Monday, November 10, 2008

The protesters to Prop 8 are surrounding Saddleback Church (Pastor Rick Warren – The Purpose Driven Life) and the Cathedral downtown and the Mormon Temple in Westwood – and I think this is just awesome. These religious organizations gave millions to support Prop 8 and I’m so glad it’s getting riotous now. I want their reputations damaged over this. The writing is really on the wall in terms of gay marriage – it’s going to be law sooner or later. We know from the election that people under 40 voted overwhelmingly against the Prop that banned gay marriage. Time will make their wishes law as the older people die off -- that sounds so callous, but it’s true. I’m so glad that these churches are reaping the social damage that they have inflicted. I even suspect they don’t even care that much about two people of the same sex getting married anyway. I think this issue is being used to galvanize people toward their churches. But I think instead, they're alienating their future parishioner, forcing their base into a shrinking corner.

I am writing all day today and then doing a benefit tonight at the Geffen Theater for Autism – see I am reading a few pages from “Letting Go of God.”

The picture of the day is of the three pumpkins that Mulan, Michael and I each carved for Halloween, dressed up in wigs and a hat by me and Mulan.

I packed three boxes of books last night, my first step towards moving day (which will be mid-December.) It felt good. I don't know why I don't have sad feelings leaving this house. I mean, I think I SHOULD feel sad. But I don't, not one bit. I just want to move. I'll be back here eventually - I'm renting the house while we're gone, which may be years. So maybe knowing that I will return makes it easier. On the other hand, when I think of even selling this place now - I don't think I would feel bad about that either! I have so much junk in my house that I'm exhilarated to be getting rid of, it's hard to work in my office when I really want to be filling boxes with things for Good Will. Everyone should move every ten years just to force themselves to confront their shit. Why do I keep so much junk? I want to be free of all of it!

My brother-in-law is visiting and yesterday afternoon we went to Baby Blues Barbecue in Santa Monica - simply the best BBQ anywhere. I ran into my business manager who was there with a friend who is a Baby Blues Barbecue fanatic. I have left-over ribs in the fridge. They are calling out to me, even now.

Tomorrow if Veteran's Day and Mulan is out of school. WHAT THE HELL!?!?!? Now that I am a parent, I am against all random one-day holidays.

Letting Go of God, the DVD, is available on Amazon and they've already ordered over a hundred copies - even though the DVD won't be shipped until Friday to Amazon and isn't officially available until Nov. 21st. This is great. Clips and interviews and some behind the scenes stuff is going up on UTube later this week.


Petra said...

Moving is a lesson in paradox, I have found. I hate all the work, but love the purging, reorganizing, and newness to it all. Enjoy the process as much as you can!

I am thrilled to hear that there are organized protests against Prop 8. I think you are right, Julia, that it is generational. Just as the majority of bigots in the previous generations have died, and we elected an African-American president. So will the majority of homophobes.

In the meantime, I had a thought about equality and how to give everyone equal rights. The neo-cons and fundies really seem to have their knickers in a twist over the DEFINITION of marriage. So why not just remove that term from governmental contracts completely? Give ALL pairs of people the right to a civil union (or whatever the term might be) and leave "marriage" as a ceremony for whoever wants it, wherever they want it.

I gave dh the link to the sale site on Amazon so that hopefully I will get your DVD for xmas. I already wrote a review! (I figured I was allowed to since I saw in rehearsal before the movie was shot!)

: ) P

Anonymous said...

But what are the protestors doing about the black voters..... 7 out of 10 of whom voted for Prop. 8? I was shocked at those numbers.

Surely all of them are not Mormons or members of Saddleback Church.

Jasmyne A. Cannick wrote a compelling opinion piece in Saturday's LA Times concerning this issue.

I am certainly not blaming the blacks who voted for Prop. 8. But many of them feel this is a non-issue when so many other things are wrong. And I doubt if they were influenced by Mormons or Rick Warren.


Petra said...

But what are the protestors doing about the black voters..... 7 out of 10 of whom voted for Prop. 8? I was shocked at those numbers.

I suspect that of those 70%, ALL of them went to a church where homosexuality is considered a sin. In fairness, I think that many African-American voters have been so caught up in their own fight civil rights, they didn't stop to think about Prop 8 in terms of the possibility of other people LOSING their rights.

