I appreciate that my long-time and dear friend, Tim, shared a piece from Time Magazine today on Facebook, as I’ve struggled to understand the intense demagoguery and proclaimed victim-hood of the Christian Right for nearly a decade now, especially on the issue of gay rights and my rights as a woman.
While I had hoped to obtain a better understanding of those whose views so clearly differ from my own, sadly, the opinions of the author, Rod Dresher, a senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative, leave me baffled still and even more so, resentful.
It’s easier, I guess, to begin with the one and only statement that I find true within this glorified piece of published self-righteousness that Time Magazine saw fit for their publication:
Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.
The “alarm,” as sounded by the four dissenting conservative justices was clear, he warns, the “philosophical and historical groundlessness” as pointed out by Justice Scalia as a “threat to democracy.”
Groundlessness? Citing countless civil rights decisions by this court spanning decades is hardly groundlessness.
Clearly, Dresher espouses, the court has now embraced “extremism” and the evils of the Sexual Revolution, offering only but the “barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy” from here on out.
Gay rights orthodoxy?
Interesting that Dresher uses this term ‘orthodoxy’ frequently in the piece …a good thing when it’s his religious orthodoxy he’s referring to; a bad thing in the context of gay rights, or the “All men are created equal” kind of orthodoxy that we Americans, as a rule (written and otherwise), tend to base our justice and democracy on.
And I would hardly call recognition of the civil liberties of all individuals under the Constitution, including those of gay individuals, somehow forcing others to live within the parameters of “gay orthodoxy”.
On the contrary, religious conservatives are free to continue to preach abstinence while their daughters become teen mothers, espouse the higher glory of family values while consorting with mistresses, and of course, speak evil of the gays while engaging in homosexual affairs from skanky hotel rooms without burden beyond public outcries of hypocrisy when exposed.
And I suppose I don’t need to bring up the recurring themes of sex with minors …boys in a position to neither defend nor protect themselves from men of faith in powerful positions as fathers, teachers, politicians and pastors, or priests, or the protectionism offered molesters (I’m sorry, sinners) within their clans who violate the young girls ever so close to their hearts.
Protection, I have to ask, from what? Protection to harm? Protection to discriminate? Protection to devalue and dehumanize?
Protection to withhold vital public services? Protection to dictate the values of your own onto women like myself, as if I should live under some twisted, envisioned American Taliban rule? Is that the sort of religious protectionism you seek, Sir? Good luck with that.
Is it protection to hate that you so require, as the ruling does nothing to prevent such. It only requires that you do so within the confines of your own home, your own family and your own personal religious practices so long as in doing so, they don’t infringe on the civil rights of another.
When you bring your hate to public commerce and education, housing, and yes, the public services of government through civil employment on behalf of all citizens, you are absolutely restricted.
You are, Mr. Dresher, free to continue speaking of your dissent, preaching your dissent and living your dissent how you see fit as long as your actions do not infringe the civil rights of others.
Friday’s ruling made clear that your religious beliefs offer you neither superior freedoms, consideration, or protection beyond that of every other citizen; man, woman, black, brown, or white, gay, or straight.
Per Mr. Dresher, “The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist.”
I would suggest, Sir, they never did. It was only by trying to impart your ‘norms’ on others that you have run into a very strong wall, a wall that only in a land called America could you be prohibited from accomplishing your goal.
“To be frank,” Dresher writes in part, “the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites …”
More utter nonsense, but he at least goes on to acknowledge that it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans, which I guess is something given that he admits to being in a minority.
Nonetheless, he and his buddies Alito, Roberts and the ever-demented Scalia believe that their MINORITY view — stemming from various renditions of vastly different bibles that often compete, if not downright contradict each other at times – should rule over all.
In the case of the ACA, Scalia tried desperately to embrace a single sentence of specific wording within thousands of pages to represent more than the whole …the intent of the law.
