Tag Archives: homosexuality

Mass shooting in Pulse Nightclub

Over fifty killed and another fifty injured in a firefight begun, sustained and led by American Islamic extremist Omar Mateen.  The young Mateen had been interviewed by the FBI several times. The belief is stated that he did not have ties to foreign Islamist extremists but his family is from Afghanistan and NBC News has reported that the father Seddique Mateen openly lobbies for the Taliban. So perhaps a more nuanced statement about his connections abroad should be made. There seems to be a basic agreement in the family that homosexuals deserve to be put to death although the father does not see it as lawful for people to perform that act of execution — leaving it to God.  the CBS link to a relevant story is here and I heard similar reports on other networks. In addition the young man bought weapons very recently.  His ex wife brings up the mental illness idea but one has to question what that means, but he does seem to have been a controlling wife-beater to some degree. The gay bar on the other hand seems to have been entirely unprepared for an Islamist attack of a military terrorist nature.  perhaps that is incorrect but that is how it seems.

The Americans and visitors to America were attacked this morning by a man who called 911 to pledge support and loyalty to the leader of ISIS. This call to emergency services was made in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The bloody ordeal went on until a final firefight with police sometime after five in the morning. Experience has taught me that not all links will be readable over time and I cannot check them all but a pretty good summary of the event should link here.

My first post on this event came shortly after I woke and was on Facebook.  I wrote,

Taking a moment to acknowledge the deaths of dozens of Americans and other people in America killed while celebrating a Saturday night out. The families and friends affected by this and also the wounded are also in my prayers. It would feel good to say that politics has no place here. It would be comforting to say that real issues related to homosexuality, to the obligation of nightlife to have more security now than in the past, to the views of American Muslims, to the policing of districts where clubs are located, to the disputes about guns and even more disagreeable to the electoral implications of these deaths –to hold that these issues didn’t matter. But all that and more matters. 

These are trying times…”

The President of the United States in his initial press conference largely minimized the Islamist nature of this incident. The Press Conference with the White House Press Corps was not his first response however and some of the tweets and actions that came out earlier are mentioned below.  Many issues will emerge over time. The effort to respond reasonably will be opposed on all sides directly and indirectly. A reasonable response in my view would examine honestly all the weakness  this attack reveals. It would deal not only with the many who have lined up to give blood for the victims but the many who are offended by federal bathroom laws, Gay Pride Parades in front of their children and would prefer not to live near a nightclub like the Pulse. Most of those people would not hesitate to condemn this act and take real measures to prevent it.  The gun control debate might include ind reasonably requiring high power assault weapons in a vault near security guards at sites very attractive to known terrorist organizations, might license accountable community militia groups, might acknowledge the fiasco that gun free zones occasion.  A reasonable conversation might   also realize that people call those with deadly records mentally ill in a way that has almost no definable meaning.  But after all the reason was brought to bear then perhaps real restrictions on trading, transporting, storing and using assault weapons could be put in place. When not at the shooting range, at the community armory or in your annually inspected home vault your assault gun might be at risk of seizure and you might risk a fine.  I don’t consider this country a safe place not because I expect to be shot today but because the social fabric is constantly being degraded. Few are interested in the hard work of repairing it. 

Military expressions are often part of Louisiana funerals.

Military expressions are often part of Louisiana funerals.

As the names and stories of the dead emerge the understanding of the events will evolve as well. For me their deaths came on an anniversary of another death.  Here is a link from the television station on Channel Four in Jacksonville which begins to disclose the names — but this is a step in a long journey. I would have discussed these events with that old friend almost exactly my age. His country and mine have changed and continue to change. But that will not lessen the tensions underlying the many faces of this tragedy. President Obama will continue to behave in a way which will evoke a very belated response from a very limited legitimate opposition press as seen in the New York Post story linked here. The journalist cites Obama as saying that ” We”not Islamic terrorism are at fault for the Orlando massacre. Social networks were abuzz but not as much as after some events. I think that the truth is people are unable to write as freely about the incident because it involved a gay nightclub. They may not like the current LGBT agenda and the may not be crazy in love with Gay nightclub scenes on morning television. They do not know how to deal with these realities without mentioning them if they post their sincere outrage at the attack and sincere condolences.  Apparently the club was largely a Hispanic clientele, and had the double empathy issues of current animosity by some towards the LGBT community and by others to the Hispanic community. But fencing things around with so many verbal protocols that one’s critics cannot feel safe to join you in opposing a common enemy seems risky to me.  Remember this man drove a distance to kill people indoors. He was not being forced to deal with any particular assault to his religion directly.

