Saturday, August 28, 2010

Esther is Dead

I've never mentioned her before, but once, just a little while ago, I met a girl named Esther.

In these modern times we live in, "met" doesn't hold the same meaning it once did. We were never in the same room at the same time. (Actually, this isn't true. I think we were both in the same rooms at LeakyCon 2009, though I didn't know her then.) But Esther and I met on the internet. We were friends on YouTube. I'd comment on her videos. She was doing VEDA, only instead of "Vlog Every Day in April" it was "Vlog Every Day in AUGUST." And she didn't do every day, but she did most days.

Her last vlog ended with this wonderful moment where she looks at the camera and talks directly at you, and she tells you she loves you.

Esther died three days ago.

Esther died of cancer in the thyroid, a disease common to adults but very rare in children. And at sixteen, she was still very much a child.

I hate Time, and God, and the world, for killing her.

I knew her only a short while, and yet she was a giant.

She wasn't an angel or a saint. By no means perfect. But she was beautiful and funny and kind and nice. She'd reply to you even if she didn't know you. She'd give you a chance.

Once I talked about my life in terms of a "scrap heap of humanity." The idea that things that I misuse or abuse about my own existence might be better put to use in someone else's life. Well, I certainly would have given up 20 years off of the end of my own life, if only to keep Esther around for that much longer.

I tell myself that if David was right, if there is a "valley of the shadow of Death," that this is good news. For if something casts a shadow, that must mean there is light beyond it.

I am very drunk right now, and will continue getting drunker. Esther probably wouldn't have wanted that, but I'm doing it anyway, in her honor. A bottle of wine down, now I'm working on a cider, and I intend to finish another after that.

I'm sorry, Esther. I wish you could have my life. I wish you could still be alive.

I'm sorry, Esther.

I'm sorry you're gone.

You deserve so much more. So much more.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prop 8

Prop 8 was overturned today.

I was happy.

I cannot tell my family this. Because they wouldn't be happy. They think it's the crumbling of our society, a complete 180 degrees from the truth of God's word.

I think about my ancestor, a man named Increase Mather. Increase was a prominent minister in New England during the Salem Witch trials. Many of his good friends made the decisions to put the Salem witches to death.

I think about what the Bible says about witchcraft. It says witches are abominations and should be killed. In society today, Christians oppose witches and think their religious practices are wrong, but we would never kill or harm a witch just for being a witch. The secular government set up by our founding fathers ("in God we trust" and "one nation under God," yes, but the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Bill of Rights pretty much clinched the fact that we would never be a wholly "Christian" nation), has even begun to recognize paganism and witchcraft as a religion. Even though the Bible says witches are evil and deserve to die, they are recognized as human beings with rights (a right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the freedom to believe as they wish) by the US Constitution.

I can't help but compare witches to the GLBTQ community. The Bible calls for the destruction of homosexual men and women as well, a mandate we ignore (except for some countries, like Uganda, that are enacting the Old Testament treatments of homosexuals... to ugly and horrifying effect). But our government is not a Christian government. I stress that again: it never really was a wholly Christian government. At one point the majority of its leaders were Christians, which led to a decisively Christian slant in much of the wording of our founding documents, in the legislation, court rulings, etc. But instead, our government was set up on the principle of equality--"that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Over time we came to recognize that all men AND women are created equal. That people are equal regardless of race. And it snowballs from there: equal regardless of religion, age, education, social class.... so why not sexual preference?

Within the context of my religion, homosexuality is wrong. But within the context of my government, a lot of things that Christianity says are wrong are perfectly legal. I think that within the context of our nation's law, homosexual marriage should be legal... in ALL states.

So I was happy with today's result.

Shh... it's a secret.