Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's Not About the Damn Wedding Cake!


Everyone's focusing on the homophobic baker who doesn't want to bake a wedding cake for the gay couple, or the equally bigoted photographer who won't photograph the newlyweds as they begin their new life together.

That's not the issue. It's not about the damn wedding cake or the photographs. If you're a gay couple and you absolutely insist on hiring someone to photograph your wedding or bake a cake that doesn't want to do it, you've got bigger problems than whether he - or society for that matter - accepts your sexual orientation.

The real issue, and the heart of the problem, with the Indiana religious "freedom" law, and the other state laws just like it, is that it ostensibly give license to bigots to discriminate against other people on the flimsiest of excuses: freedom of religious expression.

The argument that the Christian Right is making - and wants everyone to believe - is that the gay community somehow poses a threat to their faith; that if they agree in any way to service people within this group they are condoning their "sin" and that, in and of itself, is a "sin" that God will judge them for.

Bullshit.

This has got absolutely nothing to do with sin, or for that matter sinful natures. If it did, if any of these Neanderthals were actually capable of thinking this through to its logical conclusion, they would realize, as all God's children should, that all of us have sinful natures and without the mercy and grace of Christ, we are lost. Straight people are no better or worse than gays. We are all equal in the eyes of the Lord. For anyone to call themselves a believer and sit in judgment of another human being is the very definition of sin. If there is any judgment from above, it will most certainly be reserved for those who, as Jesus said, "throw the first stone."

I am so sick and tired of these modern-day Pharisees speaking on behalf of the faith I love, serving as self-appointed jurors and judges on the conduct of other people. I have heard all I can stand; the comparisons to man on dog or sheep or whatever farm animal happens to be the flavor of the month in their warped, diseased brains.

To those who insist that being gay is a choice, I have just one question for you. When did you suddenly decide to be straight? Can't answer? Cat got your tongue? What do you mean you didn't decide to be straight? You mean you were born that way? Wow! So I guess sexual orientation isn't a choice after all. So much for your distorted and twisted thinking. Now let's move on to what's really going on.

The truth is the country is changing, evolving, if you will. And all this evolution has caused a great deal of consternation among some people who can't handle it. The world they knew is coming to an end and they don't like it. So they come up with specious arguments to defend their prejudices, not unlike the ones that were made fifty years ago throughout much of the South. Back then it was people of color who couldn't sit at the same lunch counter with whites because it went against the establishment's values and belief systems.

Then the laws were changed and the races were finally allowed to mix. In time, interracial marriage was even allowed. And guess what? The world didn't come to an end. The sun still rose in the east and set in the west. Society did not crumble into anarchy then and it won't now.

The fact that two gay people wish to spend the rest of their lives together in marriage should be celebrated, not condemned. Forcing them to deny who they truly are just to mollify a distorted and completely non-contextualized reading of Holy Scripture is wrong. Period.

I find it odd that in all four of the Gospels, Jesus, who never passed up an opportunity to speak his mind on matters he deemed important, said bupkis about homosexuality. In fact, if you subtract the books of Leviticus and Romans from the Bible, you'd be hard-pressed to find barely a mention of the topic, that's how rare it is.

And yet, to some Christians, the fight against homosexuality has become its own religion of sorts. They have become obsessed with stamping it out, like it was the black plague. If these religious zealots devoted even half the time they spent trying to cure homosexuals of their "infliction" on world hunger, poverty and injustice, the world would truly be a better place in which to live. I dare say, it would be more Christ-like.

Fortunately the majority of the country is on to these people and their con game. Politicians like Mike Pence can say anything they want to try to justify their ignorant and hateful positions. The public, or most of it anyway, isn't buying it. The good news for the rest of us is that the sands of time are running out on them. Like the segregationists of the '60s, they will eventually go the way of the dinosaur.

And I, for one, can hardly wait!

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