Monday, November 17, 2008

Japanese and American Culture: Proposition 8

I teach a class this morning on Japanese and American Culture. Last week our theme was sexuality and gender, this week our topic is religion. It seems that these issues are very closely linked, so it has been interesting for me and the students to look at how religion, sexuality and gender are so strongly linked. This morning we about a DVD of a show that aired in the US called "30 Days," where a Christian man went to live with a Muslim family for 30 days. There was no specific discussion of sexuality in Islam, but the fact that men and women wear different clothes, pray differently, and customs regarding the sexes were lightly touched upon. There was absolutely no mention of sexuality in Christianity, nor was there any discussion of Christian values regarding interactions between men and women. Those issues were beyond the scope of the program, I'm sure, but it led us to touch on the recent elections where California changed their constitution to prohibit same sex marriages and the role of Christianity.

I mentioned the absurdity of this kind of ruling before, and it strikes me that the logic of the religious fear mongers in this case is similar to that of their predecessors when they outlawed interracial marriage until 1967. I quote briefly the longer quote below found on the Organization of American Historians site, "Almighty God created the races, white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix (16)."

Here is the logic that the Commonwealth of Virgina used to condemn interracial marriage. The logic that influenced so many Californians was, "Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children..."

If I'm one of this guy's children, I'm going to the courthouse and change my records.

I encourage you to look at the OAH site and read about how marriage laws change. This too will pass.

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