“Same-sex marriage isn’t right because your god thinks it’s awesome.”


So I’m watching Bishop Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopal bishop, get interviewed on the Daily Show, discussing same-sex marriage and plugging his book, “God Believes In Love.” I’m sure he means well… but I’m finding myself getting more and more irritated.

Reason for irritation #1: I keep thinking of something Chris Hall said at the Godless Perverts Story Hour: “Same-sex marriage isn’t wrong because your god hates it. But it isn’t right because your god thinks it’s awesome. Same-sex marriage is right or wrong because of how it affects the people involved.”

Unless you can provide some convincing evidence that your god, you know, exists, I don’t give a damn whether your god believes in love, or whether your holy book says that “where love is, there is God also.” And I don’t see any reason why I should. Unless you can provide some convincing evidence that your god not only exists, but thinks what you think he thinks, the question of what God does or does not think should not be part of the political discourse. Of course you should have the legal right to insert it into the political discourse… but it’s seriously unhelpful. Political decisions should be made based on what helps and hurts people, not on what helps and hurts invisible mythical beings.

Reason for irritation #2: I’m really sick of the “Gay couples are just like straight ones, we play board games with our kids and go to church” trope. Not all LGBT people are just like mainstream straight people. (For that matter, not all straight people are, either.) Some of us fuck like rabbits, have multiple partners both casual and serious, spend our Saturday nights at bars or sex parties or atheist porn readings. We still deserve rights.

I’m just sayin’, is all.

(Note: If you want to be kept informed about upcoming Godless Perverts Story Hours, follow us on Twitter, @GodlessPerverts. Or drop me an email, greta (at) gretachristina (dot) com, and we’ll add you to the email list as soon as we create it.)

Comments

  1. says

    “Gay couples are just like straight ones, we play board games with our kids and go to church”

    No doubt, that trope should probably be more like “gay couples are as likely as straight couples to play board games with their kids and go to church”. But that’s just noise. The real issue is that rights are rights, and we are supposed to be well past the point in history when some people are more deserving of them than others.

  2. DonDueed says

    But that wasn’t a direct quote. The bishop was referring specifically to his own family. Thus his comment was more like the second phrasing ethanmyerson proposed.

    The worst that can be said about the interview is that it smacks of accommodationism, if that can be said of someone who is most assuredly a Kool-ade swilling theist. It seems unreasonable to ask a bishop to take a purely secular approach to any public policy issue.

  3. Nathair says

    That’s the whole point though, isn’t it? We don’t excoriate religion because it gets the wrong answers but rather because it’s a completely broken method of approaching questions. Blind squirrels and broken clocks, you know?

  4. says

    Not all LGBT people are just like mainstream straight people. (For that matter, not all straight people are, either.) Some of us fuck like rabbits, have multiple partners both casual and serious, spend our Saturday nights at bars or sex parties or atheist porn readings.

    At least a few of us believe in sex before marriage too, haha.

  5. Robert B. says

    @ Nathair: Well, often we do excoriate religion because it gets the wrong answers. (Most of my recent excoriations of, say, the Catholic church have not exactly focused on its epistemological bankruptcy.) But yes, the fundamental problem is what you said about being a completely broken method.

  6. random11 says

    These reasons aren’t meant for atheists.

    And since the ONLY argument against homosexuality is religious, that leaves only two possible choices: “God is ok with it” or “God hates it”.

    As irritating as it might be, I’ll gladly ignore it if it will finally stop this pointless hate.

  7. latsot says

    Those points irritate me also. The idea that something is OK because the people who do it are otherwise similar to some other people is repugnant. It’s OK because it’s OK. Because it’s not hurting anyone. Not because it’s a quirk of otherwise conventional people.

    Why is it so irritating? We might as well say that, say, rape or racism is OK because the perps are otherwise decent people. Or we might say that homosexual behaviour is only OK if people are otherwise conventional according to their society. Which forces us to consider all sorts of society…

    Are we really to think that unnamed norms define what unrelated behaviour is and isn’t acceptable?

