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The twisted logic of the anti-gay marriage movement

The Minnesota senate will be debating our gay marriage bill this afternoon; if it passes there, we have a done deal, because our governor Dayton has promised to sign it into law as soon as it hits his desk. This has thrown the Christians into this state in a frenzy (and make no mistake, the opposition is zealously Christian — every argument calls on their god to justify their hatred), and we’re getting email and mailed flyers and phone calls at home all the time. They don’t seem to have very good organization, either. You think they’d learn from the contemptuous sneer and slammed phones they get from me that they should write me off as a lost cause.

But their arguments are just getting weirder and more desperate. Take this from @MnForMarriage:

Yesterday, millions of Minnesotans celebrated the Lord’s day. Today, should the gay “marriage” bill pass, those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage will become “bigots” under our laws.

Yep, that’s their major argument right now. It’s OK to discriminate against gay people, but suggesting that people who want to deny others their civil rights are “bigots” is unfair and oppressive!

Don’t worry, @MnForMarriage, you’re already bigots, so the law will change nothing in that regard. It’ll just mean you don’t get to practice your bigotry against gay people under the cover of law. But I’m sure you’ll still be the same nasty, hateful, mean-spirited, narrow-minded jebus-shaggers you’ve always been.

Comments

  1. IslandBrewer says

    Hey, take the scare quotes away from “marriage” and “bigots” and put them around “Lord’s” and “design”!

    Impressive what those scare quotes can do.

  2. embertine says

    Note to bigots: you are absolutely allowed to follow “The Lord’s” design for marriage. What you are not allowed to do is make other people do the same.

    As an atheist, I am not taking your churches off you and turning them into community centres. I am not coming round your house and having you publicly flogged if you are caught praying. I am not burning your Bibles or trying to make the printing of religious tracts illegal.

    See how nice it is when we let each other live our lives? Or does that only work when it’s us accommodating you?

  3. raven says

    Yesterday, millions of Minnesotans celebrated the Lord’s day. Today, should the gay “marriage” bill pass, those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage will become “bigots” under our laws.

    They are already bigots, religious kooks, and death cultists.

    And nothing will change that.

  4. Draken says

    You could tell ‘em to bugger off. I’ve only learned just the other day how apposite that is.

  5. sqlrob says

    Yesterday, millions of Minnesotans celebrated the Lord’s day. Today, should the gay “marriage” bill pass, those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage will become “bigots” under our laws.

    The truth hurts, don’t it?

  6. Gregory Greenwood says

    Yesterday, millions of Minnesotans celebrated the Lord’s day. Today, should the gay “marriage” bill pass, those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage will become “bigots” under our laws.

    Once again we see that xians find nothing so oppressive as being told that they aren’t allowed to oppress others. Anything short of a xian theocracy is apparently a ‘war on christianity’.

  7. raven says

    Yesterday, millions of Minnesotans celebrated the Lord’s day. Today, should the gay “marriage” bill pass, those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage will become “bigots” under our laws.

    Those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage are already criminals. Some of them like Warren Jeffs are doing long sentences in prison.

    According to the bible, men can have as many wives as they can round up and as many sex slaves as they can afford.

    Solomon, that hero of the Old Testament, had 700 wives and 300 sex slaves.

  8. unbound says

    If “…the Lord’s design for marriage…” is such a good thing, then why is bigamy illegal?

  9. says

    “… those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage”

    Which includes polygamy, concubinage, Levirite marriage, marriage-by-conquest and marriage-by-rape, among other fascinating variations. I do so love it when True Believers start talking about Biblical marriage

  10. morejello says

    I work in public access TV, and we get a lot of fringe people expressing their twisted views. Recently one of our local teabaggers was railing against a proposed change to city code which would add gender identity as a protected class for employment and housing, and he went on at length about how it was the most horrible form of oppression to point out that someone is a bigot.

  11. madknitter says

    We’ve had marriage equality (I hate the term “gay marriage”) in MA for almost 10 years. The sky hasn’t fallen. Straight people are still getting married. The RC Church hasn’t been forced at gunpoint to officiate at same sex ceremonies. I do remember one very Catholic co-worker telling me, right before it all became legal, that “gay marriage” would affect “regular” marriages. When I kept pressing her on how it would do so, she finally said, “It just will.”

    Seriously? That’s all you have?

    I don’t really care what churches allow or ban within their own walls. But as a citizen who pays taxes, then I want all the same rights that come with that, along with the responsibilities that I’m already shouldering.

  12. says

    As I see it, we’re already past the fundies’ idea of marriage: We see marriage as an equal partnership between consenting adults. They, however, want to send it backwards to arranged marriages, treating women like livestock, legalized marital rape, reproduction as mandatory, anti-miscegenation laws, and all that stuff. That’s why they’re so frequently anti-feminist and often racist, for one thing. Allowing same sex couples to marry is a natural continuation of the cultural shift that’s been going on. If the fundies can’t stop society from recognizing same sex marriage, they know it means it’s going to be that much harder for them to control the practice of opposite sex marriage like they used to. They’re losing the culture war, and many of them only recently realized it. Others were fighting the war since interracial marriage was an issue and they’re trying to reclaim ground, spouting naked racism, sexism, and homophobia in a desperate attempt to re-normalize bigotry.

