The Bible’s many anonymous writers are very clear about what they think of people who break oaths–sort of. I reckon what I mean to say is that the Bible is as clear on that topic as it is about anything else it talks about. It’s equally clear about divorce, for that matter. But most people would consider honesty to be one of the traits entailed by the term Christlike–even though Jesus Christ isn’t depicted as being that stellar of a person. One can see why honesty might be held in great esteem by any sales-oriented group, considering how much a dishonest salesperson can destroy their own credibility. Today Lord Snow takes an off-topic day to laugh at the antics of yet another pair of Liars for Jesus who make their religion look worse just by being their own terrible selves.
Remember These Two Twits?
Back in 2015, when Australia was first starting to make noise about maybe allowing same-sex couples to access their right to marry, a pair of bigots-for-Jesus from there decided to make a big stink about how awful they thought it all was that people they hated might one day be granted the same rights they themselves had.
Nick and Sarah Jensen had been married at the time for about ten years and they had kids together. But they hated gay people much more than they loved each other or their supposed Savior. So they publicly announced their intention to divorce each other if same-sex couples were ever allowed to marry in Australia.
Now, they didn’t intend to stop cohabiting or treating each other as spouses (which means exactly what you think it means: they planned to have non-marital sex outside of the bonds of marriage, something else the Bible’s fairly clear about). Rather, they were simply threatening to give up the label of marriage because people they hated but didn’t even know might be able to use it one day.
And this bizarre threat was supposed to make everybody panic about the idea of TRUE CHRISTIANS™ divorcing each other if same-sex couples got married.
Basically, there wasn’t a way for them to win this one. I don’t think anybody really wanted them to throw their legal protections through marriage away over something ridiculous like their own bigotry, but frankly, if they’re gonna threaten to divorce and hold their own lives hostage to their own bigotry, then they have to expect that people will be remembering that attempt to hold people’s rights hostage when the time comes.
Well, That Backfired.
I was dumbfounded by the level of hatred and bigotry that the Jensens displayed behind their smirky Jesus smiles–and I was also filled with complete contempt for their gormless posturing, total ignorance of the civil nature of marriage itself, and childish tantrum-throwing. The simple truth is that so many opposite-sex couples divorce nowadays that it hardly matters if one more does so. Making matters worse for them and their silly little threat, so many bigoted fundagelicals divorce as it is that these two twits weren’t actually threatening anything shocking on that front either.
So yes, they got mocked. A lot. By everyone all over the world. If they’d wanted to shock people with some terrible threat, it backfired bigtime. I don’t know of anybody within or outside of Christianity who thought they were anything but contemptible lackwits who deserved every bit of mockery and derision they got for their attempt to strong-arm the legal system by threatening to do something the Bible condemned, after which they’d be doing more stuff the Bible condemned, and which they very obviously weren’t prepared to follow through with in the first place, which the Bible also condemned.
The mind just boggles at how any Christians could ever think that any part of this threat was something that any kind of just or loving god would have liked to see them do. I don’t consider the Bible any kind of binding or authoritative document, but I know that the Jensens at least think they do. And yet they were acting like toddlers denied a Happy Meal from Macca’s.
In that post from 2015, I summed up their situation thusly:
They love marriage so much they are willing to threaten to end their ten-year marriage over other people getting married.
They love Jesus so much they’re willing to ignore and flout several direct commands he gave his followers.
That’s a level of hypocrisy that even I have to admire for its sheer scope, completeness, and artless ignorance.
Further, I made a bet that if we checked in on these two bigots-for-Jesus in a year or so, we’d discover that they would be VERY much married still.
Fast forward to 2017.
As most of y’all probably already know, Australia overwhelmingly voted to legalize same-sex marriage a few days ago. Same-sex couples are already registering to marry there–with the first weddings expected to be held January 9th, which is as soon as they’re legally allowable (they have a waiting period, it looks like). Australian citizens who were already married in other countries are already recognized under the law in their home country. Two city councils in Sydney are already declaring that they’ll offer their venues and halls for free to same-sex couples getting married for the next few months, by way of celebration. It’s a hell of a time to be alive.
