Friday, September 28, 2012

In Defense of Friends

So, this happened:

Someone on my friend list posted a link to a small blog post by "Carlos" claiming that Satan is using the media to convince us all that there are "lots" of gays, when really there aren't that many, and we should all just pray for them when we see or hear about them. When I called him on the illogic and inconsistencies of his position, he denied that gays are demonized (which is odd, because his POST did that very specifically) or that the issue is about equality.  After a lengthy discussion involving others, he tried to close the thread with a prayer which, in my opinion, arrogantly tried to blame all of us for being intolerant of his faith and asking Jesus to heal the hurt and pain and make the gays not gay any more.

Then I said:

If you really wanted to heal hurt and pain, you would take action to stop causing it. Which was my point in responding to the link you posted in the first place. The point is not "Dan [whose take on this is here] and I are right about the interpretation of the Bible and you are wrong" but rather, "there is more than one correct interpretation of the Bible, and even if there weren't, you don't get to enforce your Biblical 'rules' on everyone else because the U.S. is not a theocracy."

U.S. law and the Constitution used to be discriminatory toward a lot of people who had to fight to get it changed. Slavery was preserved for far too long in the name of protecting the rights of slaveholders; women were prevented from voting in the name of protecting the rights of men; and now gays, who have historically & traditionally been banned from openly existing (let alone having the nerve to marry and act like normal citizens) are asking that we fix the laws that discriminate against them.

You do not lose any rights by allowing them to enjoy theirs. There is no harm done to you or me, or anyone else by [our friend and his partner] ... getting married, so that they can run their lives in a way that my wife and I take for granted.

It is offensive to me, personally, that this is up for a vote. I plan to vote for Maryland Proposition 6 because it's only fair. But as I said before, these people should already be protected from laws that prevent their marriage because we have the 14th Amendment. 

... your lack of awareness that they were and are harmed by the ban on gay marriage does not change the facts. They are. It needs to change. There are only three reasons people give for justifying the continued ban - two of them are irrelevant and one is a lie:

     * My religion says it is wrong - irrelevant. You practice your religion freely whether this is legal or not.
     * I think gays are 'icky' - irrelevant. I think football is 'icky,' but I can't ban it.
     * Gay marriage harms traditional marriage - lie. If you claim otherwise, the burden of proof is on you - and if any proof existed, it ought to have shown up by now. However, the judge in California's Prop 8 case asked for it, and the defendants were unable to produce any. It turns out the only real reasons to keep it up are irrelevant.

So, ... - I'd like to point out that I did not attack your faith or try to belittle it in any way. In all honesty, I used to be a born again Southern Baptist, and in those days I would have thought it perfectly acceptable to demonize others and call their existence a "distraction from satan"... but as I grew up, I learned how immoral and un-Christian that attitude was. (My eventual departure from faith is well documented in my blog, if you have any desire to pursue that discussion elsewhere. It isn't really pertinent to this thread.)

As far as I am concerned, you're welcome to your faith - as long as you don't try to impose it on others. Your post showed me that you clearly think that your faith is challenged by the political attempts of a group of people to claim their rights under the law; I would prefer to educate you to their actual plight and explain why I - a straight man with no actual "dog in the fight" - feel so strongly in their favor.

I think if you were better acquainted with the facts, you would see that we are not motivated by any desire to change you or your beliefs, but rather by the necessity of making our country's legal practices match our stated, mutual values of liberty, and individual freedom.

Needless to say, he did not take it well, and I will have one less bigot cluttering my Facebook feed.

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