Monday, November 10, 2008

Week Eleven

(picture at left= Don's Mo Watch: Day 9)

Alright so apparently the U.S. had an election last Tuesday. Did you know that? Being in Australia I would have had no idea, if not for the 19,200 Facebook status messages from my friends saying "we did it" or "yayyyy" or "i'm proud to be an american again" or something along those lines. That is, except for the 4.4% of my friends who are either Texan or Mormon, in which case their status messages were "time to stock up on amunition (sic)" or "well (sic) see what change really is" or my favorite, "i'm moving to austraila (sic)", as if Australia is really any better than the United States. Trust me, it's not.

But lost in the presidential election were the extremely disappointing results in my home state of California. Proposition 8, which would overturn a California Supreme Court decision that recognized same-sex marriage as a fundamental right, passed by a margin of about 5 percent. This was the result of too many religious people believing that their Church would not tolerate gay marriage and their God would not recognize a gay person's right to marry the person he or she loves, which really begs the question, isn't it time there's a separation of church and state? Listen, I'm proud to be Methodist and I'm happy to be straight, but Proposition 8 had nothing to do with my religion or my sexual preference - it is an issue of equality.

It's incredibly ironic that Black voters, traditionally among the most liberal in California, voted overwhelmingly (more than 2:1) in favor of Proposition 8. Because of Barack Obama, Black voters came out in full force in California, which made a significant difference in the 500,000 vote differential. Gay people have been some of the most supportive of Black and other minority rights in the traditional civil rights struggles in our nation, but many African-Americans believe their discrimination is different than gays', often arguing "Black people didn't choose to be Black but gay people chose to be gay..." But I'm not blaming Black people, who because of their own centuries-long hardships have been rightfully so some of the most religious, soulful and faith-driven people in all of the world.

As influential blogger John Aravosis wrote in AMERICAblog.com, "The Mormon church has for years been bankrolling hateful and bigoted efforts to block civil rights legislation in various states. This time, it appears they finally went too far". Now anyone who knows me knows I love Mormons, especially Shante. But Mormons for Proposition 8.com and other various Mormon-supported propaganda illustrate how naive the Church of LDS really is. While the Mormon church is pointing the finger at other groups that supported the ban on same-sex marriage, such as the Catholic church, the unfortunate fact remains that centuries after our country's founders separated church and state, some religions are still impacting government and using it against nonbelievers. I would encourage you to look at the facts, look in your hearts and do what you can to support the huge Anti-Prop 8 protest movement.

Even Arnie, in true Terminator fashion, says we should keep fighting.

While I'm sure Proposition 8 is making national news all over the U.S., the only thing we talk about in Australia is Barack Obama, Barack Obama and Barack Obama. I'm proud that everyone in Australia followed the U.S. election so meticulously (I watched it live from my office), but I hope some of these other issues make international news as well. Any issue of equality hits at a global level. But enough about politics...

The past week was Cup Week, which began with Derby Day and included Cup Day, Crown Oaks Day, and Emirates Stakes Day. To celebrate, I got really full-on sick. Yes, Thursday through the present I have been sleeping 12-16 hours a day in pure pain and misery. Ninety-three percent of my body is in pain, which is 93% more than I would like. I sadly had to miss a birthday celebration, a co-worker's farewell dinner and drinks, and a home-cooked lasagna dinner, which just shows my knack for good timing. I did, however, finally get Taco Bill.

Now understand that I love Mexican food. I heart it. I embrace it. It completes me. But there is evidently a translation issue between English and Australian on what is Mexican food and what is a Mexican restaurant. Take Taco Bill, the Mexican restaurant chain in and around Melbourne. The menu is ok, similar to a "Jalapeno's" in Alabama or a "Tortillas" in Virginia. It's filled with enchiladas and fajitas and burritos and tacos and combinacion platters, etc. I'm ok with that. I'm even ok paying $2.50 for some jalapeno peppers, a necessity when there is no Cholula within 12,767 kilometers. What I'm puzzled by, however, is a Mexican restaurant that plays trance and electronica music with specials buzzing on a stock ticker board and Australian paintings on the walls. No Mexican chefs, fat customers or mariachi music anywhere to be found. I still loved it though. God bless beef enchiladas and frijoles.

Well Trinity lost two in a row and effectively kicked themselves out of the D3 playoffs. Syracuse blew a 14-point lead and lost 35-17 to Rutgers in the annual which-mascot-is-less-masculine:a-scarlet-knight-or-an-orange battle. And speaking of less masculine, my mo is on Day 10!! According to my preliminary survey results, 61.5% of my friends believe I can only grow a moustache with Sharpie pens while 46.2% don't think I can grow a moustache because I only have seven hairs on my entire body. It's not too late to make your vote count. Get in the voting spirit and speak your voice. And again, please sponsor my mo!

Anyway, this upcoming week should be a hectic one, filled with work and rest and painkillers. Hopefully I'll be at least 80% by the weekend! Eleven weeks down, 41 to go.

Week Eleven Summary:
Weather: Too hot for a November
New observation: The Australian healthcare system is pretty cool...if you're an Australian.
New activity(ies): influenza; not shaving
New food: Strepsil throat lollies
New word(s): "herpes zoster"
New people: A Canadian doctor who spent 15 minutes talking to me about America while 4 sick patients waited to see him.
What I miss: election parties, Ibuprofen, gay people, ice cold fruit smoothies, all of my wonderful friends and my mom. I miss you guys!!

4 comments:

Wim said...

Hi Don!
Great blog. One question, though. Isn't your opposition to Prop. 8 strongly at odds with your being a self-proclaimed "proud Methodist". You criticize the Mormons, and rightly so, but it's not as if Methodists are more accepting of gay marriage. The official stance of the United Methodists is that homosexuality is sinful and it also supports "laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman". The Free Methodists hold similar views. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_and_Methodism)
Now, you may say that that is not your personal view, but that begs the question why you would want to be a Methodist in the first place, and a proud one at that. Where is the pride in being a member of an organization that has official views that are diametrically opposed to your views on human rights issues?
Why not be a Unitarian Universalist instead, if you insist on being part of a religious community? They are accepting of everyone, even people who don't believe in a god, and they don't have any dogmas.
It's just a (free)thought.
Wim

Netteke said...

Haha! Even we have Ibuprofen!

Did you know I probably wouldn't even have known about Proposition 8 if it weren't for your blog? See, you made me learn something. Yay?

I was sorta impressed by the Mo... and then you ruined it by saying it took 10 (!) days to grow it...

Sooo, got any tickets yet?

I am doing so well on my article all of a sudden, I'll be sending it soon so you can proofread it! Ya know, I diagnose you, you proofread me - sorta thing.

Peter Pan :p said...

Donald

The mo is great....even if it is drawn om by MAN-SCARA :P

udub said...

I belong to a United Methodist church in conservative Orange County, California. Our lesbian choir director is an outspoken, active advocate for gay and lesbian rights. We have parents of gay/lesbian children, PFLAG meetings and gay/lesbian attendees.

It seems as if all Christian churches have an official stance of opposing homosexuality.

I find that my Methodist friends pride themselves on their potlucks and liberalism.

I feel that the Free Methodists are far more conservative and evangelical than the United
Methodists.