A few days ago Right Wing Watch posted a list of the Ten Plagues of Gay Marriage. In it, Brian Tashman lists the ten horrors that will befall the US now that five “rogue justices” of the Supreme Court have ruled in favor of Marriage Equality.
I’ve got to say the list makes me despair for a significant number of Americans and for organized religion as a whole. All right, in this instance I’m referring to Christianity, but Christians do not have a monopoly on crazy.
When I was growing up, people who went to church seemed as sane as anyone else. I’ve still got friends who manage to lead profoundly spiritual lives while maintaining some sort of grip on reality. Conversely, to listen to the far right reactions to the Supreme Court decision on June 26, you’d get a very different idea of what’s going on in the churches of America. Tashman’s list – which was created from the actual statements of politicians and Christian leaders – claims everything from terrorist attacks to government-enforced gay sex to criminalization of churches will come from this decision.
The point is, certain religious types are perfectly happy to take any life upheaval – large or small – and ruminate on it until they find some random action that they think has turned God against them and for which they have to atone. And lucky us, they’re prepared to do the same for society at large. Logical causation isn’t a factor, nor is proximity in time.
Remember when the AIDS crisis started and the CINOs (Christians in Name Only) said it was God’s wrath for the horrible things gays did? Didn’t matter that the gays had been around since the beginning of time or that this line of “reasoning” would indicate that God thought men having sex with one another was disgusting while women doing the same was pretty hot, since lesbians weren’t affected to nearly the same degree. Then, of course, there were all the straight people who were infected worldwide, but that’s getting in the way of the message. I expect that the CINOs will be blaming the Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, et al for hurricanes and earthquakes and epidemics hundreds of years from now. Hence same-sex marriage, not slavery, not the annihilation of millions of Native Americans, not the internment of the Japanese during World War II, is going to be the downfall of the United States – someday.
Once upon a time most of us agreed that you needed to make some logical link between two events to show they were related in any way. You had to do more to prove that one caused the other. Now it’s enough to simply believe deeply and sincerely. Mike Huckabee and Rick Wiles and Pat Robertson can just say God spoke to them, that they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they just know. And again, we are so lucky that they are ready to share their convictions with all of us and to condemn anyone who doesn’t read things as they do.
I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. I was raised a Christian and I went to school – college even, so I need evidence. I need a clear, concise message, not a second- or third-hand feeling from a wild-eyed televangelist. And I am not going to scramble around after every personal setback or world disaster then convince myself it wouldn’t have happened if I’d helped that old lady cross the street in 1973.
You know what? I’m sure that if God wants me to know something, he’s more than capable of letting me know beyond any doubt. If he is really so pissed off that we’ve legalized same-sex marriage, he will give us a resounding – related – sign. (I heard a rumor that he’s all-powerful and stuff.)
And until the Big Guy (or Big Gal or the Big Whatever) gives me that clear and concise communication, I’m going to have to assume that random events are just that – random events that have not been brought about by five unelected, black-robed, Ivy League lawyers or anyone else.
That’s the world we need to govern in. Since, contrary to the rants of the CINOs, the Constitution is not an ancillary document to the Bible or any other holy text; we have to step out of the spiritual realm into the land of the rational to manage ourselves. We haven’t all drunk the Kool-Aid of any faith, so none of them can be the basis of our decisions, though they may affect each of us individually.
I’m pretty sure that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind. And personally, I like it that way.