 

My brother, whom I always called my half-brother  and whom I did not know until I was in graduate school and who had a separate legal set of parents who adopted him was named Paul. He was a homosexual who died of AIDS and was living with me and my family after falling out of whatever support system the LGBT community in San Francisco had to offer. I called a friend and former fraternity brother in the LGBT AIDS assistance community to get help for him and corresponded with several others and with Paul when he first came there to us and nobody helped. However, my experience with programs helping in this country is that they usually have not responded to any request I made but did do many things I did not think worth doing. Those are painful memories for me. That set of memories does not make me an expert on the pain and loss these families are suffering. I tried to help Paul and we were fairly close at the end but he never even admitted to me that he was gay. It just remained a wide open secret between us. My mother gave him up for adoption before I was born. When I met him he was married to a woman from the Middle East and had a stepson named Jameel. I was married in those days as well. Families and sexuality are both complicated things. Death also comes for us all. But the horror of a mass slaying like this goes beyond death.   Nothing can compare to the loss and horror of those personally connected to the tragedy and tragedies like this.. That is true even if like me you do not put a gay bar at the same level as a church or an elementary school. I do not put it at the same level. There is no reason to ask someone like me to make it a shrine. The deaths of their loved ones doubtless make it sacred to the bereaved.  But the public nature of the place is otherwise. The issues of hate crimes, terrorism, murder, national security and civic injury ought to be enough to bother all of us — we do not need to have a belief that the space itself was a sacred one. But it was a privileged space. It was a gathering place for people who are different to do things not everyone will like or approve of them doing. It seems that whether one is opposed to the ambitious LGBT agenda or not one could support the idea of a safe, politically conscious place for adults to gather without disturbing neighborhoods. Many in the building would doubtless want to do all kinds of things in my neighborhood I would not like. But as an American I can still see a need for them to protect their basic civil rights even if we disagree about some of the boundaries, a place to congregate and a place to create a cultural of communication and sexual interchange within boundaries they define for themselves as proper which I do not have to witness. Driving a long way to shoot up a gay bar is more than a hate crime it is a small step in the direction of the extermination of gay people. In scale it is trivial but in type it is a kind of sexual act of genocide. It is of course not trivial to those who had a loved one exterminated.

. The families, friends, first responders and others have been traumatized to varying degrees and the wounded of course intensely injured. The President deserves some credit for trying to strike a tone of human compassion and his response is outlined below. White House Tweets at intervals varying from pauses of a couple of minutes or less to pauses of a few hours included attached materials and video summing up the President’s actions and words. There are other accounts involved and the White House retweeted itself and yet one can map out a response from the following principal tweets.

  1. “In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give into fear.” —
  2. “We stand with the people of who have endured a terrible attack on their city.” —
  3. “As Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.” — on

  4. orders U.S. flags flown at half-staff to honor the victims of the attack in Orlando:

  5. Attacks on any American—regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation—is an attack on all of us.

  6. This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends—our fellow Americans—who are LGBT

The policy does not seem to reflect an ongoing series of attacks from Radical Islamists. It would make me feel better to focus only on the facts of the massacre as a massacre but terrorism is always political. Here are some of the political victims I can think of so far as the process is being led by the White House.  From the point of view of Americans who like Obama was fond of saying “cling to their religion and their guns”  this seems to be a chance to expose them to three prongs of pressure. They feel the hostility for Americans from ISIS and the family’s Taliban connections. They feel the hostility from the White House stirring up criticism of all those not fanatic cheerleaders for the LGBT agenda.  They feel what they cannot help but believe will be greater tensions from LGBT leadership who follow Obama’s lead in seeing this as a social hate crime and not part of an Islamist Jihad. For the conservative Muslim who wants a better future as a loyal American — this has to be a bad day. For homosexuals and others who are sexually aligned to the LGBT but while they want to have safe nightclubs do not seek a culture war or value its purported triumphs this is a bad day. For Hispanics who see countless ways this incident pushes out the kinds of connections they have spent a lifetime building with others this is also a bad day.   For those

Today is the first anniversary of a friend’s death. I am inescapably aware of how the United States we grew up in has become a place where Islamists frequently express themselves by killing people gathering places.

