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April 10, 2014 - Image 4

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4A - Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, April 10, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

41Cmitigan Ba1k)
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MEGAN MCDONALD
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
A-matter of morals
Michigan shouldn't need an economic basis to ban discrimination
The Business Leaders for Michigan have recently thrown their
support behind the banning of employment discrimination based
on sexual orientation. These leaders have rationalized their support
on the basis of an economic argument, claiming that states who limit this
kind of discrimination in the workplace would increase the number of
qualified individuals, a principle which could be applied to Michigan. While
this rationalization is sound, an economic argument shouldn't be the only
reason for the banning of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Christianity's g(r)ay area

n getting to know me, many
people are surprised that
I'm Christian. In an already
religiously
unaffiliated
society, LGBTQ
members,
are twice as
likely to have
no affiliation.
This trend
makes sense MICHAEL
considering SCHRAMM
73 percent of
Christians
believe homosexuality is a sin.
The argument - one that's been
passed down for generations - is
prettyeasy to understand. The Bible is
God'sword, and therefore the entirety
of its content is rules for us to follow.
Since a number of Bible verses (argu-
ably between six and 12) condemn
homosexual relations, Christianity
condemns homosexuality.
But do these verses condemn homo-
sexuality? Many hear the argument
in my last paragraph, skim through
the verses and immediately write
homosexuality off. To an extent, I can
understand why they'd reach this con-
clusion. First, they've probably always
heard that homosexuality is sinful, so
they have no reason to think other-
wise. Second, with verses like "You
shall not lie with a male as one lies
with a female; it is an abomination,"
it's easy to make quick assumptions.
Contrary to popular belief, these
verses don't concretely condemn
homosexuality. Regardless of which
verse you're reading, it's important
to note they discuss only male homo-
sexual sex. I won't bore you with each
versebutasimple Googlingof"homo-
sexuality verses" proves this point.
There is a logical explanation for only
addressing sex. During biblical times,
homosexual relations consisted pre-
dominantly of older men with boys
and men with their male slaves. These
sexual acts were often forms of rape
to show dominance, so it makes sense
why the Bible would condemn "prac-
ticed homosexuality." This explana-
tion also illuminates why these verses
address homosexual men. Only one
verse arguably addresses women's
homosexuality, yet even this verse
contains ambiguity in its reference to

lesbian acts. These acts were cultur-
ally irrelevant to women, so the Bible
didn't need to address them.
If these verses are addressing
homosexual acts of domination, this
means that the Bible never addresses
homosexual relationships. There's a
reason for this - these relationships
rarely, if ever, existed. Marriages were
dictatedby parents, and parentsbased
marriages on familial connections,
financial gain and land. Love was
frequently subordinate to benefitting
the family. Therefore, homosexual
relationships were outside cultural
norms. For example, the man's parents
were expected to provide the woman
and her parents a dowry of money
and gifts. If two men tried to marry,
this essential marriage tradition
would become muddled. Customs
like these created an expectation that
men marry women, so relationships
complicating the traditions weren't
given serious thought.
Nowadays, relationships are
different. We typically choose
long-term relationships based on
a romantic connection, and since
my previous argument assumes the
Bible doesn't condemn homosexual
relationships, the Christian
religion should have no problem
with homosexual relationships.
I wish that I could dedicate more
words to this argument because
there's so much more to discuss.
Unfortunately, I need to spend
my remaining 400 words saying
other things.
Likehowit'snotfairthatChristians
judge me for my lifestyle. I know for a
fact that part of my community looks
down on my pursuit of another young
gentleman. It stings because some of
these people are my friends, yet they
seldom make the effort to hear my
position - let alone take it seriously.
Though they won't challenge my
belief to my face, I know from enough
sources that it's a topic they've
discussed with each other. They see
megoingagainstthe church's opinion,
so they assume I'm wrong.
But the truth of the matter is, I don't
think I'm wrong, and I shouldn't feel
shame for believing I'm right. My
reasoning stems from more than my
opinion benefitting my personal life.
I've done my biblical research, and