  13. graham says

    “the Lord’s design for marriage”. I seem to remember Jesus was quite keen on people abandoning everything to follow him which, had enough people been stupid enough to do so, would have resulted in the collapse of marriage and the family. A reasonable request on Jesus’ part if indeed the End times were going to happen within the lifetime of some of his audience but he seemed to have got that one wrong by at least 2000 years. So much for omniscience.

  14. says

    According to a 2005 statistical analysis of church going published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, less 20% of Americans are regular church-goers. (This is half of the amount that is regularly reported in polls — fancy that…Christians lying about something.)

    So, only a tiny minority of the US population “celebrates the Lord’s day”.

    And I’ll fight with every fiber of my being to protect their right to do so. Because it would be unfair and discriminatory to force them to do otherwise. UnConstitutional as well.

    Now…we were discussing protecting the rights of minorities…what was it you were saying again?

  15. blf says

    millions of Minnesotans celebrated the Lord’s day.

    Assuming “celebrated the [Magic Sky Faeries]” means attending the local brainwashing clinic, then I call bullshite on this claim, or at least on what is implied.

    The population of Minnesota is c.5,400,000. Pew Research Center says 38 percent of Minnesotans say they go to religious services at least once a week, which is about average for USAlienstan. (Other estimates put Minnesota in the 20 percents.)

    38% of 5,400,000 is just over 2,000,000, which barely qualifies as “millions”. And is very probably much less than what these nutters want to be read into the above nonsense.

  16. says

    @14: And Paul was positively against the idea of marriage. Virgins should remain so, unless they were “too inflamed”. If you were already married, well, you should “do your duty”.

    I think Paul had some hang-ups about sex.

  17. says

    @16…less than half of that, if you drill down to the real numbers versus what people say to pollsters.

    So, less than 1 million Minnesotans went to church last Sunday. Which makes the e-mail a gross exaggeration at best, an outright lie at worst.

  18. stevem says

    re “biblical” marriage:

    You don’t expect those bible thumpers to actually read that book they’re thumping, do you? Why should they read more than “God created Adam and Eve, to go forth and propagate.” Why should they read anything else? The bible is for thumping, not reading. The priest’s job is to read it (since it is written in God’s magic script) and tell us what it says.

    But, really, I think the whole “letting gays marry will ruin ‘normal’ marriage” is fear that if children see gays marry, they will become (thus, choose to be) gay; since kids only imitate role models and don’t ever develop independently. And that’s why gays need to be oppressed and hated and advertised as disgusting scum; to teach kids to not be gay, or else ruin, since gays can’t have kids and we’ll become extinct. oh my, horrors, no more kids, ever, if those gays ever get the right to marry.

  19. David Wilford says

    After having seen more than a few signs last fall saying “Another Catholic Voting No” on the constitutional amendment that would have made same-sex civil marriage unconstitutional, it’s not as if there’s a united Christian opposition, including gay Christians. The opposition is just bigoted against homosexuals, period.

  20. Sastra says

    The anti-gay marriage contingency is outraged because they think a social agreement is being violated. The minute a position is said to be held as a matter of religious conviction, then the person is supposed to be granted a free ride away from personal accountability. They’re not people in the world responsible for forming a conclusion about the world: they’re reaching for higher truths and humbling themselves before God so the normal rules don’t apply. Once they admit it’s “faith,” then debate is over and so is judgment. They’re immune to criticism. They’re on ghool. They can’t be argued against. Religion is supposed to operate in air of special privilege.

    Thus the sense of outraged violation. When we call them “bigots” we’re saying their religion is bigoted. Their religion! Religious people think we’re breaking a pact. No matter how silly or pointless some ritual or belief is, the civil response is “I respect that. I don’t agree or do it myself, but I’m impressed that you do.”

    Sorry. The social agreement — if it was ever there — is now gone.

  21. jamessweet says

    will become “bigots” under our laws.

    What the fuck does that even mean??? Since when is “bigot” a legal term?

  22. David Wilford says

    I’m listening to Minnesota Public Radio right now, and the lie, er, line being pushed by various Republican shills is that the campaign for voting “no” on last fall’s constitutional amendment supposedly said that nothing would change if the amendment lost, therefore implying they’re breaking that fictitious promise by making same-sex civil marriage legal now. Thankfully the reporter immediately had someone else put the lie to that bullshit, but you can be sure that Republicans will keep on saying it.

  23. says

    So true, Sastra. The very first time I got in a one-on-one argument with a Christian about LGBT equality, that’s exactly what it came down to. He actually wrote that, “God makes the rules, and I just agree.” I asked him why it was he agreed with God, and I got nowhere. That’s all there was to it. Pure unthinking obedience to arbitrary laws.

