Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Final Leg - Mom, Don't Read This One

Here in my neck of the woods voting is not done at polls. It is strictly mail in. That bugs me because I like the ritual of waiting in line with my fellow citizens, entering the booth to mark my choices and, if I am honest, I miss getting my "I Voted" sticker to wear around all day. Yesterday on the mail route I delivered ballots to all the registered voters on my route. I felt a spark of pride as I carried my important deliveries, like I was serving a purpose in democracy. Today Matt and I filled out our ballots and I will mail them back when I go in to do the mail route on Monday. So from here on out, all the jibber jabber from federal, state and local candidates will land too late on our ears. We have voted. And for the first time in many, many years we have voted with hope and excitement for a new future. Long live democracy.

One final political note, I wish we were still in California to help with the No on Prop 8 campaign. We have donated money but that isn't the same as casting a vote (unless you are part of the Mormon force of unity). Good luck with that faux-compassion routine. I would rather have children raised in an all inclusive environment that might include an occasional encounter with a married gay couple than to have children raised in an environment of dual standards. Separate but "equal" did not work during the civil rights movement and it is equally despicable here. I know, I know, you view it as a choice so you don't think it it qualifies for comparison to the civil rights movement. To that I say that your opinion/faith/religious doctrine does not square with the real life experiences of any gay person I have met thus far in my life. An untruth repeated over and over again does not become truth.


Nathan said...

The written word can be misinterpreted and skewed to support the views of the image makers of a superordinant subpopulation to construct and maintain a notion of control in the face of real or perceived threats to the dominant group’s status.

For example, Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” is frequently misread and misrepresented as supporting the maintenance of physical divisions or barriers between people, however, if one were to pay close attention to the rhetorical structure of the poem, it is clearer than the morning-ice skimmed off the drinking trough, that Frost is questioning the usefulness of the field-stone wall between his apple orchard and the neighbor’s pine grove, but goes along with the wall maintenance as a way of helping his neighbor—who wants the wall maintained. In this way, Frost is cognizant to the neighbor’s desire to wall him (Frost) out of the neighbor’s life, yet he continues to assist the neighbor, perhaps against his own desires and personal interests, and those of the unseen “something” that doesn’t love the wall.

Everyday life is difficult enough WITH the help and support of families, friends, informal institutions, and formal institutions, that—much like the world Frost is advocating for, but problematically maintaining—one should not be pushed to the margins and denied access to support and resources made available by way of established institutions. In the United States of America, every citizen should be guaranteed the same sets of rights. Unfortunately, here we see a formal institution—that purports to advocate unconditional love—actively operating to marginalize those who the image makers construct as outside the contemporary cultural paradigm. I hope I’m not the only one who sees a disconnect between professed belief systems and the actual political activities of those who actively support the image makers.

Perhaps this is why I continue to feel uninspired by those who actively seek to rebuild and maintain the artificial impositions on the spiritual, social, cultural, and political landscape by designing, funding, and staffing the structures of intolerance.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't articulate things as well as Nathan but I am utterly shocked at how Mormons chose to use the pulpit to vote against equality. Shocking! The comparison you made to civil rights movement is so true Michelle. I do not understand the harm that comes from letting committed people legally put that commitment on paper. There are plenty of screwed up heterosexual couples who are married and set a bad example, and the divorce rate is ridiculously high in the how is marriage a sacred institution of a man and woman only? It was disappointing that in the excitement of our presidential election (yeah), people missed out on this issue.