Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Poly Protection Landmark

Yesterday (December 19, 2017) a measure extending protection due to relationship structure passed by a unanimous vote in the Berkeley City Council. Berkeley City Council is where domestic partnership was first passed and now marriage equality is the law of the land. This law will extend legal protection to sexual minorities (including polyamorous and other people) not covered by existing laws in that city. This is a landmark law and we hope to extend this to other cities and jurisdictions and to add this to the definition of a protected class*. How people love should not impact their housing or employment opportunities.

* Protected classes are characteristics a person has, under the law, that cannot be the reason for discrimination or harassment. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Faith and Moral Compasses

When I think of the term moral compass, I think of this as used in reference to a person's ability to judge what is right and wrong and act accordingly. “New thought” does not give you a set of guidelines that are as stringent and defined as those in Christianity. To me, that’s a good thing. What Christianity gives us is explicit commandments and scriptures that define what is acceptable and what constitutes "sin." This may work good for some folks, but to me they were far too rigid. Plus, these were external, not internal values.

What I often saw was when people lost their religion, their external moral compass, they lost any moral compass whatsoever. All of a sudden they would go batshit crazy. I saw good people go from being church mice to doing drugs, having unprotected sex with strangers and more than once, getting pregnant from casual sex.

I think we all need to have internal moral compasses based upon values that are not applied by any religion. Each of us have to decide what that means for us, inside. That’s what I like. I choose my spiritual center because it did not tell me what was right. It let me live by my own truth, my own moral compass.

The external moral compass I saw applied by Christianity, when I was a regular church gower, said that homosexuality was a “sin” and I saw people who were queer (LGBTQIA) struggling with their own orientations. I saw people try to pray the gay away. I saw other people who exclaimed righteously that AIDS was God’s punishment for homosexuality. Some even expressed their happiness over AIDS. That’s a moral compass I want no part of!

So, what’s my moral compass? I believe in the concept of if you are harming none, do what you will. Harming none includes harming yourself. It also means consent, it means honesty even with yourself. It means forgiveness, radical forgiveness. To me conservative Christianity violates my moral compass. I have seen it do a lot of harm, in the name of self righteousness.

Sure, people in my spiritual world, like Christian church people make mistakes. Even Christian ministers do too. I know, I don’t need to tell you that. As they say, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2017