So I was sitting in church on base last week, and the chaplain comes up to give the sermon of the day. Lots of ships were pulling out for exercises last week, so I figured it would be something along the usual lines of "be strong when you're afraid, when you're lonely, have faith". Instead he delieved a blistering attack on homosexuals and gay marriage, "rotting" the very foundation of american society. Five days later, I have a response to him and those like him who are now celebrating their newfound power in America. There are some who believe gays to be rotting the American society. There are some who believe allowing gays civil unions and other benefits would severely damage the fabric of marriage and other sacred institutions. There are some who have been attacking "immorality" for nearly 30 years and now have their dream hot button issue in banning gay marriage and the rights of gays. All of these folks are tragically mistaken. What is endangering our society is a "me" first mentality that allows people to rationalize adultery, abuse, abandonment and abdication of parental and family responsiblity. We also have serious flaws that have developed in our society that are rotting it from the inside with most prosperous Americans unaware. We have far too many parents working far too many hours to provide for their children with ever increasing healthcare, education, fuel/transportation and housing prices, in addition to regular inflation. Many of our children have loving, caring parents who give a very big DAMN about their future, they just never see them because they're working multiple jobs just to pay the bills. We have a popular culture that promotes irresponsibility, violence, ignorance and laziness. How can you have a decent society with indecent entertainment and culture? We have a set of drug laws that incarcerates hundreds of thousands of men (especially black men in this and the last generation) for trival drug offences, such as use or sale of a minute amount. How many fathers, how many sons have been locked away, at a high cost to their families, to the taxpayers and to their larger societies? Homosexuals and their radical fringes make a convenient, easy target, but the misguided war against them will do nothing to help America. Lastly, those on the religious right (and center) who rail and rant about homosexuals do far less raging and ranting about the injustices of the world, the everyday, avoidable tragedies that befall people. With the exception of Franklin Graham, I don't see Ralph Reed or any of his ilk spreading outrage about the genocide in Darfur or slavery in southern Sudan or Brazil. I don't hear outrage about the 43 million uninsured Americans, the millions of children who live right on or underneath the poverty line. I haven't heard anything about the single women who are trying to raise children with fathers locked up in jail for something stupid like doing drugs. Maybe I miss out on listening to the outrage over businesses, corporations and wealthy merchants/property owners who screw over their consumers, customers and tenants, often with fatal or very painful consequences. Perhaps I was out of the pew when the preachers and moralizers were condemning domestic violence and the horrific toll it takes on women (some men too) and children. To improve our society, we must challenge ourselves. We must hold ourselves to a higher bar. We must be aware of our problems and fix them. We must reach out to others in need and give them a hand up, not a hand out. We must inspire those younger and less knowing than us to do good works, to have faith and spread it by spreading love and justice. Instead, we crusade against homosexuals and the desires of a few of them to get married. We spend millions to advertise, argue and appeal to citizen voters. We waste precious time to help others and instead condemn people we have a moral aversion to. We forget the teachings of the great men (and women) of the world, from Jesus Christ to George Washington to Martin Luther King, who preached love, justice and prosperity of the heart and soul, not to mention one's nation. Instead, we wage a culture war, and when we've vanquished the homosexuals, we will see a society no stronger and perhaps even weaker than it was before our foolish Rubicon moment (the gay marriage outcry).