Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Musings: Pretty Darn Pathetic

I first heard the news about Gov. Lingle’s not-so-surprising veto of the civil unions bill from a young man I work with, just as I was closing up the food pantry yesterday afternoon.

“There are a lot of angry people on Facebook and Twitter right now,” he said, and when I asked why, he told me of the veto.

“There’s so much fear out there,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief, and I could only commiserate. We talked for a while, wondering why people are so threatened by homosexuals, why people are making a civil rights issue into a religious issue, why people are so ignorant, why people who supposedly claim to love God have so much hate in their hearts.

Then this morning, scanning the Star-Advertiser's coverage, I felt my stomach tighten as a I read Dan Nakaso’s article on the crowd’s reaction:

They broke out in song and cries of "Hallelujah, Jesus" as word spread instantly yesterday that Gov. Linda Lingle had vetoed Hawaii's civil-unions bill.

Some of the dozens of opponents of House Bill 444 who had gathered outside of Lingle's Capitol office dropped to their knees, threw their arms in the air and wept openly, crying, "Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!"

What the hell does Jesus have to do with this? And what the hell is Jesus doing in a discussion about the rights of American citizens? I think what really disturbs me about this issue — besides Lingle’s decision to keep gays in their second-class status — is how it reveals the growing political power of churches in our supposedly secular nation, and the way duplicitous politicians like Lingle pander to that crowd:

And while some will disagree with my decision to veto this bill, I hope most will agree that the flawed process legislators used does not reflect the dignity this issue deserves, and that a vote by all the people of Hawaii is the best and fairest way to address an issue that elicits such deeply felt emotion by those both for and against.

Of course, the veto got her name out there in the international media and fits right in with the reactionary, intolerant role she adopted in forming the pro-Superferry “unified command.”

Still, it’s kinda funny she didn’t have any problem with closed door politics and excluding the public from important decisions when she was the one doing it.

Overall, when you look at the three issues that defined her term in office — the corrupt debacle of the Superferry, the continued oppression of gays and the gutting of public education through Furlough Fridays — it’s pretty darn pathetic. Sounds like she’s ready to hit the big time.

While we’re on the topics of closed door politics, the Council will take up the issue of the Kaakaaniu (Larsen’s Beach, Lepeuli) access in an executive session in a “special council meeting” this morning. It’s scheduled for 8:30 a.m., which is before the Hoike cameras are turned on, so even if they let people testify, the public will never hear it. [Update: The executive session went until 10:15 a.m., so the public testimony that followed it was recorded on Hoike.]

As I recall, when I first reported that Waioli Corp. had offered the county another easement — as opposed to the dedicated, fee simple access we currently have, but that the county allowed to fall into disrepair — with the caveat that it had to accept liability, someone in comments claimed I was making it all up.

Yet here it is, all wrapped up by Beth and Bernard behind closed doors and presented for the Council's review behind its closed doors…..


Anonymous said...

Lingle was ahead of her time with Furlough Fridays. Now, many other states and the fed govn't are adopting the idea.

People who claim to love God (the Biblical one, not those other pretenders) and who actually are totally familiar with the Bible know that God does not condone homosexuality. Try to mount a Biblical argument in favor of homosexuality without taking versus out of the context of the whole Bible.

But this is supposed to be a secular issue? The Hawaiian Statutes define marriage as between a man and a woman. The Statutes also use the variations fo the word "solemn", which have religious overtones. This was brought out by a legislator who voted against the bill. Legally, we can't go against Hawaii Statute law, can we?

I agree with Lingle, even though I'm personally against civil unions and/or marriages (pretty much the same thing). Put it to a vote of the people. Let the whole state (at least the ones who vote) define what will happen here.

Put it to rest once and for all.

Laura Christine said...

This is for all the christian right homophobes :))

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following
response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and
posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male
and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the
hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman,
Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)

Anonymous said...

The Christian-Greek Scriptures (aka "New Testament") also condemn homosexuality. They also show that the Jewish Law Code was abolished and the Jews lost God's favor. Christianity was open to converts from the Jewish nation as well as all the other peoples of the world.

I don't expect most homosexuals to change their behavior based on a clear understanding of the Bible, although some do. We all have free will to do what we want, but we do not have the ability to choose the ultimate consequences of those actions. Only God does.

His way or the highway (to eternal death...not eternal torment in Hell which is not supported in the Bible).

