C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Sunday, July 3, 2022

Sunday Drive: America

So many things I could say about my fears for the nation and the world just now - but I will let the song express my hope and my faith.


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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Waitin' for the Weekend

 

Bonus:  How to add more bulk to your package. But what the hell is VPL?


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Friday, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade

The course of American history has changed.  The Supreme Court today overturned Roe v. Wade by a 6-3 decision.  The landmark 1973 case had legalized abortion in the United States as a constitutional right.  Today's ruling leaves state legislatures free to restrict, forbid, or criminalize abortion.  

As a gay man, the abortion question has never been an issue for me; but I do know that my late mother and other female relations thought a woman should definitely be able to get an abortion, and I think no man should have a say in that: it's up to the woman who has to bear that child, and in nearly all cases, raise that child.

But today's ruling, supported by all three of the conservative justices Trump appointed to the Supreme Court, is another landmark case that bodes ill for many other rights that we have come to take for granted in the last half-century.  A new era begins today, and it's not going to be pretty.

Read the full Supreme Court ruling here (PDF); the first 8 pages are a summary of the actual 200-page opinion.

This is only the first domino to fall.  You fellas who are married - you do realize that you could now be un-married by the Supreme Court with the stroke of a pen, don't you?  You fellas who aren't married - you could now be prosecuted as felons for having gay sex, the way it used to be here in Texas, if the Court continues to apply today's legal reasoning to other cases.  What the Supreme Court gives, it can also take away.

It seems to me that today's ruling is just the first step in establishing a totalitarian, right-wing, one-party government that fuses religion and politics and crushes the life out of all dissent.  Don't think it can't happen here.  It just did.

With a two-to-one majority on the Supreme Court - and with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress the likely result of this year's elections - a new dark age looms ahead.  Wake up, guys.  You Have Been Warned.

Mark my words:  the right-wing wolves have tasted blood now, and they won't stop with abortion rights.  Better enjoy Pride month while it lasts.  Here's live coverage of today's events:


 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Pick a House

This might become a regular feature on the Blue Truck when I run out of other things to post.  And the slow dissolution of civilized life is simply too sad to write about.  But there was a time, not so very long ago, when it was still possible to believe in beauty; and from some old plan books, here are some lovely Colonial-style homes to look at, chosen at random from my files.

If you had to pick one of these to live in, which would you choose, and why?  (Click to enlarge; then from the lightbox, right-click to open them really big.)

C, L, Bowes, 1925

The Home Plan Book, 1939

National Plan Service, 1927

National Plan Service, 1963

National Plan Service, 1947

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Today's Quote

From Mere Christianity (1952), Chapter 9, by C. S. Lewis, emphasis mine:

Love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.

I pointed out in the chapter on Forgiveness that our love for ourselves does not mean that we like ourselves. It means that we wish our own good. In the same way, Christian Love (or Charity) for our neighbors is quite a different thing from liking or affection. We 'like' or are 'fond of' some people, and not of others. It is important to understand that this natural 'liking' is neither a sin nor a virtue, any more than your likes and dislikes in food are a sin or a virtue. It is just a fact. But, of course, what we do about it is either sinful or virtuous. . . .

The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.

 There is, indeed, one exception. If you do him a good turn, not to please God and obey the law of charity, but to show him what a fine forgiving chap you are, and to put him in your debt, and then sit down to wait for his 'gratitude', you will probably be disappointed. (People are not fools: they have a very quick eye for anything like showing off, or patronage.) 

But whenever we do good to another self, just because it is a self, made (like us) by God, and desiring its own happiness as we desire ours, we shall have learned to love it a little more or, at least, to dislike it less.

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Note:  C. S. Lewis was, in a way, my spiritual mentor.  I came to the Episcopal Church as an adult, and was confirmed after a short, perfunctory course in the fundamentals; but I wanted more guidance.  I had already come across some of Lewis’s writings, so I bought up most of his non-fiction books, perhaps a dozen, and read and re-read them for years.  His keen insight and intellectual perspective, along with good humor and humility, gave me the spiritual roots I needed in that seedling period.

Sadly, I have not been to church for the better part of two decades now, for very good reasons.  But my faith goes on.

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Friday, June 17, 2022

Waitin' for the Weekend

Happy Pride!


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Thursday, June 16, 2022

Elder: A Gay Mormon Love Story

Not as boring as you think!  This is a poignant story of coming to terms with the truth you were taught and the truth you know inside.  I suppose all of us good little gay boys who grew up in a homophobic church (and they all were, in my day) has a story of the Love That Could Not Be like this one. And of finally daring to step outside the sacred circle - and finding not judgment, but peace.

 

A YouTube commenter has kindly supplied the rest of the story from the New York Times (behind a paywall): 
Though Tom left Gianni in Italy, their relationship continued in various forms over the years. Gianni still lives in Pescara, where he is an artist and cares for his elderly mother. Tom returned to the United States, where he remained closeted but eventually left the Mormon Church. (His marriage to a Mormon woman ended in divorce, after which he came out.) Tom now lives in Salt Lake City with his partner. Although their romance has ended, he and Gianni still consider themselves deeply connected and close friends. 
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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Your Questions Answered: Elephants

Do elephants have rights?


Answer:  NO.  Only human beings have rights.  Human beings are the only creatures capable of conceiving rights or exercising them.  Animals have no conception of rights, or the obligations that go with them.  

They also have no concept of right or wrong - that is to say, morality - or of law; some may have a kind of limited intelligence, and can be taught to obey human commands and do wonderful tricks, but they lack reason and abstract thought, along with other strictly human qualities.  The higher animals can in fact be loyal, useful companions to human beings, which is a lovely thing as far as it goes - but they can never be human beings.

That being said, in your Head Trucker's estimation, human beings have a moral duty to treat animals humanely, not abusing or mistreating them; the higher the animal, the greater the duty.  This duty can and should be enforced by law.

Consider the elephant in this video:  would you want him for a roommate?  What do you think he smells like?  Is he really a person, just like you?


Optional homework assignment:  Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and for each occurrence of the word "everyone," mentally substitute the word "elephant," and see where that gets you.


Your Head Trucker has answers to a lot of other questions now bedeviling the public mind, like What is a woman? and Is Donald Trump a pathological liar? but it's probably best that I stop right here.

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Golden

A brilliant short film by German director Kai Stanicke that I posted here six years ago but which deserves a repeat:


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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Blue Bulls

A gay farmer talks about love and loss and his life's work, breeding cattle in rural Australia.  A very touching story.

 

See Jon's Blue-E website here.

To see what Jon looked like about ten years ago, click here.

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