Timothy Dalrymple on homosexuality

Christina here…

The other day, JT posted this commentary on a blog post over at Patheos.

And since it’s on my mind, I came across this post by Timothy Dalrymple at Philosophical Fragments and thought I’d comment on part of it.

JT addressed only a small part of the post. I read it, and decided to comment on some more!

Here we go:

I hate that my gay friends find my views offensive.  I hate that my convictions on this issue come between us.

I know it’s hard when someone thinks your views are offensive. But at least those gay friends of yours are nice enough not to try to ban your marriage.

Imagine if I wanted to ban Christian marriage, and then said, “I hate it that my Christian friends find my views offensive” – would you have much sympathy for me? I wouldn’t even have sympathy for myself.

And, I confess, I hate that it’s not up to me.

Why wouldn’t it be up to you?

I hate that I’ve never found the arguments in favor of the view that the Bible does not really condemn homosexuality convincing.

Oh. that’s why.

Well, my Bible of Atheism (there is no such thing, this is a joke) says homosexuality is a perfectly normal expression of human love and sexuality. That’s not up to me either – it’s up to science.

I don’t get to say that Christianity causes brain cancer, because it doesn’t. The facts are not up to either of us.

You act like you don’t have a choice in how you frame homosexuality because your Bible says so, but you do. You can choose to advocate that the government stop banning gay people from being married, just like they don’t ban other sins, like cussing or coveting  or divorcing or lying. Your Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” so why all the focus on this particular sin?

A lot of people can read what they want into your Bible, which is one of the many reasons our country’s laws have to have a specific secular purpose, rather than a religious one. So your interpretation of your Bible has it condemning homosexuality.

That’s nice.

I noticed that in your Ten Commandments (which appear to be important, judging from the fact that the adherents of your religion seem quite fond of carving them into stone on important buildings),  homosexuality isn’t even mentioned. Why’s that? Shouldn’t you be more worried about the Big Ten? I don’t understand all this focus on what really seems like a minor sin in your Bible. At least, minor enough that your god didn’t bother to stick it in either version of the Ten Commandments.

I hate that the meaning of the covenant of marriage is not mine to define.

I think by this Timothy means that his god defined marriage in his Bible.

That’s nice.

I really don’t see what that has to do with the laws of our country.

I hate that Christians have often fallen short of the example of Jesus Christ and been unkind and ungracious toward those whom society rejects and maligns.

Damn straight.

 I hate that gays are bullied.

Well, that’s what happens when your religion causes you and your fellow Christians to focus so much of your mental energy on this particular sin. Your children notice. I don’t see any kids being bullied for coveting their neighbor’s iPad or saying, “god damnit”.

 I hate that some backwards church in Bigotville, USA, cheers at the notion of “homos” going to hell.

Me too. In fact, I hate it when anyone cheers at the notion of anyone going to hell. That’s certainly hatred: what else could it be when you cheer someone being tortured for eternity but hatred?

 I hate that children who feel same-sex attractions get mockery and judgment instead of compassion and care.

I hate that they don’t get acceptance.

 I hate that many gays feel that, without access to marriage, they are second-class citizens.

From wiki (emphasis mine): Second-class citizen is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there. While not necessarily slaves, outlaws or criminals, second-class citizens have limited legal rights, civil rights and economic opportunities, and are often subject to mistreatment or neglect at the hands of their putative superiors. Instead of being protected by the law, the law disregards a second-class citizen, or it may actually be used to harass them. (see police misconduct and racial profiling) Second-class citizenry is generally regarded as a violation of human rights. Typical impediments facing second-class citizens include, but are not limited to, disenfranchisement (a lack or loss of voting rights), limitations on civil or military service (not including conscription in every case), as well as restrictions on language, religion, education, freedom of movement and association, weapons ownership, marriage, gender identity and expression, housing and property ownership.

Gays do not “feel” as though they are second-class citizens. They are second-class citizens. Black folks did not “feel” as though they were second class citizens before the end of legal racial segregation. They were second-class citizens. Interracial couples did not “feel” like they were second-class citizens before the end of anti-miscegenation laws. They were second-class citizens. Back then, people argued that anti-miscegenation laws were not discriminatory because they applied to everybody: “nobody has the right to marry someone of a difference race, so therefore it;s not discriminatory”

On that note, what about gay people (or any people) whose religion says gay people should be able to get married? They are being denied their religious belief that gays should be allowed to legally marry. Here in St. Louis, the Ethical Society is banned by law from legally marrying gay people. Why do you think it’s okay to deny the Ethical Society the ability to practice their religion? What about their “definition” of marriage? Why is your religions definition of marriage more important? Tradition?

Who cares what their religious definition of marriage is. Who cares that the Ethical Society of St. Louis is being denied the freedom to practice their religion. When you argue about definitions, it makes you look as though you care more about the established usage of words than you care about people. However, the meaning of words changes over time: language evolves. Your religious freedoms are not being infringed upon because the usage of a word changes over time.

But I hate too that the homosexual debate has been defined in such a way that there is no space for loving disagreement.

I could say the same thing. You’re the one doing the defining, with all of your chatter about the “definition” of marriage.

I hate that I’m told that my view, that marriage is a sacrament and a covenant defined by God for the union of male and female, is hateful by virtue of the fact that it oppresses a people group.

You can hold that view all the live long day. Gay people are banned from getting married. That’s what is hateful. I know that sometimes it seems like we’re just mad about your opinion, but really, we’re not just whining about your opinion. Let me explain:

“Marriage is a sacrament and a covenant defined by God for the union of male and female” – This is a religious viewpoint. It is not oppressive. Go ahead and think that. Similarly, I am not oppressing anyone by thinking marriage has nothing to do with any gods.

“Marriage is a sacrament and a covenant defined by God for the union of male and female, therefore gay marriage should be illegal” oppresses gay people.

People have told me that my marriage isn’t a real marriage because I and my husband are atheist. We didn’t make any sacrament or covenant with any god when we got married.

To those people I say: that’s nice. You go ahead and think that, just don’t get in my way when I go marry my husband. They aren’t hurting anything other than my feelings, if they hurt me at all.

I don’t believe in any god, and I therefore don’t think any god is, or ever was, involved in any kind of marriage. Is my view hateful or oppressive? Not really. Now, if our society were mostly atheist, and we decided to ban any kind of religious wedding ceremony or ban religious people from getting married, that would be hateful.

Lots of people used to think black people shouldn’t marry white people. Whatever. Go ahead and think that. But don’t make interracial marriage illegal.

I don’t believe that’s true, but I hate that the traditional Christian standpoint has been framed as hateful, and I hate that there are gays who hate the “hateful” Christians.  Because I don’t hate gay people, and I certainly don’t hate my gay friends, but I hate that I’m told that I must hate them, and I hate that some part of those friends will never accept me because I’m trying to be faithful to what I believe God has made known.

You know, you don’t have to say, “I hate gay people!” to be a hater of gay people. You don’t have to say, “I am obstinately or intolerantly devoted to my own opinions and prejudices! I regards and treat the members of a group with hatred and intolerance!” to be a bigot.

Actually, saying, “I hate gay people!” doesn’t hold a candle to the real harm gay people face by being denied their rights. Denying their right to marry is worse than simply feeling hate for them. You’re not saying, “In my opinion, homosexuality is wrong and I don’t want to personally view your marriage as a marriage, because you’re the same sex”. You’re saying, “In my opinion, gay marriage is wrong, therefore I’m going to advocate that nobody gets to do it. Oh and by the way, I hate it that you guys think I hate you guys.” which is entirely different.  You get to have your cake and eat it too: deny the rights of others while seeing yourself as the victimized, persecuted one.

I can hate those people in Bigotville, USA for being bigots. I’m not hurting them with my hatred: but if I don’t support their right to believe gay people are going to hell, and actively work to prevent them from speaking their minds about their beliefs, I’m hating them and hurting them.  That’s worse than just simply hating them.

 I hate that this debate has pitted us against each other, because I love them and respect them and want to enjoy our friendship.

Yet you don’t respect them enough to let them practice their religion/religious views as they see fit and get married. You are more concerned with “definitions” of marriage than you are of actual, real, living human beings.

You don’t respect churches with gay members enough to oppose any ban on their religious freedom.

I hate that none of this will change anyone’s mind.  I hate that I will still be thought to hate gays even though the truth is that I hate the fact (even though I understand it, from their perspective) that this whole issue comes between me and the gay people I love.