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Rom. 1:24-27: “God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, that their bodies might be dishonored among them . . . God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.”

1 Tim. 1:9-11: “Law is promulgated, not for a righteous man, but for persons lawless and unruly, ungodly and sinners, . . . fornicators, men who lie with males, . . . and whatever other thing is in opposition to the healthful teaching according to the glorious good news of the happy God.” (Compare Leviticus 20:13.)

Jude 7: “Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, after they . . . [had] gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire.” (The name Sodom has become the basis for the word “sodomy,” which usually designates a homosexual practice. Compare Genesis 19:4, 5, 24, 25.)
What is the attitude of true Christians toward those who have a history of homosexuality?

1 Cor. 6:9-11: “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men . . . will inherit God’s kingdom. And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean, but you have been sanctified, but you have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.” (Regardless of such a background, if persons now abandon their former unclean practices, apply God's righteous standards, and exercise faith in his provision for forgiveness of sins through Christ, they can enjoy a clean standing before God. After reforming, they may be welcomed in the Christian congregation.)

True Christians know that even deeply rooted wrong desires, including those that may have a genetic basis or that involve physical causes or environmental factors, are not insurmountable for persons who truly want to please God. Some people are by nature highly emotional. Perhaps in the past they gave free rein to fits of anger; but knowledge of God’s will, the desire to please him, and the help of his spirit enable them to develop self-control. A person may be an alcoholic, but, with proper motivation, he can refrain from drinking and thus avoid becoming a drunkard. Likewise, a person may feel strongly attracted to others of the same sex, but by heeding the counsel of God’s Word he can remain clean from homosexual practices. (See Ephesians 4:17-24.)

God does not allow us to go on thinking that wrong conduct really makes no difference; he kindly but firmly warns us of the consequences and provides abundant help for those who want to “strip off the old personality with its practices, and clothe [themselves] with the new personality.”—Col. 3:9, 10.

Dawson said...

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Rom. 1:24-27: “God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, that their bodies might be dishonored among them . . . God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.”

Sorry, wrong Chapter, wrong Verse.

The truth is in Dominion 2:68-69:

"And God gave man dominion over his neighbor's genitalia, that it should be watched. And man went forth, proclaiming that all abominations of the flesh were forbidden by the Lord. And those who were judged to have sinned were stripped of raiment, and oiled yea unto their nether regions, and tied with straps of leather, and smote with whips about their hips and thighs, but especially their thighs, as punishment before the Lord. And God looked their pain, and said it was soooo good."

Anonymous said...

I believe the anon poster of July 7, 2010 11:35 AM.

Gays are going to do whatever they are going to do, but they should stop trying to convince themselves that the Bible supports it.

BTW - the Bible doesn't support the wars, either. Nor belonging to the military or any public office, or even voting. It does support the paying of taxes and following all civil laws to the extent that they don't conflict with God's laws and principals found in the Bible.

The first century Christians did not join the military, accept homosexuality, seek public office, etc. Nor did they believe in any form of "inter-faith". All roads do not lead to God.

True Christians today seek to follow the pattern laid down by first century Christians. Live a quiet, law-abiding life according to Bible principles and wait for God to sort things out.

Bible citations given upon request.

Anonymous said...

The law is a civil issue, not a religious one. But the two are not as separable as many think.

This isn't Romania, after all. This isn't an avowed atheistic nation. The prevailing religious beliefs of the masses will always have some pull, ultimately with who gets voted into office in order to create/change/delete statutes.

Did you know that in Ireland, any form of divorce was illegal for many years in our recent past?

Ultimately, "we the people" (representing the prevailing opinion) will get what we want. The "representative republic" principle supposedly guarding the needs of the minority can and will go only so far.

arthur ralston said...

Boy Oh Boy!

Never start a conversation on bible versus in a public forum!

I'm so sick of organized religion. You were born with a candle, and you are responsible to keep it lit. If you mess up, it goes out. If you do good, it stays lit. When the flame dies you Die!

What the hell is so hard to understand?

Anywho, I'll go with James M. Kauffman, he's the one!

Anonymous said...

Whatevas, Kauai, glad she vetoed it.

Anonymous said...

"as opposed to the dedicated, fee simple access we currently have"

It would be more accurate stated "in addition to".

Anonymous said...

"Forgive them for they know not what they do." Jesus

You have the audacity to judge people and throw rocks on their relationships. Shame on you.
Whose bible and whose god are you promoting?

