Were the Mayans Right? Pope Warns of Dire Threat to the Future of Humanity

Thank goodness for the pope! He’s looking out for us. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to Vatican diplomats from almost 180 different countries in an effort to rally the faithful to Church doctrine and safeguard the world from a dire threat “to the future of humanity itself.”

Good for him, right? If humanity is facing disaster, I like to think it’s a good thing that the religious leader of 1.18 billion souls worldwide is speaking up about it. With power like that, he could single-handedly change the world. Imagine it. Feed the hungry, protect the children, stop wars and the wanton destruction of the natural world. With all the multitude of catastrophic problems facing the human race in 2012, it couldn’t have been easy to decide what to focus on. So I’m sure you’re wondering by now just which threat to the future of humanity the pope was talking about.

You might guess overpopulation. That’s a pretty scary one. But no. Church doctrine pretty much helped to swamp the lifeboat on that one by adhering to its ancient stance against any form or artificial birth control. How about terrorism, global warming, a deadly viral pandemic? Nope. None of those. The pontiff wasn’t talking about the stuff of nightmares. He had something more domestic in mind, something connubial, something downright festive, really. He was talking about gay marriage.

Consider this:

via People magazine

Here are Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at their wedding. They’re happy. They’re in love. They’ve just dedicated their lives to each other. It must be the beginning of the end for all humanity.

Okay, I admit I’m having a little trouble following the Pope’s logic. If I understand it correctly, he believes (sorry, correction: He knows, because the Holy Spirit keeps him in line with divine design in matters of his office and so he is, therefore, infallible) – so he knows that by legalizing gay marriage, the state of New York, for example, has opened the door for people like Neil Patrick Harris and his boyfriend to marry as well, thus leading the world down a path toward certain catastrophe.

via People magazine

Just look at them. They’re rich, smart, fantastically devoted to their adopted children, and let’s face it, just absolutely adorable. It’s insidious. They want to provide their children with a safe, nurturing environment with two loving parents in which to grow up. How dare they?

So I guess I’m a little dense because I’m still fuzzy about the details about how this endangers humanity, especially since gay men and women are practicing the Vatican’s favorite (and only approved) form of birth control – abstinence from heterosexual sex, and in many cases, they are providing homes for orphaned children. You’d think that would be a good thing, right? Apparently, not.

So I pondered it for a while and came up with this. Let’s see what you think:

The pope made his announcement shortly after the beginning of 2012, the very year the ancient Mayan calendar reportedly predicts the end of the world. That can’t be coincidence, can it?

Mayan calendar created by a modern craftsman
Mayan calendar created by a modern
craftsman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the way I figure it, another U.S. state is going to pass a law legalizing gay marriage (like New York did!) or fail to illegalize it twice over (like North Carolina is trying to to). This will royally tick off the pontiff (because nothing pisses him off so much as uppity Americans who insist on thinking for themselves), and then the Bishop of Rome will have some kind of holy apoplectic fit, eventually reach supreme pontifical supercritical mass which will cause a righteous chain reaction and melt down, and thereby precipitate the end of the world and extinction of “humanity itself.”

And proving the Mayans right. Except they didn’t know to blame it on the gays.

What’s that? Yeah, it sounds a little lame to me too. So how about we tell the truth? People who have a common enemy are easier to control. It’s as simple as that. Pick a group of people who are different than the group you are trying to control, demonize your victims, convince your followers they are superior to the victims, lead them against the victims, and suddenly, you have yourself some serious mind control. It worked for Hitler.

The Pope ought to know. He was there.

When “Well-behaved” Just Won’t Do

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Cover of "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make ...
Ulrich used her famous line as the title
 for her latest book.

You’ve probably seen it on a bumper sticker or a coffee mug, but do you know who said it? Do you know why? She’s Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, an historian, Harvard professor, and Pulitzer Prize winning author who once used the phrase in a paper she wrote as a graduate student.  As an historian who has spent a lifetime writing about the role of women in American history, I think she nailed it in one simple sentence.

I’ve noticed that the older I’ve gotten, the more well-behaved I’ve become. You’d think that would be a good thing, right? Most of us do, especially once we have children and become models for behavior. But there’s a difference between courtesy and complacence.

For years now, my partner and I have told ourselves that just living honestly and openly is the best way to advocate for our family (and other “nontraditional” families). We don’t “advertise” ourselves as a lesbian couple, but we don’t hide anything either. We hope that as people get to know us, even like us, they’ll find that we’re pretty much just like everyone else. We pay our taxes, love our children, honor our parents, help out our neighbors and our friends when we can. We’re nice people. And we don’t make waves. What’s to hate?

It’s just a yard sign, but
it’s a beginning.

On May 8, the voters of North Carolina will consider a proposed amendment to the state constitution to ensure “that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” There’s already a law against gay marriage in North Carolina, but it seems some of our state legislators (of the Republican persuasion) felt that it wasn’t illegal enough. They want an actual amendment.

For years now, I’ve told myself, So what? What do I care if the state or the federal government tells me I can’t marry B? We love each other. We’re raising a family together and plan to spend the rest of our lives together. What do we care if we can’t legally marry? (Actually there are some very good reasons involving health insurance and my non-existent legal rights as her partner. But this essay isn’t about that.)

It’s about our kids. By telling us that we can’t marry, the state of NC is telling our sons that their family is not legitimate. And we just can’t have that.

State Senator Daniel Soucek, the Republican who sponsored the bill for Amendment One, warns us that the amendment is necessary to defend the existing law against “activist judges” who may not agree with the “majority” of the voters and overturn the law. So voters should have the last say. All the voters. I’m sure that was his intention when he and his fellow sponsors of the bill arranged to place it on the ballot on the same day as the Republican primary.

Recently, Soucek had this to say to the Huffington Post, “It’s not just the term ‘marriage.’ It’s all of the societal communal building blocks that make up traditional marriage. We think that’s the healthiest way to raise children.” And there it is. This isn’t just about marriage. It’s about our children.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard or read similar words from people with the power to do a lot of damage. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being referred to as perverted, immoral, mentally ill, evil, unnatural, or maybe worst of all, unfit as a parent. I’m tired of trying to “nice” the bigots and the haters into their right minds. I’m tired of being well-behaved.

So I’m setting up my soap box on this blog for the next three weeks until the vote on May 8. Expect to see a lot about basic human rights, about ordinary people who happen to be gay, about family values and why the Republican version of that phrase is an oxymoron. It won’t be “nice.” It won’t be “well-behaved.” But it will be true.

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