And although society wants to define us, the LGBT community, by our sexual activities, our relationships have all the complexity, depth and emotion of any other human relationship.
Just when I thought I had heard all the so-called “Biblical” references and logic condemning homosexuality, Mary Anastasia Micinski, via a letter sent to my friends, gave me yet another reason to reaffirm that the religious right is all wrong.
My friends, Ann Perrault and Jackie Victor, have received awards and well deserved publicity regarding the success and positive impact on the community their business has attained. Their business, Avalon International Breads, was a dream for a business not based solely on capitalism, but also on many of the tenets of Buddhism, community activism, environmentalism and right livelihood. Initially funded ten years ago with “bread dough,” investments by friends, family and other like-minded activists, the bakery has grown to provide training and employment to over 30 individuals and is sold at markets and restaurants across southeastern Michigan.
Besides being astute and creative businesswomen they, along with their two children, are arguably one of the most visible gay families in Michigan.
After a recent feature article in the Detroit Free Press, they received Ms. Micinski’s letter which they shared with me. Since she included all of her contact information and wrote several biblical quotations on the outside of the envelope sent via the U.S. Postal service, I am sure she would not take issue with my sharing her insights with my fellow wayward sisters and brothers.
We read her multi-page letter in amused disbelief, but also with the sad realization that Micinski was as “serious as a heart attack” about her interpretation of scripture on the sin of homosexuality.
Ms. Micinski wrote “I expect you are probably familiar with Mt. 23:8’….you are ALL brethren.’ I can’t believe that I am the only person who interprets the quote of Christ in the literal sense. When one accepts the premise that we truly are God’s children, brothers and sisters, literally, the conjugal relationship must be ruled out.” She adds that “sex is not a function…pelvic region traffic remains the bane of humanity.” She asks rhetorically “Would God conceive behavior which can cause death?” And then answers “not the God I know!”
Where was she going with all this you might ask? Since, according to the bible, we are all descendants of Adam and Eve isn’t all of humanity one incestuous mess and shouldn’t heterosexual sex be just as bad if not worse than homosexuality? Personally, the thought of a brother and sister “getting it on” has a pretty high yuck factor to me.
And although society wants to define us, the LGBT community, by our sexual activities, our relationships have all the complexity, depth and emotion of any other human relationship. That’s right Mary Anastasia, it’s more than just “pelvic region traffic” we love deeply, nurture, support, break-up and make-up just like everyone else. We too are human, god’s children.
But Micinski was not just another bible-thumping zealot, she was also a thinker, a philosopher citing Aristotle to support her ultimate thinking on “Survival Psychology” biophysics and the dynamic of self preservation – CONTINENCE.
And what, you might be asking is continence. Of course she enlightened us. “The VITAL tenet inherent in the conservation of energy law is CONTINENCE. Continence is the cardinal rule of conduct which MUST govern the individual personal conduct of each member of our UNIQUE species. While we appear to function in defiance of continence, such effort is no more than a protracted inter-necineship to the cemetery.” Fancy words to impart the same tired message that our “conduct” violates the nature of “our unique species” and unchecked will lead “to the Cemetery.” Miciniski put a lot of time and, albeit warped, thought into her letter. And although it ultimately ended up in the circular file we must never forget that there are loonies among us.
So lest we become complacent by positive portrayals of LGBT lives in the medias, legislative successes on marriage, civil unions and adoption laws, optimistic because time and youth are on our side or contented celebrating our families and bouncing our “equality” babies on our knee, we must be conscious of the Mary Anastasia Micinski’s in the world.
She may not be as visible as the Gary Glenns, the American Family Association and other bigots but is just as big a threat to our community. She represents the millions sitting in the pews of those mega-churches putting money in the collection basket. They are in every neighborhood, every community. Co-workers, shop clerks, neighbors whose entire belief about the LGBT community comes from these warped biblical interpretations and assumptions.
What makes them truly dangerous is that they vote, in every election in every state in numbers that exceed the combined total of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally community. Their voice, their vote, are making decisions in national and state legislatures and the courts that are long-term affecting not just us but those “equality” children who are the future of a just, fair and equal society.
The good news is that Ann and Jackie received more positive correspondence, phone calls and comments from the Free Press Article than negative and if asked, they will do another article or interview putting their lives out there for public scrutiny. They are out and proud.
We all should be out and proud. We are doctors, lawyers, nurses, school teachers, clerks, neighbors and part of the rich fabric of our community. Being out doesn’t just rock; it changes hearts, minds and opinions. So be out not just as a member of the LGBT community but with your opinions beliefs and most importantly your vote.
Thanks Mary Anastasia for the reminder that there is so much more work to be done not just for today but for the future. Now get ye back to the nunnery there’s no place for you in our world.