While the Supreme Court rulings over DOMA and Proposition 8 are still in contention, it seems that there is once again a massive uproar over the definition of marriage in the United States, both in a secular and moral context. It also has inspired a purge of "friends" on Facebook who have had the sheer bigoted audacity to post nonsense like "Defend Traditional Marriage" (which I shall talk about more soon). Let me be one of the many who say that this claptrap needs to stop -- if only because the arguments against same-sex marriage are so inane that they merit laughter. I've decided today to examine three of the primary arguments against gay marriage (from the religious) that have given me the biggest headaches, so that in so doing we might implore the opposition to hone their argument to something more sharp and understandable.
"Gay marriage is against [G]od..."
Where to begin? The contradictions in this statement are too manifold to highlight in one blog, but I'll try my best:
As moderate Christians, are you really going to blatantly focus on this one antiquated verse and ignore the rest? We shall remember this as you protest outside wearing mixed-fabric clothing, just before eating a shrimp cocktail during lunch, or playing some football in the park, or getting a haircut, or receiving a tattoo (all of which are forbidden in Leviticus and Deuteronomy). And oh, my bigoted friends: your work to avoid hypocrisy is still ahead of you -- death to all who dishonor your father or mother! Do not walk up altars with stairs! Treat your women like you treat your livestock!
Wait . . . you mean to say no one is paying attention to any of this? Hmmm. Then, to quote Jack Black in Prop 8: The Musical: "Well, friend, it seems to me: you pick and choose." Let's be very clear, ladies and gentlemen: the moral advice of people who ignore great segments of their own barbaric laws in order to focus on whatever pieces of divine legislation give them license to dominate the lives of others is not worth consideration.
"We must defend marriage as it traditionally prescribed by [G]od..."
Oh, must we? By all means. Let's begin:
In a union, as per the laws dictated by god to us, we are at liberty to:
1.) sell our daughters into sexual slavery (Exodus 21:7-11)
2.) prevent our wives from being coveted, just like our asses, donkeys, and houses. (Deut. 20:5-7)
3.) murder a bride who was discovered not to be virginal (Deut. 22:13-21)
4.) only marry people who were believers. (whether this pertains to members of different denominations is now unclear.) (Ezra 9:12)
5.) marry the brother of your husband if your husband is to die before knocking you up. (This is less of a liberty and actually a divine command. Keep it in the family!) (Deut. 25:5-10)
Tip of the iceberg, my friends. But this is enough to be getting on with. So, here's our plan of action. Let us demand that Congress instill these mandates and tribal regulations into the definition of marriage, so that traditional marriage may indeed be defended in its whole and prescribed context.
What? None of the faithful wish to make this so? Well, what a surprise . . .
Beyond this, it is a puerile and backwards statement to defend traditional marriage -- it isn't under attack. Those who wish to seek perfectly inbred, monotheistic unions are completely at liberty to do so (I obviously use the word "inbred" glibly as that, in many states, is rightfully illegal; nor is it widespread dogma to make incest routine, though we can think of a few examples of holy families that have taken this convenient route). To open the grand scope of the commitment of human love to same-sex couples in no way threatens, diminishes, or attacks the staple of heterogamy that our darling theist friends cling to so heavily.
"The Bible says . . ."
Let me stop you, right there -- and perhaps I should have led with this point, and thereby saved myself all of the typing above. I will say it very slowly, so as no one will miss the subtext and hidden meanings behind this statement:
IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.
We do not live in a theocracy. We do not live in a religious democracy. We do not even live in a secular democracy "inspired by the moralities of god". We live in a country that founded the first godless Constitution in the history of the world, whose founding fathers were skeptics and who gave us the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. We do not have to care what the Bible says in this country: that is the be all and end all of your morality -- not everyone else's. It is not a consideration. It is not a matter of legislative discussion.
This could not be more tangibly clear -- and, indeed, it is the point of contention that most flummoxes me when having this argument. If the opposition is to have any hope of success with dignity, then they will need to immediately discard the Bible and argue on a secular level: because that is how this country works. And we know it has reached a point of inanity when even Bill O'Reilly, the most dog-headed conservative in the history of Fox News, can say: "The compelling argument is on the side of the homosexuals. 'We're American's, we just want to be treated like everyone else.' That is a compelling argument. And to deny that, you've got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn't been able to do anything except thump the Bible."
Well, holy shit...
Take a knee, oh ye faithful. Re-evaluate your position. If you don't like homosexual marriage or think the act is unethical: fine. Find a better way to argue it than holding up Stone Age texts and demanding we adhere to them. Find some clause in reason, human solidarity, empathy, or objective justice that supports your claim, and fight from that platform.
Though, I must say: your opponents already have those bases covered. And that's how we are going to win.