Ed Brayton has been documenting the rising hysteria and apocalyptic paranoia of the Christian right in connection with the Supreme Courts upcoming ruling on gay marriage. If the Court legalizes same-sex marriage, they warn, we can expect wars! and diseases! and the end of families! and of law! and of civilization! and so on and so on, with lots of extra exclamation points.
I have some sympathy for believers. I think legalizing gay marriage will be just as devastating for Christianity as these groups are predicting. Not because any of their predictions will come true, but because they won’t.
For untold generations, Christians have held on to social control by holding on to the genitals of its members. Marriage was the only acceptable means of satisfying one’s sexual desires, and the Church was the only way to get married, because marriage was an institution ordained and blessed by the Christian God. And God only blesses marriage when you obey His teachings about it. Submit to the Church, and you can have sex. Reject the Church, and be denied socially sanctioned sex for the rest of your life.
Gay marriage is a direct assault on this sexual blackmail, because unless you are reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally liberal, there’s no way to reconcile homosexual unions with Biblical teaching. So what happens when a same-sex couple gets married, and experiences the same blessings as the hetero couple, without provoking the end of life as we know it? If a marriage can be just as “blessed” without God, and without major social devastation, then who needs God anyway? Suddenly, Christianity no longer has a monopoly on access to sex. The sexual blackmail doesn’t work! DISASTER!!!1!11!
This is why the right is freaking out so much about gay marriage. They’re losing the ability to control people with threats of forced celibacy, so they’re trying every other threat they can think of. And when none of these bad things happen, people will realize just how much bullshit the Church has been dumping on people in order to coerce them into believing. For hard-core Bible-thumping reactionaries, that’s the worst of all possible futures.