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10 November 2008 @ 09:53 pm
All you need is love  
Anyone that knows me well knows that between 6-7pm every night, you don't call me or text me. That's because I'm watching Countdown with Keith Olberman. Tonight is one of the reasons that I love watching this man. This Special Comment caused me to break down crying because Keith said what everyone in this world should be thinking, what I feel but couldn't put into as beautiful words as he could.

Link to article

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love."

I know lauratd beat me too it but this needs to go viral.
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable
phantom_queenphantom_queen on November 11th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
Huh, this is the first I've heard of Keith Olberman but from the posting I've seen I might just have to start watching this guy.
Kelly: True Lovexlivvielockex on November 11th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
He tends to get really passionate about issues, just a warning, and he doesn't hold his anger back. But once I started watching Countdown, I was hooked. He presents the news but still makes it interesting and he is telling people what they really should know as far as what is going on in this country.
Katie: b/wkatiesangels on November 11th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
Truer words have never been spoken. :) I've been following this whole Pro-8 thing only a little but I agree with everything that this man said. I mean, love is love, no matter your skin colour, gender, origin, religion etc.
Kelly: True Lovexlivvielockex on November 11th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's just a shame that we live in a time and a place where love isn't looked on as the most important thing. Then again, it took us until 2008 to elect a black President here so who knows, maybe the US is still in the dark ages.
Katie: sunsetkatiesangels on November 11th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
It seems to be a weird time right now in a lot of aspects with things happening that are on opposite endings of a spectrum. Like what you mentioned, a black President but a voting against the everyone to have the right to marry. Or (because I saw it yesterday night) shows like Californication and SATC contrasting with the uproar over an exposed nipple. It's really quite confusing and I don't really get the kind of hypcrisy in some points...
Kelly: ATS: Darla Dru Girl Lovexlivvielockex on November 11th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
I am with you on the confusion. I mean, they've always said that pendulum swings from times of conservatism to times of liberalism but I haven't seen it yet.

And please, a nipple, we've all got them, not like we haven't seen them before.
Katie: bridgekatiesangels on November 11th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it used to be like that but nowadays it's more like there's both liberalism and conservatism at the same time. Just sometimes more extreme. Like, I just remembered this and it's kind of ridiculous in the same realm, there were people freaking out over women breast-feeding their children in public. I don't know anymore where it was but there were comments to this that were just plain stupid (for example that this is something sacred only between mother and child). I mean, it's eating.

Kelly: MM: Cow Squirtxlivvielockex on November 11th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh I remember that! I remember when they took down the LJ breastfeeding comm because it has pictures of nipples.

It just makes me shake my head. I think that's about all you can do.
Nikki: ats: c/a safe from harmnikkiwawa79 on November 11th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Me and Jeff usually watch Keith, but we missed it last night. Just wow. I still have tears streaming down my face. That was such a powerful special comment by Keith. He called out to those that dare say who people can and can't marry. I loved it. Thanks for sharing and pointing this out to us, Kelly. I think I'll repost to my journal and maybe we can get this to go around. Anyone who hasn't heard it should.

This whole Prop 8 deal is just ridiculous. It shouldn't be AT ALL. No one in this world has a right to ban gay/lesbians from marrying their partners. This angers me so much, because I have gay and lesbian friends and it's bullshit that there are some things they can't do because they aren't heterosexuals. This world is what Keith said: hateful. We've just elected the first African American man as our President and we still feel the need to single fellow Americans out? They all need to go fuck themselves.

Edited at 2008-11-11 04:50 pm (UTC)
Kelly: True Lovexlivvielockex on November 11th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
In a way, I'm not surprised because we did just elect a black person as President. It took us until 2008 to do it. And I don't think I'll see a woman in office in my lifetime, which is so sad.

This country is still so in the dark ages. Other countries have had gay marriage for years as well as legalized marijuana (Canada) and some have legalized prostitution. We need to kick off the buckled hats of our Puritan roots and move into this century.
beer_good_foamy on November 11th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)

Someone should get Olbermann and Jon Stewart together and give them a 24-hour news channel of their own.
Kelly: ATS: Darla Dru Girl Lovexlivvielockex on November 16th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
From your lips to God's ears. And give Colbert some time in there too. I love his "Word" segments. LOL
devylish: Misc iballs2entrails by vampkissdevylish on November 11th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
friend of mine in cali sent me that clip today at work, i just sent it to like a buttload of friends and family.

the friends... they'll support it... the family... i might get banned... that or they'll hold a prayer vigile for me lol!
Kelly: ATS: Darla Dru Girl Lovexlivvielockex on November 16th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
That is about where I am. Most of my family is going to just delete it and give me a lecture at the holidays. My friends though, all of them were stunned that Prop 8 passed.
devylishdevylish on November 17th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
mom sent me a note back saying 'very interesting, thank you for sharing this'.

(she's happy i'm sharing, but the ideology... i'm pretty certain didn't float her boat lol)
Sarah: VM:  Wallace and Veronica hugboy_named_susie on November 12th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
So well said. This made me tear up, and I only hope he managed to get through to some people with this.
Kelly: Abominationxlivvielockex on November 16th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
What made me tear up the most, I think, is that you can see that KO is fighting the tears. Laura sent me a link earlier this week about a Christian woman who changed her mind. One person at a time. That's what it's going to take.
Adelheidiithinkitisayit on November 14th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
I just did the quick math (okay, okay, the calculator did the quick math, whatever :P), and Angel is apparently 309 this year, if we are counting his human birth.

Random factoid. You probably already know, but I just wanted to point out my pleasure of learning this after opening the S1 DVD package I got for $16.16 (tax included). I was really excited to see it for that cheap.

Sadly, I think I'll be dumb enough to buy S6 of Buffy for $19.98. A good price, I guess, but I'd only be buying it for Once More With Feeling, Wrecked, Smashed and the Bonus crap where Emma's all "WHORE!" all the time, whenever she made a mistake.
Adelheidiithinkitisayit on November 14th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
PS: He's had his soul for 110 years (or so the artificial intelligence claims).
Adelheidiithinkitisayit on November 14th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
PPS: Dude, seriously, there ought to be "Happy 110th Soulday!" celebrations. With cake! Lots and lots of cake.
Caitlinkissmecait17 on March 7th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
I just wanted to say that I love what you wrote and I loved the icon. I am a Christian and I have a lot of gay friends. I have had so many people, who call themselves people of Lord, say the most awful things about my friends because they are gay. I have a friend whose father is a Baptist preacher and he forced his son to stand up in church and APOLOGIZE for being gay. I just do not understand how people can single out one thing they believe to be wrong. I know people who say that gay people should not be able to join the chuch. And yet, remarried men and women are not ostracized, but doesn't the Bible condemn that act?
It is just refreshing to hear something say the things that I say as well. I live in a small Missouri town and sometimes I feel like my words fall on deaf ears.
Kelly: True Lovexlivvielockex on March 12th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
Your story really broke my heart. I could feel that poor boy's pain even here. It's just amazing how we hurt people in the name of what we think is just and right.

I can't take any credit for those words. They belong to Keith Olbermann. But I do believe that everyone should hear them, live them, and love them.

God is love. Not hate and ostracization.