We have a responsibility to understand the words we use to shape our live and society. This is a picture of the Declarators committee.

We have a responsibility to understand the words we use to shape our live and society. This is a picture of the Declarators committee.

We must pray, vote, think, write and be  brave. But I make no claim that the path we are on is a promising one. Nor do I believe positive change is a foregone conclusion. The promise of America has been made simplistic and almost ridiculous in my view but it does have a promise and we can come to understand it. We can face the fact that crises like these play far too large of a role in shaping any national dialog we do have.  I just published a post about national conversation and this is the link to it here. I will also mention its title:  https://franksummers3ba.com/2016/06/09/presidential-politics-and-the-current-american-mindset/

I have some empathy with those who  wish to keep political comments for the future although I do not do so here.  I end with a quote from a politically active Facebook friend younger than myself, named Rick Fisher:

I am a conservative republican. I believe a person who is gay has a right to go to a nightclub without fear of being shot, just like everyone else. I believe a person who is Muslim has every right to be in this country, to live and work here just like everyone else. And I believe there is nothing wrong with expressing sympathy and sorrow first for the families of those who lost a live one due to an act of such extreme hatred I cannot comprehend.

Like everyone else I have several thoughts about the horrific tragedy that occurred last night in Orlando. Those thoughts will be shared in due time. But not today. Today we pray for the fillies of the deceased, and for the well-being and recovery of those who survived a battlefield they rightfully didn’t expect to enter.

So where do I get the incentive to do this analysis as I slide into the silent dark perhaps? I get it from the commitments I have made over the years.  From those who sought out my advice and published my stuff. From those of you I do not know who still read these posts. I also get it from inside as well. I do not know if I will return to this subject directly but sadly it is a subject  that is tied to many others across this blog.

 

Gay Marriage Ruling is Made by Supreme Court of the United States

This is just a blog post. It is not a historical or legal analysis of the issue of same-sex marriage. It does pull together some sources and words to review . I may write more about this soon. In a recent US Supreme Court Case a five to four majority held that under the due process clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment it was unlawful for  States to withhold marriage licenses from same sex couples because it infringed their liberty to exercise the right to marry.

There is a great deal to say about marriage and I have written about it in various places here in the blog and elsewhere. I do not wish to see sodomy laws restored as they once existed but I do not believe this is  a legal decision that is excusable. It is consistent with the vast wasteland in which extended family, monasteries, religious orders, clubs and many other institution are deprived of vitality and homosexuals must come out of the desert to invade the home of heterosexual love which is most defiled by their lifestyle that might otherwise be tolerated by many people who cannot tolerate it here. This is not federal squabbling over civil unions but mandated gay marriage. This is what I expect of America, exactly what I expect.

Friday, June 26, 2015 was a day to be remembered. It was not a day to be surprised. In the midst of the current stream of development of law and society in the U.S. it’s not very surprising that the Supreme Court of the United States has decided to precipitously require all states to recognize same sex marriage and to do so in a very particular way. All sides of the debate and case agreed that marriage was among the fundamental institutions of society.

It is not sufficient cause for the court to wish not to redefine marriage in all jurisdictions just because it’s a fundamental institution that is of the greatest importance to countless citizens.

There really is nothing that the Supreme Court will not do. Not really…

 

Michelle and I kiss on our wedding day.

 Michelle and I kiss on our wedding day.

Justice Scalia in his passionate and angry dissent states that more or less this is the end of any recognizable American government. I think that this is about the closest to the truth that we can get. The realization that the whole system is simply shot. What loyalty can it honestly demand?

 Those civil consequences—and the public approval that conferring the name of marriage evidences—can perhaps have adverse social effects, but no more adverse than the effects of many other controversial laws. So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of theCourt’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.

The question of what American freedom means is a question that I have discussed recently as well as in many other posts. But I think my recent post is the most relevant and you can read  it here. The question of what comes next is not yet clear.

I also have written about gay marriage and the Supreme Court before as well and you can read that post here. The future and present troubles as I have said were no surprise to me.

