The Ultimate Flip-Floppers

Ed Brayton wrote a great post this morning about how NOM is increasingly financially fucked (yay!).  He excerpted a bit from the mailer they sent out trying to make up the difference.

And they’re looking for advice on how to spend their money more efficiently:

  • Should I abandon a state like Maryland, New Jersey or Rhode Island, where marriage is under fire?
  • Should I scale back our efforts to repeal same-sex marriage in a state like Iowa, New Hampshire or New York?
  • Should I stop our Washington-based lobbying efforts to protect the Defense of Marriage Act (there is new legislation to repeal DOMA) and just hope for the best?
  • Should I scale back our plans for the presidential election, letting President Obama off the hook for the lies he will tell on the campaign trail?

Nope. You should just close your doors. You’re on the losing side of history, just like your predecessors were in opposing interracial marriage 45 years ago. Give up.

And right, he is.

Speaking of history though, a time will come when Christians will try to take credit for securing equality for gays.  Atheists will point out that the virtual entirety of the opposition to equality for LGBT people emanated directly from the pulpit and the Christians will still claim credit.  They will admit there were a few not-true-Christians who were bad apples, but that Jesus led the real believers to oppose them.  When we ask, if not from believers, from whence the stalwart resistance to equality sprang, they will come up with excuses like bad economic policies, Dawinism, or other ridiculousness.

The truth is this: you remove religion from the equation, specifically Christianity in the United States, and this issue would have been settled ages ago.  As it stands, we have to drag the religious into modernity like a two year-old pitching a fit.

In the next decade, when the battle for LGBT rights has been won, don’t let the people claiming god authored a book that called for their deaths claim the victory.  Hold them accountable.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • julian

    When we ask, if not from believers, from whence the stalwart resistance to equality sprang, they will come up with excuses like bad economic policies, Dawinism, or other ridiculousness.

    And I can think of a few ‘atheists’ who will more than happily play along and node in agreement while demanding we stop living in the past and move on with our lives.

  • F

    I do and will hold them accountable. I will not feign agreement in hopes that this “praise” is a reward that encourages them to keep approximating proper behavior. It is worthless after the fact, and they backslide immediately the next time they feel threatened.

    Good point, JT.

  • george.w

    I once took part in an online discussion wherein a Christian minister maintained Christianity was responsible for ending slavery in the South. And that it never played a part in Jim Crow laws.

    I guar-ann-frikkin’-tee they will make similar claims when marriage equality is finally set in law.

  • Hamilton Jacobi

    Mark Twain described this process well:

    Our own [American] conversion came at last. We began to stir against slavery. Hearts grew soft, here, there, and yonder. There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one — the pulpit. It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession — at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all.

    Some day, modern Christians will once again join the procession — at the tail end.

  • jamessweet

    Yep, I estimate 40-50 years of lag time — possibly a little longer in this day and age of eternally preserved electronic communications — and then it will all be about those (minority) tolerant religions that were allegedly leading the charge. It will be chalked up as yet another (false) example of religion’s goodness, along with abolition of slavery, the civil rights movement, etc.

  • Markita Lynda, happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

    Things move faster now. As soon as marriage equality is normal and accepted, religious apologists will be saying that religion was a champion of marriage equality. And when you ask whence came the opposition and point to Leviticus, they’ll tell you that the Old Testament was superseded by the New and they were just funnin’.

  • Markita Lynda, happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

    So, did you get in touch with your “adoptive” Christian family and have you converted them to atheism yet?

  • Lee

    I don’t entirely agree with some of the comments I’m seeing. I have religious friends who are not just tolerant, but accepting and working for marriage equality. The fight for marriage equality in Washington State is being championed by the Welcoming Congregations, 100+ gay-friendly churches in the area. (As an atheist working with them, I’m actually very much in the minority.) People take different things out of the book, and while we should decry the book as a whole because it CAN be used to support such hatred and intolerance, we should also give credit to those who were able to find it in their hearts to support equality, despite their religion (and, in a lot of cases, even because of it). We’re rationalists. While the religious are responsible for the intolerance of homosexuality in our culture, there are plenty of decent religious people who support full equality, and it is either unrelated to their religion or they actually believe that it is what Jesus would want them to do. That’s flawed, but it’s still the way they think.

    We need to accept the fact that religious believers are a diverse group, and their stances on issues are diverse and often do come from the Bible, or are at least supported by it. This is because the Bible is a contradictory book. You can support pretty much anything. Should they claim full (or even most) credit, in the future? Hell no. I will call bullshit. But they should get credit for being decent people, and the fact that their religion can be a motivation for decency (as the Quaker religion was a motive for their participation in abolition) must be recognized. Otherwise we are not being entirely truthful, and as rationalists we must pride truth above all, and be willing to give credit where it is due. Otherwise we will be just as revisionist as we fear the Christians will be.

    I do agree wholeheartedly with the spirit of this post. All the shit that’s going down in the fight against marriage equality is because of the religious right and their obsession with other people’s personal lives. I just wanted to address some of the commenters and make clear that there are MANY religious people involved in the gay rights movement already, and they do deserve credit.

    • julian

      People take different things out of the book, and while we should decry the book as a whole because it CAN be used to support such hatred and intolerance

      There’s no ‘can,’ Lee. The Bible does not support gay rights or woman’s rights. It is a deeply hate filled book.

      While the religious are responsible for the intolerance of homosexuality in our culture

      That’s Mr. Eberhard’s point. Religion is responsible for the very anti-gay environment here in the U.S. Fifty or so years from now (if the Repugs to wreck everything) no one will remember that. No will learn anything from it. Religion will get to pretend it paved the way for gay rights and that there was no anti-gay bigotry coming from ‘true believers.’

  • peicurmudgeon

    Here in Canada, the fight for legal recognition of gay marriage is over, Yes, it was supported by some religious individuals and organizations. However, the strongest opposition to that recognition came from the pulpit. That is the only place where the battle is still being fought.

    Even in the sects that have officially accepted gays and lesbians in the pulpit or as marriage partners, such as the United Church of Canada, there still exists widespread intolerance.

    It is only personal anecdotal evidence, but the only place I don;t see acceptance is from some of the religious.