November 30th, 2007
When I first published "Gay Marriage: An attempt to destroy the family?" by Luis Muņoz on The Fedora Chronicles, I put up a disclaimer at the top that read this:
I remember the day that I hosted Luis Muņoz's article, wondering what the reaction to it would be. I had no idea that this would later become one of the most debated articles on The Fedora Chronicles and there would still be people talking about this more then 2 years later. A lot of people wrote about it, a lot of people commented on it, and over 2 years later it's still the centerpiece of a decisive and long-running debate.
This debate is on another website and not on The Electric Speak-Easy, which is the name of our forum... many folks have used this article and this article alone as a means to demonstrate that everything they thought and feared about The Fedora Chronicles was correct...
To be blunt, the person who wrote that statement above is ignorant of who we are and is a known "bomb-thrower," will say and post things just to get the ire of the people who doesn't agree with. He's what can be best described as an "Evangelical Atheist," Doesn't believe in God and likes to ridicule those who do... which is what he did on The Electric Speakeasy before he asked to be banned to prevent him from posting more in our political section.
He also hid behind his son's uniform, making broad sweeping comments about people who didn't believe what he believes and if you disagree with him he would remind you that his son's serving in Iraq; making it clear that because of that fact he has a free ticket to insult and make denigrating comments about the management of the site and our members.
... So, we finally obliged him and honored his request to suspend his account. He got away with that behavior on another forum (the same place where someone got that quote) where he posted on the forum where he was a moderator and was allowed to edit or delete comments that weren't in goose-step with the site's administrator. I wasn't going to allow him to continue that behavior on our forum despite his status as a solder's dad.
The comment above is fine and what I expect from people who just have to have someone to hate to make them selves feel better. It just proves that no matter how often I explain what The Fedora Chronicles is, what it was supposed to be about and how we've all worked hard to make the site an open as possible for all Retro's and Vintage Aficionados... some people don't get the message.
When people criticize The Fedora Chronicles, they usually point to Mr. Muņoz's article as an example of what's wrong with this publication and on-line community. They tend to always forget the other finer points about this site.
The character who wrote that post that I reprinted here has no clue as to what goes on here on The Fedora Chronicles or why I bothered to create in in the first place, even after explaining it to him many times before. One of the many reasons why this site was created was to have a place to publish opinions of fellow Retro's and Vintage Aficionados (with Classic Science Fiction fans and the generic Indy-Fan for good measure...) that wouldn't or couldn't be published on any other site.
We seem to tackle the controversy that other sites avoid. Which is fine if other webmasters want to avoid issues and be about something that's just for fun and a hobby... that's great. Good For Them. But we wanted to do something totally different and try substance and wrap it in a package using color and fonts reminiscent of an earlier time.
Through the 3 1/3 years that we've been on line, I've hosted articles from a wide range of people, Christians, atheists, agnostics and Non-Christian Pegans, Homosexuals and Homophobes, Neo-Cons and Registered Democrats... and a woman who I affectionately called a 'whacked out left-over Hippy crone' who died too short before her time. (I really miss her phone calls and her advice...)
Look, I don't care what you are or what your political agenda is. The whole reason why I started this site was allow people to say their piece; folks who are affectionate towards a particular period of history or just an era's style of dress can submit virtually anything as long as it's well written and is able to make a point that's entertaining and concise. I only have three rules, no porn - no bashing fellow Retro's - and back up your argument with out using someone else's talking points.
None of my critics ever mention the countless other types of articles we have here, they always point to just a few, and that one in particular. My critics will also never mention that I've offered them many opportunities to submit written pieces about what we're doing wrong or where we don't get it right. What's wrong with a Tribute to "The Golden Era?" What's so bad about allowing a voice for every Vintage Aficionado to say his or her piece? What makes you think that The Greatest Generation not so great? Write your thoughts down, submit it.
I'm still waiting for these people who have such issues with The Fedora Chronicles to step up, but I won't be holding my breath. Some of those same people have open accounts on The Fedora Chronicles, I've allowed them to answer the challenge with the door wide open but none of "The Major Players" will take the first step. They'll continue to criticize the site in only the most generalist of terms and me specifically on a forum where they think I can't touch or hurt them, where I can't respond because I refuse to post on that forum any more.
These critics of mine also forget the body of work I have here that demonstrates that I have gone after Evangelical Christians who have crossed the line. I've written about this in rants and on the forum. I stood toe-to-toe with my own pastor and another local one about what goes on here on this site and on issues of morality and dogma. Something has happened over the course of the past year that's made me take stock in what I believe in and question some issues that I thought were clear and black and white. After witnessing some things like a religious leader who smudged the line in between to create a grey area to operate and condone the behavior of those close to them, I'm now incapable of going along with the "Hallelujah, let's condemn those sinners out of love."
I've talked about this spiritual conflict, and only an illiterate could call me or this site reactionary, ultra-Christian, closed minded, right wing entity.
Which brings back to the article that started the controversy "Gay Marriage: An Attempt To Destroy The Family?" by Luis Muņoz, I have mixed feelings about it now. More so then I did when I first published it. My feelings have changed some what since I first put it up, having read some passages in the Bible about Homosexuality, and Divorce, which lead me to almost a conversion after a particular incident at a local church.
I sat in on a conversation bewteen a pastor an a woman who was about to get married again at what was then my church, too. The Pastor was talking to this woman about the many times she had been divorced and why. She had been married and divorced three times, and the bible is pretty clear on people who have attitudes and take marriage lightly.
The time that she had been married 3 times, there's been a same-sex couple who had been together all this time. They've shared a life together for all these years and are still denied the right to be called "Married."
If there are those who want to apply the biblical standards against same-sex couples, then the same people should apply the standards from the same Holy Book to men and women in the church of have been married, divorced and married again... half of the couples that I knew from this church had been married more then once. There's some hypocrisy there, I think.
Then the thought occurred to me, what if "Strange" people couldn't be married. It's an arbitrary and relative term, but what if my wife and I were deemed by the Committee on Homeland Normalcy as "Just Strange Enough." I'll leave that thought alone... except to say that my wife and I eventually left that church because of some church gossip and that we were indeed labeled "strange" and were not allowed to renew our vows. Think about that for a while and get back to me.
I don't know if I agree with Mr. Muņoz's article any more. But I think I can say with out any aforementioned hypocrisy that I'm proud that I was brave enough to publish it and left it up on the server. It would have been very easy for me to delete it and pretend the whole thing never happened. But it's there to show the rest of the world that we don't self-censor when it's convenient.
I feel vindicated, after everything that we've been through together, we're still here and we're still causing people to talk about us and what we're doing. We started a debate that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for this controversial article. People wouldn't have had to deal with their real thoughts and feelings on this topic, and maybe no change of hearts and minds.
For The Fedora Chronicles to facilitate this is a huge honor. It's not the topic that I would have chosen, but it was the topic we were stuck with. It's almost as if the topic picked us.