Civility and Kopaska-Merkel Day

7 May 2001

I cannot win.

The rebel Lutherans are having a battle royale about homosexuality -- mostly whether it's Biblically declared to be sinful. Some of the people are claiming that not only does the Bible claim that homosexual behavior is sinful, but that it does so clearly. Which is pretty obviously not true, or why would people even need to have the discussion? This had been going on for a week and a half, and since nobody seemed to be changing anyone else's mind, I suggested to the people who believe that homosexuality is clearly sinful that they still need to treat gays and lesbians like human beings, regardless of whether that specific behavior is sinful.

Evidently, suggesting that people treat each other well is a really bad idea.

I got several messages from the "Homosexuality Bad" crowd telling me that I was a very nice little girl but dead wrong/misguided/stupid/responsible for people going to hell. I also got hate mail from a gay Christian. He'd gotten my message forwarded to him by someone who is on the rebel Lutheran listserv. He decided (wrongly and out of context) that I was the one who was going on about how evil gay people were. And that I deserved to be yelled at over that and what a bigot I am. For three pages, single-spaced. Because I tried to get people who disagreed with him to treat him decently.

So the moral of the story is: if you try to get people to treat each other as human beings, they will immediately realize that you are in the class of "people who don't deserve to be treated like human beings." What a great message.

If I had started out believing in people in groups, this would be a problem. But I pretty much don't. There is no group that I feel I can count on en masse. That is, no externally defined group. You know, "People I can count on en masse" doesn't count as one of those groups. But that's about it.

There are too many Jerks For Jesus, is what. You know, I often want to say to people, "You know why I don't like telling people I'm a Christian? Because they'll think I'm like you." I usually try to tell people I'm a Haugean instead, because they don't have assumptions about that. Then I can actually explain what I do believe, instead of being immediately put in a box that doesn't fit me, whether or not the person making the assumption likes that wrong box.

At any rate. I think it's Kopaska-Merkel Day around here. Yay, Kopaska-Merkel Day! (And David thought some of the other holidays my family celebrates were minor....) Timprov has a backlog of story submissions from David Kopaska-Merkel, who has a story in this month's Speculon. Evidently Mr. Kopaska-Merkel is either quite prolific or had a backlog of stories he wanted to submit somewhere, and then found out that Timprov liked at least one of his stories, so.... I mean, I'd do it that way. Instead, I'm just sending "The Children's Village" off to Scifi.Com, because F&SF didn't want it. So Timprov is going to read all of them today, and then we're going to celebrate in some good foodish way. Maybe. We think.

I need more rejections. Well. I'd take some acceptances, too. I'm just frustrated with how long some editors keep my stories. (Nobody who reads this journal, that I know of, so I can't even be pointed about it. Which would probably be a bad move anyway, even though editors know that writers get antsy if editors keep writers' stories for more than three months.)

There's an editorial cartoon in our paper today that features the space shuttle plastered with advertising, and the caption is, "After Tito, it was inevitable." And the little belligerent voice in my head says, "So?" What's so noble about space that it can't be tainted with advertising -- that's more important than actually getting there? Who's willing to say, "I don't want us to colonize the moon if it's sponsored by McDonald's" or someone like that? We're talking about space, people. Billions and billions. And that could somehow be lessened if we put a little decal on our space shuttle? Come on.

Also, perhaps I'm just too historically minded, but I really think that just referring to the recent space tourist as "Tito" is not enough. Tito has had other contextual meanings.

Yeah, like he was one of the Jackson brothers, right? Sigh....

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