Rafa\’s Corner of Nonsense, Part Deux

… where Rafa\’s thoughts see the light of day…

Are there are any real Christians out there?

In an earlier post I had mentioned my inability to understand how religious fanatics cannot leave personal and religious prejudices at home when they go to vote.

This reminded me of just how much these Christian zealots bother me. I would consider myself a Christian (if more in the way I conduct myself and treat others than in the dogmatic beliefs I hold to be true): I think most Christian fanatics in this country behave in a way that is so utterly un-Christian that I’d like to be right there during the Second Coming just to see them get a disapproving “tsk tsk” from Jesus Himself.

Fanatical Christians in this country do not “love their neighbor as they love themselves,” they do not “do unto others as they would like to be done unto them,” they “judge though they be judged” (OK, that last one was hard to rephrase, but you get my drift). An outsider to the faith would be hard-pressed to understand how these fanatical Christians could consider themselves to be Christians at all, and how they could possibly pretend to draw people to their faith if their most salient representatives seem to be divise hate-mongerers.

Reading the New Testament you should get a warm, fuzzy feeling about Jesus and, thus, His followers. You should feel that you would be embraced and loved by them, just like Jesus said He’d embrace and love all of us. Why isn’t this so? Why can’t these so-called Christians follow their Master’s teachings, and love everyone equally, including those they personally find unpalatable? Loving cute little kids and embracing your best friend is easy: loving and embracing those who behave in a way that is contrary to your own is what’s hard, is what separates the wheat from the chaff: it is, in fact, what should theoretically separate a Christian dilettante from someone who truly leads the life Jesus said we should lead.

To wit, I pose the following question: how would have Jesus reacted if one of His Apostles had been gay? Would He have shunned His follower, calling him a sinner, denouncing his lifestyle, ensured that he would be treated as an outcast, and if possible, have less rights as a citizen? Or would Jesus have embraced him, told him that he would be loved anyway, and furthermore told the rest of His followers that “he who is without sin cast the first stone”?

I know which one I would like to believe… but I guess everyone, including myself, writes in his or her head the version of the Bible that he or she finds more palatable.

What do you think Jesus would have done?

November 24, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A sad day…

For those of you who don’t know, Texas (my home state) was one of the states where a Constitutional amendment was being voted on this November to determine if same-sex marriages should be forbidden or not. Needless to say, it passed. It wasn’t so much that it passed, but that it passed with such an obscene majority of 76%.

I knew it would pass: I wasn’t kidding myself. What saddens me is that it passed with such vehemence, with such a mandate; that so many people either hate homosexuals, believe them to rightfully belong in a lower class of citizenry (with less rights than heterosexuals), or truly believe that two people of the same sex getting married somehow diminishes the meaning of the marriage of people of opposite genders.

Same-sex marriage was already illegal in Texas: as far as I knew, that wasn’t even being under threat of being repealed. Making this into a Constitutional amendment just seals the vault with concrete, and by writing into the state Constitution just says out loud: “We don’t want gays here in Texas” (which may very well be true, come to think of it).

What I can’t fathom is how people can’t seem to leave personal and religious prejudices at home when they go to vote: regardless of whether your church says same-sex relationships are (to quote the Bible) “abomination,” or whether you “like” homosexuals, what does that have to do with what your secular State should allow within its citizenry? What can’t more people make the distinction between what they like, and what should, fairly, be written into law? If everyone could make their pet peeves into law, believe me, no one would be able to do anything anywhere!

This is the relevant part of the amendment (you can read the full text here):

“Sec. 32. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

By the way, I find it hilarious that the State cannot “recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage” because, unless basic algebra has also been repealed in the state of Texas, marriage is identical to marriage! (This means, I guess, that Texas can no longer recognize marriage, same-sex or otherwise).

I guess I’ll have to wait for a fair, level-headed pundit to explain to me yet how two people of the same gender getting married (and having all the legal benefits thereof) is an affront to our society, or how it hurts “family values.” Family values should be about unconditional love, about companionship, about caring for someone else, sometimes even at the expense of your own well-being: when someone can convince me how this can intrinsically never be the case in same-sex marriages, I’ll be the first to vote against them.

Thoughts? 🙂

November 24, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Movie theaters: black hole of capitalism

My friend César had an interesting post regarding movie theater seating, which reminded me of another rant of my own (thanks, César!). 😀

I think the movie theater business is one where the laws of capitalism and supply and demand totally break down.

Think about it: every movie, regardless of how much it cost to make, regardless of who made it and how much (and how many) people want to watch it, costs exactly the same to watch at the same theater.

Let me put this another way: regardless of whether I am watching Star Wars: Heir to the Empire [not directed or touched in any way by George Lucas], Spy Kids 2: The Reckoning, Schindler’s List 2: Electric Boogaloo, or Harry Potter [insert number here], I’ll still shell out the same amount of money if I go see it at the same movie theater and at the same time of day.

Why is it that the only difference in movie ticket price is determined by the theater you go to, and the time of day (matinée or not)? Surely the investment of millions made in the creation of each movie and the amount of anticipation it creates in the viewers should be more important in price determination than whether the theater has new seats and doesn’t (yet) smell like stale popcorn.

The movie industry is the only one in which the quality (or perceived quality) of the product has no bearing on the cost to the consumer. While you may argue that a sucky play may be overpriced, and thus its price will not reflect its quality, plays are priced according to more natural capitalistic rules: tickets for Broadway plays with critical acclaim and well-known actors, for instance, will surely be more expensive than an unknown play at Coco’s Casa de Acting featuring the acting prowess of the best community college drama students.

So, faithful readers (yeah, both of you), what do you have to say on the matter?

November 24, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment