Gay Marriage, scared Christians and The Death of Gods.

Via Think Progress…

As the Supreme Court weighs the merits of allowing gay and lesbian Americans the freedom to marry, right-wing anti-equality advocates are cranking the fearmongering up to 11, claiming that a world of marriage equality is one that would functionally ban Christians from practicing their religion.

Two Fox News contributors, independently and in other outlets, made dire predictions along these lines. Todd Starnes, speaking on American Family Radio, argued that “persecution [of Christians] like we have never seen it” had “already started” as a consequence of the marriage equality movement:

STARNES: You know, it’s as if we’re second-class citizens now because we support the traditional, Biblical definition of marriage, or perhaps we are pro-life, and that means we’re somehow second-class citizens who don’t deserve to be in the public marketplace of ideas.

RIOS (HOST): Absolutely. In fact, it’ll be worse than that. You know there’s going to be punishment. There will be tremendous punishment. If gay marriage is embraced by the country, if the Supreme Court goes south this week in its hearings, we are in for – of course, we’re not going to hear about it until June – but we are in for persecution like we have never seen it.

STARNES: Well, it’s already started.

As the article points out, there are religious exemptions in place in every piece of gay marriage legislation.  Churches will not be forced to marry same sex couples.
However, they will start losing parishioners to churches that will perform those services.

Another Fox News contributor, Erick Erickson, went further. Writing on RedState, a conservative blog that’s commonly read by Republican legislators, Erickson fantasized about a world where the United States government — with a Congress that is roughly 80 percent Christian — began terrorizing Christian institutions, shuttering Christian businesses for opposing marriage equality, and labeling Christians themselves criminals:

Any Christian who refuses to recognize that man wants to upend God’s order will have to be driven from the national conversation. They will be labeled bigots and ultimately criminals…Once the world decides that real marriage is something other than natural or Godly, those who would point it out must be silenced and, if not, punished. The state must be used to do this. Consequently, the libertarian pipe dream of getting government out of marriage can never ever be possible.

Within a year or two we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts God’s own established plan. In some places this is already happening.

So essentially, aside from the gay wedding thing that we dealt with above, what’s cheesing Erickson off is that the institutions above will not be allowed to actively discriminate against gay people.
So in effect, the basic complaint that the religious right seems to be making that not being allowed to persecute gay people persecute them.

Let’s make this clear. You don’t believe in same sex marriage?  No one is forcing you to marry someone of the same sex.  No one is forcing your church to perfume wedding ceremonies for same sex couples.
So the last part of the argument that makes any sense is that if gay marriage is legalized, you can’t say gay marriage is wrong without being labeled a bigot.
My response is this.  I don’t like being called a goat fucker.  Do you know how I avoid getting hit with that label?  BY NOT FUCKING GOATS!!!
Mind you, someone can still call me a goat fucker but it will have no basis in fact.
However, if you still try to deny gay people marriage rights and all the benefits that come with them. (Life insurance, hospital visits, etc.) then you will be called a bigot because you are indeed committing a bigoted act. And therefore, the label will stick.
You see how that works?
And the thing is that while you’ve been yelling and screaming about how evil the Gays are for wanting committed love and all that jazz, you’ve failed to notice the very real problem that afflicting you.
Your God is dying.

From the article “Religion may not survive the Internet.” by Valerie Tarico. Posted in on January 13, 2013.

In October of 2012 the Pew Research Center announced that for the first time ever Protestant Christians had fallen below 50 percent of the American population. Atheists cheered and evangelicals beat their breasts and lamented the end of the world as we know it. Historian of religion, Molly Worthen, has since offered big picture insights that may dampen the most extreme hopes and fears.  Anthropologist Jennifer James, on the other hand, has called fundamentalism the “death rattle” of the Abrahamic traditions.

In all of the frenzy, few seem to give any recognition to the player that I see as the primary hero, or, if you prefer, culprit—and I’m not talking about science populizer and atheist superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson. Then again, maybe Iam talking about Tyson in a sense, because in his various viral guises—as a talk show host and tweeter and as the face on scores of smartass Facebook memes—Tyson is an incarnation of the biggest threat that organized religion has ever faced: the internet.

