Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For

So finally, as I predicted, gay marriage is now legal in all fifty states.  And as anyone could have expected, we're now seeing the collective backlash from those who think they're being persecuted because something they think is a sin is now legal.  They insist America is a Christian nation, and that this was a mistake by the Supreme Court.  We're not and it wasn't, but I digress.

To those of you who do think America is a Christian nation, I say: be careful what you wish for.  You want to see gay marriage illegal because of something you read in Leviticus?  Have you really thought this through?  I don't think you have.

There's lots of things that are legal in these United States whilst being expressly forbidden in the Bible: working on the Sabbath, coveting, divorce, eating pork and shellfish, marrying people of different faiths, atheism, taking the lord's name in vain, and so on.  Open any book of the bible, and you're bound to see things that are forbidden happening in broad daylight.  

We're a godless nation, ladies and gentlemen.  We're free to have our own views on a god, but as a nation we are not beholding to any one person or group's interpretation of whether there is a god, or what we ought to do to stay on their good side.  Our government cannot ever, must not ever kowtow to any one religious group's views on "how things ought to be".  That way lies madness.

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that we did capitulate and declare this a Christian nation, beholding only to the Bible as the final arbiter of truth and justice.  Let's say that Leviticus, since it served you so well on this gay marriage issue, now dictates right and wrong on a national scale.  Say goodbye to Red Lobster, pepperoni pizza, shopping on Saturday or Sundays (pick one), men trimming their beards, women holding leadership positions in anything...

You see where this is going?  Does it seem like freedom to you?  Does it seem American?  Folks, one of the caveats of living in a free country is that there will be people who have different opinions on things, and despite that, they have all the same rights you do.  Republicans and Democrats, Christians and non-Christians, Jew and gentile, black and white, gay and straight.  Not every country can say that, and if you think we made a mistake as a nation by legalizing gay marriage, you're cordially invited to visit one of these countries.  Iran and Saudi Arabia come to mind, as does Russia, China, and a few others.

Gay Americans are citizens, and have - and should have had all along - the same rights as straight people.  We've got a ways to go on our path to a more perfect union, but the fact is freedom is antithetical to a lot of religions.  My freedom to reject the divinity of Christ, say the bible is not the word of god, and reject the church altogether does not make me any less patriotic than you.  In fact, you might say that exercising the right to say such blasphemous things is in itself a patriotic act.  

We're about to celebrate our nation's birthday in a few days, and we're reminded of what it means to be an American.  Yes, cherish it.  You're free.  But so is the person next to you.  And those weirdos at the end of the block.  And that's the price we pay.  And if you can't handle it, if you're not ready to extend the same liberties you cherish as an American to every single person in America, then I say: you're not ready to live in a free country, and you don't deserve it.