There is little doubt that the sting is being felt. Governor Bobby Jindal of my state, former Governor Mike Huckabee of the neighboring state of Arkansas are both presidential candidates and both have committed themselves to running against this Supreme Court decision.  There will surely be others who oppose this decision. A prominent and influential catholic intellectual Fr. Robert  Barron has laid out some of his thoughts on the issue here. My local Catholic Ordinary, Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette has sent out a letter opposing this decision and exhorting many to act in conscience against its most dreaded consequences.

The last two paragraphs here are from Chief Justice Roberts dissent. They embody reasoned procedural and legal arguments I mainly support. The dissent by Roberts is not going to be a paragraph which almost anyone will adopt in every particular. I think there are other objections he makes which are also important.

I want to say that I find this society in hundreds of ways moves against my beliefs, conscience, tastes, preferences and inclination, moral convictions and sense of values all the time. I am not asking to be seen as someone like Roberts who appeals to the people at the edge of doom. Doom has long been here for me.

Nor do I choose to use this to hide behind only on legal and procedural grounds. I personally oppose same sex marriage. The LGBT community mostly loves the Supreme Court and in turn are loved by those they respect. I mostly don’t. The LGBT community mostly has views about the interface of personal, communal and societal relationships which I despise. Although I have had many LGBT friends I increasingly do not desire the personal friendship of new people and increasingly have drifted apart from many friends LGBT and otherwise. The LGBT community has long labored to make this change this way and I have not long labored to oppose them. I have been busy doing other things in a society and a world I do not much respect. We are different. I am not surprised when they are winning when we oppose each other on an issue. I see the world they are trying to win almost as a very large horror movie.

But Roberts is not me. He is the Chief Justice and this is whay he does not like the decision.ERr

“Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to makea State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that haspersisted in every culture throughout human history canhardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sexcouples, or to retain the historic definition.
Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary stepof ordering every State to license and recognize same-sexmarriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sexmarriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—toadopt their view. That ends today.”

 

Some thoughts about marriage in America

The US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has held that Proposition 8 which outlawed same-sex  marriage was unconstitutional and that this  is because heterosexual couples and same-sex couples were identical.  The judge ruled that the ban on homosexual unions was simply a kind of persecution which is at once entirely unmerited and simply cruel. There will be a lot of controversy as this goes through appeals and makes its way to the Supreme Court. But it does raise issues related to marriage and particularly polygamy that I wish to discuss here. I am going to point out a couple of my own posts where I have touched on issues relating to marriage, sexuality and the varied crises and have in one of them at least touched upon polygamy. However, the issues covered in this post do not require a close reading of these posts.  

 1. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/why-i-dare-to-advocate-radical-change/

I start with this post above because I think that it is vital that we recognize how far away from any ideal of marriage that has been proposed by the Christian faith in it its most idealistic and monogamous we really are.  If polygamy could be achieved for a portion of the many who are having children and expressing their sexuality with no reference to that ideal then it would be progress in terms of social and cultural nearness to both the spirit of Christ and the life of the gospel. That does not mean that there are not real risks and nothing that can be lost which is valuable and precious.

The link below is one in which I have discussed both the nature of human sexuality and also how it relates to social development and royalism.  We must find a way to address sexual reality. That is especially true for those of us who have the kinds of ideals that relate to humanism, Christianity and Judaism. It is imperative that we become conversant with reality again.

2. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/monarchy-and-royalist-culture-in-america-past-present-and-future-part-3-3/

I am a Christian and Christianity has never been the most polygamous religion. However, it has never been as completely anti-polygamous as it currently has almost entirely become. The Roman Catholic theologian Tertullian argued against the common and theologically supported practice  of priests (some of whom were celibate even then) commonly marrying two wives and especially sisters. When Tertullian was later disciplined for other reasons it is possible that in part it was because of the portion of the church which believed polygamy was an important part of the Christian tradition for some men in leadership both royals and some clerics especially. But there were few Christian royals (not none) in the third century. This is just part of the picture: Charlemagne who was able to add the filioque procedit   phrase to the Western version of the creed was an open polygamist as were all of his sons. 

One issue that I think has to be discussed if one is going to discuss polygamy at all reasonably is that one has to begin to visualize it in order to understand it and discuss. Where it has been so universally illegal for so long it is not so easy to visualize. I want to include some film and television references that deal with varied and complex glimpses of polygamy and make it possible to see where the institutions of plural marriage have found their way into American viewerships and audiences.  Here are some worth watching:

1. One Night With The King: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0430431/

The first link is to a film that tells the Biblical story of Esther.