A traditional religion, one built on “right belief,” requires a closed information system. That is why the Catholic Church put an official seal of approval on some ancient texts and banned or burned others. It is why some Bible-believing Christians are forbidden to marry nonbelievers. It is why Quiverfull moms home school their kids from carefully screened text books. It is why, when you get sucked into conversations with your fundamentalist uncle George from Florida, you sometimes wonder if he has some superpower that allows him to magically close down all avenues into his mind. (He does!)

And yes, you should read the whole thing.
Harlan Ellison once said “When belief in a god dies, the god dies.”.  And that means the God of Abraham, the God of your forefathers is dying a slow and protracted death.
And every time guys like Starnes and Erickson open their big bazoos, their God dies a little quicker because someone, somewhere decides that their God is a dick and unworthy of worship.
And they turn elsewhere.
To the Buddha.
To the Unitarians.
To other Sects that stress the loving over the smiting.
And some like me just say, “Screw it” and chuck the whole God concept and focus on what’s in front of their face.
And the God of Starnes and Erickson’s dies of neglect like an old man in a rest home.
And when he passes, he will join Zeus and Odin in the land of forgotten Gods and he will ask What happened to my children?.
And Zeus will smile ruefuly and reply.
What happens to all children.
They grow up.


About theragingcelt

Actor/Writer/Homegrown Pundit/Cranky Progressive/Sometimes Filmmaker.
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3 Responses to Gay Marriage, scared Christians and The Death of Gods.

  1. Irv says:

    [Yo NFTF, the thing that follows was discovered on the living-and-breathing web.]

    (The following paper was inspired by Bill O’Reilly whose TV show favors God Dumpers and not “Bible Thumpers.” Quotes are from “Vital Quotations” by Emerson West.)


    ROBERT E. LEE: “In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.” (p. 21)
    DANIEL WEBSTER: “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper.” (p. 21)
    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “I have made it a practice for several years to read the Bible through in the course of every year.” (p. 22)
    ABRAHAM LINCOLN: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book.” (p. 22)
    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” (p. 22)
    HORACE GREELEY: “It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people.” (p. 23)
    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by himself to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man. I adhere to the principles of the first age; and consider all subsequent innovations as corruptions of this religion, having no foundation in what came from him.” (p. 45)
    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would by now have become Christian.” (p. 47)
    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see.” (p.49)
    WOODROW WILSON: “The sum of the whole matter is this—-that our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually. It can only be saved by becoming permeated with the spirit of Christ and being made free and happy by practices which spring out of that spirit.” (p. 143)
    PATRICK HENRY: “There is a just God who presides over the destiny of nations.” (p. 145)
    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction.” (p. 225)
    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.” (p. 237)
    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low, that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.” (p. 283)
    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped.” (p. 301)
    CALVIN COOLIDGE: “The strength of a country is the strength of its religious convictions.” (p. 305)
    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “The perpetuity of this nation depends upon the religious education of the young.” (p. 306)

    Prior to our increasingly “Hell-Bound and Happy” era, America’s greatest leaders were part of the (gulp) Religious Right! Today we’ve forgotten God’s threat (to abort America) in Psa. 50:22—-“Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.” Memo to God Dumpers: In light of Rev. 16:19, can you be sure you won’t be in a city that God has already reserved for destruction?

    • Irv:

      For future reference, testimonials are not a substitute for an intellectual argument. And your little comment at the end about Quote, “can you be sure you won’t be in a city that God has already reserved for destruction?” Close quotes underlines a point I made weeks earlier that Religion is a social construct of man that uses promise of an afterlife as a control mechanism.
      Your quotes don’t impress me and your warning about smiting doesn’t scare me.
      Next time, bring an actual argument and don’t waste my time with cut and paste jobs from Bartlett’s Quotations.

    • M says:

      Ugh. Start thinking by yourself. And stop copying and pasting.

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