Jun 12 2012

Voting Against Your Own Son

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The Republicans bungling of the Civil Unions debate in Colorado is still making headlines. Two of the headlines I find particularly interesting, these headlines are about two Republicans who voted against the Civil Unions bill even though their own sons are gay. The first is Don Coram who has a gay sone. The second one is the case of Marsha Looper whose son was recently outed by her campaign manager.

These bring up two interesting questions. First, can you really claim to love your son who is gay even while voting your son to the realm of a second class citizen? In my opinion the answer is no way in hell. However, some will say that they love their son, but are following the party line so they can be re-elected. If I rephrase that reading between the lines, “I get I love the power that my political party gives me more than I love my son. If I had to choose between my political office and my son, my political office comes first.” Sounds like they have their priorities backwards where power comes before family. I am not saying that families cannot have political and ideological differences and still love each other, I am saying families cannot relegate each other to different classes of citizenship and still love each other. It is kind of like adopting an African American son, but then voting for slavery.

The second question is if you are gay and someone in your family is running on an anti-gay platform do you have a duty to publicly criticize your family member? I do not think you have a duty, but I think it is definitely something you should do. I know if it were me, and my dad were running for political office and was running on an anti-gay plank, I would be out protesting him every day. It would get ugly. It already gets fairly ugly when my dad and I talk politics. He is a Republican and thinks that Mitt Romney is actually a better candidate than Obama. If he talks Romney I bash Romney, and if I talk Obama he bashes Obama.

I have thought about this a lot lately. If my dad or mom were running for political office, I would have one question for them. Do you support gay marriage, ENDA, and other laws to make gays equal to straight citizens? If the answer is yes, then I would support them where we agree. If the answer is no, I would go on an all out campaign to prevent them from being elected. I am sure this would have family consequences. My family and I might stop talking if this were to happen, but to me my rights are more important than family.

I would write Letters to the Editor of every newspaper in the district, I would protest outside of everyone of their public appearances I could, I would support other candidates and even do TV ads if they asked me to. I quite honestly would disown that family member.

But my reaction is a reaction you very rarely see. Why is that? I think most people buy into the social rule that you love your family and support your family. Speaking out against a family member and possibly deterioriating relations with their family is something they cannot possibly do.

I personally do not buy into the social rule that you love your family. I believe you tolerate your family because they are the one thing in life that you cannot change. Yes, you may love some of your family members, but you do not love all of them. I also do not believe that family is the most important thing in life. Your happiness is the most important thing in life, and if your family makes you happy, then your family is important. However, if your family does not make you happy, then your family is not important.

That does not mean that family is not important to me, and I delayed coming out to them for fear of losing them, which I have regretted every day since. But family is not top of the list, being able to live without fear of being fired, being able to get married, and being equal to everyone else is more important to me than family, and thus I would feel obligated to oppose them if they were to run for office on an anti-gay plank,

Jun 06 2012

The Place of Religion

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In the last post I talked about how I think that organized religion still has a place within my views. I am assuming you have read my previous post as I will not re-explain my views in this post.

  • Organized religion gives you a set of rules to live by that in theory will help you be remembered in a good light. This is even true with Muslims. I think the 40 virgins theory is a metaphor for being remembered in a really good light. Of course I also think that some misinterpret the teachings just like some misinterpret Christianity.
  • For Catholics the theory is that if you repent all of your sins are forgiven, and repent means that you are truly sorry for your sins. Of course the repenting is done in secret, so the theory is that everyone repents and just because you are a Catholic all of your fellow Catholic’s should remember you in a good light and you will automatically go to Heaven.
  • The Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques also serve a purpose in that they bring a big group of like minded people together. This mingling means more people will remember you, and since they are all like minded they will remember you in a good light.
  • I do think the praying to God, eating a wafer pretending it is a physical manifestation of God, and some of the other things that the religious do is a bit overwrought, but it gives people a sense of security that eases their minds.
  • Of course some people also use Religion for the wrong purposes. Things like justifying terrorism, justifying the discrimination against and murder of gay people, and more. These are the religious people who in my view are ultimately going to end up in Hell. These are the people who although some will remember them in a good light, in the long run will be remembered in a very negative like. These are the people who are not doing anything good for the world.

I wish I could say that a lot better and express myself better in writing, but those are my religious views. One could argue that by writing this blog I am increasing the likelihood of going to Heaven because by writing this I will be more likely to be remembered. That is not why I am writing this, and honestly this is the first time that thought has even crossed my mind.

Jun 04 2012

My Religious Beliefs

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I do not believe in God or any organized religion today. However, I do believe organized religions have their place in society.

My beliefs are pretty simple. I believe that your soul is the memories other people have of you. Therefore if others remember good things about you, you are in Heaven. If others remember bad things about you, you are in Hell. Obviously there is a continuum and people are going to remember you differently, and this continuum is Purgatory.

So ultimately whether you are in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory is all about how people remember you. There is no single being that decides if you are in Hell or Heaven, it is decided by the collective conscience of the people you have impacted during your life.

