Posts Tagged ‘clinton’

Divide and conquer…well not really.

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Why did the conservative right fail to win in Roe v. Wade and in the general populace for popular support of stricter control of abortions.  To begin, we must look at the very logic of the conservative party and the rationale behind restricting abortion rights.  The conservative party stresses individualistic rights and freedom of the individual.  Therefore when in front of the Supreme Court attempting to argue against abortion rights, the judges railed against the notion that women loosing rights aligns with the republican party.  Further, those communities that were pro-life were so divided they were unable to connect with each other and coordinate efforts to fight the growing waves of pro-choice support.  Thus, when the Roe v. Wade ruling was handed down those fundamentalists fighting against abortion rights were astounded.  They thought for sure they had won….oops

For Clinton however I believe that there was a general disconnect between the populace and what was believed within the white house.  Thus the ruling of ‘dont ask dont tell’ came as a shock to not only to the general populace but also the SBC who had aligned themselves with the Clinton administration.  To their demise however he pointed out that kicking out gay men and women from the armed services would do no good for the status of the military.  Gay men and women already were serving for their country and by cart blanche kicking them out would do no good for the service.

The SBC however were shocked because at the time they had supported Clinton for the presidency and thus following this decision they were shocked.  Their golden boy of the presidency had let them down on this crucial decision and now they were keen to go after him.

An Apostate in the White House(Extra Credit)

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

First of all, when I started reading “Southern Baptist Apostate: Bill Clinton’s Fight with the Religious Right” by Seth Dowland, I had absolutely no idea what an “apostate” was.  I looked up a definition online and found that according to Dictionary.com, an apostate is “A person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.”  So when Bill Clinton campaigned to repeal the ban on homosexuals serving in the military, he became what Southern Baptists did not even realize could exist within their community: an apostate.

According to the article, Southern Baptists believe that “the most important relationship was between an individual and God, and no church could stand in the way of that relationship,” so the idea of a Southern Baptist apostate was strange.  However, Clinton’s campaign and resulting ostracism from that community brought to light that the Southern Baptists had aligned themselves with the Christian right.

As we have seen in this week’s (and the past couple weeks’) readings is the theme of the family unit in American society as viewed by the Christian right.  According to the article, the Southern Baptist community felt threatened by the increasing influence of both feminism in the gay rights movement in American society.  Like we discussed in class today, authors like Falwell argued that women were straying too far from home.  They wanted lives outside of their husbands and children.  In Falwell’s opinion, these women were supporting the playboy culture by taking the Pill, making it possible for both men and women to have multiple sexual partners without the consequence of an unwanted pregnancy.  Because women didn’t want to be housewives anymore, they were physically breaking down the family, which was considered to be the most important component of a successful society.  Without two parents present to educate their children to be upstanding members of their community, the community at large would fall apart.

It seems as though the Southern Baptists described in Dowland’s article share these sentiments.   To the Southern Baptists Convention, feminism was wrong because it suggested that abortion was okay.  The goal of a man and a woman was procreation, and abortion destroyed that aspect of a marriage.  Morris Chapman, the CEO of the Executive Committee of the SBC, said, “The fabric of America is the family unit, the husband, the wife, the mother, the father, the children.”  Support of feminism and support for abortion would physically tear American society apart, in the eyes of the SBC.

This also extends to gay rights. Again, we have this issue of procreation.  A homosexual couple cannot biologically conceive a child, meaning that sexual intercourse would go against the religious and social norms of the community.  Because Clinton supported gay rights, he was not exactly welcomed back to the Southern Baptist community with open arms.  Even though Southern Baptists believe that every person has equal right to an individual relationship with God, Clinton became an apostate because he rejected a doctrine of the Southern Baptist community.  He worked to take away the ban on homosexuals in the military.  While there have been many closeted homosexuals in the military, it seems to be those open about their sexuality who come under fire.

I think it’s so strange that anyone would look at a gay man or woman and tell them that because of their sexuality, they are unfit for the military.  Gay or straight, we are Americans, and we all share the right to love and protect our country, and work for the betterment of other areas in the world.  Unfortunately, I think it is that view that makes me and anyone who supports gay rights an apostate of sorts, because most religious doctrine in America believes that homosexuality (the act at least) is a sin.

I think another objection that some may have about openly gay men and women in the military is that many children look up to American soldiers.  They idolize the people who they believe represent freedom and justice.  Some may worry that if children idolize gay soldiers, the sexuality of their children may be influenced.  This really isn’t a perfect argument though.  It’s kind of like saying that if a child grows up with gay parents, that they themselves will be gay, or that a gay teacher will make his or her students gay.  This is an unfortunate myth, which seems operate on the supposition that gay men and women are defined by their sexuality, and that it flows into all aspects of their lives.  They stop being men and women because all that other people see is “gay.”  They almost stop being human, and their individuality is replaced by stereotypes and assumptions.  Instead, I think we should focus on being proud of our men and women overseas, who give up so much of their own lives to protect ours, rather than scrutinize their sexuality.