“When you look around and you're on the same team as the Glenn Beck's and Rush Limbaugh's, maybe you're on the wrong side...” – Rion Dennis, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland
Recently the Executive Director of Progressive Maryland, Rion Dennis, during a Facebook banter back and forth with me on the gay marriage issue in Maryland, stated that he would “question anyone who saw their beliefs fall in line with that of the likes of some the right-wings most conservative public figures”, such as Fox’s Glenn Beck and the outspoken Rush Limbaugh. However this sense of political classification based on certain groups beliefs and overall agendas is exactly why we see this Country’s political landscape running to the center, registering and believing as Independents, away from the crazy two-party, organized factions of special interest groups that have taken over the dialogue of some of today’s most serious and hotly debated issues.
The issue at hand regarding this conversation was – gay or same-sex marriage. This issue, which has been a nagging yet insurmountable progressive movement over the past decade or more, has caused this country great divisiveness mostly over that of the religious argument. This discussion was spurned from my Facebook link to a recent Examiner article in which I begged the question as to if President Obama and the State’s black Senators would lose their base over their recent decisions accept the lifestyle of gay marriage, by either no longer prosecuting DOMA cases as for the former and voting in favor of recent legislation favoring same-sex marriage for the latter? This set off a firestorm of debate, especially between me and the young new director.
Mr. Dennis, a 32-year old native of Liberia yet current PG County resident, is a great young man from what I can tell, even despite his seemingly very liberally "progressive" ideals and beliefs, yet he is responsible for leading possibly the state’s largest left-wing grassroots advocacy organization, which claims to have over 15,000 individual members and supporters as well as over 50 affiliated religious, community and labor organizations. Its Board of Directors looks like a who’s who of labor, elected and non-elected Democratic leaders from around the state, that speak to the direct hiring and firing of elected officials they endorse which happen to all be “progressive” Democrats, or Green Party members as stated by Rion? Yet never a Republican candidate!
However his initial response as to why one could, and should, be opposed to SB116, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, based solely off of a spiritual or religious context, leaving the politics out of it, and Mr. Dennis seemed to liken that to insanity? As I spoke of the religious context and how at times though our entire political landscape of beliefs shall certainly not be aligned with the likes of Mr. Beck or Limbaugh, to honestly have someone question their religious principles based on the fact that a right-wing GOP talk show host holds the same or similar beliefs, is absurd! His response to this was as follows:
“I would ask anyone to question anything they believe in when they realize that their beliefs put them in league with those who wish them harm…Ibelieve millions of Americans believe in the values espoused by those radio & tv personalities, much like those GOP legislators and anti-civil marriage white conservatives "defending" marriage. They agree with the Becks and Limbaughs…and if their greatest concern is that they are allowed to go to the courthouse and get married, I believe that's a small compromise, if it even is a compromise,because the black church or mosques can still preach every vile thing they want to say about gay people.”
Mr. Dennis then follows that statement up with an even more confusing statement saying, “I use the term "vile" because each side believes what the other side is espousing is vile, whether you believe homosexuality is vile or homophobia is vile…as I do!” Really?
So Mr. Dennis believes that homosexuality is “vile”, as is the word of the Bible, Quran, Torah and any other Holy Scripture a preacher in the black church or mosque is preaching obviously according to his earlier comments? Therefore, he makes the argument for those opposed to the measure for us, yet somehow confusing in himself, why they should, or should not, be opposed in the black community based on religious grounds. He goes on to state that he “don't believe EVERY God-sent prophet/messenger is opposed to civil marriage or homosexuality. But the question isn't whether or not religious black people can still teach their kids being gay is sinful, because if this bill passes nothing will change on Sunday morning.”
Well if “nothing will change” than please tell me what shall be taught in the schools once this public legislation is made law, in both public and law schools therewith? Yet “nothing will change”? And how can a parent, or religious school such as the Clara Muhammad School in Park Heights, teach their children that God says man shall not sleep with man, nor woman with woman, yet the State of Maryland condones such behavior? Even my 4-year old son sees the difference between the two and how it shall become a serious problem! He ends his rant saying, to him, “this is another sign of why our community has not yet matured politically!” I question this to you sir, when shall you and the progressive left, and right, fringe groups grow-up and mature beyond the point of the two feuding dying dinosaur parties, known as the Democratic and Republican parties, who have become hostage to these extreme fractions of their party and allow for a more comprehensive and civil conversation, dialogue and solution come from compelling vision of national reform, capable of guiding the way forward, while at the same time unifying the American people – despite Party affiliation?
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