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08/30/2007

On the straight, white, and narrow

by Jeremy Hooper

Throughout civil rights history, once acceptance of a particular group becomes more and more de rigueur, there has traditionally been one argument that becomes more and more pervasive. That is the one in which the opposing group tries to paint the picture that the "straight white man" is now virtually unemployable, unelectable, or downright unloved because those pesky minorities have hijacked every aspect of society via their demand for social parity.

Well, in light of the news that a lesbian priest is in the running for bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Focus on the Family's Caleb Price is now applying that tired argument to that particular church. He says to FOF's CitizenLink:

The Episcopal Church has bowed down before the god of diversity,” ...“In fact, it's almost impossible for a straight white man to get into an Episcopal seminary these days, and the ranks of the clergy are filled with self-identified homosexuals. It's only a matter of time before any number of avowed homosexuals will rise to the rank of bishop.

Oh, the poor "straight white man." When will our churches get over the raging white racism and heterophobia that have long plagued them? In fact, head over to this gallery of 265 bishops, assistants, and retired bishops to see just how much the white Episcopal male has suffered over the past few decades. They would seem to makeup, what, maybe only 88% of that gallery? What happened to the good old days when the white-dominated church was still able to keep females, gays, and people of color safely confined to the submissive, lesser than roles which they used the Bible as justification to keep them places?

::Writer rolls eyes thoroughly and efficiently, out of fear that if he slacks in his role, an Asian-American female will replace his white male self as this website's 'Bishop of conveying sarcasm via eye gestures'::

We curb our sarcasm for a second so we cam say to Caleb:

"Caleb: Perhaps the Episcopal Church is embracing diversity because they realize that GOD DID NOT ONLY CREATE THE STRAIGHT WHITE MAN! It is so brazenly offensive and so incredibly telling when someone who is staunchly opposed to gay rights tried to create the illusion that the "straight white man" is going to suffer if we're not too careful. For the assertion would seem to reveal the "straight white man" that lives behind the curtain of so many of our opponents and groups That's because even if the speaker doesn't realize it, there is an undeniably heterosexist, patriarchal, even racist implication lying beneath such wording. It fosters the idea that the "straight white man" SHOULD maintain a leg up on the rest of the world's citizens, regardless of skills and qualifications. And the contention that those who are in favor of diversity are gunning for the "straight white man" just out of spite is a complete red herring, made to make it appear that those who preach the idea of tolerance and love for all have some sort of hidden, unsavory agenda. It is completely unfair! It puts groups like the Episcopal Church on the defensive, forcing them to look at their practices in terms of skin color, sexual orientation, gender, etc., when what they are hopefully working towards is the sort of society where such will have no bearing!

Caleb, we don't know you and would not so bold as to make claims about your views of the world and its people. However, the above quote is counterproductive to the sort of world we should all be working to create. Try replacing the words "straight white male" with other descriptors and perhaps you will see the offense. "Gay African-American female." "Bisexual Hispanic FTM." "White gay man." Would you be so quick to speak out on a reduction in their hirings or acceptance into the seminary, making it seem as if such is owed to them on the sheer basis of their characteristics? No, you would not. So please stop fostering the idea that being born into white masculine heterosexuality means being born into dominance!
"

Illinois School District Ignores Parents' Objections to Books [CitizenLink]

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