Conservative Honesty out of the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling


Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages are now legal in all states and all states have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The ruling is especially relevant to me, living in Texas but married to my partner of almost 16 years in another state. It’s a great day for civil rights in the United States, but that’s not my reason for this post. I’ve noticed that the ruling has had a positive effect on the religious right: suddenly, they’re a lot more honest about their true motives than they have been. Let me explain.

Christian conservatives have their panties in a bunch over the ruling. Like many arguments you hear from those quarters, there’s a lot of spin and obfuscation. Some are claiming that a majority voting on the rights of a minority is a foundational part of our government. As Ben Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Other conservatives claim that states’ rights are paramount and same-sex marriage should be an issue left to the states. Ironically, the case was ruled on the 14th Amendment, which became part of our Constitution precisely because the states were abusing the rights of their people. Maybe they would prefer to have the Confederate flag above the U.S. flag on their government buildings.

In a refreshing bit of honesty, conservative Texas politicians are finally admitting that same-sex marriage has been about religion all along. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.” Nothing scandalous there. That’s what the advocates of same-sex marriage had been saying all along. Texans are still able to go to churches that condemn gays and fomenting hate. No church has to marry a same-sex couple. They can still thump their Bibles about gays, ignoring what the Bible says about witches, Jews, abortion (i.e. nothing), Amelekites, eating shellfish, figs, talking donkeys, Lot making babies with his married daughters, golden hemorrhoids, or anything that doesn’t make them money. We all know it’s not about Biblical integrity. It’s about spinning and interpretation to advance your agenda. Yes, Gov. Abbott, all that hasn’t changed.

What has changed is Christians can no longer point at gays and say they’re less in the eyes of the law and therefore Christians are somehow better. Legally, Christian marriages are exactly the same as same-sex marriages, even if same-sex marriages aren’t primarily about manufacturing the next generation of tithing believers. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has never made a major decision without getting a green light from God, stated, “It has been said that those who oppose gay marriage are on the wrong side of history. I would rather be on the wrong side of history than on the wrong side of my faith and my beliefs. I believe I am not alone in my view in this country.” I’m sure Dan would have been among those religiously opposed to interracial marriage, too, back in 1967, when Loving vs. Virginia was handed down. Where are those people now? They’ve either died, became less bigoted, or are now ostracized as the lunatic fringe. This too, will be the fate of Dan Patrick’s kind and I think this is the real reason the conservative Christians are quaking in fear of gay rights. The smell of obsolescence is in the air.

Gov. Abbott, Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton, Dan Patrick, and many other state legislators have expressed grave concern over the religious freedoms of Christian clerks in county marriage offices. The rights of such clerks (to put their private religious beliefs above their jobs) shall not be infringed. It is their God-given right to shove their nasty religion down the throats of anyone within their power. I have yet to hear a single conservative religious freedom “advocate” express the smallest bit of concern for the religious freedom of those minority religions who have never had an issue with same-sex marriage or those, like me, who think Christianity is steaming pile of horse manure. I never hear these folks support my analogous right discriminate against Christians because of my deeply-held beliefs (not that I’d want to). All of these people, elected to represent all Texans (or Americans), clearly have a conflict of interest and are thus unfit for public office.

So there you have it. The issue with same-sex marriage was, is, and always will be about the religious privilege of Christians. It’s nice that they are finally being more honest about it.

Comments

  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    In the story, Lot’s daughters were not married; in fact, their father described them as virgins when he offered them to the mob.

  2. says

    Gen. 19:14 – lots daughters were engaged, which was considered the equivalent of marriage in the bible times. They are described as virgins but their future husbands are referred to as Lots sons-in-law.

  3. TxSkeptic says

    Pierce, sure, I’d assume they were not married since they had “not knownn man” Gen:19:8. Don’t know what to make of 19:14, maybe Lot had more than the two daughters. Nevertheless Pierce, where the writer referenced “Lot making babies with his married daughters”, their marital status seems less important than the action described in 19:32-36 where the daughters got their Father drunk and had their way with their him.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Matthew Walsh @ # 2 – Damn, you’re right – one more item for the Bible self-contradictions list!

    I also hadn’t noticed before that Lot apparently also had sons as well as sons-in-law – all nuked by their loving supergod (one more for the Bible atrocities list).

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    TxSkeptic @ # 4: … their marital status seems less important than the action described in 19:32-36 where the daughters got their Father drunk and had their way with their him.

    Those wicked, wicked hussies!

    As I understand it (it’s too late here on the Right Coast to go digging through my library), the point of this story was primarily in humiliating the Moabites by ascribing a dishonorable ancestry to them.

    However, Moab did get its collective revenge in 2 Kings 3:26, though apparently the feud continued.