So, how do you get from Purgatory to one of the extremes? Over time some people are going to forget you. People are going to remember the more impactful things you did. If you did a lot of big things in your life that positively affected other people you will eventually end up in Heaven even if you did a bunch of smaller bad things in your life. If you do a lot of big things that negatively affect others, those things will be remembered more than the good things and you will be in Hell.

What happens when you are totally forgotten? Well, you are never truly completely forgotten in today’s day and age. Your life has been recorded somewhere and so people will always have memories of you even if they were passed on memories through writing. But if you are truly completely forgotten, then you cease to exist. Nothing is forever.

So I said earlier that I think organized religion fits in with my belief. That is going to take a lot more than a few sentences to discuss, so we will discuss that in a later post.

Jun 01 2012

Atheism

Posted by Chris in Chris
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A few weeks ago when I was in California with a few work colleagues, I came out to a couple of them. It is not that I was not out, but I also do not go up to people and say “Hi I am Chris and I am gay.” So I guess it could be better said they found out I was gay.

The next day on our drive to the airport one of my colleagues said “Chris, I am actually discriminated against more than you. I am a straight white male Atheist.” I understand where he is coming from, but his type of discrimination is significantly different that ours. He is still able to get married, cannot be denied housing or a job, and it is much rarer for somebody to assault someone because they are an atheist than because they are gay.

He did mention an interesting thought that I had never really considered. He talked about how he still has not told his parents that he is an atheist. My other colleague then chimed in and said he is a closeted atheist too, still going to church every Sunday even though he does not believe in it.

It was interesting seeing these parallels between atheists and the LGBT community. They are far from the same, but still have a lot in common.

I personally try not to call myself an atheist. That does not mean I am a Christian or even believe in God. But I do have my own personal beliefs that I will explain at a later time.

May 22 2012

Long Time No Write

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Wow it has been a long time since I posted, and there have been a ton of things that have happened in the past month. But while all of things were happening, I started a new project at work, and am now in my 5th straight week of travel. One thing when I travel, I never do the things I should do after work. I work all day, go out for a couple hour dinner, get back to the hotel between 8 and 9, pull out a book and read for a while. Hence, no writing blog posts, keeping up with the news, or really anything else.

After 5 straight weeks of travel though I am starting to get into the grind of doing the things I should do while I am on the road, which includes writing. So let’s do a rapid fire reaction to some of the gay news from the last month.

  • North Carolina added itself to the states I will try my hardest never to visit or support financially joining bigoted counterparts Virginia, Arizona, and Mississippi.
  • President Obama’s coming out in support of gay marriage is really good, but is clearly politically motivated both in subject and timing. Why else do you think it happened the day after North Carolina voted to ban gay marriage by 20%, the state the Democratic National Convention is being held in.
  • Colorado speaker of the house Frank McNulty is a coward and proud homophobe, using every procedural trick in the book to prevent a floor vote that would have easily passed civil unions legislation. He likely handed the state of Colorado to Obama this fall.
  • Ravi being sentenced to 30 days for a gross violation of Tyler Clementi’s privacy is too lenient, but not extremely lenient. If Ravi had apologized I could agree with 30 days, but since he has never apologized I think 90-180 days is a more appropriate sentence. It is tough striking a balance of justice without letting revenge factor in.
  • I am out of the closet, but also do not introduce myself to someone “Hi I am Chris, and I am gay.” Last week I was having a conversation with a few people at work and as part of it my being gay came out. It was really nice that my boss the next day talked to our HR person to make sure we had domestic partner benefits. Makes me really happy to work where I do when my boss thinks about that without my prodding and makes sure it is taken care of. Now if only I had a boyfriend so that would actually be an issue.

I am sure more has happened, but that is all I can think of sitting in a hotel in Irvine, CA.

Apr 24 2012

Attack of the Miller Moths

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For anybody who lives on the Front Range the attack of the Miller Moths every year is a dreaded few weeks. It is not that miller moths are destructive or dangerous. They are just the most annoying bugs. Killing them is even worse as they are really messy when you smash them. Both a lot of guts and a lot of dust from their fragile wings.

For those not on the Front Range and do not know what miller moths are. Miller moths are any type of moth on the front range that are seen en masse around houses. Every May/June for 2-3 weeks the miller moths migrate from the eastern plains to the mountains. Millions of moths pass through the front range. They migrate back in the fall too; however, so many of them die during the summer that the fall migration is not nearly as bad. Miller moths also find the tiniest holes and make it into your house. This is when they really get annoying. Miller moths will not eat moth holes in your clothes or do any damage at all to anything in your house.

This year the attack of the miller moths has come really early, and is one of the worst migrations that anybody can remember. I guess 1991 was really bad, but I did not live out here then. For people with cats or dogs their pets take care of the moths that make it inside. All though the running around the house and jumping at windows may keep you awake at night. But I do not have pets.

There are 5 ways to deal with them once they get inside. Smash them which creates a mess. Vacuum them up, but they can get out of the vacuum. Create traps, but they do not always go into the trap. Ignore them. Or catch them, but after catching them you have to release them which is harder than it sounds because you have to open your door without letting more in.

Time to go back to hiding from the miller moths.