Friday, December 26, 2008

Some sad notes

A very sad note: the passing of the down-to-earth Eartha Kitt at 81. I'm one of those who had her image imprinted in their teen-age brain by TV's Batman as Catwoman (1967-68).

She was also one of the most outspoken champions of gay rights, as can be observed in this 2005 Windy City Times interview:
Kitt is outspoken on her stance regarding gay marriage. “I support it because we’re asking for the same thing,” she states confidently.

She goes on to say that the gay marriage issue is similar to what African-Americans experienced during the time of the Civil-Rights Movement. “We were not allowed to go through certain doors because of our race, our color,” she says intensely. “It was so stupid that we were not able to sit at the counter of a restaurant because it was only for Anglo-Saxons. It’s stupid when this country says it was born on “freedom for all,” but it’s “freedom for some”!

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Also, a brutally sad note (and an outrage).

My first impulse on reading about the American Family Association's attack on a soup ad in The Advocate showing a lesbian couple feeding their youngster a Swanson Chicken Broth-based Butternut Squash Bisque (Advertising Age, December 22, 2008) was to make a "joke" of it: AFA says "Two (many) dykes spoil the broth", etc.

But then it dawned on me: The report of this attack from the AFA came on the same day as the report of the ("alleged") gang rape of a lesbian in Richmond, California (Associated Press, December 22, 2008).

The two attacks (AFA, gang rapists) are not legally the same. But don't the members of the AFA and these rapists derive their beliefs from the same moral cesspool?

Jesus himself provocatively (and hyperbolically) equated thoughts and deeds from a moral perspective. (His example was adultery.) And people are not arrested for thinking of committing a crime. (However, this idea is explored in 2002's Minority Report.)

Now members of the AFA were not thinking of physically raping the lesbian couple in the Swanson ad, so the analogy isn't perfect. Instead, it was a gang raping of their dignity. And of that, What Would Jesus Say?*


2009/1/9: A nice tribute to Eartha Kitt in Washington Blade.

* Right-wing Christians would try and draw a parallel with being a lesbian and being an adulteress (John 8:1-11). But then, they put themselves in the role of Pharisees, whom Jesus called vipers and snakes.