It may well be that the is the step backwards needed to show the GLBT community that outreach to other minorities is necessary to make forward progress. I live very far from California, but my understanding is that the mudslinging and perpetuation of hate with regard to trying to pass Prop 8 made the McCain robo-calls look like friendly invitations to a birthday party. If that is the only information people heard about Prop 8, it explains why the vote went the way it did.

Information, education, reformation. The keys to moving forward are within our reach.

: ) P

arensb said...

Greta Christina has an article arguing that it's wrong to blame African-Americans for Prop 8; that the real blame lies on religion's doorstep (and African-Americans tend to be very religious).

Go read. Go!

Unknown said...

I had to order "Letting Go of God" through Interlibrary Loan because I couldn't find it anywhere. It came to me from five states away. So glad it's readily available now! I know you hope it sells well, but I'm a librarian and I hope LOTS of libraries decide to add it to their collections so it's accessible to all. You have such valuable things to say. Thank you, thank you.

Volly said...

You are so right about the old bigots dying off, to be replaced with younger, more open-minded people. My son was not old enough to vote for Kerry in '04 -- he wished for those 4 years to go by quickly, as though he considered it his sole mission to make the right person happen in '08. I could not be prouder of him and all the Gen Y's.

Lanie said...

I wanted to respond to a lot here, but mainly, "Can't wait to get my DVD!"

Charles said...

LOL! Saddleback (20,000 attenders) was "surrounded" by 300 protesters?! They were all at one exit, so we simply closed that down and exited out the other two (where there wasn't a single news camera, and therefore, no protesters ; )

Does that qualify as "surrounded" in the LGBT community?

Lois Lane said...

I'm with you on moving every 10 years to clear the clutter. I chalk my pack-ratted-ness (that should be a word) up to growing up in a large family and having nothing but hand-me-downs. Everything I have as a grown up is mine, mine, mine. :D

I was thrilled to see state lawmakers in CA taking a second look at Prop 8. It clearly was unconstitutional, and I feel many who voted in favor of it, were uninformed.

Good luck getting all of your packing done.

A said...

Where are you going? What are you doing?

Anonymous said...

I pre ordered a DVD too! I can't wait to get it! Amazon says that it will arrive on the 26th. I was honored to be a part of the production, and I hope that you will have great success with the final product!

NormalJewishGirl said...

Julia ---

I've been reading your blog for several months, since hearing an early This American Life. When you mentioned your DVD's Amazon sales numbers, it reminded me of my friend's comedic SAT book that just came out. i.e., I'm really truly not spamming blogs.

He wrote for Robot Chicken and the Tonight Show and has a Princeton PhD in engineering, and the book is very funny in my opinion.

Could I send you the press release so you can consider reviewing it?

Or if you don't want to send email to some random person, here is the URL:

(I'm just a random public health researcher with no connection to Hollywood. Other than 12 seconds on SNL was based on a paper I wrote about virginity pledgers.)

normdoering said...

Julia Sweeney wrote: "These religious organizations gave millions to support Prop 8 and I’m so glad it’s getting riotous now. I want their reputations damaged over this."

Did you catch Keith Olbermann's "special comment" on the passage of Proposition Eight in California?

I think it does something to hurt the reputations of the churches involved.

If you haven't seen it, I've got it on my blog.

Ron Strelecki said...

I happened through sheer luck to get the opportunity to volunteer for the No on 107 campaign that blocked (for two whole years!) discrimination being written into the state constitution. It was a good experience. African Americans don't vote for these amendments because of some especial hatred of gays, or an excess of religiosity (exclusively, of course, that can be a factor). The overwhelming factor seems to be a diminishment mentality... the notion that if you "give" civil rights to "the gays" you have to "take them away" from "the blacks". It's as if "civil rights" are a big pie and there's only so much to go around. African Americans feel (for very good reason) that they have ownership of "civil rights" issues.

You know when you're at the grocery store? And there's one line open, and the old lady in front of you has 700 items, and you have a pack a gum. You stand there waiting and waiting as she says, "Beans are 59 cents, not 69 cents... the sign said! The sign said!" and then they go do a price check, and the cashier just stands there while the kid goes and checks the price, and you're thinking, "You can't ring some other things through while the kid goes and does that?"

Finally, as the last can of beans goes through, another kid opens a second lane and the other old lady with 700 things (and coupons) jumps over with amazing speed for an old lady... So, you decide that rather than punching two old ladies, you'll just wait where you are... and the first old lady talks about her grandkids for a FULL MINUTE and THEN pulls out her checkbook.

Right then a dude walks up and says, "Can I cut in here? I just need a pack of smokes?"