  6. Robert, not Bob says

    Married or not, Lot’s daughters were widows by the time they were knocked up by their dad (their fiances/husbands hadn’t believed Lot and stayed in town). The bible does mention abortion in one place: Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28, and it’s in favor of it. Albeit by the husband’s choice and not hers, which of course is the real sticking point of the abortion debate…

  7. Narf says

    They can still thump their Bibles about gays, ignoring what the Bible says about witches, Jews, abortion (i.e. nothing), Amelekites …

    Well, they do still thump their Bibles about witches. The pagans don’t have as much of a media presence as we do, though. About the most media presence they ever had was being represented by the crazed Satanic-conspiracy nuts, in the 80’s and 90’s.

    It doesn’t help that they’re at least as silly as the Christian majority. When a position is no more rational than the majority position, it makes that position very subject to the argument from authority, argument from popularity, and a host of other logical fallacies.

    If you go to a Pentecostal church or one of the other more insane ones that are sometimes a good source of amusement, you’ll hear a lot of thumping aimed at sorcery, witchcraft, and the occult in general. They’re really big on demonic possession, too.

    Are there still Amalekites around? That would be pretty funny, if there was a group of people who identified themselves as descendants of one of those probably made up Old Testament cultures.

    “I would rather be on the wrong side of history than on the wrong side of my faith and my beliefs.”

    Uhhhhh, Dan … dude … your faith is on the wrong side of history, too, man.

    Oh, and Don, I didn’t even know you were married. Now that you say it, it seems like something I heard you say, at some point, but damned if I can remember when. I know you don’t talk about being gay or talk about your husband (who I thought was a boyfriend/fiancee) much, on the show.

    Mazel tov, man. I’m glad you finally have the rights … and more importantly the tax benefits … that you should have had for years now. 16 years … Christ. You two have lasted longer than the average fundamentalist-Christian marriage, haven’t you?

  8. Craig McDonald says

    Very well said. As always, an insightful read, and very concerning. One day, Christians might get the idea that they are not being opposed by not being allowed to oppress others (not holding my breath, though).

  9. mond says

    Conservative christians are actually hypocritical about marriage.

    The Catholic church only recognises marriage when conducted by their own organisation.
    Married by a non-catholic christian church —> not married in the eyes of the catholic church
    Married in an non-christian religious ceremony –> not married in the eyes of the catholic church
    Married in a civil ceremony –> Not married in the eyes of the catholic church

    I am sure that the protestant churches don’t recognise the authority of the catholic church and would consider marriages carried out by “the mother church” not to be legitimate.

    This is something that is often overlooked when the conservative christian churches are ganging up against other groups.
    They actually don’t accept each others authority in this matter.
    However they want to power to do it themselves so they can’t rock the boat too much otherwise it would be total infighting.

  10. Kruom says

    As Ben Franklin said

    No, he most likely did not. From Wikiquote:

    Widely attributed to Franklin on the Internet, sometimes without the second sentence. It is not found in any of his known writings, and the word “lunch” is not known to have appeared anywhere in English literature until the 1820s, decades after his death. The phrasing itself has a very modern tone and the second sentence especially might not even be as old as the internet.

  11. corwyn says

    ignoring what the Bible says about witches

    Sadly not. There are still *people* using that excuse to modern young girls.

  12. chuckonpiggott says

    As for recognizing marriage, true story. My mom was a church organist. A plain old Methodist church. Mom played at the wedding for a woman who years later was my wife’s boss. The minister at the church who officiated was a woman.
    Wife and I did not know each other then nor did the bride know my wife.
    After the marriage the couple started attending a fundie church, real fundie church.
    When my wife took the job with this woman the fact mom played at her wedding came up. The boss the told her that after they joined the new church they were remarried since a marriage performed by a woman was illegitimate.

  13. chuckonpiggott says

    Follow up to above. My wife reminded me.
    The fundie boss who had to be remarried. She has two sons. One is gay and the other now has two children with a woman who is not his wife. Poor woman is conflicted.

  14. says

    They can still thump their Bibles about gays, ignoring what the Bible says about witches, Jews, abortion (i.e. nothing), Amelekites, eating shellfish, figs, talking donkeys, Lot making babies with his married daughters, golden hemorrhoids, or anything that doesn’t make them money.

    I will point out something, courtesy of Matt Dillahunty from an AXP episode a month back, that there was an Apocalypse of Peter that didn’t make the cut into the canon that does actually say something about abortion, according to the Wiki on it.

  15. Nick Gotts says

    As Ben Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

    I see (Kruom@11) says that he probably didn’t. But the saying is in any case problematic. In reality, there are always more lambs than wolves, both in the literal case, and in the metaphorical – there are always more poor than rich, workers than capitalists, privates than generals. That’s not to say some things should not be subject to a simple majority vote, but when democracy is under threat from the wolves of corporate power and the secret surveillance state, be careful about dissing it.

  16. Narf says

    @17 – corwyn
    Ohhhhhhhhhh. That was supposed to be “murder young girls,” wasn’t it?

  17. corwyn says

    @19 Narf:

    Probably. Don’t ask me though, the same brain that would be doing the remembering also constructed that sentence…