In this case, he tried to construct an argument for which there is no wording at all to support his claim …no mention of such intent to constrain marriage to that between only a man and a woman.
Nor is there any evidence to support their testimony regarding harm to children of gay parents, where in fact, a plethora of evidence suggests just the opposite when gay parents are allowed to marry.
According to Dresher, the Supreme Court has effectively said, “homosexuality is equivalent to race.”
No, Mr. Dresher.
The Supreme Court has ruled that, like so many times before, those of different races, those with disabilities, those of lesser means among those with much, and even those of different religions, all are seen as equal in the eyes of the law and due certain undeniable CIVIL liberties under the Constitution of the United States …AS AMERICANS, without regard to a particular religion, or any religion at all for that matter.
Further, the court ruled that no state onto itself, as part of the United States, can decide for themselves to undermine this undeniable American right, no matter the majority, or the religious foundations for which they claim.
Finally, Mr. Dresher warns of the next wave of anti-religious activism; “…a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions.”
Let me suggest that the next ‘dog whistle’ has just sounded.
Well, now that you mention it …where do I sign up?
As you and others have so injected your beliefs and your unwelcome religious dogma into the daily lives of others …beyond what such tax exemptions were created for, let the dollar-chips fall where they may.
Your wars against women and ‘others’ have been of your own making and so too shall be the resulting consequences moving forward.
And please, just because the day may yet come when you and yours take it in the financial ass, know that it too won’t be because of the “Sexual Revolution”, but because it was time …and just, and because you have abused that which you were graciously granted for a ‘once-upon-a-time’ good cause.
I see no reason why I, as a taxpayer, should be asked to subsidize your bigoted ideology, or any religious organization’s revenue stream that is clearly not meant to support the community at large.
Of course, I object due to my own deeply held religious beliefs! Surely you of all people can understand and appreciate and respect my deeply held religious beliefs, right?
And of course, Mr. Dresher speaks of the “shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society,” which I find an interesting choice of words.
Men like Mr. Dresher can equate being gay with those who commit lewd acts with animals and perverts, but calling them out for such harmful, inflammatory …what’s Scalia’s word for it …oh, “applesauce” is persecution.
Denouncing their religious zealotry is persecution. Fighting back when they would see those with differing views or religion harmed …that too is persecution.
Reminds me of the thief, or rapist who claims victim-hood because he was shot while in the act of breaking the law and causing harm to another.
I don’t recall signs in store windows that say, “Christians not allowed”, nor do I recall any case in which a gay physician refused to heal a Christian, although many Christians have refused treatment by physicians they deemed to be gay …or black …or of Indian or middle Eastern decent.
The only stones thrown at the heart of America I have witnessed have come from those proclaiming so loudly and vitriolic-ally to be GOD’S CHILDREN, as if chosen from the many above all others …somehow better, whiter, and more worthy.
My God, Mr. Dresher, does not know such distinction.
And certainly, my country could care less, for it’s laws were created for ideals of free men, not Gods …not yours, not another.
Those who penned their names to the Constitution had every opportunity to make such Godly proclamations, but despite being profoundly religious men with deeply regarded beliefs, they chose not to for a reason they made abundantly clear, and it is that reasoned thought and purpose, Sir, that the Supreme Court ruled as it did.
Not in favor of gays, or against the religious fabric of America, but because America was founded based on the principals and rights due all people, by all people, regardless.
That men of your cloth managed to insert “Under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance in the sixties does not alter the reality that it was never there before, nor intended by our founders.
That the same zealotry was used to insert the words, “In God We Trust” onto money does not alter the historical fact that it was never present before 1956.
In the name of faith and “religious freedom” conservatives have defamed and abused the spiritual essence of God, and the time to stop is now.
You’re right. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save you now.
To read the full text of the article published in Time, visit: http://time.com/3938050/orthodox-christians-must-now-learn-to-live-as-exiles-in-our-own-country/
The comment box is open and I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts as well.