Thursday, August 25, 2011

Essay: "An Open Letter to Rick Perry"

I wrote this during the fall semester of 2010. I was inspired to write it after I met my first boyfriend (future boyfriend at that time) and I was able to add my self to the essay when I came out. It's about why I think gay marriage should be legalized in the form of a letter to Rick Perry. I had originally planned to send it to him, but I understand he would be much to busy campaigning for presidency. Let me stress right now that I do not support Perry. I really, really hate him, especially now that he thinks he is "driven by God" to run for President. I really just said those things at the beginning to get his attention. It's the only part of the essay that lies. It won second place in the essay division with no tie, behind an essay about the educational system. I met the judge after the award ceremony, who told me how she "never thought of it that way." I think some of the arguments now are sort of weak, realizing now that I can't cite the Bible, or at least Leviticus. I plan on writing another essay of arguments that aren't helping (inspired by a Cracked article on five pro-marijuana arguments that aren't helping) as well as arguments that can and should help. I also wrote it back when I tried to fit the exact standard of many English teachers each time I wrote an essay. I realize now those rule can and are broken. Anyway, despite the somewhat weak arguments, please enjoy "An Open Letter to Rick Perry" by Zachary Armstrong.

An Open Letter To Rick Perry

Dear Governor Rick Perry,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your successful re-election into the Texas Governmental House. I understand it must have been an incredible challenge to get to where you are now, and an even greater challenge to keep your seat for all this time among the fierce competition you’ve faced over the years, most recently from Bill White. I would like you to know how much I admire you and your administration, as well as the way you have kept Texas up and running ever since you first took office as the Governor.
However, it has come to my attention that you wish to make gay marriage a felony under the law. This is disappointing, because out of your lengthy time in office, this may be one of your few mistakes. Before you make any decisions about this, please personally read through the rest of this letter and carefully consider your own opinions as you do so. There are three likely reasons why anyone in particular would prefer to keep gay marriage illegal: traditional marriage, its unnatural appearance, and of course The Bible; and I am going to tell you why all of these are not viable reasons to keep gay marriage illegal.
Let’s start with The Bible, specifically Leviticus. Leviticus 18: 22 says, “Thou shalt not lay with another man the way one lays with a woman, that is detestable.” While any average God-fearing man or woman has the right to believe what he wants to believe about homosexuality throughout The Bible, it is not a reasonable basis to continue to keep gay marriage illegal.
As you are the Governor of Texas, I am sure you are a strong believer of the Constitution and its rules and regulations on what the Government can and cannot create laws. I am also sure you are fully aware of the first of the amendments to the Constitution. When someone mentions the first amendment, an average person instantly thinks about their right to free speech, and maybe freedom of the press if that person is a journalist. But you and I both know (you do know, right?) that this also includes a person’s right to freedom of religion.
If you don’t remember, let me quote the first amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The very first people to come to the New World, now the United States, came because they did not want to have to follow the catholic ideals of thinking. So they came to these lands to start a new life free of the people that wanted to tell them what to think and believe. Understandably, when we freed ourselves of the rule of King George III, we included in the Constitution the right to freedom of religion.
History lessons aside, the reason why outlawing gay marriage violates the first amendment rights of those affected is that a homosexual person has every right to freedom of religion just like every other citizen of America, if he or she chooses to go against traditional religious teachings and lay with their own sex, get married, etc., then the Government has no constitutional right to take those allowances away from them from a religious standpoint. Furthermore, religion shouldn't be a reason for any major laws to ratify, because the first amendment and Article VI of the U.S. Constitution separate the church and the state.
            Oh, and by the way, Leviticus has some other interesting things to say about other various rules and regulations of the Christian religion. There are multiple verses of Leviticus that talk about items that are either now perfectly acceptable.
            For instance, did you know that you're not supposed to ingest any blood from an animal? It says so right here in Leviticus 17:13-14:
                13 "Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, 'You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.'"
            Mr. Perry, this means that if you have even had so much as a burger cooked medium-rare in your life, you're going to Hell. Notice how it says "Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you." I assume you are neither an Israelite nor a foreigner residing among them, Mr. Perry, but why would God change his rules for different people? If he loves us all equally, why would he favor one group over the other by imposing stricter rules?
            But that's not all. According to Leviticus 15:19:
            19 "'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.'"
            But, once again, that's not all. It goes on for several verses after this getting into the specifics of the rules. Basically, anything she touches or sits on and everyone who touches or sits on what she touches or sits on will be unclean and must be washed, and she will be unclean for the next seven days. In other words, I hope you were nowhere near your wife during her period, Mr. Perry.
            But beyond religion, the second reason one might want to outlaw gay marriage is for the reason that it may eventually take over traditional marriage. There is a simple and easy solution to this: if you want to marry traditionally, don’t marry inside your sex. If you want to preserve traditional marriage and you're a man, marry a woman, and vice-versa for women. It's as simple as that. I can't say for certain why anyone would begin to think that marrying homosexually is going to take over traditional marriage. There will always be heterosexual people and there will always be homosexual people, with plenty of marital choices for both straight and gay men and women.
            Finally, the third reason someone might not want gay marriage to be legal is the idea that it is unnatural and that gays chose to be the way they are. The problem with that argument is that homosexuality has been around as long as heterosexuality has. As soon as we were able to comprehend the fact that if men put their penis into the vagina of women, ejaculated and waited nine months that we would get a baby, men tried the same with other men and women tried the same with other women, seeing if a baby would grow. Though we discovered that it wouldn’t work that way, some might have preferred sex with other men or sex with other women    because they liked it more. It’s only natural to make this assumption because of the sentient being’s natural curiosity.
            It's not as if homosexuality is a disease passed around like an STD. In fact, some studies have shown that the part of a person that makes that person gay is actually a perfectly normal gene, making it a natural part of the human genome. This means that not only were homosexual people born the way they are, but it was not their choice, contrary to popular belief. Mr. Perry, I don't think you chose to be born with dark eyes, black hair and white skin. I think you were just born that way, and you had no decision in choosing the genes that make your appearance. Just like I had no choice in choosing the genes that made me gay. Yes, you read that right. I am an American gay male. The cat's out of the bag.
            I know I didn't have a hand in choosing whether I came out straight or gay, because I think I would have chosen to be straight. That way, I could have children of my own without the aid of a surrogate or an adoption center. That way, I wouldn't have to deal with all of the terrible things that many have to say about people like me. But I have accepted who I am. My family and friends love me and accept me, and I intend to fight for my place in the world.
            Governor, I have told you about the three main reasons why someone would want to keep gay marriage illegal; its "biblical wrongness," its traditional marriage "opposition," and finally its "unnatural aspects"; and I have told you about how they are not true or not viable reasons to outlaw gay marriage. My advice to you, Mr. Perry, is that you reconsider your wishes here. Otherwise, you may end up with a few too many riots on your hands.
Your Adoring Fan

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