What do you say?

You say, "Hell no!"

That is why African Americans vote against gay marriage. And there are a variety of ballot framing issues that factored in... as well as this being an historic election. People (all people) think that they need to "balance" their vote. If they are given eight propositions, a great many people will think that they have to vote yes on 4 and no on 4. It's how people do these things. They take heuristics from other situations and apply them inappropriately.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Civil Marriage Equality Love.

I will knowing that you and your family are citizens of LA.

I ordered my LGOD dvd.

PS -- best of all, I got a nice email exchange back from actress June Harding from 'The Trouble with Angels'. She is a painter in Maine.
She was age 26 playing teen Rachel Devery in that 1966 film! how 'bout that?,,,.html

Anonymous said...

ps -- fun tribute site here

all my best to you Julia, always

tv show accountant

Anonymous said... just when did a"riotous"
group of people trying to force their point become an "awesome" thing? Gay marriage may become law sooner or later, but apparently it's not the will of the people of California right now. I would hope that reasonable people would respect the feelings of the majority. These changes will happen in their time.

I'm truly sorry that you (& others who feel like you) think that your beliefs are the only true & good beliefs to have. If someone does not agree with you, they are terrible people - or worse.

I don't agree with everyone I know, but that does not make them (or me) a bad person. I can disagree with a person & still respect them, and I can retain their respect.

I looked for your blog after seeing your show on HBO, which I enjoyed immensely. But most of what I've seen here is hate-filled & disrespectful of anyone who doesn't agree with you. While I certainly respect your right to your opinion, it is clear to me that you do not - unless of course, they agree with you.

Ms. Sweeney, I used to be a fan, but no more. I fully realize that statement will have no impact on you personally or professionally. Just one persons opinion, for what it's worth.

FYI - I live in Minnesota & I voted for Barack Obama...however I did NOT vote for Mr. Franken & sincerely hope that he does not become our Senator.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has moved about 15 times in her life, here's some advice:

First: Go through the whole house and pack up the nicknacks, painting, decorations, etc.

2nd: Pack books, sentimental items (like photo albums, letters, baby stuff, etc.) off season clothes, and anything you don't use regularly (back of the drawer, cupboard, closets, garage).

Weed out what you want you haven't used in five years and get rid of it now, before you pack, and donate it to charity.

Anonymous said...

Marriage Equality will come someday, and then I will remove the quotation marks when I refer to my "husband" of 15 years. We have one of those separate but equal domestic partnerships that our state allows. It's like having a separate drinking fountain from the hetero folks. But we take what we can get for now. It's some measure of protection for our family.

Yesterday's massive coast-to-coast rally for Equality gave me hope for the future. So many non-gay allies were there. And the baton was officially passed to the younger gay activists who have taken this cause as their own and been in the streets every day since Nov. 4. I wish you could have all been downtown to hear the speeches and see the miles of beautiful people marching there. I'll post some on my blog.

At the rally in Las Vegas Wanda Sykes officially came out of the closet and announced she'd married her wife on October 26. The religious haters have attacked us long enough and now they must be exposed for their bigotry.

Julia, I'm putting LGOG in my shopping cart today on Amazon. Can't wait to see the show again. It's really a masterpiece of storytelling. Are you having a premiere party?

Anonymous said...

And speaking of Ms. Sykes: Queerty has the audio of her speech yesterday to the rally in Vegas. If I can get my HTML to work I'll try to put a link here:

She dispels the myth of the 70% black vote. Take a listen.

Petra said...

And the baton was officially passed to the younger gay activists who have taken this cause as their own and been in the streets every day since Nov. 4.

I think this is a key point that many had not considered. My niece (20) is gay and had no idea that gay marriage wasn't already legal everywhere! She's grown up in a different world from just ten years ago and it took the passing of Prop 8 to open her eyes. I have to imagine that she is one of many in her position.

: ) P

Steven Strauss said...

"anonynous" may not know that churches leaned hard on their congregations to give the money to run the advertising. The people voting, black or otherwise, may not have even cared about the issue before facing their ballots. Voting is consequential by design, of course, but it was the buying of advertising for Yes On 8 that moved the voting. Placing the matter on the ballot, especially in that "no means you support the rights of same sex couples to marry" configuration, hangs the fate of an entire minority on a process requiring no more commitment than choosing someone else's entree at dinner. Think of it as voting to keep the table next to yours from having the fish.

