It’s Not the Faith, It’s the Interpretation

These are people currently desperately clinging to the wreckage of bigotry,  bobbing up and down in the water, at the mercy of the whims of the doldrums of history. They kick and paddle in futile tantrums trying blindly to reverse the tides. Though they may create tiny riptides, which satisfies their petty need for pyrrhic victories, they’re only lasting contribution is to deny themselves and others the material and effort to build a new ship, the creation of a better boat, a new community.

I don't think the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) necessarily authorized this use of their symbol (that's the background, not the make out).
I don’t think the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) necessarily authorized this use of their symbol (that’s the background, not the make out) but it gets the point across.

That overly-labored metaphor of course refers to those who are against gay marriage despite the obvious inevitability. Like those who, using similar reasoning, fought for every last vestige of segregation and racial oppression despite an overwhelming tide of change cresting above them, these zealots wave the last flickering embers of illogical homophobia at a society ready to put the embarrassment of the denial of rights to a group of people behind us. Though it seems the denial of rights is a faith-based initiative, I can’t blame the faith, it’s the faithfuls’ interpretation of that faith. Rather than spend this time learning why their interpretation of their beliefs may be wrong, seek a new understanding that doesn’t oppress others or deny people happiness, they continue they’re strange fixation on something that does not affect them.

how-is-my-marriage-affecting-you

Being religious, having faith, even believing the Bible is not the issue, it’s the interpretation of those beliefs that’s the issue. Islam is not a religion of violence, the violence comes from an idiotic, highly specific interpretation that ignores a lot of the Quran focused on peace. Being Jewish doesn’t demand men not sit next to women, that’s a silly interpretation by bearded creeps who just really want to be sexist. And being Christian doesn’t mean you have to believe homosexuality is a sin. Plenty of Christians, good, morally outstanding Christians don’t.

no room in heavenIgnore that most holy books are translations of translations of translations of transcriptions of oral tradition. Even if Jesus appeared on television, literally working Kirk Cameron like a puppet, telling people that homosexuality is a sin, why deny them rights? Nobody is fighting to deny rights to people who covet things, yet the selective outrage of the pulpit is laser focused on homosexuality for some reason. If, on some off-chance, being gay is a sin, then that just means more space in Heaven for you! Can you imagine if Christians managed to snuff out all of the sin in the world (starting with gluttony which I notice is a sin many people who oppose gay marriage blissfully ignore) how crowded Heaven would be? Who wants Heaven to be like Disneyland, waiting three hours for a 30 second ride? Let people sin away. Oh, I get it, because it’s an easy way to point at the supposed sins of others that doesn’t directly affect them. Condemning homosexuality allows these bigots to feel like they’re living righteously, without actually having to make any real effort themselves. That’s a crappy interpretation of that faith.

 

 

Church sign doing it right
Episcopal Church, doing it right.

Teaching people how to read and write used to be thought of as a sin. Slavery, terrorism, staying in abusive marriages, child beating, not caring if the woman also has an orgasm, there are a myriad of misguided, societally detrimental interpretations of religious doctrine used throughout time, but we have grown to frown upon those interpretations.

I respect religions, even the snake handling one, but I don’t respect mean spirited interpretations of religions that dictate hate, sexism, violence and discrimination.

“The thinness of the states’ proffered rationales for denying marriage to gay couples further demonstrates that they are nothing more than pretexts for discrimination rooted in stereotypical thinking about a disfavored group.” Excerpt from the Human Rights Campaign’s “The People’s Brief“, page 28, Section IV, paragraph 1.

Religion shouldn’t be used as a “pretext for discrimination.” Society needs to and will advance in terms of extending more rights and freedoms to all people, those who think their religion tells them otherwise can either evolve their interpretation and grow their understanding of the world, or find themselves on the wrong side of history, an embarrassing remnant of a bygone era.

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15 Comments

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  1. I OBJECT to your imagery of Jesus working Kirk Cameron like a PUPPET. I’d prefer JC to work KC like a MUPPET, so we could watch Divine Fisting on national TV.

