Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Beasts Who Cry Wolf

They're still at it. The anti-gay forces don't let history or reason or humanity or compassion deter them. Despite their lifetimes of doing their worst to hurt homosexuals, they continue to:

  1. Predict certain martyrdom for themselves
  2. Claim current and future cultural victimhood

Sure enough, immediately following the welcome but pretty benign Supreme Court decisions yesterday, fundy and winger airwaves, blogs and papers spewed out more of this craziness. Consider this recap of several examples put out by Yahoo News. Likewise, over at Boston's winger tabloid, the Herald, the least Christ-like columnist claimed victim status for the pro-Prop 8 voters.

In my insatiable news reading, politics watching and coming up on a decade of running a marriage-equality blog, I am very used to seeing and hearing this. I have never become inured. Sometimes these fools are amusing, other times pitiable, and occasional infuriating.

One odd aspect is the obvious I'm-not-a-bigot-but... one. Those folk can be plain silly, as in saying, "My nephew is gay and I love him. So that proves I"m not a hateful, prejudiced person." Others try to get Biblical and only end up looking intellectually feeble. By picking a verse or two from the early Old Testament and gainsaying all the contradictory verses, they utterly fail the religion references tests. When pointed to OT versions long used to justify human slavery, subjugation of women and physical abuse of children, they quibble instead of backing down.

The vast majority of People of the Book — Jews, Christians and Muslims — if you pardon the term, evolved as the scriptures did over the centuries. Leviticus is not good basis for a civilized and religious life.

I accept that most of those anti-gay folk who try to use scripture to justify their unjustifiable wackiness think differently. As noted in several posts in this blog, lefties and right wingers often have different brains. Wingers tend to be very literal, hence the vetting with a single Bible verse and claims they are only following the literal and perfect word of God. We won't get into the politics of the Councils of Nicaea and those of the Biblical-language-illiterate King James. Suffice it to note that anyone who points to an OT verse to justify taking a belt to a child or voting to deny rights to women or homosexuals is delusional in claiming that is the will of God.

Instead the conceit starting from at least the moment Vermont legalized civil unions that included homosexual couples is that this would be a zero-sum game. The idea is that anything allowed for a gay couple will mean something taken from all straight couples.


Fairer, more rational and more inclusive

The asinine claim was first that slightly expanding the legal right to marry to two men or two women was at once redefining marriage and destroying different-gender marriage. Even President Obama and his missus, both lawyers, played at that when he was seeking election. They pretended not to understand the difference between marriage, which is the legal and binding contract of two people as controlled by each state, the DC and US territories, and religious ritual, which is the ceremonial icing on the matrimonial cake. Nearly half of couples have both, although only the civil marriage for which they get the license is legally marriage.

Comedians and columnists have had a great time ridiculing the redefining-marriage lunacy.Truth be told, both religions and legislatures have had a great time redefining marriage for centuries. In general, it's been by limitations, with flurries of expansion. Women are no longer considered male property and most marriages are not for solidifying family fortunes. The Chinese and African-American citizens are no longer forbidden from marrying white folk. Polygamy here is outlawed now, while still allowed in numerous Islamic states, as is polyandry is a few matriarchal groups mostly in Africa. The traditional polygamy of the Biblical patriarchs became against the law here. And most recently a slight tweak to allow homosexual couples to marry in some states has not so much redefined marriage as made it a little fairer, more rational and more inclusive.

The winger madness also turns to wild, unsupportable claims of discrimination. That's not against gay folk, which has been systemic and easily proven. Instead, the anti-gay sorts would have us believe:

  • Protecting homosexuals will certainly mean persecuting anti-gay types
  • Legalizing same-sex civil marriage will certainly mean anti-gay clerics will be forced to dirty their souls performing those unions
  • Giving any gay rights will certainly mean anti-gay types will be charged with hate crimes at the worst and shunned by society at best

Where do they get this crap?

Facts are that we have an expansive protection for religion in our Constitution. It is deeply and widely supported in statute and case law as well. Fundies love to point to churches' side businesses, like adoption services, that bring in cash, accept federal and state money, and have to adhere to equal-rights laws. Likewise, church affiliated hospitals and such are not churches, rather businesses, that have to obey state and federal guidelines and laws. Churches and do discriminate wildly, irrationally and, well, unchristian-like. They can do so legally. They know they can't do it in their sidelines. Yet many claim discrimination. Huh?

So now after yesterday's two SCOTUS rulings, we see and hear more of the woe-are-we jive. "They" (not really defined) will come for the clerics next. "They" will abridge our freedom of speech from the pulpit and in the public square. "They" this. "They" that.

If I had the power to heal by touch, I would go from one anti-gay winger to another, laying on my hands and freeing them from hatred and fear.

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