It’s the Economy, Stupid: Why Same Sex Marriage Has Some Preachers Worried.

san-diego-gay-protest-2One of the enduring questions since the beginning of the gay rights movement deals with why people who are not gay care that gays enjoy the same civil liberties as are afforded everyone else. Just why are so many people who disapprove of homosexuality so exasperated by the Supreme Court’s recognition that gays are people too?
This is not a question that any gay opponent has ever been able to answer. Almost always the question is met with some religious citation which may explain why THAT person has chosen not to be gay, but does little to explain their disdain for people who have made that choice. Until last week, thousands of people have made the unfortunate choice to be the subject of ridicule and legal discrimination despite Biblical warnings that they should avoid such a choice. Now that at least some of the legal discrimination has been removed, I guess we should expect a lot more folks to wake up tomorrow and choose to be gay.
For many people, I suppose, throwing out a Bible quote is enough reason to stop thinking and blindly condemning anyone who seems to violate that biblical edict. When all the other things the Bible condemns are mentioned to these folks, they have no answer as to why they cherry pick the gay stuff and leave the shellfish, shaving, tattooing, cloven hoofs, mixing threads, wearing gold, divorcing, crop rotation, menstruation, and haircutting rules out of the things that piss them off. So clearly the gay haters don’t have a Biblical reason to restrict the rights of gays, unless they are shameless hypocrites of course.
But whatever their religious justification for condemning homosexuality, I still don’t understand why people seek to restrict the rights of those who don’t buy that justification. Exactly why does it matter to a suburban grandmother that two people of the same sex can now legally be married?
If I can get someone past the biblical stuff (at least temporarily) they usually wave me and my questions away by categorizing gay sex as “gross.” This is often accompanied by them closing their eyes, covering their mouths, and choking back vomit because apparently the image I led them to conjure is just too much for them. It’s actually pretty similar to the reaction I get when I think of my parents having sex, or my children, or my wife before she met me, or when that giant French poodle tried to mount the Chihuahua in the park last week. So I try not to think of those things. Because they upset me.
That gets me to wondering why the bashers spend so much time imagining what gay sex must be like. They apparently have brought themselves to the verge of retching so many times that they seek a public policy solution to their fascination with this type of sex. Even worse, it seems that they believe gay people are having sex all the time. If they could just get their minds off the sex long enough to see that gay people have jobs, raise kids (when they’re allowed to), go to church, play sports, get sick, die painful and tragic deaths…you know…all the things real people do, then they might be able avoid focusing so much on the sex. But they can’t.
In the end, same sex marriage is really not what is bugging these people. Religion does seem to be at the core of their disdain, but it’s not really any particular biblical passage that drives this disdain. (Unless they are shameless hypocrites, of course.) The threat of same sex marriage is a threat to many religious leaders because it is just one more thing religious leaders have been wrong about. How often do we hear that the end of the world is near because of this or that behavior? Sacrifice me a virgin or the crops will fail. Pay me an indulgence or your family will rot in purgatory. Give me some gold or I’ll make the moon disappear. Pay me a tithing or your men will lose in battle. Build me a church and buy me a jet or we will all die in a horrible conflagration. Allow gays to marry and Apocalypse is around the corner. Listen carefully for the horses, my friend!
Since the beginning of time, certain people in society have attempted to use supernatural explanations to deal with mysteries of the physical universe. Those claiming to have special powers to commune with the divine have elevated themselves to a position of privilege in society, and lacking the scientific knowledge to challenge them, many people for many centuries have deferred to these leaders for explanations, comfort, and guidance.
But as each of their claims has been debunked, the role of those claiming to know God’s will has diminished. When people figured out that successful growing seasons had more to do with weather, fertilization, and regular flooding, they didn’t need to hand over their daughters in order feed the family next year. Scientific observation of the skies led us to explain planetary movements (over the vigorous objections of the Catholic Church.) Martin Luther convinced millions that building golden palaces in Rome had nothing to do with a soul’s fate in the afterlife.
Likewise, when Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker, Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson, Robert Tilton, Jimmy Swaggert, Billy Graham, and the rest of the high priests of our modern temples want to build their personal fortunes, they need something to motivate their donors. Rallying the troops against homosexuals has been such a money maker for so long, it’s no wonder they are all screaming bloody murder (at least the ones who are still alive) that the Supreme Court is no longer allowing the demonization of a large segment of our people.
Maybe, just maybe, more of us will realize the folly of making public policy based on the wishes of those who have an interest in our ignorance. Churches perform many great functions in our communities. Feeding the poor, comforting the distraught, aiding the homeless…essentially doing the work that Jesus and Muhammad commanded their followers to do. But when discrimination and hate is packaged as part of a TV offer to enrich those who prey on ignorance, “religion” gets real ugly, real fast. But Wait! There’s More!

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One Comment on “It’s the Economy, Stupid: Why Same Sex Marriage Has Some Preachers Worried.”

  1. Fran Tearpak July 10, 2015 at 1:09 am #

    Brilliant my dear cousin; absolutely “spot-on”!

    Sent from my iPhone


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