I spent a good part of the day at the Mall with my family today. It was crowded as you would expect for the weekend but even crowded as we are getting close to Christmas as well.
As we turned one corner a young man walked by wearing an Obama "Hope" T-Shirt. As we passed I noticed that the people behind us mentioned the shirt and proceeded to talk about the election and in particular the one woman was telling the other why she voted for McCain.
The one woman said "I really like everything Obama says and I believe he would be a good President but he supports Gay Marriage and last term abortions".
I could tell right away this woman was a firm church goer and thus had had her feelings on such subjects molded for her by the church. Don't get me wrong, I am a religious man myself but I know how hard the Church works to make their parishioners believe everything they do is a sin. I stopped going to church at the age of 15 because the Church I went to taught it's congregation that rock music was the work of the Devil. I'm just not that stupid. I started attending Church again at age 30 but much wiser and able to take from it what I want.
Gay Marriage is huge for the church. I'm sure everyone reading this has probably seen the outcome of the votes for Amendment 8, 2 and 1. All of these and other affected Gay rights throughout the United States.
The one thing homophobic people just don't seem to understand is that "gay" people aren't taught to be gay. It isn't something they "learn" and it isn't some sort of weird "behavior" they somehow pick up from being around "gay" people.
Homosexuality is something a person is born into. It is in their genes. Just as you and I were born male or female, homosexuals are born bearing the likeness of one sex but the genes of another. While heterosexual men and women grow up with an instinctual affection for members of the opposite sex, homosexuals grow up with those same feelings but for members of their own sexual.
Are such feelings right or wrong? As far as I'm concerned, it's not up to you nor I to decide.
I share the same feelings about abortion.
John McCain and the Republican party spent a lot of time and money throughout the election campaign to twist Barack Obama's words and his political actions throughout the years to make him out to be some sort of monster that favors last term abortions (late abortions).
Hearing people like those I heard today stating this as a reason for not voting for Obama lead me to search for answers again.
FactCheck.org has a good article listing the facts from all sides but alas it doesn't really come to any final conclusion. To say the least, Barack Obama's voting patterns in relation to Abortion and so-called "born alive" legislature has lead many to wonder what side Obama stands on.
In every case though, if you look closer at the actual laws being voted in, Obama's votes do seem to make sense. Barack Obama is Pro-Choice. While a lot of evangelicals and specifically Pro-Life (anti-abortion) activists falsely accuse Pro-Choice supporters of being "pro-abortion" this preposterous statement couldn't be further from the truth.
Pro-Choice in no way means a support for abortion. On the contrary, being a Pro-Choice supporter, I can say with all sincerity that I have never heard a Pro-Choice supporter say "yes, abortion is great". We are Pro-Choice meaning that we believe everyone has the right to choose for themselves. This goes along with my beliefs about homosexuality. You and only you can make such decisions. While a homosexual may be born homosexual, they could choose the easy route in life and try to "be straight" but they prefer to be themselves, homosexual, even though they know this is not the "preferred" way of living. The same goes for Pro-Choice when it comes to abortion. It would be easy to just say "no, abortion is not right, I shouldn't even think of such a thing, what would my friends think".
To be Pro-Choice means that you support the idea that a woman has a choice in her own life. It does NOT mean that you support abortion, it just means you support a woman's rights.
How would you feel if you went to buy a big SUV and were turned away because you were single and didn't have children? That's not right. What if you were told that you couldn't buy that new shirt, shoes or jeans you have been eyeing or maybe you were told you couldn't date that cute girl you have got the hots for "just because"?
Of course, none of that would be fair to you. You should have the right to do whatever you want to do within the extents of the law of course.
The problem with abortion is that certain people, usually evangelicals and religious extremists want to paint homosexuality and abortion in as grave sins against humanity. Churches use the bible citing passages from its texts that do not really discuss homosexuality or abortion but they are twisted to sound as if they do to "control" and "mold" the thoughts of their congregations.
The anti-gay rights laws that were voted in recently were all heavily funded by Churches, all of which claim Tax Exemption but yet they all used the money taken in from their congregation to push State Government agendas. If anything, these laws should be retracted due to the illegality of the pretense of the Church interfering with State issues.
In terms of Barack Obama's voting record and his views on abortion one has to understand the ideas of Pro-Choice. As stated above, being "pro-choice" does not mean "pro-abortion", it simply means you support the right to make one's own decisions. Here lies the answer to why and how Obama has cast his vote over the years.
Barack Obama supports a woman's right to choose when it comes to abortion. He also supports a Doctor's right to perform abortions as to do otherwise would restrict a woman's options when making such a choice. While Obama also supports "born alive" legislature, when the underlying laws would restrict a woman's rights or would in some way prohibit the practice of abortion, Obama always votes for the side of the woman and her choice. This may mean voting against "born alive" laws but when doing so protects a woman's right of choice, that is what Obama will do.
Just as Amendment 2 in Florida included verbiage to not only restrict Gay Marrige, burried deep within its text was verbiage to prohibit any sort of unions including "civil unions" that are popular among the elderly and youth alike. There are many couples that never actually fill out the paperwork to say they are "married" by law or church, they live in "civil unions". Many senior citizens live out the remainder of their lives in such "civil unions". The state and the evangelical backers specifically reduced the summary text for this bill disguising it as an anti-gay marriage bill and it easily passed. This and other similar laws voted in throughout the United States have now restricted the rights of Homosexuals everywhere. To make matters worse, in Arkansas, their new laws even prohibit gay couples from adopting children so immediately following the vote, children were torn away from their adoptive parents only to put them back in the system, many now of which are older and have a lower chance of being adopted any time soon.
These new anti-gay laws voted in across the country are just a precursor to anti-abortion and thus anti-choice laws as well.
I believe a lot of people that believed that Barack Obama would be a better President than John McCain voted for McCain not because they really liked him or Sarah Palin but just because they are homophobic and do not understand what "Pro-Choice" really means nor what Barack Obama's views on such topics really are. Senator McCain and the GOP worked hard at spinning these topics in angles to make people believe what they wanted them to. Much like the ancient Jedi Mind Tricks only work on the weak minded, the same goes for the lies spun by the Church and the Republican Party.
Many evangelicals and religious zealots believe that Obama's Presidency is the sign of bleak times for the United States. In South Carolina, a Catholic Priest actually told his congregation that if they voted for Barack Obama that they should not take communion because they have committed a great sin toward humanity.
Priest to Parishioners: No Communion for Obama Voters
I ask you, what is more sinful, voting for a candidate you believe in or using your power as a man of the cloth to make your parishioners feel guilty because of their choice?
The 2008 Election Campaign was an extremely ugly one and mostly due in part to the actions of GOP candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin. The amount of filth and out right lies extolled from their mouths is what cost them the election but for some reason, their supporters still do not understand that.
This leads to another discussion on Racism in America. Stay tuned later this week as I take us down a dangerous trail we as a nation are leading as we head back into the hatred and racism of the 60's.