christians, minority rights, religion

It’s all about you, people, it’s all about you

New York’s governor David Paterson announced yesterday his intention to push for a vote on legalizing same-sex marriages in the state.

Naturally American Christians, who take the greatest umbrage with how others find joy, aren’t going to take this sitting down. In an effort to rally the troops, they have decided to frame the issue as an insult to religion rather than a civil rights or legal issue:

“The Governor is also being disrespectful to the new Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan and to every Catholic in New York City by pushing a gay marriage bill the same week that Catholics are celebrating welcoming ceremonies for his arrival,” stated Diaz.

“I think it’s a laugh in the face of the new archbishop,” Diaz said, according to AP. “The Jews just finished their holy week. The Catholics just received the new archbishop. The evangelical Christians just celebrated Good Friday and resurrection. He comes out to do this at this time? It’s a challenge the governor is sending to every religious person in New York and the time for us has come for us to accept the challenge.”

See? It’s the timing – he chose to do it now as a simple insult to rednecks, not because he’s hoping to build on the momentum of two states in two weeks having done the same thing. 

Aside from the fact that I still can’t for the life of me (a straight, married male) understand how on earth gay marriage has any effect on straight people any more than my marriage affects anyone I’m not married to, this pusilanimous whining from the religious is starting to grate.  I realize I’m a godless heathen (yeeha!) and I live in godless, fag-friendly Canada (yipee!), so nothing I say will make any difference whatsoever to those that haven’t yet seen the dark, but I’ll try.

For all the ceremonies and history, marriage is, at it’s heart, a civil status, not a religious one. Christians get married in Christian ceremonies, Jews in Jewish, Muslims in Muslim, but at the end of the ceremony, everyone signs a civil marriage certificate – the same marriage certificate. Hell, I got married in an atheist ceremony to which Thor was absolutely uninvited and even I got to sign on the line!  The lucky couples that sign this certificate all have the same rights, privileges, and obligations regardless of the ceremony the precedes the signing. (Unless you live in one of those happy lands that practice that attrocity, Sharia.) What gay marriage is about is allowing same-sex couples the right to sign the marriage certificate and access to the civil rights, civil privileges, and civil obligations therein, nothing more. Specifically, it has nothing to do with forcing unwilling churches to marry gays – it simply allows them the right to sign the paper.

In point of fact, if this actually was a religious issue, Christians would be out protesting atheist marriages and Jewish marriages, but they’re not. There would have been protests and placards at our ceremony ten years ago, but there were none because it’s not about religion or marriage at all, it’s all about homophobia, plain and simple.  It’s about finding the sexual practices of others unsettling and icky and wanting them to go away, not about religion.

I’ll let you in on a little personal information here – there are people in this world, atheist and theist alike, that I find attractive and could imagine myself having sexual relations with. Yep, it’s true. And there are others who I find so unattractive that I could never envision wanting sexual relations with. Yep, that’s true, too. However, I don’t protest their right to have relationships with other people who *do* find them attractive, regardless of my feelings on the matter.  I don’t protest ugly girls in bars, and don’t curse them in the street when I see them walking with boys. You’d be surprised how easy it is for me to get through the day without thinking about icky sex with ugly people – it barely even rates “minding my own business”, it’s that easy.

Is it possible for you guys to grow up and mind your own business?

Kumbayah.

Update: I should have added this little piece. It’s video poetry. A storm is coming, indeed – “we’re being punished”. Enjoy.

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5 thoughts on “It’s all about you, people, it’s all about you

  1. “A Rainbow Coalition”? Really? To protest gay marriage? I’m beginning to think that the various elements of North America’s right wing are utterly incapable of using the internet or absorbing cultural references. Someone must have told them what all those rainbow patterned flags at the last gay pride parade meant. They obviously didn’t listen though and I predict that their next protest campaign slogan from the right will contain oblivious uses of the words “fudge” and “packed”. It should make for a great episode of the Daily Show. You know, I’ve never gone door-to-door proseletizing for a lifestyle of bohemian misanthropy.We don’t really have our own god for one thing. What will it take to get christians to extend the same curtesy to the rest of us?

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  2. I’m going to go ahead and suggest we lobby to create a fringe right-wing group of bakers calling themselves the Fudge-Packers Against Gay Fornication. Glen Beck will fall for it. He has no fact-checkers.

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  3. I have a buddy who used to work in the Moirs factory (A regular reader – Hey Alex!), so I suppose it’s possible that at some point in time he literally packed fudge, but given that he”s an intelligent, mature adult, he probably wouldn’t use the phrase, something which can’t be said for the wide-eyed future war criminals of the xtian right.
    Why does the obsession with other people’s business make itself heard so loudly in instances like these? As many have said, xtianity is not about the love, forgiveness of sins, etc. bullshit they feed to the masses, it’s about having the power as a righteous soul to demand that others conform to your view of morality. “Live and let live” should be the phrase most associated with a movement that purports to “love thy neighbor”, but it is clearly and repeatedly shown to be quite the opposite.
    The obsessive focus on other people’s genitalia sort of demonstrates the short moral road to molestation by holy men, don’t it?

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  4. It should also be noted that many religious groups DO support gay marriage – including the Quakers, the Unitarians, and Canada’s largest Christian denomination, the United Church. So when these so-called ‘religious’-types lobby to ban gay marriage, they are, in fact, interfering with the rights of some very mainstream religious groups to offer a legitimate, legally-binding marriage service to their parishioners in accordance with their faith.

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  5. Greenjenny – good point, not all religious people are redneck busybodies. Religion doesn’t require stupidity, however once a person has imagined an invisible guy in the sky and convinced himself/herself he agrees with them, it’s pretty hard to get through with mere facts and reality.

    Religion – It’s the Teflon of Reality!

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