I just saw a picture on facebook. Somebody shared it from "The Tea Party" and anyone who knows me knows that me and the Tea Party don't see eye-to-eye. I wonder who these two men are and if they know their image is being used in such a way.
And I screamed inside. At the idiocy of that question - and at how many people would think it a good question, that their freedom is threatened by allowing gay people to marry. Then again I saw a comment yesterday from someone - a very faithful Catholic - who didn't see that the laws in Uganda as an affront because, he said, homosexuality is an affront to nature. Would he want LGBT people in America to be imprisoned for life I wonder? Would he think it an affront to imprison me for life?
Bear in mind that I wrote a long response to someone earlier in the day defending theism and theists - that it isn't a belief in God that leads to idiocy but other things that arise in non-theistic situations too: exclusivism, defensiveness, fear, crowd psychology, the human need to belong, leaders not encouraging thought - and sometimes actively discouraging thought. I was a strong theist for two decades and know so many marvellous people who are theists. I'm not anti-theism or anti-Christianity and remain a Christian, albeit a non-theist.
None of what follows is an attack on theism - I have no problem at all with people believing in God and see how many good things this can bring. Even if theism is an erroneous belief it brings great things to millions of people and inspires great deeds, great art and literature and great charity.
I wrote this. In one rapid sprawl. And haven't proof read it, checked it or altered it at all. I can't post it on facebook - I lost the original post by pressing the wrong button. That may be a good thing. If you get fed up with my ramblings there are links to a couple of better writers at the bottom of this post.
How stupid. At best stupid. At worst evil.
A) it's not a 'lifestyle'.
B) nobody is asking anyone to adopt a gay life - only to allow gay people to live their lives.
People are being asked to stop discriminating against gay people (like myself). They're not being told to be gay. People are being asked to accept us - not become us. To stop hating us. And they DO hate us, while claiming to 'hate the sin but love the sinner'. I've been told my marriage is void, blasphemy and that I'm an abomination. By Christians. Throwing the Bible at me. Many friends have had similar experiences. All we ask is that we can be who we are - and that's rooted in love, compassion.
The current situation in many places, including much of the USA, is that people are forced to not be themselves and love who they love. And the Catholic Church supports that situation. "Who am I to judge?" falls on deaf ears when we've already been judged.
C) Who doesn't accept that Christians can be Christians? Nobody is telling Christians to stop being Christians.
Except Christians keep living in fear - if we allow a gay couple to marry it will destroy civilisation, they'll turn and kill the church, they'll want to marry squirrels. And all that crap. Why are Christians taught to live in such fear? Why do Christians fear human beings so much? Are they really so faithless? Do they not believe "if God is for me ...?"
If God is love and perfect love casts out all fear then it has to be said that an atheist gay couple can be MUCH closer to God than many Christians are.
Or does this picture imply that if the government allow gay people to live their lives it should force people to be Christian?
I hope not because that would be evil. Very, very evil.
What I really hate is all this talk of "religious freedom" when what is meant is "we religious people want to force everyone else to live the way we want them to". When I hear "religious freedom" coming from an American it is rare that religious freedom is meant. What is almost always meant is bigotry, persecution, criminalising humans, and a lack of freedom - religious or otherwise - for others.
Hey, a church which I love I attend regularly is part of a denomination founded in the USA. It teaches that gay marriage is fine. Why shouldn't we have the "religious freedom" that people, including yourself, go on about? Why do so many Christians think that religious freedom includes forcing your religion and the morality you draw from it onto everyone else?
So, legalise civil gay marriage. Legalise it. Any sex marriage. Any gender marriage.
Because anything else destroys the concept of religious freedom. And legalising it doesn't destroy your freedom to be in a church that teaches that it is evil. That my marriage is evil. That I am evil because of my gender (as Benedict XVI made abundantly clear).
Legalise it. Because that's freedom.
Or don't you trust God to be able to cope with a society that is free? Don't you trust God to "protect" the Catholic Church?
Your God should be big enough that you don't feel the need to piss, through your thoughts, words and deeds, on people for being gay and loving one another.
If you want to go further read something else about threats to religious freedom, something written with much care and common sense, something which quickly and clearly cuts through much of the nonsense that people speak about the subject, I can recommend this post:
How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions by Rev. Emily C. Heath
Or take a read of this short article from an evangelical Christian website, written by Kristen Howerton on "the biblical definition of marriage and its relevance to marriage equality." She doesn't judge any definition, opinion or interpretation but writes:
The relevance of your biblical beliefs on homosexuality in regards to marriage equality?
THEY AREN’T RELEVANT.