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  2. Religion is great as an excuse because that way, people can say, “Oh, I don’t hate you. God does. I’d treat you okay if I could, but God demands that I don’t.”

    You hit the important points here, in my opinion. People can live their faith – they should! – without the state mandating their interpretation of their faith for everyone… selectively (we’re not enforcing the Sabbath or jailing people for not honoring their parents).

    We’re so far down the path towards equality, though, that I’m trying not to even debate it anymore. Trying…

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  3. Yes to all of this.
    Sadly, I have family members (not immediate) who are the”good Christians as described above “Condemning homosexuality allows these bigots to feel like they’re living righteously, without actually having to make any real effort themselves.” and it makes me insane.

    I can’t handle being related to bigots. It stresses me out.

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  4. I am a Christian. I feel an intense dislike for some people who mistreat me and mistreat others, including animals. I feel nothing but love, of a Christian nature, for other people. Did Jesus ever say that two men should not get married? If he did, then I can’t find the quotation, or it’s been lost in translation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no doubt many times: Why do people ignore the verse in the Bible that says you should kill your children if they misbehave, but they go all gaga drooly happy over homosexuality is a no-no?

    Love and fuck everybody who disagrees with me,
    Janie

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    • You are my type of Christian, Janie. I could not and did not say it better myself. Thank you. If only I had your powers of brevity (or ability to resist reveling in my own pontification).

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      • Thank you. I hope I’m the kind of Christian who sets a good example, but it’s probably not wise to leave me alone with children. They’ll come home saying fuck you. I did teach Sunday School for 25 years, though. I did my best to give those kids a dose of humor with their Christianity.

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  5. Your arguments are as amusing as they are enlightened, Pickleope Von Pickleope.

    Haters will keep pointing to whatever verse serves them, remaining blind to what the Old and New Testament (plus likely the literary works of other main religions) say about love, acceptance, forgiveness and being non-judgemental, charitable, etc.

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  6. Ms Pickleope, there is so much controversy about gay marriage, and I have Bible thumping friends who will tell you the Bible says it’s a sin. Even if it is, what’s that comment about throwing the first stone. Really? In any case, the world is changing. We need to be Compassionate…the theme for today all over the Internet.

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    • There shouldn’t be controversy. It’s really simple: gay people have always existed and they will always exist. Might as well coexist because gay people aren’t going anywhere and there’s nothing wrong with loving who you want to love. Oh yeah, and it literally does not hurt anyone.
      And THANK YOU for your expression of compassion. I think that’s not just the theme for today, but the theme we all should live by: have compassion.

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  7. Agree. And the ones who want to deny legal marriage to same sex couples based on faith BLOW MY MIND. Ok Christians, let’s start making laws based on your religion. But to be fair, the jews should get to pass some laws banning eating pork and lobster. Oh, and the (extreme) muslims want to ban women from driving. Still fun?

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  8. We should all look to the wisdom of King Solomon for guidance. You can marry 700 women and have 300 concubines as long as you remain pious. But no dude on dude stuff cuz that’s not right?

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  9. Homophobia makes me sick. Bearded creeps who just really want to be sexist can go and dream of kissing my blue ass. They nerver would, ’cause blue is the new black, so they would be committing a sin and not get hold of that golden ticket to heaven. I tell you, if they’re there too, I’ll sell mine. Anyone?

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  10. abeerfortheshower February 22, 2015 — 6:32 pm

    I hate the term “the sanctity of marriage.” I could walk into Wal-mart right now, pick out any random woman(ish looking creature), and marry her within 30 minutes if I wanted to. And yes, I realize I’m already married, but all I have to do is answer “no” on the box that asks “Are you already married?” I’m not kidding. That’s all it takes. I used to work with a guy who married to two chicks at once. They don’t actually do any kind of background check on that.

    So… tell me where the “sanctity” is in any of that?

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