Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine, Patron Saint of Gay Marriages

     Happy feast day of the god Lupercalia!  He's the reason for the season of love that we celebrate today.  Back in ancient Rome (before Christianity), February 13-15 were spent in festival, performing rites to purify the city for health, fertility and love.  In ancient Greece, Lupercalia was known as Pan.  Of course once, the Christians took over, this "pagan" feast was eventually syncretized into St. Valentine's Day.  And thank goodness, because flogging one's self bloody is not very romantic.

     As straight Christian couples around the world glorify their heterosexual love in name of St. Valentine's Day, homosexual couples continue to fight for their right to be civilly married.  The financial disclosure of political donations has shown that the vast majority of the funding for the campaigns to crush same-sex couple's civil rights comes from Catholics, Mormons, and Fundamentalist Christians.  What these "good" Christians don't realize is that they are repeating the history of their very own St. Valentine.  But now, they are the oppressive majority.

     Contemporary celebration of St. Valentine's Day is associated with the romantic legend of a third century Christian priest named Valentine, who broke the Roman marriage laws by performing banned marriages for young Christian men and women.  Yes, he was fighting for the the rights of his young flock to be married.  But don't blame the Roman majority.  Emperor Claudius II's Defense of Marriage Act was only trying to preserve the sacred and historically-founded unions of those who worshiped within the established Roman pantheon (and to keep those peace-loving Christians from dodging the draft).  

     Thus, when Christians gained control of the Roman Empire and usurped the right to marry, they changed what they now claim is the unchangeable institution of marriage.  [If you don't believe me or if you disagree, that's okay.  This is all according to Christian legend, and as I learned in my Catholic scripture classes, it doesn't matter if the scriptures are historically accurate, its the interpretation of the truth within the myth that matters.]

    For losing his life in the name of marriage equality and giving "straight" men everywhere an excuse to wear pink, St. Valentine should be the patron saint of marriage equality.  

Plus, the name, Valentine, is so gay.

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