SPECIAL PRIVILEGE OR COMMON DECENCY?
Maine has been very ambiguous about whether or not we should affirm that the
constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law extend to gays, lesbians, and
unmarried couples. We swing and sway according to how vocal a campaign is mounted
by those who demand the special privilege of excluding certain segments of the population
from that equal protection.
I am still haunted by news footage of Mrs. Martin
Luther King and company on their
knees praying for the defeat of a referendum declaring the universality of these
consititutional guarantees. It seems terribly
ironic that the widow of one of the greatest human rights heros of our times
should be so eager to invoke jihad against those who are different from her. How
vividly I remember the sheeted, self-appointed defenders of "God's chosen race" waving their
Bibles while they burned crosses before the homes of Blacks. Now, some who
struggled so hard to establish the principle that the protection of the
law extends to all people are waving their own
Bibles and burning
their own symbolic crosses.
From South Africa to the Spanish Inquisition to the KKK to Osama bin Laden to Northern
Ireland to the Balkans to the Mideast we see the 'one true vision of God' used to
launch terror against those who are
different or who follow their own visions. I am sorry that some who, above all
people, should understand the dangers are using the same rhetoric against another out group.
Apparently, if you look hard enough, you can find something in the Bible to justify just
about anything you already believe; hatred, love, murder, charity. It's all there. The Bible
acts as a huge Rorschach test. You find in it exactly what's already in your heart. If you
have hatred, intolerance, bigotry, thievery, and murder in your heart, you'll find
justification for it in the Bible. If you have love, tolerance, acceptance, generosity, and
charity in your heart, that's what you'll find.
I find myself drawn to a fantasy in which the Bible is a test designed by God to measure
fitness for heaven. If we find the love, tolerance, and charity He wrote into the pages,
we pass. If we
find only the hatred and bigotry he hid it behind, we flunk. Certainly heaven would
be a much nicer place if He let in only the loving, tolerant, generous, and charitable.
I hope while she was down on her knees Mrs. King prayed for wisdom. It seemed to me
that was what she most needed.