Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gay Marriage and You: What's the Relevance?

The sins of Sodom were in not helping the poor.
Somebody asked me the other day what the Arizona/Texas dustup over gay marriage had to do with him. "I'm straight," he said. "I'm not against people doing what they want to do as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else, but I can't wrap my mind around why I should run around supporting marriage between two people of the same sex. I'm not even sure I support marriage between people of the opposite sex." He laughed.

I didn't laugh because it's not funny.

We have state governments in the United States systematically stripping the rights of various groups of people and codifying that bigotry in their state laws. Last year in Virginia, the General Assembly attacked women, this year in Texas and Arizona, it's gay people. Every year it is African Americans, Hispanics, people of every color that doesn't suit the far right. Virginia's government approved a physical invasion of a woman's vagina to disuade her abortion choice. Texas wants to strip women of the right to vote, unless they're Republicans and states all over the country are disenfranchising our Black brothers and sisters at the polls.

Should we be angry when a group's--any group's--rights are threatened by Republicans, hell bent on getting and keeping power through any means necessary? You bet your fat ass we should.

Gerrymandering, so common in red states since the 2000 census, is basically about the individual's right to vote in a way that has some meaning. When Republicans group all the Dems they can find into one painfully large and meandering district, then create three Republican districts from what's left, it affects me directly because my vote becomes almost meaningless and I have no voice in firing the people who are trying to overthrow our democracy. Our General Assembly in Virginia is heavily Republican, but the vote in statewide elections generally leans toward a Democratic majority. The Republican majority is the direct result of unethically and unfairly drawn district lines.

What does this have to do with gay marriage? Everything. When Jesus said, "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me," he was including a lot of invasions that strip us of our rights, our humanity and our very souls. That's happening all over under the guise of "Christian" legislators who have no clue what their own Bible says.

Take "sodomy," for example. Right-wing, "Christian" legislators have ruled against what they call "sodomy," taking that to mean sex acts involving the mouth and anus. The Bible (English Standard version here, but you pick your own translation) says this of Sodom (and sodomy): "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." Sodomy is the refusal to help the poor. Pretty far run away from sex acts, I'd say.

But it's typical of what bigots give us with their interpretations of religious literature, the Constitution, state law, and damn near anything else.

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