Friday, December 2, 2011

An Old Idea that Needs to Go

Throughout human history, there have been innumerable ideas that have had their day, but then they were let go.  They had to be.

In the time of Galileo Galilei, the predominant belief was that the earth was stationary and the center of the universe.  He, however, proposed heliocentrism, the notion that it was the sun in fact that remained still, while the earth revolved around it.  This was deemed heresy because of the following verses of scripture, which are just a few examples:  "The Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved"  (Psalm 104:5) and
"The sun rises and sets and returns to its place."  (Ecclesiastes 1:5).  When undergoing inquisition, he stated that the writers of these texts were simply speaking from the only perspective they had--a perspective that wasn't informed by telescopes and complex mathematics. 

Galileo eventually was placed under house arrest for his understanding of the truth, but of course time has confirmed what he had discovered through observation and study.  Geocentrism had its day, but eventually it had to go.  He stands as a hero in time, and those who opposed him appear as fools.

In early American history, Africans were kidnapped, brought to the colonies, sold and purchased, and were made to perform difficult labor for unsavory masters who often beat them and raped them, but never paid them.  This was the norm, and it was supported by scriptures which give such inspirational advice as, "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.  You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." (Leviticus 25:44-45).  Nice. 

Time passed, and worldviews began to change.  In the 1960s, a century after abolition, the civil rights movement came alive and gained momentum.  People began to see that the inferiority of certain ethnic groups, people of different nationalities, and women was not a truth--it was just an idea.  Racism was an idea that needed to go.  Those who stood up to the opposition and insisted that their voices should be heard, for example the Freedom Riders, are shining lights in history, and they are honored today.  The people who opposed them, spewed hateful speech at them, threw rocks and tried to burn them alive...well, what can they look like to us other than ignorant, neanderthal-like villians? 

Today there's another idea that has had its day.  It has got to go.  It needs to get out of town. 

It's the idea that two men should not love each other, or live in the same house, or be intimate, or raise children.  It's the idea that two women should not love each other, or live in the same house, or be intimate, or raise children.

Put a fork in it, people.  This idea is done.  Just like the other two ideas discussed here, it's been around for a long, long time.  It's supported by scriptures just as antiquated and gross as the ones above.  But I know better, and so do you.  It's an old idea that needs to go.

The following videos are what motivated this post. Grab a tissue. Take a look.

We can stand in history as heroes, or we can be remembered as the fools. 









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These videos are flying everywhere, but thanks to the authors of One Fell out of the Lemon Tree and Dorothy Surrenders, whose blogs were where I first saw them.

6 comments:

  1. Agreed. Homophobia and biphobia are destructive mindsets that need to go. Fortunately, society seems to be moving in that direction.

    You know, fifty years from now, I wonder if evangelical preachers will ignore the homophobic history of their predecessors and say, "Oh, we always supported LGBT equality!"

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  2. I imagine they will, Ahab. The most devout Christians may call themselves "traditional"or "orthodox," but really they bear little resemblance to Christians over time. Religion must evolve, or it would disappear. What amazes me is how they are oblivious to this and hang on to antiquated beliefs, like anti-gay sentiment, while easily dismissing other parts of scriptures like the slavery stuff, and killing disobedient children, etc.

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  3. I'm of the opinion that, so long as the rights of homosexuals to marry are arbitrarily denied, no ones rights are really secure. That is, the principle that homosexual rights can be denied for light and transient reasons is an especially dangerous one.

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  4. I concur whole-heartedly, Paul. The legality of gay marriage is for all of us. It's unthinkable that people of differing ethnicities were denied the right to marry, and hopefully the denial of same-sex marriage will be unthinkable, too--merely a repugnant antiquity.

    Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. :)

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  5. Thank you for such an interesting blog, Michelle! I don't want to lose track of you, so I'm adding you to my blogroll.

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  6. I am one of your minions now, as well!

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Always feel free to chime in.