Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halfway through EV and HERO supporters are nervous

First there's Greg and then there's Charles.  Carl Whitmarsh also mentioned the boost in numbers from Republican city council districts that put them well ahead of Latino ones.  As everyone always says at this point in the election cycle, it could mean something or not.

The Chron primes the pump, stoking some scary stories about the Homophobe Apocalypse.

In an incendiary, lengthy address, (good old Doctor Steven) Hotze went on to link America's war against Nazi Germany to the war on gay rights, urging all gay Houstonians to flee to San Francisco. The sword, he said, was meant to represent God's word, the strongest weapon against the gay community.

"The homosexuals are hate-mongers," Hotze said at the time. "They hate God, they hate God's word, they hate Christ, they hate anything that's good and wholesome and right. They want to pervert everything."

Fear is, as everybody knows by now, a primary human motivator.  In my post from January of 2014 -- in which I predicted the Wendy Davis/Texas Democratic debacle ten months ahead of time -- my advice then was for Democrats to go long on fear.  I'm not certain whether they took my advice or not, but they got wiped out anyway.

And here we see history perhaps on the verge of repeating itself in Houston, one of the nation's great and diverse cities, but with an ugly, hateful underbelly that dresses up and goes to church in order to magnify its hatred -- not of the "sin" but the sinners, despite what their Bibles tell them -- in a way that is sometimes difficult to comprehend.  (It's not so difficult if your history book reflects the fact that Christians and crusades are frequently mentioned in the same sentence as "just wars", but that's a digression.)

So the fear might come from stupidity or it might come from ignorance (two different things; ignorance suggests being uninformed and a willingness to learn), but wherever it originates, it's hard to defeat in a short, quick battle.  When the haters led by the pastors obfuscate and prevaricate about the ordinance, the rational response is to answer with the facts.

The Rev. Becky Edmiston-Lange, co-pastor of the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, dismissed concerns over sexual predation as "displaying a fundamental ignorance of transgender reality."

"It tries to raise the specter of fear of children and women being molested," she said. "People don't stop and think we have transgender children who have to be protected, and, frankly, are more at risk of being attacked for non-conforming gender identity than straight kids."

Edmiston-Lange said her church "historically has thought of God as a God of love, and that all human beings are God's children. God doesn't discriminate, and neither should the law."

Or as Mayor Annise Parker broke it down...

"They have taken a misunderstood group, demonized them, and then flat-out lied about the consequences of the ordinance," Parker said. "They are less understood. And I can't say - even with transgender friends and acquaintances and a long association with the transgender community - that I completely understand it. But I don't have to understand it. I just have to give another human being respect."

The pacifist in me understands that love conquers all, that tolerance is the way.  The warrior in me says that you need to fight fire with fire, drive out the stupid, educate the ignorant.   With less than a week to go in EV, before Election Day in one week, now might be a good time to focus on fighting and winning.  We can work on healing the divisions after the mongrels have been vanquished.  Once love rules, we can focus on understanding.  For now, let's abandon peace.

Go back to work and don't stop until the polls close next Tuesday night.  That's what the haters are doing, after all.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Not a huge fan of the mayor, but the quote is pretty good.

I'll also give her a lot of credit for not throwing the transgender community under the bus on this ordinance when it would have been politically expedient to do so.

I am very concerned about the fate of HERO. With Dave Wilson trying to convince the DA's office to launch an investigation into whether Sylvester Turner is gay (?!), I'm just going to try and have some faith that enough Houstonians see who it is trying to defeat the ordinance.