As I reread this opinion on the passing of proposition 22, the Knight Bill, in California, at this time so shortly after the destruction of the World Trade Center, I realize how much of this, which was written on March 9, 2000, is applicable to the world situation of September of 2001. In one year's time, the one shaking my sense of faith has expanded from bigoted American politicians to include religious fanatics in a country I barely knew existed outside of a nightly news broadcast.
I needed faith in March of 2000, and still need it, and the reasons for needing it aren't all that different. A bigot wants to take away my freedom. One bigot won his goal one year ago, and another bigot is at the door to threaten the security of the first bigot. Karma or just natural evolution of bigotry? Decide for yourself.
A Few Words About Faith
A Gay Opinion 3/09/00
by R.A. Melos
There are many occasions, many days when I find it hard to have any faith,
Now I know, as a pagan, many people associate the word "faith" with Christianity, however, faith is something that all religions and all people need. I mention this because, like many people, I am constantly faced with questioning my faith.
In today's mail I received a letter asking for money to help fight the Knight Bill in California. Now one might say, I live in New Jersey (or any other state) why should I donate money to fight against something which has no effect on me? Well, this bill is one which threatens the rights of homosexuals, and if it passes in California, (it did), other similar bills in other states will spring up, backed by right-wing coalitions out to "rid the planet of the evil menace of homosexuality which threatens the fabric of decent society."
Oh come on, you know the "decent society" I'm referring to. Sure you do, those people who are God fearing, family-folk (breeders to those of us who do not have children or want them), who've clung to their marriages despite "his drinking and wife beating", or "her drinking and whoring around." I'm talking about "decent society", not the ones so many, many blues songs are written about, since we all know that anything creative has to be fictional. You know, like the book and movie "Primary Colors."
Hey, a Southern Governor with a pushy wife and a desire to sleep with everything in a skirt (all you drag queens don't give up hope, he may be married, but he ain't dead), and a desire to be President, has to be a fictional story. Oh, let's face it, this isn't the first time in history the "O" in the Oval Office had a double meaning.
Anyway, what I was getting at before sidetracking, was faith. This letter about the Knight Bill, also known as Prop 22, once again brought home to me the atrocities the human mind is capable of, given enough time and a score to settle. So, as I open my mail, I am now confronted with a world which does not want me, or my kind (obviously the less than decent since I'm not married, and legally couldn't marry at this present time, even if Mr. Right did either come back, or a new Mr. Right waltzes into my life, nor do I have children. Being a gay male, the chances of my giving birth are limited to bizarre SiFi novels and maybe an occasional talk show discussion) to exist or, for the present, have any legal rights.
Incidentally, whenever these kind of political statements come to me, I immediately think of how German Jews must've felt seeing anti-Semitic literature thrust upon them. I also think how recent the annihilation of Jews, Blacks, Homosexuals, Gypsies happened, and how it could happen again. I know this may sound paranoid, and many people think living in the United States means instant freedom from persecution, but it doesn't.
I do not want to lose my freedom, or any rights I may have simply because I choose to love openly and honestly. I find the concept of this bigotry appalling. When I open mail like this, and there are many such mails each day, I feel a distinct lack of faith in God and Goddess, the human race, and the universe. I feel like giving up, when constantly faced with a society which fights itself.
The Gay and Lesbian community really must stand up and be counted. We really must take a stand for equal rights, (which should already be there under the Constitution, but seem not to be), and fight for our rights to marry, to have equal spousal-benefits, to have the right to adopt and raise children (especially those abandon by "decent society", who were too busy to care about them), to have the rights to live openly and love openly, without fear of repercussions because we dare speak that love's name.
The faith I need isn't always there for me. I try to hold in my anger and hatred toward those who would oppress me, or live out a lie in order to hide themselves (collaborationists, I call them), but I can't always hold my anger. Those are the times I am at a loss of faith in the world, in God, Goddess, in the universe, and I want to give up and hide myself.
Those are also the times I realize I can not hide, or give up. Those are the times I must fight even harder to contain my hatred for the oppressors, and disgust for society, and redirect my energy into knowing right will prevail, God and Goddess will set things right in the universe. I do believe, if given the chance, the human race would destroy itself to rid itself of what many see as "impurities".
Once again, my faith is tested. I remember my grandmother while I was growing up and her unshakable faith. She believed in the existence of God the way I believe the keyboard I'm typing on exists. I wish I could have that kind of faith in the power of the universe to set things right. I wish I could believe in the greater good of humanity, rather than the eminent destruction of the human race. I wish I wasn't as pessimistic as I am, but each time I receive a letter calling me to battle for the rights just to be myself, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness. My faith is once again shattered.
For each positive step the Gay and Lesbian community takes, I see ten more steps added before us. For each step the pagan community takes in achieving recognition, I see ten more steps added before us. I think it's about time we overcame those steps, and I then look for direction to guide me toward overcoming those obstacles, yet at every turn another road block is thrust upon us.
I know many people thrive on obstacles, and enjoy the challenge, but I am not one of them. I do not look forward to a constant struggle to be accepted by society, but I will not give up the fight. Perhaps this is where faith comes into play, as I feel the bile of anger rise within me, at the idea I am being denied a right which, under the US Constitution, should be inalienable.
I guess I do have a certain amount of faith, at least in the thought of the God and Goddess helping me to get through another day until I can overcome the obstacles blocking me from having the love I want, the marriage I want, the rights (which are mine to begin with) I demand. I know, at those moments, the Universal Spirit exists within me and is guiding me to better the world for future generations.
No matter how hard it is to maintain my faith, I refuse to give up.