Ms. Haubenstock’s review of RTP’s “Altar Boyz” showed up in the T-D today and apparently, as with “Cuckoo’s Nest” when it opened a few weeks ago, the sound quality proved to be a bit of an issue. A church can be a challenging space (just ask the folks at Richmond Shakespeare) so I hope they get whatever problems there may be worked out because otherwise the show seems pretty darn promising.
Maybe it’s fate that RTP’s show is the most recent opening to talk about because I find myself pretty het up these days about the whole issue of gay rights. I try to keep “politics” per se out of this space but they can’t help but sneak in at times. And besides, while the gay rights issue has been politicized, I don’t consider it fundamentally political. It’s about biology and privacy and humanity and acceptance and about a lot of other things, but I don’t think it should be about politics.
Anyway, I caught an interview with former pastor Larry Haggard that was kind of the tipping point. Why is this guy so terrified of admitting his homosexuality? Perhaps, as he admits, because being gay in some circles would be worse than being a murderer? That’s just wrong. (To CNN’s credit, they also interviewed someone to contradict the idiotic and damaging mythology that Haggard propagates.)
To me, Haggard’s attitude is just a symptom of the Christian arrogance and hypocrisy that bubbles under the surface of our society, something that I’ve also been a little prickly about lately. Since when did “Christian” become synonymous with “good?” Are good “Christian” values fundamentally different than good “Jewish” values or good “Muslim” values? Or even good “human” values?
What then kills me is when I overhear a conversation between some of the overtly and devoutly Christian people I work with talking about issues like immigration or social programs. The Bible has literally thousands of references and prescriptions about poverty. But even those who proclaim a Biblical basis for their prejudicial attitude about homosexuality can only find a half-dozen passages that refer to it at all. Why is it that gay issues spur their anxiety and immigrants who have the audacity to want a slice of the fat American pie get them all het up, but persistent poverty does not? During this season of "Acts of Faith" maybe this is an issue that could get talked about (as I hope it did when "Little Dog Laughed" was part of the festival last year.)
I have many gay friends and at least a couple openly gay relatives and I find it shameful that they are still discriminated against so overtly in what some people still insist on calling our “Christian” nation. (I should also add that I know many compassionate, amazing, and devout Christians who support gay rights as well. Don't mean to be hatin on all the Christians, just the hypocritical ones.)
OK, rant over. Oh, and one last confidential aside to someone named Kris who submitted a comment here a couple of days ago: your point may be totally valid but your comment falls too squarely in the category of kicking someone when they're down which is why I didn’t post it. Sorry about that.
Update: If I'm going to do such a bitchy little rant, I figure I should try to lighten it up a bit. Here's a funny little back-n-forth with Stephen Colbert and Dan Savage, talking about Prop 8. Enjoy.