2. The Other Boleyn Girl: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0467200/

The second link is to  a film telling the story of Henry VIII and his women.

3. King David: http://www.amazon.com/King-David/dp/B000JGD264/ref=pd_vodsm_B000JGD264

The third link is to the telling of the story of King David which is extremely important to both Judaism and Christianity.

4. Big Love: http://www.hbo.com/big-love

The  fourth link is to a fictional family trying to restore and modernize Mormon polygamy. It is complex, muddied by multiple perspectives at times but I think it is a good show nonetheless.

Then I want to show some examples of contracted relationships between Americans in our history and present.  These are real lives past and present that matter to those who live them quite a bit. As a committed son of Louisiana I am pleased to discuss one of the institutions that expressed polygamy in a new and workable way tied to old traditions. Take a chance to look at this and I may return to it later and have actually touched upon this before in other posts. Clearly the social realities of the quadroon ball are very far from where we are now. But if you take a global perspective it is entirely clear to me that  they were often superior values and ideals from which we could still benefit some day.

The Quadroon Ball:

I. http://www.frenchcreoles.com/CreoleCulture/quadroons/quadroons2.htm

II. http://www.nathanielturner.com/livesandtimesofquadroons.htm

I also wonder how it would feel to be this young woman in the next video and be aware of all that is disastrous in our sexual realities in the world and still have one’s lifestyle just barely outside the criminal. I think it is horribly tragic.

Modern polygamy in the Mormon tradition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANXeiyGx7To&feature=related

It is to be remembered that if you are reading this blog you are reading the blog of someone who wants to change and reform the government and not either escape or limit it into insignificance. I think that governments of the States of the Union and of not yet existing institutions I have proposed would have a vital role to play in making any polygamous domestic institutions work.  It is not entirely clear to me whether the current king of Thailand can be said to ever really have entered into plural marriage. I have not confidential sources and the public sources that I have seen indicate all sorts of contradictory things. It is perhaps a powerful sign of anti-polygamy in the United States that the only true Oriental King to have been born to the rights of an American citizen is part of the possible complete dismantling of an institution so valued in Thailand. However, it may be that it has been a slightly concealed part of his life. To see something about the history of the royal polygamy of Thailand see the next link:   http://www.1stopchiangmai.com/articles/dara/

One thing to understand that is really vital is that those of us who would rather not lie, murder slaughter innocents wholesale or proceed blindly into the future have competitors and opponents who would  like to have all these thing happen routinely and others who would like most of them to happen often. We can still recognize that polygamy is something less than the best and highest forms of monogamy and acknowledge it has a role to play in the survival of anything that can be called civilization.

I will make on of my personal revelations here in this post. I have been married only once and to only one person. Although I am involved with Christian ministry I am not a regular churchworker and not reaping rewards that would cause me to greatly limit my romantic life on that basis alone. Given the actual realities of my life I think it is true that I have had a very limited sex life outside of the seven years of my marriage. However, I have dated a lot. I have sometimes had more than one girlfriend who knew each other. In a few of those instances I have dated two women who were lesbians and attached to each other. I would not flatter my self so much as to say that had polygamy been legal I might have married those gals, certified one as a covenant mistress and one as her maid or whatever else. But it has been an issue in my actual life. I am getting old and tired and mean and in every way less eager to marry but I feel personally that  I have been harmed as well as in the lives of my friends.  

There is so much more to discuss. Polygamy has dark potentials and sides that must be resisted and that is why government has a role to play. I am not interested in persecuting homosexuals but I do think commitments between wives or ladies and maids in royal harems meets the needs of those who really need commitment and maintains marriage between a man and a woman.  I do not want a world where all monks and canons are presumed homosexual. But I do believe homosexuals who care for each other can find civilized happiness as part of such groups. We must find ways to embrace sane civilized options that are imperfect and build again. We live in a world where ruin and deliberate evil  combine to threaten more than most people can imagine. Life will not be improved by further simplifying a too simple society nor by pretending same-sex couples are capable of marriage to each other as heterosexual couples are  capable of contracting such unions.