Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Old Arguments Against Gay Marriage

Yesterday's ruling by the United States Supreme Court has brought with it a bit of a backlash on social media.  Reading a lot of these angry, often senseless comments from people who disagree with the decision reminded me of one of my own rants on the same subject from almost ten years ago.  After a little bit of digging through my archives, I finally found it.  And, to my chagrin, it was even worse than I remembered.

What sparked this philippic on my old blog was a thread on an internet forum I used to frequent. The poster had started a poll whose wording I took issue with.  And here, ladies and gentlemen, is my terrible, terrible opinion from October 26, 2006:
Then I read the poll about gay marriage the poster had set up. The vague question was, simply, "Gay Marriage?" The three options were: 
No, because God
No, because some other reason 
The poster had voted for "Yes." I looked over the options for a moment, and, after voting, decided that something had to be said about the glaring flaws in this poll. So I replied: 
"No, because God." I like that. It makes me feel like your stereotypical Christian who refuses to deviate from his principles just because they've always been his principles. You know, the kind who opposes gay marriage and abortion and stem cell research even though he can't really think of a good non-religious reason. The person who uses "Because God" as the "Your Mom" comeback of the political world. The guy who is a drain on progressive society because he's old-fashioned and stuck in his clearly misguided ways. The guy whose opinion should be ignored because it's not based in anything important. The one who sits on top of his shack all day with a shotgun, spitting tobacco juice and scratching his pot belly. The citizen who doesn't count."  
There have been a lot of unfair stereotypes in the history of the world, and this is just another one. But it really bothers me that the religious community is starting to be dismissed as a negligible, superstitious parasite on society. There are a lot of people who think religion is unnecessary and outdated. They think that piety is a sign of mental weakness, a voluntary submission to brainwashing. 
Well, to those people, I say: You're just a bunch of amoral, godless, new age hippies who are all destined to burn in hell for an eternity.  
This poster, however, was not even trying. He is an atheist and is in favor of gay marriage and critical of religion in general. "No, because God" is such a sloppily constructed phrase that it indicates childishness and irrationality in someone who would agree with such a line. So to that poster, I say, "No, because God." If that makes me childish and irrational, fine. I'd rather be childish and irrational than hesitant to support my opinions because I'm afraid of being unfairly labeled.  
In fact, let's try using my version of the question on you.  Are you in favor of nationally legalizing gay marriage? 
Yes, because I think I'm too cool for God
Yes, because of some other reason 
So, your options are these: Choose "No." Sell out to the opposite side. Or choose the second option. Admit to my erroneously trivialized description of your beliefs. Or choose the third option. Ascribe your beliefs to the worthless abyss of "other." Appear to have a tenuous, unsupported opinion. 
So what's your answer then?
Damn, that's horrifying.  That used to be me.  Look at all that emotional grandstanding without a single legal argument or any kind of mention of equality, human rights, or what's actually in the Constitution.  Look at all that self-congratulatory tunnel vision.  Look at how I basically got off on being offended.  Look at that hilariously oblivious reference to brainwashing.

But look at how these same arguments are still being made.  Look at my old persecution complex, my rage against secularism, and my emerging fears about the oppression of religious freedom. Look at how I thought being unfairly labeled was akin to the trampling of my personal rights.

If the Supreme Court's ruling is any indication, big changes can happen.  They may be long overdue, but sometimes, society can get things right.  And if my old blog post is any indication, small changes can happen too.  As infuriating as I find these people spouting claims that the Supreme Court's decision is illegal or dangerous or oppressive, it's important for me to remember that, had this happened ten years ago, I would have been right there on the front lines explaining how this would lead to the downfall of our very civilization.

But nations can change.  People can change.  Opinions can change.  And in the wake of this historic ruling, it's probably less important for us to hate on the haters than it is for us to hope for the future.  Maybe those people can change and maybe our society can adjust enough to accept the Supreme Court's decision, accept the rights that all our citizens deserve, and accept homosexuality in our culture as something that shouldn't be demonized, disparaged or discriminated against.

And to Zorfox from the old forum days, I'm sorry.  I was an asshole.  But I'm working on it.

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