Wednesday, May 15, 2013

God is on whose side, you say?

Gay Minnesota lawmakers DFL Sen. Scott Dibble and DFL Rep. Karen Clark sponsored equality legislation in their respective legislative chambers.

Des Moines-based RAYGUN takes honors for coming up with the best t-shirt from an Iowa perspective --- "Minnesota is now finally as gay as Iowa" ---  in the aftermath of the marriage equality sweep that has engulfed our neighbor to the north.

It was fun to watch Gov. Mark Dayton sign equality legislation into law Tuesday afternoon after it had gained House approval 75-59 last week and was approved in the Senate on Monday, 37-30. Minnesota thereby became the 12th marriage equality state (plus the District of Columbia).

Rolling-on-the-floor-laughing moments came when disgruntled Republicans pissed and moaned about the time wasted on equality legislation when Minnesota had so many other problems the Legislature could better have spent its time on.

Now let me see. Michele Bachmann, then a state lawmaker, began promoting a gay marriage ban in the Minnesota Legislature during 2004. Republicans made the proposal a time-consuming issue in every session until 2012, when a ban finally was shaped into a constitutional amendment --- rejected by voters last November. How much time was wasted on that debacle do you suppose? It's all, I guess, a matter of perspective.


The hot (and totally baseless so far as I know) rumor of the week has been that Bachmann intends to move from Minnesota in protest. If there's even an ounce of truth in this, pray God that she doesn't decide to come home to Iowa. Our GOP loon list is long enough as is.


Speaking of prayer, opponents of equality hauled out the "prayer warriors" again as votes in Minnesota approached --- and were spurned. So tell me, how many times does God have to endorse same-sex marriage before broad acknowledgement among religious types that it's part of the master plan? Just asking ....

On the other hand, I imagine that a good many self-identified progressive Christians were praying for marriage equality, bless their hearts. Thanks!

It just seems unlikely that too many of these progressive prayers were LGBT --- the church isn't especially good at much, but it sure does know how to drive away folks who might otherwise be helping to fill the pews. In the end, I expect, the major accomplishment of the conservative church will turn out to have been marginalization of the entire church.


This whole prayer business is a source of confused bemusement to those of us who are skeptics. Why, for example, if this God of ours is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent --- counting the feathers on each of those danged sparrows as it were --- is it necessary to beg for what you're standing in need of? Don't you think He/She/It knows?

Don't accuse me of being an anti-prayer warrior, though. Prayer has its place --- as a call to action, individually and collectively; as an aid in turning toward that-of-God within to search for guidance. I'm glad to endorse prayer. Confession and absolution are good for any variety of soul.

We've been praying lately on Sunday mornings that old one attributed to St. Francis --- you know, the one that begins, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."

To that one, a sensible God might respond, "OK, doofus, go forth and become an instrument; just don't expect a celestial zap that will turn you into one. Same goes for feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and comforting the afflicted. Just do it, fool."

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