Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

What is Idaho too Great for?

jzarate's picture


What is Idaho too great for?

Works_Cited1[3].doc42.5 KB


Anne Dalke's picture

Too great to discriminate

You've written an exhaustive survey, jzarate, of various forms of discrimination practiced against gays in Idaho, and explained to some degree what their (largely religious) sources are. It's a sobering account, a reality check for all the category-challenging work we have been doing in this class.

You end w/ a call for "education" to "dispel the immoral stigma attached to queer culture." But given the diametrically different world views you've described, I'm not sure that education is going to bridge the gap between (for example) a definition of "humanity" as spiritual beings who exist in a binary world order, and an opposing one of humans as political actors who exist in a world of equality.

How to join theological positions of inequality w/ politics ones of equality? How to recognize the humanity of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, if you are working with religious believers for whom heterosexual orientation is the natural order of things?

You say (for instance) that for "positive political change to occur within churches there needs to be a respect for the rights and freedoms of practitioners." But those churches "interpellate" parisioners not as free individuals, but as members who have scripted roles within a spiritual community. The terms of what it means to be "human" are fundamentally different. Spivak has helped us, over the past week, recognize that the "free individual" is as much a construction as the "faithful parisioner," that the doctrine of individual rights is as much a hegemony as that of collective spiritual partnership.

You denounce the discriminatory legislation of religious associations as "polarizing" and "self-serving"; but are not the activities of LGBT groups equally polarizing, equally self-serving--of different selves? You speak of the "stability" of marriage--but we know from statistics that marriages in this country are anything but.

Much analytical work remaining to be done here..