This whole thing is political, not moral nor religion. Is War moral? Why do most Christians support the killing of women and children? Huh? Oh yea...its in the neighbor screwed my wife so I can screw yours! Its in the bible!

Linda wants to kiss Republican butt because she will be back running for a Senate Seat after Dan dies.
Good deal politiks! for the Politicians. Nothing to do with religion....just the same ole BS.

Where is Love in your equation....and, the Golden Rule:
Do unto others as you would have done to you.

Anonymous said...

Yup, it's all politics as usual. Just as the Democrats included the Repubs in crafting health care legislation and Obama promised to not riase taxes on those who earn under $250,000. It's just politics... total fake-ass BS, but U. S. politics none the less. Ya gotta love all our representatives, right and left! They're all a bunch of liars and pimps.

WahineWarrior said...

I was there yesterday and testified in favor of the Sproats, as they are hanai to me.

Infact I was there for a lot of things yesterday. It was one of those meetings that makes you feel drained, depressed, and hopeless about the state of things on the council. For most of the day, I was feeling cynicle and cranky as I watched issue after issue, just seemingly awash with pandering, poo pooo oh youn are fussing for nothing, and condescending double speak. Really it makes someone want to go home, and hang up the community commenter and watchdog hat for good. Of course that is exactly what they want. A frustrated general public that gives up on going to these things and keeping an eye on them. Not gonna happen. Some of us are cockaroaches. Cant burn us freeze us or stomp us out from attending these meetings and keeping an eye on these guys.

Howver, what I do not get is why whenever this county or state can, they foist off any responsibility to others. The county does not want to provide access to senior kupuna and the handicapped. So to do this they will go to great leangths not to. Why was this put forth so quickly?" What is the rush? When there is a push to jam something down uor throats too quickly I always question it. Even though Waioli corp, whom I beleive owns the mission house, goes against the wishes of the Sproats who have a lifetime of service, dedication, farming heritage, and support own and created one of the most successful ag/educational operations in the state, Waipa Foundation are being treated as if they are being the bad guys.

In my opinion the County needs to fix the COUNTY access. Now if a private landowner wants to also give access to the public thats great. But the access is on THEM. They also must equally share in the liability of potential drownings, and access to restroom facilities.

Anonymous said...

"You have the audacity to judge people and throw rocks on their relationships. Shame on you.
Whose bible and whose god are you promoting?"

I'm not in the judgment business, but God is. I'm merely a "reporter" correcting the erroneous assumption the God and the Bible does support homosexuality.

God represents love, but also justice. He wants everyone to survive his eventual "end game" and therefore gives instructions as to how this can be done (the Bible). For those refusing to listen and obey...yes, obedience is required...his justice will cause them to die.

God does love all, and does not want any to die, but he will regrettably kill them if they don't conform.

The Bible promotes a future theocracy replacing all human governments on Earth. If you don't like that, you don't have to be there...

Oh, and this goes for the warmongers and greedmongers, etc, as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm merely a "reporter" correcting the erroneous assumption the God and the Bible does support homosexuality.

We get that you are an adherent of a modern version of a backward, willfully ignorant, bigoted, superstitious belief system that has evolved over centuries. The question is, why should your superstitious beliefs be imposed on the rest of us? Why should our laws conform to your ignorant faith-beliefs?

Anonymous said...

See my comment on July 7, 2010 3:54 PM. I did that one as well as the "pro-Bible" ones.

I agree that laws shouldn't impose religious beliefs, but that it is inevitable that they do.

Sorry you don't consider the Bible of any value. Your loss, not mine.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I'm not a christian, religious, scriptural following idiot. I thank God every day for that, for setting me free. The Kingdom of Heaven is within. Don't need no bible or quoran or bhagavagita where confusion reigns supreme to tell me what, in my Heart I know is right....... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!! That might be "from" the bible for some people...... but that's like saying it's today because the calendar says it is.

Anonymous said...

do you ever correct your misinformation?

or do you like your version better?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, many people conform their concept of God to however they wish to live their lives. "God shopping" is the practice of evaluating religions, including "no religion" to fit their comfort zone rather than finding out what God wants from the Bible and conforming their lives to it.

Nothing new. The Bible even predicted it now and in times past:

The apostle Peter warned about apostates who would use “counterfeit words,” spread “deceptive teachings,” and ‘twist the Scriptures’ to their own ends. (2 Peter 2:3, 13; 3:16)