Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why not blame African Americans?

I saw a letter in the Contra Costa Times this morning which read:

While Mormons represent a small minority of voters in California, protesters appear to be targeting them for special retribution.

Funny, African Americans voted 70 percent in favor of Proposition 8, yet no one is protesting against them.

You would think if gay marriage were such a fundamental civil right, African Americans would be first in line to vote no on Prop. 8.

Since they have won their rights, do they now want to limit others? Are they just not clever enough to see through the lies of the "religious right"?

Maybe the people who fought and bled the most just aren't convinced that gay marriage is so fundamental after all.

I wrote back:

One of your readers is surprised nobody is protesting against African Americans for their support of Prop. 8. But they are. Just not their skin color. It wasn't skin color that made that 70% vote against Prop. 8. It was religion. If they were 70% Quakers, or Jews, or Congregationalists, or Episcopalians, or agnostics, you know that figure would never have reached 70%. It's that African Americans tend to belong to churches that read the Bible selectively and literally. Selectively, because they ignore the parts that tell you to stone adulterers (that's too much like "us") and stress the parts that tell you to stone gays (that's "them"). And literally, focusing on the "Thou shalt not" parts instead of the "Ye have heard it said…but I say unto you…" parts. The problem is not race; it's a narrow reading of Scripture and failure to recognize the state should not have to take its orders from the church.

What I didn't comment on, so as not to confuse the issue, is that the attention the Mormons are getting is because most of the money for this "they're after your children" campaign came from them. Some estimates put it as high as three-quarters of the money. Claims that the money came from individuals and not the Church itself are equally disingenuous, since the Church put out an official letter, read in every Mormon church in California in June, asking members to "do all you can to support" the proposition by donating "your means and time."

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