bittersweet, indeed

I don't like making public declarations. This election has already created divides in my life that I don't know how to begin to mend. But I just don't this is a time for being quiet.

A lot of people I know are talking about this election as bittersweet. We elected the country's first black president. And Californians voted to ban gay marriage in their state while Arkansans voted to ban adoptions by gay couples. In both ballots the age groups 30-44 and 45-64 voted for the bans. Though, in California, the over 65 crowd really made the difference with their overwhelming yes votes. Also in California, the exit polls show that 70 percent of African Americans voted in favor of banning gay marriage with Latinos at 53%. And okay, African Americans only made up 10 percent of the overall vote, and you have to take into account margins of error, etc. Dan Savage has some pretty interesting things to say about this. I'm linking it to his post, not because I agree with him, but because the comments show the range of this issue, particularly with the parallels between the kinds of hate spewed at both interracial marriage and gay marriage. I'm originally from a state where the ban on interracial marriages was still "on the books" until the year 2000 despite the fact that the US Supreme Court ruled in 1967 such bans were unenforceable.

I think a lot of this hatred and homophobia and racism is often supported by people claiming to be Christian, who use the Bible as a way to support their bigotry. This makes me sad because I grew up as a preacher's daughter who learned mostly about love, and inclusion and helping others. This is a message my father still preaches. And I am sad that my feelings about religion, about church, and about Christianity have been mangled by fear and by hatred. It is a side of the table I will never sit on. I will never, ever believe hate is better than love or that fear is better than hope. I think it is wrong for church organizations to campaign and fundraise for causes like Proposition 8. What happened to the separation of church and state?

Some have suggested that we can only expect so much change at a time, that we should be happy with how far we've come. But why is that? Shouldn't we always strive for more? I want this country to be a better place. I want to live without fear of being targeted because of who I love and how I live. Is that such a difficult thing to support?

I am ecstatic that Obama is going to be our next president. But I am deeply saddened and sobered because I know how much more has to be done.