Do We Really Want To Elect A Left Handed President?
Not long ago in history, and in some parts of the world even today, being left-handed was seen as a curse. Despite the best science and medicine today that overwhelming tells us that being left handed is not a moral choice but is a state of being, there exists some level of prejudice, bias, and discrimination against the left-handed among us. In America, generally those born left-handed are not insisted to change their handedness to right-handedness, although that was the case just a few decades ago. Parents and teachers would routinely coerce the left-handed to adopt the majority handedness. We don’t persecute or torture the left handed as happened in earlier generations although in Muslim cultures being left handed can be quite a disadvantage as religion requires food to be eaten only with the right hand – the left being used for personal hygiene.
What does this have to do with a left-handed president? NBC news tonight reported that four of the last six presidents were left-handed (Ford, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton). And now we are about to have another lefty, as both McCain and Obama are left-handed. Science doesn’t know the cause of left-handedness. Continuing brain research has yet to unravel this mystery. But left-handedness does seem to correlate with both creativity and achievement – and about ten percent of the population is left-handed.
Perhaps, you, as I do, can make the leap to analogize this left handed conversation to a conversation about homosexuality. Science and medicine today overwhelming concludes that homosexuality is not a moral choice but is a state of being. Overwhelming gays will tell you that as early as they can remember, their sexual orientation has been towards their own sex. But the human species seems to naturally react to those who are different. Whether that is differences in skin color, in religion, in physical appearance, or differences in language, customs, or just about anything that characterizes us.
And despite the deeply insisted on values of tolerance within both American tradition and Christian tradition, there still exists a stubborn insistence that homosexuals be treated with prejudice, bias, and intolerance. Despite the best science and medicine, many insist on their interpretations of 2000-year-old texts without regard to the context of the time and place of their origin. And many refuse to accept that Jesus never once spoke to the subject of homosexuality, but to a more encompassing message of treating others, as you would have others treat you.
The cherry picking of isolated verses to support one’s own bias may be the real sin.
Few have any problem today with electing a left-handed president. But, in the eyes of God, how mean spirited we are as a people to continue to demonize the minority among us who happen to be gay. And how mean spirited it of us as a people to exclude from one of the most cherished and desired of human institutions, the institution of marriage, those who desire to have equal acceptance of their mutual commitment to a loving and caring relationship. Shame on those who still, in 2008, insist that the benefits and privileges of marriage be held exclusively to the heterosexual.