  8. Sastra says

    “Same-sex marriage isn’t wrong because your god hates it. But it isn’t right because your god thinks it’s awesome. Same-sex marriage is right or wrong because of how it affects the people involved.”

    Excellent quote.

    Whenever people try to argue that atheists need to stop fighting religion per se and focus only on those who use religion to do or support things we don’t like, I get an image in my head of a game of spin-the-bottle.

    Put a bottle into the middle of a room. Designate everything on the “right” side of the room ANTI-gay marriage; everything on the “left” side of the room is PRO-gay marriage. Now spin the bottle.

    It points to the left side of the room. Gay marriage is okay. Yay.

    Well, then — have you now changed your mind on moral-spin-the-bottle being a problem? It’s not always a problem. See?

    Of course, a lot of religious people decide on rational grounds and then stop the bottle with their foot. That is not an improved bottle.

  9. hexidecima says

    Sometimes I wonder if one can ever say that one is “sure” that a theist “means well” when they come up with more nonsense about what their god does and doesn’t like. I don’t think that theists mean well at all. They do all they can to salvage their religion and will make up anything to do so. They are selfish and desperate to keep clutching to what evidently is their only source of self-worth. They don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves and how they can make themselves feel good.

  10. Greta Christina says

    hexidecima @ #8: No. No, no, no, no, no. Theists are not all “selfish and desperate,” any more than atheists are all selfish and desperate. All theists are not people who “don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves and how they can make themselves feel good,” any more than all atheists are. Most theists are basically good people. They’re mistaken about their belief in religion, and yes, many of them do dumb and even harmful things to protect and perpetuate that belief. But they are not all — or even mostly — selfish, desperate, and only concerned with themselves. That view is bigoted, pure and simple, and I will not tolerate it in my blog.

  11. stonyground says

    This matter does seem to provoke a level of lunacy among people who should know better, our elected representatives for example. Here inthe UK we have had gay civil partnerships for some time. Part of the reason that these were brought in was to correct some really terrible injustices that happened, for instance, when one partner died. One oversight was that heterosexual couples might prefer a civil partnership rather than marriage, it seems that when the law was framed, it appears that this possibility had simply not occurred to anybody. As the law is being changed to allow gay couples equal rights if they wish to get married, you would think that it would be an easy and obvious step to include equal rights for straight couples to have a civil partnership if they want it. But no, we now have idiots putting forth reasons why this particular bit of equality is a bad idea.

    Not only that, but under the proposed legislation, it will actually be illegal for any CofE church to conduct gay weddings. So any liberal CofE vicar who is OK with gay weddings will be banned from doing so because of laws that are supposed to be there to defend religious freedom.

  12. says

    So, now that I’ve been publicly quoted by Greta, I feel like I’m officially cool. I’ll have to strive to come up with more quotable material.

    For anyone who’s interested, Godless Perverts is now building a mailing list and we’ll be sending out emails about our future events where we take on sex, godlessness, and gender. You can subscribe here, and there’s a contact form on the website for anyone who has any ideas or feedback. We’ll have a Facebook page too, just as soon as I finish handling a looming deadline.

  13. graham says

    “Not all LGBT people are just like mainstream straight people. (For that matter, not all straight people are, either.)”

    A small point, but personally I’d rather be called hetero than ‘straight’. 1) If I’m ‘straight’ then that implies that gay people are ‘bent’, which is a horrible thing to say and 2) it somehow implies that hetero sex is copy-book, vanilla flavoured, straight down the middle sex. As you acknowledge, that aint necessarily so.

  14. F [disappearing] says

    1) If I’m ‘straight’ then that implies that gay people are ‘bent’, which is a horrible thing to say

    You need a better argument (which may well exist) than that non sequitur, otherwise lolwut?

    Out of all the colloquial uses of “straight”, this usage is quite like that of “square” by those who were cool/hip/whatever. As in “dull-normal/boring”. (“Normal” also being used in a pejorative sense.)

    Not-straight only implies not straight. It doesn’t imply something bent from an originally straight nature. There are an infinite variety of ways to be not-straight.

    I think the word-policing hyper-extends itself a bit on occasion.

Leave a Reply