Sunday, March 20, 2005

Untrue Believers

The Christianists and Conservatives are in an uproar because Terry Schiavo's feeding tube has been removed after a long and arduous legal battle. Unhappy with the rule of law, these people want the tube reinserted, so that this empty, meaningless life can be preserved (at great emotional and financial expense to all concerned).

Why has this case stirred up such fanaticism among the Christianists and Conservatives, when poor people continue to die all over this country due to reduced government benefits? Because the Christianists have linked this case to the abortion issue, insisting that any spark of life with human DNA, no matter how insensate, is "sacred." They insist that God wants Terry Schiavo to live. Their faith tells them so.

Excuse me, but what sort of "faith" is this?

God is omnipotent (by definition).

If God wants Terry Schiavo to live, then she will live.

Period, end of sentence. Feeding tube or no. Hospitals or no. Courts, Congress, and Presidency or no. If God wants Terry Schiavo to live, she will live.

How presumptuous...I daresay, how say, "God wants Terry Schiavo to live, but He doesn't have the power to keep her alive Himself -- He needs us to help Him by reinserting the feeding tube."

What sort of namby-pamby, powerless God is that?

This question generalizes to those other two favorite issues of the Christianists and Conservatives: abortion and capital punishment.

Make no mistake: If God wants a criminal to die, that criminal will die. God doesn't need any help from electric chairs, lethal injections, the courts, or the political process.

God was pretty pissed with Father Geoghan, who perverted his office by molesting all those innocent children. The State sent Geoghan to prison for life...but Geoghan died. Apparently, God wanted this one dead. Similarly, God must have wanted Jeffrey Dahmer dead...Dahmer died.

And abortion?

We're talking about God omnipotent. If God wants a fetus to live, that fetus will live. According to the faith that the Christianists profess to believe, no human doctor is more powerful than God.

True believers? Ha! The Christianists are untrue believers. They profess to know God's will, but they tell us that God is powerless to enforce His own will. They tell us that God needs their help. That they, the Believers, are in fact more powerful than God.

The Ivory Madonna knows one thing: According to anybody's version of the Ten Commandments, God hates murder -- but God hates blasphemy a whole lot more. And even a cursory reading of the Old Testament will tell you the kind of tortures that God has in store for individuals and peoples who choose to elevate themselves above Him. And if they are not punished in this world, one can only imagine the eternal torment that awaits them in the next.

If the Ivory Madonna were one of these Untrue Believers, she would be quaking in her (very fashionable) boots.

Kinda makes her glad that she doesn't buy into the whole God thing at all.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Decline Begins

Well, that's it for Western Civilization. Thanks to gay marriage, it's all over now.

At least, that's the message in this article from the Boston Globe. Columnist Jeff Jacoby just about wrenches his arm out of its socket patting himself on the back for his successful prediction of the incalculable damage that gay marriage would do to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

His points are unassailable. Here are some examples of the dire consequences that are now coming about because of the legalization of gay marriage:

1. "Massachusetts rolled out a new marriage license shorn of any reference to bride and groom. Couples getting married were now to be officially identified as 'Party A' and 'Party B.' The department of public health has proposed a similar rewrite of the state's birth certificate, replacing 'mother' and 'father' with 'Parent A' and 'Parent B.'"

HORRORS!! Language on official certificates is being changed to correspond with reality!

2. "Last month, lawmakers in Ontario enacted Bill 171, stripping the statute books of all references to gender in connection with marriage. No longer do Ontario's laws use words and phrases like 'husband,' 'wife,' 'widow,' 'widower,' or 'persons of the opposite sex.' And it is not just family and marriage laws that have been de-sexed. Bill 171 eliminates the traditional language of matrimony from more than 70 provincial statutes, including the Gasoline Tax Act and the Public Libraries Act."

Oh, Jeff, say it isn't so! You mean, same-sex couples in Ontario can no longer be referred to as "persons of the opposite sex"? Where will it end?

3. When Jada Pinkett Smith recently gave a speech at Harvard, she made comments that made members of Harvard's Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance "feel uncomfortable." In retaliation, the group (are you ready for this?) "demanded -- and received -- an apology."

No, no, NO! A speaker actually apologized for some of her remarks?

That's it. Jeff Jacoby has opened our eyes to this festering danger in our midst. How could we have been so blind? The Christianists and conservatives were right all along!

Don't you see? If gay marriage continues to spread, language on other forms may be changed. Your very own state might stop using the terms "husband" and "wife" on marriage certificates!

And worst of all -- and the Ivory Madonna can barely type these horrible words, much less contemplate a world in which they become true -- other celebrities might (gasp) apologize for remarks.


We were promised the end of Western Civilization. We were promised fire and brimstone, the wrath of God, eternal damnation. Special effects to make Cecil B. DeMille jealous.

Instead, after nearly a year of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, almost two years in Cananda, and nearly five years of Civil Unions in Vermont -- the worst they can offer is altered language on official documents?

What sort of milquetoast God do they believe in, whose infinite wrath can only conjure up administrative corrections to the language of official forms?

The moral of this story? Don't believe the Christianists and conservatives when they predict all sorts of dire consequences. They made the same predictions about interracial marriage, women's rights, and eating shellfish. They were wrong then, they are wrong now, and the wonder is that anyone still pays any attention at all to what they say.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Last Refuge of Bigotry

This article from WQAD in Iowa talks about the progress of a proposal to amend that state's constitution to ban gay marriage. As so often, this article contains a familiar sentence:

"Iowa already has a law banning gay marriage, but supporters say the constitutional amendment is needed in case the courts strike down the law."

A similar sentence is repeated over and over, in each state that has amended or is considering amending its constitution to prohibit gay marriage. We need to amend the constitution in case the courts strike down the current law.

Sometimes the Ivory Madonna feels as if she's the only one to see the real meaning behind this statement: "We know that our current anti-gay-marriage law is unfair and discriminatory, and that any impartial observer would see that at once. We know that the only 'reason' behind our current law is biogtry, pure and simple. We acknowledge that this law based on nothing more than our own irrational prejudices cannot withstand legal scrutiny.

"Therefore, there is only way to preserve our bigotry, to continue this unfair discrimination: to make bigotry and discrimination part of the state constitution, to elevate it to a level above impartiality."

In short, these bigots are turning to their state constitutions as the last refuge of bigotry. And they have a backup plan, the ultimate Last Refuge of the US Constitution.

Well, guess what? In the long run, state constitutions don't mean diddly. After Loving v. Virginia, plenty of state constitutions still had provisions against interracial marriage -- but they became moot, unenforceable. There are plenty of other examples of state constitutions being trumped by Federal law.

The bigots seem to think that changing constitutions will turn bigotry into acceptance, unfairness into fairness, and make all gay couples somehow cease to exist. Guess what? There are committed gay couples in Iowa now, and if Iowa amends its constitution tomorrow, there will still be committed gay couples in Iowa. It's unfair to discriminate against them now, and it will still be unfair to discriminate against them when the constitution is amended. That's true in every state in which the biogts seek this Last Refuge.

And in twenty years (hell, in ten), all those amendments will be as quaint, laughable, and uneforceable as those in states that still have constitutional prohibitions against interracial marriage, tethering horses outside the county courthouse, or blasphemy.

Let the bigots have the Last Refuge. I'll settle for having the Last Laugh.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.