I hold my belief because it takes the
Bible - Christianity's ultimate frame
- into consideration. Since many hold
the opposite stance because "that's
what we've always believed," I would
even argue that my opinion is more
God-rooted than theirs.
However,this doesn'tmeanthatI'm
judging your opinion if it's different
than mine. It saddens me that many
have opposite beliefs on a subject so
important to my life, but if your stance
stems from a clear and argumentative
interpretation, I'll respect your belief.
I'll even hear out what you have to say.
Likewise,though,it's only fair that you
hear my argument, and when I settle
into a relationship, it's not your place
to assume my decisions are swinful.
Like any other Christian, I'm merely
following what I believe is right.
Because - besides the biblical
arguments - I feel God directing me
on this path, andI've felt this for along
time. For too many evenings than he
can remember, mid-teenager Michael
laidhisheadonhispillow,clutchedhis
comforter in his developing palm and
prayed an assortment of prayers. The
"God, take these (gay) feelings away
from me" prayer; the "God, help me
through this" prayer; the "God, I want
a love of my life so badly, but if I'm gay,
I'm not allowed" prayer; the "God,
everyone will treat me differently
if I really am gay" prayer; the "God,
let your will be done, but please just
give me some comfort" prayer. After
reciting these prayers more times
than he can remember, mid-teenager
Michael woke up every morning to
realize that absolutely nothing had
changed. Though God doesn't give us
everything we ask for, he wasn't even
providing his fundamental promise
to ease stress in trying times. After
enough prayer sessions ending in
nothing but restless anguish, mid-
teenager Michael came to the conclu-
sion that there must be an explanation
for his God's actions. That despite an
overwhelming consensus onthe topic,
something was missing. That some-
thing was wrong. That lying under-
neath a seemingly one-sided debate
existed agray areamore complexthan
the consensus made it appear.
- Michael Schramm can be
reached at mschramm@umich.edu.

Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
was passed in 1976, prohibiting employment,
housing or public accommodation
discrimination on the basis of religion, race,
color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight,
familial status or marital status. The bill
doesn't, however, cover discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation or expression.
Business Leaders for Michigan recently
voiced their support for the expansion of
this bill to include such sexual orientation
discrimination under the purview of the law.
Their reasoning is an economic one: with
the goal of making the state one of the top
business competitors in the country, banning
discrimination will aid in attracting qualified
job candidates and work to make all applicants
feel welcome in the Michigan workplace. A
recent Michigan Department of Civil Rights
survey discovered that a discriminatory
climate in the Michigan workplace is driving
professionals and college graduates out
of the state as well as making Michigan a
less welcoming place for non-natives, thus

hurting the Michigan economy asa whole.
While an economic argument can and
is being made for the expansion of anti-
discrimination legislation, discrimination
of any kind should not be tolerated for any
reason. The CEOs are creating a catalyst
for social change, which will greatly benefit
the state and its population, but Michigan's
citizens should take it upon themselves
to initiate this change as a matter or
moral imperative.
The state needs to step up and end
discrimination. This change needs to be
brought about by more thanjust the corporate
world aiming to increase their profits and
better their reputation in the business world.
A social component needs to be included in
this move for social change. The Business
Leaders of Michigan are supporting societal
change that must be accepted by the state
of Michigan writ large for the betterment of
our society and the acceptance of any and all
current and potential residents of the state
of Michigan.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Barry Belmont, Edvinas Berzanskis, David Harris, Rachel John, Nivedita
Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria
Noble, Melissa Scholke, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul
Sherman, Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Meher Walia, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
No such thing as a healthy selFe

ast November, Oxford Dictionaries
announced "selfie" as its international
Word of theYear2013, an awardgivento
either a word or expression
that has attracted a great
deal of interest during the
year. Its research reveals
that the frequency of the
word "selfie" in the English
language has increased
by 17,000 percent since -A-L
late 2012. LAUREN
Searching #selfie MCCARTHY
on Instagram renders
97,032,845 posts, and is
followed closely by related
hashtags such as #selfiesunday, #selfienation,
#selfiesfordays and #selfiecentral.
For $1.29, fans of the songwriting duo The
Chainsmokers can download their #14 song on
iTunes, "#SELFIE." The song tops the charts
with profound lyrical insights such as "But first,
let me take a selfie," "Can you guys help me pick
a filter? I don't know if I should go with XX Pro
or Valencia, I wanna look tan," "Whatshould my
captionbe?"and"Ionlygot10likesinthelast five
minutes, do you think I should take it down?"
I wish I were making these things up.
The HuffingtonPostrecently reported onBrit-
ain's first victim of a selfie addiction with a head-
line that reads, "Selfie Addiction Is No Laughing
Matter, Psychiatrists Say." Nineteen-year-old
Danny Bowman allegedly dropped out of school
and did not leave his house for six months in pur-
suit of capturing the perfect selfie. He apparently
dedicated about 10 hours a day taking up to 200
pictures of himself on his iPhone. Unsatisfied
with his efforts, Bowman attempted to take his
ownlife.
The article quotes psychiatrist Dr. David
Veale, whose clinic treated Bowman's addic-
tion, remarking, "Danny's case is particularly
extreme, but this is a serious problem. It's not a
vanity issue. It's a mental health one which has
an extremely high suicide rate."
It is apparent that "selfies"' sovereignty will
outlive its allotted year-long reign, as it has
warranted a chart-topping ballad and has been
allocated an entire day on Instagram in its dedi-
cation. The downside is that though amusing and
often celebrated, "selfies" are yet another soci-
etal trend that while seemingly entertaining and
inconsequential, can be taken to toxic extremes.

