Saturday, December 8, 2007

Elderly, White People, and Other Stories

My regular readers probably know that I'm not a big fan of organized religion. Mostly because my "regular readers" also double as my "friends" or "relatives."

So I was sort of surprised when I got so ridiculously enraged by this story about the Episcopal church.

Quick recap: The Episcopal Church raised waves when it - horror of horrors! - consecrated an openly gay bishop. That pissed people off so much that the Anglican Church (which the Episcopal Church is apparently part of or something) threatened to schism from them (but didn't.)

So now, an entire diocese in California of all places has broken off. I guess I'm surprised at that, but it's not what made me mad. What made me mad was a section that has since been removed apparently from the Reuters article I wrote my summary based on. From my memory the quote was something like this:
The vote was taken with clergy standing on opposite sides of a gymnasium. Then the lay-person delegates got up from the bleachers and walked to the side they were voting with. The delegates were overwhelmingly white and elderly.
I swear to god, I'm not making up that last sentence. The whole section is gone now, but it was there, I promise you.

There was just something ghoulishly infuriating about these old white men standing up and being counted, believing that their church was going the wrong way because it didn't hate gay people enough. This image just made me want to throw my laptop against the walls. I imagined their weird thought process, their simple belief (I imagined) that Church was going the wrong direction with all this treating the gays like equals business. Sure, love them like Jesus said, but for Christ's sake, they're avowed sinners!

But amateur mind-reading and rage aside, it made me realize something: Gay rights are going to win. Because old people die.

I know, not the most politically correct thing I've ever written. But hear me out. It's certainly true that old people are as different from one another as everybody else. I am positive there are many old people who are just fine with gay rights.

But I'm also pretty sure that those people are in the minority. Don't believe me? I found this in 2 seconds on Google. Don't click it though, or you'll give Fox News a pageview. Here's the upshot:

Two political scientists who analyzed two decades worth of Field Polls on the subject found that age was the strongest factor influencing whether someone opposed gay unions, with people born in the 1970s and '80s more than twice as likely to support them as those born before 1940.


My thinking is, the older you get the more change you've had to watch in your life. You grew up in a different time with different value structures, and they've just been pushed too far. If you were born in the 1940s, black people still had to use the colored fountains. Now, we have something called the "internet" and men want to marry men. Probably, this is harder for you to accept than it is for me to accept, I get that.

But that changes. Our parents grew up in a world that was for black people much like this world is for gay people. There was a move to give them rights, but some people opposed it. Younger people, who had less prejudice, eventually won out, and taught (most) of their kids that black people were just as good as white people. Now those same people, our parents, are having a wee bit of trouble with the whole gay thing.

Most of us don't.

And they're going to die before we do.

> Hey remember that post I did about Chavez's crazy election non-fix? Whoops...

Seriously, how badly do you have to be losing to say, "You know what, I was going to fix this, but damn..."

> And now your crazy story of the week - Man fakes his own death, then gets sick of being dead and turns up pretending to have amnesia.

That link is just to the latest story - there've been loads of them, and frankly, you can sort through them yourself. My favorite part is that he faked his death in a canoe, then moved to Panama to set up a canoe resort. As his 80-year-old aunt said, "You couldn't make this up."

Here's my crazy thought though:

This guy got away with this for five years, and only gave up because he retardedly turned himself in.

What if there are, unbeknownst to us, people who this has worked for? We'd never know right? If this guy doesn't turn himself in, he's still dead to the world, right?

There could be hundreds of them. Out there. Somewhere.

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