The coming Gaypocalypse

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.


  1. rietpluim says

    Wars, diseases, and the end of families, law, and civilization are much more likely to occur when the conservative right is in charge then when gay marriage is legalized.

  2. Aaron says

    I think we all know that this will do as much damage to the church as emancipation and suffrage have done (both of which being very difficult to reconcile Biblically–some people may get disillusioned and leave, the vast majority will slightly modify their framework and move on. But we can hope!

    On a side note, the Google login no longer works (Google has gotten rid of OpenID), but FTB is still blocking people who have used that address with a Google login from using it the more normal way, so we get “possible imposter” messages whenever we try to post. Just FYI so you can pass it up the line to whoever handles that.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      One thing that will be different in the post-gaypocalyptic church: the people who are freaking out the loudest will find themselves inheriting a church that is no longer “their” church. The church that stays faithful to their bigotry will be marginalized and greatly diminished, and the church that adapts and survives will be too “liberal” to suit them. Then they’ll console themselves that they are the “faithful remnant,” and believe that the rest of us will burn in hell forever. All because some people fell in love differently than heteros do, and we failed to persecute them for it.

      I’ll drop Ed a note about the logins.

  3. says

    You’re absolutely right, Deacon! Additionally, the globalization of information-sharing makes it increasingly obvious that miracles don’t actually happen. It’s no longer possible for some charlatan to say “miracles are happening daily in the holy land!” and have local yokels believe it for a second. Because everyone realizes that if miracles were happening (or god was smiting teh ghey) it’d be front page on google news. Instead: nothing. And, as you say, the churchies talk about how god is gonna start smitin’ … any day now… …. wait for it… … It’s pretty thin and it’s obviously thin.

  4. Robert, not Bob says

    If they really do believe they’re in the center of a supernatural war and that disobedience causes a negative sympathetic magical effect, they can think that accepting gay people’s rights would cause earthquakes, droughts and plagues. Directly, and not just as punishment. Especially if they’ve been telling others this long enough (believing their propaganda).

  5. johnhodges says

    The Biblical Worldview was rejected when slavery was abolished, and with every new bit of progress toward women’s equality. One might also note “A History of the Warfare between Science with Theology in Christendom” by Andrew D. White, published in two volumes in 1896. Lightning rods, anesthesia, and so forth, back to Copernicus and Galileo. The theologians always find some way to adapt.

  6. says

    It just smacks so hard of a completely insular worldview that, as a non-American kind of annoys me.

    Why would the world end simply because America legalises something that god has a hate-on for?

    Gay marriage is a thing in so many other countries already. Where’s the apocalypse?

  7. Holms says

    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.

    You’re forgetting that simply not getting there way in keeping the nation conservative is quite apocalyptic enough for the usual bloviators. “We predicted calamity if we legalised gay marriage and look what happened: America became more liberal AAAIIIIEEEEE!!!”

  8. grumpyoldfart says

    I don’t think gay marriage in America will have any effect on Christianity. There will be a few preachers who bitch and moan about it until the day they die, but most of the believers will just look around for another minority group to demonize. [Christians always like to have at least one group of people over whom they can feel themselves superior.]

  9. Die Anyway says

    “sexual blackmail”

    Oh so true. In the late ’60s my girlfriend and I were over 20 and wanted to have sex but ‘shacking up’ was frowned upon in our semi-rural, southern community and birth control was not readily available to unmarried people. So off to see the preacher. A few magic words later and motel room here we come. That was probably the high point of our marriage. If the church and Christian morality had not ruled our lives we would probably have had sex a few times, gotten it out of our systems, and then gone our separate ways sparing us both several years of unhappiness.

  10. Eric in Oakland says

    Don’t underestimate the power of the religious mind to change the narrative. 100 years from now Christians will be claiming that they were at the forefront of achieving gay rights. The same revision was successfully done regarding abolition and civil rights.

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