But what of the Jensens? What indeed of these two bigots who had threatened two short years ago to hold their breath till they turned blue if rights were extended to people they hated? What of the hatred that fueled them and gave them the belligerence necessary to stage their tantrum?
Nick Jensen promptly issued a statement after the vote regarding the couple’s farcical threat:
My previous public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state. The legislation currently makes it untenable for us to do this under the law. The point we were highlighting and that still stands however is the fact that a redefinition of marriage changes the agreement under which we were originally married.
We will be making no further comment.
Jensen’s note about legislation making his vow “untenable” may be a reference to Australia’s divorce laws, which require couples to stop cohabiting before their divorces are granted–which he had already said he wouldn’t consider. He’s still just as stone-cold ignorant about what marriage actually is as he was two years ago, which we can see from his bizarre assertion that giving people marriage rights somehow redefines marriage–or makes his own marriage vows somehow invalid. And that last bit is a thinly-veiled demand that everyone shut up and quit reminding them of their solemn vow before Jesus. So all in all, his terse statement is a proper example of Christian belligerence and willful ignorance, which are both possibly far better examples of being Christlike than any of the better qualities that most people mistakenly think of when they think of that word.
So no. Nick and Sarah Jensen are not getting divorced like they totally said they would, despite their mistaken but firm wackadoodle belief that somehow the “definition” of marriage has totally changed as a result of Australia’s decision. They absolutely do think that, but they’re not going to inconvenience themselves at all over it. Like every other wingnut nutbar Christian out there, they just want to talk a big game–not actually put themselves through any kind of hardship, even a purely self-created one that nobody asked them to start up or cares if they endure, and particularly not when they’re well aware that if they divorce, nobody’s going to be dismayed or shocked or hurt–much less change their minds about supporting equal rights for all people. They will only be spiting themselves for nothing–and getting mocked over it.
And they don’t wanna talk about it so shut up shut up SHUT UP
An Australian news site says that the Jensens’ reneging on their promise to divorce “might disappoint you.” But I’d dispute that point. Certainly their reaction isn’t a surprise. I’ve been surprised by Christians before when they unexpectedly did something good. It just hasn’t happened often, and it sure didn’t happen with the Jensens at any point. And that doesn’t surprise me at all because I know that follow-through’s never been a real character strength for fundagelicals generally. But for these two bigots to disappoint me, I’d have had to have had some expectation of them doing the right thing. When there’s just about no way possible for a person to sink lower in my estimation without involving animals or children somehow, there ain’t much they can do that’d actually rise to the level of disappointment.
Considering what the Bible has to say about both divorce and breaking one’s word, not to mention what it says about showing love toward all people, one might sorta think that people who claim to care so deeply about their Christian faith would, I dunno, live up to the good parts in their own holy book and quit worrying about what total strangers do or don’t do. It’s hard to fathom what kind of miserable existences the Jensens must have that they’re busy trying to strip rights from others, but thankfully they can now slither back under their damp Jesus rocks and become footnotes in history books–and from there, embarrassing reminders for those few Christians who’ll still be following the religion in the years to come that their religion has been riiiiiiiiight there on the wrong side of every single social issue that’s cropped up in recent history. It’s not a really great track record for a group claiming that a real live god inhabits them and teaches them right from wrong, but I’m an apostate–so what on earth would I know?
So today Lord Snow Presides over two bigots-for-Jesus being mocked the whole world over for ridiculous threats they made that they never had any intention of actually following through with. I dunno what the most repulsive thing is about them: their dishonesty, their hypocrisy, their arrogance, their hatred, their willful ignorance, or their cowardice. Either way, Nick and Sarah Jensen are exactly what their tribe deserves, and their fellow Christians are very welcome to them.
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Lord Snow Presides is our weekly off-topic chat series. (Lord Snow is my giant white elderly cat.) Feel free to talk about anything you want – I’ve started us off with a topic, but you can take it anywhere you like. Pet pictures are particularly welcomed!