XGW Digest: February 26, 2011
-The Israeli government appoints an openly gay judge.
-A hockey player at the University of New Hampshire comes out of the closet to speak in support of the state’s marriage equality law.
-Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs civil unions into law.
-Senator Dianne Feinstein announces plans to introduce a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
-An anti-gay marriage amendment is introduced in the North Carolina senate.
-Actor Mark Ruffalo and his wife voice their support for marriage equality.
-A pair of Tennessee Republicans introduce a bill to ban all mention of LGBT people in the state’s public schools.
-The Maryland Senate votes in favor of marriage equality.
-Kathy Baldock questions Focus on the Family’s “Day of Dialogue.”
-Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler concedes that marriage equality may be inevitable.
This is the letter I sent to Dr. mohler, and to the Christian Post. Let’s see what happens.
Dear Mr. Mohler,
Thank you for what you had to say on the subject of same-sex marriage, or my preferred term, marriage equality. I rarely bother to respond to fundamentalist religious belief, but in this case, I want to.
“It’s time for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that.”
First, you never really HAD to deal with it, any more than you “had” to deal with contraception or abortion, or “had” to deal with sodomy laws, non-discrimination laws, or any other issue about ending this stupid, 2000 year old prejudice. Lots of Christians are dealing with it just fine– they either leave gay people alone or welcome them into their churches, instead of waging war on people they do not know, know nothing about, and who have done them no harm. Lots of Christians deal with it by taking Jesus’s basic teaching to heart: get your own moral house in order before you presume to start telling other people about their sins, no matter how much more easy and pleasurable the latter may be.
YOU, the Christian Rightists, and the anti-and-ex-gay industry– big bucks and political power there– chose to force your way into people’s personal lives and decisions, to use the coercive power of the state to enforce your religious beliefs on people who do not share them, to legally disadvantage and disenfranchise those people in whatever way you could. And for what? To make a “moral” statement based upon dubious translations of the Bible, bad social “research”, unproven and unprovable assumptions about human nature and sexuality, and ignorance of history.
And to make a political statement that continues to wreak harm on the lives and families of people who have done nothing to you, and whose lives have had no effect on yours.
The proper way to “deal with it” is to mind your own god-damned and god-damning business, as Jesus commanded you to do– the same way that every formerly moralizing busybody has learned to do with bad translations of 2000 year old books, and the justification of ancient prejudices as “sincere religious belief” and “moral concerns”.
Homosexuality is as old as humanity, and as moral as heterosexuality. Our lives are every bit as valuable as yours, despite your beliefs to the contrary. The proper way to “deal with it” is to educate yourself and learn to genuinely love others, the same way that every other prejudiced person has had to learn that more and more people disagree with the stupidity, ignorance, fear, and bigotry that comprises their particular prejudice.
It’s not just a gay issue. It’s a human issue. When we do it right, it’s called progress.
Your belief that you have to “deal with it”? This is the whole problem. Allowing gay couples to marry does not change the definition of marriage– heteros can marry just as they always have, as often and as badly as legally possible, to the opposite gender person of their choice. Marriage equality does not affect and has never affected, in any way demonstrable by logic, fact, or experience, and in any jurisdiction where it is legal, the rights, status, and responsibilities of any heterosexual marriage. It merely expands access to marriage, and provides us and our families the legal protection that every heterosexual person takes for granted and/or abuses without penalty.
Likewise, allowing gay people to marry has no effect on your religious beliefs, your church, or your freedom of religion. Why is it that as a Jew, I can reject the totality of your religious belief, not just this tiny part that says “gay is bad”, and this bothers no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists. But let me say that I am gay, reject this tiny bit of conservative Christian belief, and wish to live my life as my God made me and as our country’s Constitution has promised me, and suddenly, I am a threat to faith, freedom, family, children, marriage, morality– you name it.
And you have named it. Repeatedly, with great gusto, but without regard either to the truth or to the damage the anti-and-ex-gay industry has done to gay people and their loved ones.
The reality is that the increasing acceptance of gay people in the world has had no effect, good or bad, on any heterosexual who did not wish to be so affected. Marriage equality as well has had NO effect on anti-gay heterosexuals, and their churches can continue to define, to their hearts delight, marriage as God given, sanctified, and man/woman only. (You don’t even have to be hetero!) They can continue to deny our marriages as being real, or our families, faiths, and loves as real and every bit as important as theirs. They can exclude and shun us all they wish, and tell everyone that according to their religious beliefs, our marriages and families are counterfeit.
Believe it or not, I have absolutely NO problem with that. I think it is stupid, wrongheaded, bigoted, small-minded, ignorant, casts a very unfavorable light on the mindset and hearts of its proponents, and ultimately will be on the wrong side of history. But really, no problem. I am content to give you the freedom you would deny me– the freeedom to live your life by your beliefs without government interference.
BECAUSE IT ISN’T ABOUT YOU, YOUR RELIGION, OR WHAT YOU “THINK”.
It is about how our government treats us, and our freedom of religion, our equality before the law. It is about you using the government to legally disadvantage us in every way possible.
You think that somehow it’s about you, your life, your faith, and what YOU think. Your “dealing with it” has created untold grief, hardship, and strife for gay people and their families and children, realigned political movements to the complete detriment of our country and our place in the world, wasted untold millions on stupid and fruitless political campaigns that have seriously degraded our political discourse, money that ultimately could have been used to help the very people you claim you want to protect from us! How many families that fell apart in the past three years could have been helped by the $40 million you spent in the Prop. 8 campaign? How many children are dying in Darfur, while Maggie Gallagher makes a swell living “defending” and “protecting” her marriage against mine?
You attacked our families and our marriages when we had the temerity to ask for them to be treated the same as yours. We didn’t attack yours, despite your extravagant, we’re-the-victims mythology that we did. Heterosexuals have done a swell job of that on their own, long before marriage equality was an issue.
I have yet to hear of a single heterosexual or Christian or both whose life, family, marriage or faith has been negatively (and demonstrably) affected by my marriage. The anti-and-ex-gay industry has made millions, if not billions, attacking, defaming, demonizing– lying, for short– the lives loves, and families of gay people, calling us a threat to marriage, family, children, faith, freedom, and civilization itself, without demonstrating a shred of remorse, humility, or doubt, despite the clear, shocking lack of fact, logic, compassion, understanding, experience, or even good manners that comprises the anti-gay argument.
If that weren’t enough, George Rekers, Lonnie Latham, Ted Haggard, Eddie Long, Bryan Fischer, Eugene Delgaudillo, and Grant Storms, among a myriad of others, have proven that you are beyond embarassment or irony.
Here’s how you “deal with it.” Drop the subject, take care of your own marriage and family, and tell the Armies of the Self-Righteous to do likewise, to start being FOR something that helps people instead of AGAINST people who want to be left alone, and whose lives have no effect on yours.
Thank you for listening.
And for what? To produce a “moral” assertion founded upon improbable transformations of the Bible, bad social “research”, unproven and unprovable assumptions about human nature and sexuality, and ignorance of history. I rarely bother to respond to fundamentalist religious belief, but in this case, I want to.