With the popularity of selfies and Instagram
came the subsequent invention of apps like
Skinnee Pix, which can trim anywhere from five
to 15 pounds of virtual fat off your selfies -simply
exacerbating the issue at hand. In an article
for Psychology Today, Dr. Pamela Rutledge
explains that taking selfies can be detrimental
to a person's mental health and that indulging in
them is indicative of narcissism, low self-esteem,
attention-seeking behavior and self-indulgence.
The idea that taking selfies may possibly be
responsible for a variety of troubling mental
health issues will likely not be met with
acceptance by a society enthralled by technology
and personal gadgets. Rutledge mentions that
some experts and physicians even feel that
society is collectively engaged in deep denial
about how dangerous it is to interact with screens
without settinglimits on how much time is spent
doingson- and I would not disagree.
Her concession to "put aside your anxieties
over rampant narcissism and the moral
decline of the digital generation and exhale
... like every trend, the behavior will recede
when the excitement and newness wears off,"
however, I take issue with.
Selfies are just the most recent installment
of technological trends, and when its "excite-
ment and newness wears off" another social
media craze or application is bound to take its
place. Though media fads are nothing new to
American society, the intense vulnerability
and insecurity that social networking and
personal technologies induce is both alarm-
ing and troubling. Are we setting the stage
for coming generations to be hypersensitive
to and misunderstanding of communica-
tion, self-representation, self-indulgence and
their appearance?
Our generation inherited these
technologies in our teens, but how will it
affect the 5 and 6-year-old children who
already know how to take selfies on their
parents' Macbooks, iPads and iPhones? Will
we raise children who are permanently
fixated on themselves, seeking self-validation
through 'likes' rather than intellect or wit,
capturing "the moment" by recording simply
their own appearance and perpetually living
out of touch with their surroundings?
- Lauren McCarthy can be
reached at laurmc@umich.edu.

RIMA FADLALLAH f
T
In conversations surrounding
liberation or "social justice," we talk
a lot about feelings of guilt on the
part of those with privilege. I would
argue that we talk far too much about
these feelings, so much that we (and
I say we because I, too, am guilty of
being expressively guilty) silence
others in the process. What's worse is
that we silence those whose (already
marginalized) voices we should have
been listeningto all along.
Guilt is an extremely passive
emotion - perhaps the most passive of
them all. I would know - when I feel
guilty, I'm usually in this lazy limbo
phase where I'm very emotionally
invested in my role as an activist,
but I'm not quite righteous enough
to feel resentment and I'm not quite
courageous enough to truly own up to
my silencing behavior. So I feel guilt.
Which is cool, because guilt is an
emotion and I believe that honoring
our raw emotions before we are able
to unpack them is necessary and
beneficial to our well being and our
personal growth.
It's how we express our guilt that is
important.
Not all emotions need to be
unpacked - sometimes I just don't
have, need or even want the language
to describe what is going on in the
depths of my soul. Similar to the way
blood only turns red when exposed
to oxygen, trying to put a name on
my emotions can strip them of their
true colors. So I keep them inside
and let them do what I believe they
will naturally do for me - so long as I
remain cognizant of the connection
between my mind, body and soul in
the process.
I am currently in the process of
learning what to do with my guilt, and
I figured I would share my insights
with all of my fellow guilty people
who also want to be more socially
responsible:
1. Recognize that guilt in itself is
a privilege. The fact that I feel guilty
rightsnow means that Iam complacent
in a dynamic whereby I am (directly
or indirectly) the oppressor. I'll say it
again so it sinks in: in certain circles,
my very existence (as a straight, upper
class, American, able-bodied, cis-
gendered, college educated person) is
oppressive. Guilt is aprivilege.
2. Sometimes, expressing things
is overrated - some things I should
just keep to myself. Let me tell you, I
never thought I would ever say that,
and those closest to me are probably

