Friday, December 19, 2008

Re Rick Warren



It is strange being a person who does not exist. For long stretches of time, I have thought that I do exist, but over a lifetime someone always knocks me back into nonexistence. I did not exist in childhood when I knew I was gay, but I sensed that I was not supposed to exist. There was the time when I confided to a close friend finally that I was gay, not prepared for the change in his face and his words, from friend to nothingness. I no longer existed for him; although I was sitting there before him, he no longer saw me as I did not exist.

There has been a lifetime of those reminders. In the latest reminder, I was not prepared when President-Elect Obama, for political expediency, to forge an alliance with the Christian Right, sacrificed gay people – literally “sacrificed,” as gay hate crimes have increased since the passage of California’s Prop 8, and now, with Obama honoring Rick Warren who teaches that gays are less than human, more bigoted nuts will attack more gay people. If Rick Warren revealed an anti-Semitic or Anti-African-American streak, he would not have been chosen, but Obama feels that hatred of gay people is acceptable. Obama and Warren cannot be considered bigots if they hate a people who exist, at best, as ghosts wearing clown suits -- right? Obama and Warren assume that the LGBT community does not experience feelings such as they experience (Oh – but then Obama and Warren do not have any sense of compassion, only a love of power or political gamesmanship).

Each time I am reminded that I do not exist, it is so difficult not to help the situation by killing myself. And that might be one solution: to stage a mass suicide before the Inauguration platform. A much healthier solution would be violent action as the U.S. does not see anything that is not clothed in violence.

But what I hope is that all of us in the LGBT community understand that we will never exist in the “U.S.A.” We exist in a larger place, not so trashy, corrupt and disgusting as the U.S.A. We are here, we exist, but we don’t seem to exist because we are always arriving from the just world of the future. We do exist, but those lacking a sense of justice and compassion cannot see us. They “lack eyes to see.”

In fact, what is the name of the country that the LGBT community and others in our situation live in? Not “America” – There are two American continents, and we only occupy a portion of one of them. It is arrogant for this country to co-opt the name of a continent. And we would not want that other country we live in to be called the “U.S.A.” – initials are meaningless, or, as with the “U.S.A..,” they stand for overthrowing democratically elected leaders, killing and torturing people, bigotry, accepting the population of the homeless in the streets, etc., etc. I wish the name of our country could be Compassion so that I could say “I live in Compassion,” but some politician would immediately make the word an insult. The name for many indigenous people was their word for “the people.” I hope we can come up with a good name for our true country as it is the only country in which I exist.

2 comments:

mouse (aka kimy) said...

W.W.H.D.? or would it be W.W.M.D.?

thank you for this heartfelt and thoughtful post.

I think the erase the 8 rallies (& other forms of outrage) held across the country in the wake of the prop 8 passing showed that the lgbt community is far from non-existent.

obama's selection of warren is so insulting and such a transparent political move it leaves me perplexed and speechless.

the beautiful word compassion has already been co-opted by politicians - a la the so-call 'compassionate conservatism' of reagan and george II - two politicians who show anything but compassion for people, the earth, and social and economic programs....

co-opted but not tarnished.... I am reminded of this meditation:
when one's heart is steeped in compassion, no dissension can bring disruption; if one's heart is strengthen by compassion, the mind enjoys sweet coolness, like a clear pool which no passion can agitate, no fire of anger destroy...

the meditation helps me when I think of this warren situation....

sfmike said...

I'm waiting for our REAL country to emerge, the Northern version of Chile stretching along the coastal ranges from La Paz, Baja California to Anchorage, Alaska. San Francisco has more in common with Vancouver and San Diego and Seattle and Cabo San Lucas than it does with anywhere in the Midwest or East. Mind you, I've enjoyed both regions of the country, but essentially the rest of America I wrote off a while ago.