  24. Larry says

    Although I’m a supporter of marriage equality, I find that I’m more interested in watching fundie heads asplode as their impotent rage consumes them.

    Does this make me a bad person?

  25. Sven says

    I’ve always found it so hypocritical when an organization calls themselves “so-and-so for marriage” or “so-and-so in defense of marriage”, when their goal is to ban marriage for millions of Americans. They”re not “defending” or “promoting” marriage, they’re attacking and discouraging it.

  26. Sastra says

    The first time I heard the term “pro-marriage” was many years ago after channel flipping onto one of the cable news stations. They had filmed a “Pro-Marriage Rally” and to my surprise the speaker must have been going against the theme — playing devil’s advocate, perhaps. She was arguing AGAINST homosexuals being allowed to marry. Next person at the podium … same thing. Anti-marriage. Wtf?

    Oh … I get it. Christians. Opposite Land.

  27. Chuck says

    I can hear the same arguments from racists in the 50s and 60s: “But if you grant black people equal rights, then other people will call me a bigot for discriminating against them!”

    And that’s the true motivation behind all this: “I want to be a bigot, I just don’t want to be called a bigot.”

  28. says

    Sastra @#23:

    Once they admit it’s “faith,” then debate is over and so is judgment.

    Sastra, I always look for your postings – consistently, you articulate the crux of the matter even as you twist the knife, and you do so with well-written, well-reasoned little essays sprinkled with zingers like the one I quoted above. So often, when I’m about to post a comment or response, I see that you’ve already written about what I want to say, but you’ve done it with much more conviction and accuracy than I ever could. I’m sure many others feel as I do.

    Thank you for your writings. I appreciate your points of view and your opinions, but (speaking as a writer and editor) I also just love your writing.

  29. Rip Steakface says

    @28 Larry

    If it makes you a bad person, we can go somewhere to watch their heads asplode together as bad people in unison.

  30. says

    At least the Westboro Baptist Church is honest about being bigoted. The big difference between groups like Minnesota for Marriage or the American Family Council or other groups like that, is that the WBC wears their bigotry as a badge of honor.

    C’mon, you bigots! Embrace the term! Don’t run from it.

  31. qwerty says

    From ABC Newspapers by Howard Lestrum:

    “Helmberger encouraged supporters of Minnesota for Marriage ‘to pray for God to intervene and to manifest his glory.’”

    Nothing like urging God to strike down that new Somdom and Gomorrah of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

  32. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    I have a dream that one day someone will come out against civil rights for some people without using religion as the reason.

    While I’m at it, I also want a 1964 Ferrari GTO SWB.

  33. says

    those who believe in the Lord’s design for marriage will become “bigots” under our laws.

    Under Biblical law, you can have your own pre-teen bride for the low, low price of 50 shekels and one rape. Just like the good Lord designed it.
    Gah.

  34. says

    I just left the capitol building, because I unfortunately had to leave before the bill passed. In the main room of the building, the pro-gay marriage folks are singing religious songs, which on one hand makes me happy (anything that enrages bigots can’t be all bad), but on the other hand, Yahweh makes it pretty clear how he feels about the gays, and if he were real (and thank goodness he’s not), he would be firmly in the camp of the bigots. But the bill will pass, and MN will at least be in the top 25% of states to legalize marriage, so woot!

  35. Azuma Hazuki says

    For what this is worth, Christians will likely point to Jesus’ passages on divorce saying they “abrogated” the OT stuff like polygamy and sex-slavery (though they’re less enthused about his suggestion to cut their nuts off, one can’t help but notice…). And of course that says nothing about Paul, who has been mentioned upthread and, yes, very likely did have some hangups with sex. Like the limpet has some hangups with a rock.

    And of course, this means Yahweh changed his all-knowing mind (again). I wonder if he’s “sick with repenting?” Wait, no, he is “not a man, that he should repent.”

    All I can think of listening to all this is Roy Zimmerman’s “Defenders of Marriage” song.

  36. says

    He actually wrote that, “God makes the rules, and I just agree.” I asked him why it was he agreed with God, and I got nowhere.

    I have always found it quite an interesting coincidence that people’s gods seem to share the same biases and prejudices as the people themselves.

  37. David Marjanović says

    [...] Paul, who has been mentioned upthread and, yes, very likely did have some hangups with sex. Like the limpet has some hangups with a rock.

    FTW.

    I have always found it quite an interesting coincidence that people’s gods seem to share the same biases and prejudices as the people themselves.

    That’s common, but not actually universal. For instance, a few years ago right here on Pharyngula we had a Bible-thumper called “Barb” who had a better moral compass than her own god. It sounded like she was more or less crying when she made clear that she had nothing against whatever or whoever it was and only felt sympathy, but she actually believed that God was against it and therefore she wasn’t allowed to let it be.