Of course, this has nothing to do with his fall in the polls. Bush doesn't care about things like polls. He's a man of honor-- everybody knows that. Well 30% of the people in this country still believe it, and the rest might be convinced again by some quick foot work, a little swift-boating if needed. It's not that he and his people enjoy playing dirty. They are Christians after all. It's just sometimes, for the higher good, one has to accuse a war hero of being a traitor to his country or a coward. If it works, it must mean god blessed it, right?
It's not surprising he and his handlers would think gay marriage would once again be the way to turn things around for him. When he ran against John Kerry, that was a factor in the narrow win-- no matter what Republican strategists want to admit. People went into a tizzy in one state after another at the sight of two men on a courthouse step kissing, two women plighting their troth.
It's not like this was an issue that only appealed to the religious right. There is apparently something threatening to a lot of people about gay marriage. Here in Oregon, where we used to have a live and let live attitude, the ban on gay marriage was voted into the Oregon Constitution in 2004 by around 60% of the voters. It blew me away but there it was.
So now, when in trouble with popularity (which of course he doesn't care that he is) and with an important mid-term election coming up (which he does admit to caring about), out comes the gay marriage ban.
It's not enough to let states individually decide this. States can't be trusted to do the right thing. The anti-gay marriage contingent already know some states haven't been wise. Although they do have the satisfaction of waiting patiently for a hurricane or tsunami to punish the errant ones. Which, as an aside, seems a bit ironic that Pat Robertson said God told him a tsunami might hit Oregon this summer. I mean Oregon did the right thing and banned those gays from marrying. How could God forget so quickly? Or is that because Oregon is allowing dying people to choose their own time and method for death?
For Christians, at least those who don't pay too much attention to what Jesus actually said about gays (answer: nothing), this is a hot button issue. The cry is we must prevent homosexuals from being married as it will ruin marriage for everybody else-- not to mention risking having ourselves turned into salt pillars. The issue doesn't hurt fund raising for James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and their ilk either.
Is there any logic to the idea that homosexual marriage will somehow hurt heterosexuals? It's not like homosexuality is catching. To see a happy homosexual couple down the street, raising kids like everybody else, how is that threatening to you or me?
How can Bush not sink into the ground with embarrassment (I know after 6 years seeing him in action that is a rhetorical and dumb question)? But come on, given all the important issues facing this country, and he is out there promoting this one! It's as bad as Hillary with her proposal to ban flag burning-- say what!?!
To me, pagan Christian that I am, we should be encouraging gay marriage as a way to give homosexuals a way to live their lives with normalcy. Whether marriage makes anyone else happier is something for them to decide, not someone else for them. It makes no sense to try and force people to live phony lives, marrying sometimes and ending up with divorces, running around from partner to partner, or even living celibately to satisfy some misconstrued sense of what is normal. If people are born desiring their own sex, and many say they were, that's what is normal for them. I do not desire men because I chose it. It is simply what appealed to me from an early age-- not saying how early.
And for all you who love Bush and everything he does, hopefully you are at least aware of the hypocrisy in his latest foray into invading the rights of adults to live their lives in ways that harm no one else. Maybe you can be embarrassed for him since he appears to not know how.
When it was originally said Bush would be giving his news conference regarding his support for the gay marriage ban in the Rose Garden (which he didn't end up using), I thought -- perfect, I'll use photos of roses to illustrate my opinion that love is love regardless of the sex of the partners.
Roses are a beautiful symbol for love-- the purity of the colors, the delicacy of the petals, the wonderful fragrance, even the thorns. Each rose blossom only lasts for a bit and then is gone, but even the dried blossoms can carry the feeling of what the rose once was. Roses can be wild or very refined. Some have ancient histories and stories that go with them. Roses don't come in one color or even shape. Nobody expects them to.
(These are roses from my garden and up the gravel road along the fenceline. Photos taken June 5)