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.
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.
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.
Ignore 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.
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.