Are The Anti-Gay Religious Still Bigots?

This fall, the Catholic Church is sent out 400,000 lovely little DVDs in the mail to explain to their parishioners exactly why homosexuals should not be allowed to get married, not even in completely secular ceremonies in no way tied to their church.

The DVD  opens with Archbishop Poopy Pants John Nienstedt of Minneapolis and Saint Paul who explains to a very concerned imaginary audience that the historic understanding of marriage is one man, one woman, and that could be in danger! Yes, that’s right, an “historic understanding” might change. The Religious Reich does seem to be fascinated with the concept of definitions changing. Son much so, that it was used as part of the legal defense of California’s Proposition 8. But, unfortunately for them, that argument was found to be of no consequence. Of course, the only reason why there even is such a thing as history is because things change. And, in the past, marriage has been between one man and any number of women (and in the present in some parts of Texas and Utah).

If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
-Deuteronomy 21:15-16

But, don’t expect the Archbishop to be aware of that little passage, it is, after all, tucked neatly away in the Bible; not a book the Catholics read much. And nobody really thought that Solomon’s thousand or so wives really counted. He was just, you know, having a little fun.

The Archbishop then takes a little side step and mentions ‘no fault divorce’: it’s bad, you know. It helps people get divorced, without actually having to hire a lawyer and sue their partner. He says that, as a result of no fault divorce, 1/3 of women fall into poverty … with their children! Doesn’t really have anything to do with homosexuals getting married. And, he doesn’t really define “poverty”, or the implications on these individual’s lives. Nor does he seem inspired to help any of these women. Perhaps he thinks that financial well being is more important than family happiness? I’m not sure what he’s saying, but his story does have emotional impact. It may even make you mad. Mad at liberals, though. Not mad at the institutions that encouraged these poorly matched couples to get married in the first place; like the Catholic Church, for instance. But, while you’re angry, you can think about gay marriage, and perhaps, through association, you can now be angry at that, too. (so, why is he wearing such an ostentatious gold chain around his neck?)
In the case of Proposition 8, when a court sat down and examined these sorts of argument, they ruled that they were all bullshit. Most of the recipients of this DVD, though, are not going to take any time to think about them. All they can see is that a man in a black shirt, a man high up in their church, wants them to vote a certain way. This is important, since a recent  Pew Forum survey has discovered that, when it comes down to it, a person does indeed let their religious beliefs make their decisions for them, leading to highly religious people being far more likely to be against gay marriage. But, does the fact that they are willing to block a person’s civil right because of religious, rather than secular, reasons make a difference in how they are viewed for they’r stance? Are they still ‘bigots’?
When it comes down to it, it makes no difference what makes one think that discrimination is alright, it’s still discrimination. Any group that is based solely around discrimination (the KKK, the National Alliance, etc) has rationalized their beliefs with some of garbled rational. And John Nienstedt doesn’t just want to block gay marriage, he has also denied the rite of holy communion to anyone that supports gay rights. In the Catholic belief system, this is the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. That goes several steps beyond believing any specific act is a sin. It is intended to distance not just the sinner, but anyone close to a sinner, or merely anyone that interprets their Bible differently.
Bible Used to Defend Bigotry
At times, biblical passages have been used to subjagate blacks and justify slavery; and it really makes no difference if the passages are interpreted correctly or not. After all, what good is divinely inspired writing that’s vague? Many people at the time, both religious and not, saw past the shenanigans and sided with justice and equality amongst their fellow humans rather than questionable belief in scriptural messages. And, when you think about it, placing any ancient writing in a more important role than your fellow human beings is pretty fucking cold. I would like to believe that no individual, no matter how religious, would not read that Lot gave his two virgins daughters over to a riotous crowd to be gang raped and come out thinking it is a good way to appease a riot.

Are people who are anti-gay marriage for religious reasons still bigots? Yes. Whole heartedly. If people were excused from being labeled ‘bigots’ simply because they could spout out reasons for their bigotry, their would be no bigots. They all believe they are justified. Adolph Hitler believed he was justified for targeting Jews, and he wrote about it quite succinctly in Mein Kamf. My wife and I are both atheists. We were married in a non-religious ceremony by a humanist celebrant. This is a marriage that does not follow the standards of Christian churches. But, are religious organizations rallying  the troops to have our marriage wiped off the books? No. Any particular person may not recognize our marriage, but it makes no difference to us. Why would it? It’s our marriage, not theirs. And how is this any different than a homosexual couples marriage? By religious standards, we would be far more than an ‘abominations’ (a word that only implies a shameful condition); we both “deny the holy spirit”, the only unforgivable sin.

Explore posts in the same categories: Religion Leading to Stupidity

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