I'm just glad "Focus On The Family" spent so much on this campaign that they had to let half a thousand employees go. I hope they find more honest employment next time (hint: don't work for a Christian political advocacy group).

Petra's idea of removing the word "marriage" from California law, replacing it, perhaps, with "domestic partnership," would achieve what allowing same sex couples to marry would not: it would politically "devalue" marriage to zero. This is the fate most fanatically dreaded by the Mormon Church, Focus On The Family, and Christian conservatives everywhere, and it is that fate which would most significantly empower their political movement. I'm not sure that's in line with our commitment to the rights of all people to be happy.

I wish you and your family the best in your move. I hope you'll stay in California.

Anonymous said...

Yes, "anonynous" knew that churches asked their congregations to contribute to the cause of their choice.

Why is this any different than contributing to Obama's campaign? The people who opposed Prop 8 had the same opportunity.

And as far as the clarification on the ballot "no means you support the rights of same sex couples to marry" - that simply made it easier to be sure that someone was voting the way they actually wanted to. But I suppose confusion is your friend.

Petra, if your 20 year old niece did not realize that gay marriage is not legal everywhere, it's not because she lives in a different world. She didn't realize it because she apparently doesn't watch the news or read the papers. I suggest she starts paying atttention to the world around her.

And I'd like to go on the record that I don't care if gay couples want to marry, more power to them. Just show the same respect for other peoples opinions, that you expect them to show for yours.

Anonymous said...

"These religious organizations gave millions to support Prop 8 and I’m so glad it’s getting riotous now. I want their reputations damaged over this. The writing is really on the wall in terms of gay marriage – it’s going to be law sooner or later."

You have got to be kidding me! You really just said that? You're glad it's getting riotous? You encourage violence and throwing tantrums in front of religious places of worship acting in such a way that goes against everything these people for 'gay rights' are asking for? You have lost your mind! And since the 'writing is on the wall' we should just give in and let whatever happen happen? Kids are going to get alcohol and do drugs, so let's just take away the laws that currently prevent them. Genius idea! Whatever happened to the ever-loving idea of the gay community 'tolerance' (which I don't think many quite understand). The state of California voted. I think many of those who opposed Prop 8 were not properly informed. Why can't people have an opinion against this? Isn't this a two way road? You don't see me crying, vandalizing, yelling, rioting with those who voted for Obama. You're pathetic!

Anonymous said...

About Prop 8 and why it passed to block gay marriages? I truly believe it was one of those upside down voting things...when Yes means No and vice versa. People who aren't able to clearly get what's asked are easily fooled. Those who wrote it were no dummies and counted on that. *sigh* If it were asked in plain English 'Are you for it or against it?' I'd bet it would pass in a NY heartbeat...I hope it comes up again for a vote.

Anonymous said...

Julia, I got my LGOG DVD and it's great. Thanks for making this available.

Also, where are you? I would love to hear you blog on the Rick Warren controversy.

In the meantime, I'll be cleaning the tire tracks off my face where Obama's bus ran over me.

Anonymous said...

One of the anonymous commenters wrote, "Gay marriage may become law sooner or later, but apparently it's not the will of the people of California right now. I would hope that reasonable people would respect the feelings of the majority. These changes will happen in their time."

One of the reasons to have such things as a constitution is to protect minorities from the whims and prejudices of the majority (the old cliche - two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch).
The "respect" thing is especially laughable. What's to respect when it comes to bigotry? Seriously, do you expect the gay and lesbian community to say "I respect you for trampling all over me"?
There is NOTHING to respect here. I no more respect those who voted Yes than I do those who felt blacks should sit at the back of the bus. Or is that okay if they were in the majority?
The lives of REAL PEOPLE were adversely affected here. Calling for "respect" is bullcrap.

macskadék said...

Hi. I just dropped by, checking out the godless blogosphere here&there :-)
First of all, I downloaded and listened to your audiobook Letting Go Of God, and it was pure awesome! It's very nice to see girls, and FUNNY girls, speak up for the cause. Kudos for that.
But. I'm autistic and thus sad to see you supporting Autism Speaks. They want to wipe us out of the planet, and if you know more about autism than having watched Rain Man, you know it's a _bad_ thing. Educate yourself! Some links to go by:,,,, and anyone in their links. Autism Speaks and anti-vaxxers belong to the same category - just like old-style creotards and this new-and-polished Intelligent Design crowd. Cure ignorance, not autism.

Faithlessly yours:
MerryDeath :-)

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