Thursday, May 18, 2006

Brady Earnhart wrote a protest song!

Brady Earnhart needs no intro by me. Though I'll give him my praise anyway. He's been one of my mentors for a few years now, always willing to give feedback and honest no punches pulled criticism about my lyrics. An amazing singer songwriter and excellent teacher for anyone with the opportunity.

To say that he is not a protest songwriter may risk understatement, but I'm certainly not the first to point out that Something About Him may be more effective than any gay rights protest song ever written.

Well, it seems Brady might just finally have had enough.

If I stopped to think of all I'd want to say on this, I'd probably get around to posting this blog entry a week from now. So I guess the best thing to do is copy and paste the e-mail Brady sent out to his readers and say I'm completely against the prohibiting of gay marriage. (If you really want an attempt at a "brief" version of my beliefs, see below the letter.)



So I got this last-minute gig (see below), & while I was at it I thought I'd let
y'all know about a new song on my site: "Thank God Virginia's On Our Side," a
protest against the anti-gay-marriage amendment that I hope everybody in VA is going
to vote NO on this fall.

It's at (top of the page).

I'm usually not that much of an activist, but under all its noble rhetoric the
amendment really strikes me as gratuitously hateful--a way of reassuring voters that
their government thinks homos are icky.

The wonderfuls Paul Curreri, Chris Ruotolo, and Lance Brenner (the last two of The
Naked Puritans) are all playing with me on this (shamelessly Neil Youngish electric)
version of the song. The mp3 that's up is just a rough mix, but I got impatient. A
sleeker, shorter, trashier model will take its place after Lance & I finish mixing
next week.

Fredericksburg Locals: I'll be playing at The Loft tomorrow (Thursday, May 18)
night, with Ryan Little. Show starts at 9:00. C'mon out.

Hope to see Chicagoans this Saturday at Alt Q!




Regardless of my personal feelings, trying to figure out the role of marriage in modern society and for myself, I find it deeply disturbing that government tries to set parameters with regard to gender. Age I can understand, but as for consenting adults... nope. I fully respect a church's right to choose not to marry a couple if they feel the union somehow contradictory to their personal beliefs, but I fail to see how that should involve the government. Marriage in America is not a religious union. It can be adorned in religious ritual, but at the end of the day for it to be a legal union it comes down to the certificate. I don't mean that in disrespect to any religion or it's ceremony, I'm just stating a fact. Atheists can legally get married.

One of the things that really disturbs me is that though most religions recognize only heterosexual marriage, the movement to constitutionally define marriage in the United States as only between a man and a woman has been driven be a clear and unapologetic favoring of certain religions and their stance. At the time I write this (which is an ungodly late hour of the night), I'm at a loss to present concrete examples of religions that include (let alone favor) homosexual marriage in their structure. I can only allude abstractly to Native American tribes and New Age practices, but this is of little importance. What concerns me is not so much the smothering of minority religious beliefs as the obliviousness to alternatives. What's a constitutional amendment modeled off of Christianity mean to an atheist, or agnostic, or even a Native American that practices otherwise? What does it mean to good decent people who structure their morals by means other than tome or scroll? By means like reason, utility and practicality... or even by articles of faith such as what their hearts tell them? And hey, while we're at it, what are some other things we should be modeling off of what someone else says God wants?

As I've suggested above, I have some conflicting issues over marriage. At times it really strikes me as an obsolete means of social union. Its history has long been one of selling (dowry) people as commodities and prearrangement for the monetary gain of families, businesses, kingdoms, countries and etc. There is a long history of women being predominantly subordinate by the agreement, if agreement is even a permitted factor, of the marriage. Regardless of romanticism marriage purely out of love is still arguably a modern (in fairness, I'm using the word "modern" loosely) concept. This is not to say people weren't or didn't come to find love in marriage prior, but the idea certainly wasn't part of many early (pre-biblical) forms of marriage I've ever read about. If there is a future for marriage in this country, I think it's in the love category. To this day there are still too many lingering elements of marriage as a business deal. So if two people love one another and want to spend the rest of their lives together and have that be legally recognized, I say let them. Their marriage is in no way going to affect mine, should I choose to someday get married.

Regardless of how you feel about gay marriage, this amendment is about more than that.

And just for the record, if any of this seems radical, please understand I'm not trying to attack the family unit or anything like that. And if it matters, my lifestyle is hardly fit for scandal.

Ok, I'm sleepy.



Anonymous Tim McCormack said...

That's an excellent point you make that atheists can get married.

8:39 AM  

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