he guilt toolt
still rubbingtheir eyes.Ibelieve inthe
power of language as transformative,
revolutionary, cathartic, Ido.But that's
just it; in truly coming to understand
the jarring effects of language, I've
learned that some things are just
better left unsaid, especially when my
motivationsforexpressionarebecause
I'd feel more credible or welcomed in
certain spaces. Expression of guilt is
self-serving.
Here are a few examples for us
both to follow: If I feel guilty that
my parents are rich, that's not really
something I need to bring up in a
circle of friends who come from a
low socio-economic background. If
you feel guilty that your conservative
Christian parents would hate me
because Iam Muslim, that's not really
something I need to hear. What are
these statements accomplishing?
Nothing productive. Some things we
should just keep to ourselves, let our
feelings fester inside until we come
up with our own answers instead of
seeking answers from people whom
we will hurt and silence with our
inquiry and confession - expression of
guilt is insensitive.
3. My guilt should be a sign that I
am not an expert in the space where
I feel guilty. Building from my last
point, I am learning that the spaces
where I feel most guilty should also
be the spaces where I speak the least
and listen the most. My guilt in itself is
an indicator that my narrative may be
one that dominates and marginalizes
voices that cannot be heard until I
shut up. While my guilt may urge me
to speak up to "compensate" for being
privileged, I should actually just keep
quiet and stop trying to center myself
because this conversation isn't about
me, not everything is about me. Guilt
is selfish,guilt is self-centered.
4. If I am still guilty, that's fine.
ButIneed to seriously reflect on howI
envision my role as an activist. This one
is a tough one, mostly because I am
still thinking and working through
it. I believe that my guilt means
that I am still trying to reconcile
my role in a given movement. I am
uncomfortable with the role I am
currently playing, so I rely on guilt
to make me feel better. As a self-
proclaimed "activist," I am learning
that guilt has the power to stymie
growth and nurture complacency by
making me feel that my feelings of
guilt alone are productive. Guilt alone
is not productive.
Icouplethislessonwithtoolkititem

#2: I'm learning that if my activism is
in the form of a Facebook status, a
Michigan in Color article or any other
form of public expression, it should be
reflective, respectful and responsible
for it to be productive. Guilt without
self-reflection, honesty and respect
cannot be productive. "Guilt as
productive" and "guilt as passive"
are mutually exclusive statements,
therefore guilt is fallacious, guilt is
deceiving.
5. My guilt does not make me an
exception. I've learned that constantly
criticizing those who are racist,
homophobic, classist, ageist, etc. does
not magically dismiss me from being
those very same things. Guilt is a cop-
out. IfIam notdirectlyoppressedbya
system - whether it be anti-Blackness,
heteronormativity, even American
exceptionalism - I am complacent
in those very systems of oppression.
This does not mean that I cannot play
a role in helping deconstruct them; it
just means that my role needs to start
within myself before I should even
think about how to criticize others,
about how to operate in that space.
Guilt is lazy, guilt is passive.
All that said, I can speak from
personal experience when I say that
consciously reflecting on all of these
things is no easy task. In fact, it is
exhausting, emotionally draining
and extremely confusing. Still, it is
absolutely necessary - especially on
a campus so hostile to minorities, the
LGBTQ community, those who come
fromlow-SESbackgrounds and people
with other targeted identities. I truly
believe our world would be a better,
less hurtful place if people stopped
focusing on the discomfort that
often comes along with recognizing
their privilege, because feeling
uncomfortable is a hell of a lot better
than having to bear oppressive blows
dayafterdaylike manyofmypeersdo.
When I contextualize my discomfort
that way, I realize how petty and
self-centered my complaints are. We
would all be more responsible if we let
those feelings of discomfort and guilt
marinate for a bit, if we truly reflected
on why we feel uncomfortable to
begin with.
As Wolverines, before we can
"expect respect," we must hold
ourselves to the same standards of
respect (for self and others) to which
we feel so entitled.
Rima Fadlallah is an LSA senior and
managing editor of Michigan in Color.

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