundity (no man knows for sure). The time factor required for babies (to be self sustaining). Offspring require stability and protection. Regardless, once civilizations began forming (say 7,000 years ago) sexism was institutionalized for sure. Women have suffered ever since.

Imagine our world today if, for the past 10,000 years, all women had had the same opportunities as men, had been consulted and experienced comparable leadership and educational opportunities? I venture to say (speculate) that our world would be a much different place. Here is a modern day example: when you look at much of the Muslim world today, the way women are considered is how women were treated for much of history. Whenever I see a demonstration “for change” in Islamland, I seldom, if ever, see women. Those boys (indeed) have never matured as men, as civilizations.

But as immature, repressive and fearful as many Middle Eastern men appear when it comes to the female “sex,” we have—do we not—a ways to go here in 21st century America.

I recently had a repairman in my home. He commented on some additions in my backyard and I quoted him a dollar estimate on costs. He said, “Oh, I could get into that, if only I could get my child support cut.”

I’ve heard this quite a number of times in my life. Haven’t you? If only, if only I could get my child support cut. It’s a common/frequent lament of those who father but do not live with their children.

Not three minutes later I hear from the repairman that he has five, count’um, five children and one has Down Syndrome. And this father wants to cut his child support. I jokingly asked if he’d been “cut?” He laughed. Haha! No—as if I didn’t already know—was his answer.

A big gamble in life (and it has always been the case) is the bet women make with themselves that if I breed with this man, will he be “there” for the long haul (and all that that implies)?

Is it any wonder birth rates are declining? If history has taught Western women anything, it is “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Billions of women for thousands of years have paid the price. The real shame? That men have acted so. Abominably.

Take God Shopping

“Fasten your seatbelt, kids, it’s gonna be a rough ride.” For as long as I can remember I “thought” that the universe—after the Big Bang—would expand until it reached its absolute maximum size (billions of light years across) and then collapse back in on itself. Sigh, that isn’t the case. Not only is the universe expanding, it’s accelerating. And that’s when I came up with the child advisory about mankind’s condition, “Fasten your seatbelt, kids, it’s gonna be a rough ride.”

Remember in 7th grade science when you were first introduced to the idea that the earth rotates on its axis while revolving around the sun. And then the miles per hour figures were added. Yep, were rotating at around 1,000 mph while racing around the sun at, oh, 66,650 mph. My genuinely limited mind really could not then absorb such ideas. But practically speaking, I had enough sense to turn my back to the wind—no guy I ever saw had much success pissing against the wind.

Yet that is exactly what Republicans are doing concerning Gay marriage. Here you are a 65-year-old man, married for decades with the requisite children and you know in your heart of masculine hearts that what is normal is man on woman sex. Period. No debate. No discussion. Not only that, it is God’s will. End of story.

I am about Mitt Romney’s age and when he says that “such matters” (homosexuality) were not openly discussed in the mid-west in the early 1960s, he’s correct. That is because being Gay was such a repressed and punished life that few individuals had the courage to be out and open. Oh, I had some suspicions about certain men at the YMCA but they were so nonthreatening as to be sweet. Essentially, I had so little experience sexually, my mind so wrapped around the mystery all things feminine that I did not even remotely think about that which was “unnamed.” And if it (being “queer”) ever came up, I would knowingly laugh yet was totally clueless. Totally.

That was 50 years ago. FIFTY YEARS AGO. You think the earth is moving fast, well, we’re moving along at glacier speeds compared to the rapid turn (evolution?) in the acceptance of Gays—as human beings worthy of our respect. How far we’ve come from the 60s.

But it’s abnormal and it’s against God’s way. Abnormal? Okay, It isn’t your cup of tea, but because you don’t live that way, does that make it abnormal? No, I really don’t necessarily think so. Because it’s not right for you doesn’t mean it isn’t right for her or him.

God’s way is a trickier argument to refute. Why? Because we have so much invested in our belief in God (and “THE” way) that anything remotely challenging one’s belief, well, that is simply unacceptable.

And that is so profoundly sad. God is an evolutionary idea. He/She/”X” has changed right along with the human imagination.

It is okay every now and then to put a new suit of clothes on God. Go ahead. Take God Shopping for some new t-h-r-e-a-d-s. I’d go haute couture, for sure. Damn the cost. Some new shoes, a dress. Perhaps, an idea. Or, two. Maybe it is time God came out of the closet, too. Ya think?

If not, the ride could be unnecessarily rough. For all of us.

Next Page »