Are WE Tank People?


Today, many of us observed the anniversary of the Tienanmen Massacres and the “June Fourth Momement” in China that occurred in 1989.

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In the heart of the Tiananmen Square massacre as tanks were pulling out, a man stood in front of a tank, showing brave defiance towards the Chinese government. He remembered in history simply as as “Tank Man.”

As I reflect on this moment in history, it occurs to me just how relevant this type of stand-off is within American society today. Sans the explicit murder of citizens at the hands of its government (opting instead for more humane methods like cutting off healthcare to those who need it, disproportionately prosecuting and imprisoning and delivering poor education to non-white populations), we–those of us covered by the same United States Constitution and endowed with the liberties of freedom and the ability to pursue one’s own happiness–still–STILL–experience today a faction of institutional oppression–from government, religion, and private institutions.

Ergo…

Today, I finally saw the invitation to the Defense of the Texas Marriage Amendment Rally, happening in my own backyard–at the Omni Fort Worth hotel tomorrow night.

Defense of the Texas Marriage Amendment Rally

“Overturning the Marriage Amendment would coerce and compel every Texas citizen, house of worship and business to recognize and affirm homosexual and other deviant relationships as morally and legally equivalent to marriage, violating and discriminating against the rights of the majority to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.” Dr. Hotze further stated: “Enough is enough. For a judge to tell Texas that its Constitution’s Marriage Amendment is ‘unconstitutional’ is patently absurd. For a single judge to redefine marriage in the State of Texas is a dangerous precedent, which, if allowed to stand, would unravel the social fabric of our state.

This “rally” features all the top Texas anti-gay crusaders–Senators Cruz and Cornyn, lt.-guv-wannabe Dan Patrick and some other blowhards, including some Houston mega-church pastor. (Notably absent from the lineup is our famous POTUS-wannabe Guv Perry.)

This just makes me laugh. Throw up. And then laugh some more. These bigots are so threatened by the progress equity is making in the state of Texas–itself a part of a rapid nationwide movement–that they all have to get together and pray about it and give inflated speeches about how we threaten the fabric of society and how gays need to be cured (although–in a shocking twist, the “fabric” lines and many other traditional references to homosexuality have been removed from the state platform!) and the notion of “traditional marriage”–which is completely non-Biblical [insert word my mother would not approve of].

And make no mistake. Gays, lesbians, and transgendered peoples are not the only ones suffering this type of oppression. No, we’re only one of many groups–women, children, people who need access to healthcare but are being denied medicaid, economically disadvantaged people, children in border relocation camps–subject to the bitter backlash of a party hellbent on staying in power no matter what it costs–credibility, maligning of the message of the Christ they claim to follow, destroying peoples’ lives!

So. Here they are.

In their tanks.

And where are we? What are we doing? Are we standing on the sidelines, watching the tanks, passively protesting through Facebook posts, tweets, and water cooler conversations but only with like-minded people? Are we voting? Are we giving money to candidates who stand with us? Are we calling? Protesting?

Or are we just sitting there, saying that’s not my problem?

Seriously, what are we doing? Hell, we’re the ones who gave them the keys to the damn tanks in the first place–and we can take them away! They’re scared Texas will turn blue–or at least purple-ish? Maybe not this year, but mark my words: it’s coming.

Their tanks of bullying and marginalization are slowing. Their bullets of hate aimed at other human beings they judge as second class citizens will not deter us. Their tactics of imprisonment through harmful methods like reparative therapy are being called out for the inhumane lies that they are.

And just as the Cold War ended, their machines of war will be dismantled and heaped onto the garbage pile of history, along with every other obsolete mechanism of bigotry, along with every deceitful speech, along with every shameful stance taken against another human being.

Dear Texas GOP, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, every ugly, hateful US and state senator and representative, every false prophet of any church who preaches and teaches that some humans are not fully human because of who they are–

We are coming for you.
We are standing directly in the path of your tanks: unfraid, undeterred, unwavering.
You will not win.
History is not on your side.

And many of us are praying for you, just as diligently as you are working against us.

 

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