Thursday, June 20, 2013

"She Loves Me Like Jesus Does"

is my least favorite song in heavy rotation on country radio right now.  Crappy songs are bad enough, without crappy songs that make you spend way too much time pondering what it would be like if you life partner "loved you like Jesus."  Isn't Jesus all about the agape love, not the carnal love?

Could I suggest instead

B's been on a work trip since Tuesday, which means that my interactions with adult human beings have been limited to "Could I please have a large Deluxe with everything," and "How did she do today?"  Just me and the radio here.

I tried to distract myself from some super-productive cover letter writing with SCOTUS Blog, but the SC didn't release any of the exciting decisions today (next Monday at 10:00am, it's on!).

So as I wait, I've been trying to figure out what's happening on the ground with anti-gay (or anti gay sexual acts, if you prefer) attitudes.

The hard edge of anti-gay thought and strategy can be found on this list put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  These groups, NOM for example, increasingly seem to have trouble translating their arguments for a mainstream audience.  SPLC also finds that LGBT people form the group most likely to be targeted in hate crimes.

The rhetoric of MASS Resistance (homosexuals will indoctrinate your children in school) played well in the first gay marriage popular vote in Maine, but I saw little of those arguments in the second Maine campaign and the Rhode Island state house fight.  Although there will always be a whiff of Anita Bryant in the "Homosexuals!  And children!" arguments, overall that strategy seems to have shifted from "sex perverts!" to "religious freedom!" and "tradition!" You can find some real analysis here.  Broadly it seems that as gay folks have moved from a strategy of talking broadly about rights to a strategy that focuses on actual gay people, the anti folks have moved away from talking about actual (perverted) people and towards talking about broad principles of religious liberty.  The reason for those respective shifts is a big one, a majority of Americans feel some sort of sympathy for actual LG(BT? because I'm not sure if the sympathy really extends to the B and T)people, so says Pew, therefore it makes sense for pro-gay folk to stress gay=person and for anti-gay folks to focus on themes other than actual people.

On the many conservative Christian blogs that I read, there is not much discussion of gay issues or gay marriage, particularly compared with the issue of abortion, which is often discussed.  For people who are morally opposed to abortion, there is a clear (innocent) victim.  In contrast, who is the victim of a person walking through life with a gay identity?  Perhaps the gay person himself, but then how is a gay person different from any other sinner?  So what's a person who thinks gay sex is immoral, but doesn't want to persecute gay people, to do?  Our friends at Focus on the Family say "invite them over for dinner." Interesting.

The issue is likely most simple for conservative Catholics.  The Catholic Church has a long theological and cultural tradition of celibacy.  This fact means that conservative Catholics can offer their gay brethren an established path to a legitimate place in society, if those brethren are willing to be celibate.  This is an interesting gay, Catholic, celibate blog.  And some pieces by conservative, straight, Catholics trying to work it out can be found here and here.  Conservative Protestants and Mormons sometimes also espouse celibacy for gay (or "same sex attracted") people, but it's clearly a more marginal status within those religions, and, thus, the phenomenon of the "mixed-orientation marriage."  I know they don't want my pity, but, damn, that seems hard.

So much more to say, but daycare pickup calls..


  1. I'm definitely not a fan of that song, either... I also don't like the "High-a-way" song... not because of the message, just because I find it annoying.

    Thanks for the succinct list of viewpoints / related websites!

  2. Highway song is definitely annoying. They also played a song that was fine, but they inserted a line about "watching the red sox" for the local market. I'm pretty damn sure that no commercially viable country song has ever included a line about the red sox in its original version, and there was a a weird little buzz during that lyric.

  3. That song kills me. Every time I hear it I wonder how you treat someone who "loves you like jesus" and all of the incredibly high expectation on that woman. Way to perpetuate the woman/mother as saint schtick. Also, I'm excited to see what SCOTUS has to say on Monday though I admit I'm pessimistic for any decision that doesn't start with "it is up to/will be up to the states to decide" which, for me, is tantamount to saying NEVER. Hope that's not the case!

  4. I don't know how you have the stamina to follow conservative Christian blogs. Just the thought of it makes me tired. I hate to say it, but Focus on the Family saying "invite them over for dinner" is a sad step forward for them. I also hate to draw attention to the fact that I referred to being invited over for dinner in one of my blogs... Something about finally being perceived as a person.

    This is one of my favorite gay, Christian journeys that I've followed, one that helped us out greatly through our coming out. I'm only sad that she's slowed/stopped blogging and wonder what her journey has led her to. I loved hearing her voice in her blog.

    Oh, and I've never heard that crappy song. I've escaped it somehow.

  5. Well, I have the privilege of not encountering these attitudes/beliefs in my day-to-day life. Definitely easier to read if you're thinking "wow, I had not idea people thought that way," rather than, "yeah, I remember the time so-and-so said that to me." I'm excited to check out that blog!