Here is how to fix it. Go on having your opinions and views about gay marriage – but staunchly support their right to get legally married.

The Bible says homosexuality is a sin – fine. I assume you don’t want to make all sins illegal, so support their right to sin (not all sins, you probably shouldn’t support people’s right to murder, but I assume you’d support their right to be atheist).

The Bible says marriage is between one man and one woman – fine. Support people who have different religious beliefs about what marriage means.

You might disagree with divorce (for example) but you still (I assume) believe in individuals having the right to get divorced. You might disagree with people who are atheist, but you still support their right to not believe in any gods.  You might disagree that atheist marriages are real marriages because of the covenant thing, but you still support the right of atheists to get married. So go on disagreeing with homosexuality, but support their right to get married.

That’s how you can start to mend the broken bonds between you and the people you love.

Learn more about Christina and follow her @ziztur.

 

 

About christinastephens
  • julian

    I hate that I’m told that my view, that marriage is a sacrament and a covenant defined by God for the union of male and female, is hateful by virtue of the fact that it oppresses a people group.

    Umm… yeah. When you oppress a group it’s kinda hard to argue it isn’t hate.

    It’s pathetic watching someone twist themselves into knots like this while justifying bigotry.

    • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

      Beat me to it. This really stood out for me. He admits it’s oppressive, but isn’t sure why being oppressive is such a bad thing. It boggles the mind.

  • hotshoe

    Timothy Dalrymple is the kind of self-justifying filth that makes people hate christians. I cannot imagine being friends with him, or even tolerating being in the same room with him, no matter that I’m not gay and therefore not directly affected by his bigotry. I can even less imagine claiming friendship with him if I were gay. Who are these mythical people who can stand to be “friends” with him even though he tells them out loud that they deserve to go to hell for their sexual orientation ? And that even if christ (being christlike, and therefore more forgiving than Dalrymple is, of course) somehow saves their gay hineys because they say the right kind of christian prayers to be saved, nonetheless, while here on Dalrymple’s planet, they cannot be treated as equal human beings … who are these mythical gay friends of his who will tolerate that filth ?

  • http://chronosynclasticinfundibulum.wordpress.com/ salo

    You might disagree with divorce (for example) but you still (I assume) believe in individuals having the right to get divorced. You might disagree with people who are atheist, but you still support their right to not believe in any gods. You might disagree that atheist marriages are real marriages because of the covenant thing, but you still support the right of atheists to get married. So go on disagreeing with homosexuality, but support their right to get married.

    A thousand times this! I am going to have to tuck this approach to combating the “we don’t hate gay people, we just don’t want them getting married” spiel in my brain for later use. I really like how it so clearly demolishes the idea that the religious should oppose legally allowing gay marriage, but at the same time does so in a constructive manner.

  • clamboy

    Why, yes, Timothy, you do hate. You hate and you hate and you hate. You hate hate hate hate hate. Your hate is innate. You sate on hate, served on a plate. You hate when, of late, a state won’t mandate your hate. You hate when, on a date, the mate of a mate…is a mate!

    But guess what, Timothy? Your hate is late getting out of the gate. Though you bait and berate, your hate don’t rate. You can wait and wait, but the fate of your hate is, in the other sense, to be late and intestate!

    ‘Nother words, Tim, stop being so fuckin’ sanctimonious. Your haughty, pearl-clutching vapors make me wanna puke.

    • Droopy

      Reading this was fun. Thanks for making me laugh!

  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com Ace of Sevens

    It hurts my feelings when people point out that I’m being a jerk. They should be more tolerant.

  • Dexeron

    I hate that while entire groups of people are being discriminated against, privilaged idiots like this guy can sit and whine about how hard it is to be a bigot.

    Poor Timothy Dalrymple. How hard it must be that his friends just him by his actions (or lack thereof) and not by his empty platitudes!

    • Dexeron

      er, “judge”, not “just”.

  • ‘Tis Himself

    What Timmy hates is being called a bigot. He doesn’t hate it enough to stop being a bigot, he just wants people to stop calling him one.

    • Rory

      Well said,

  • Rory

    Just reading some of the smug, sanctimonious shit Timothy has posted in the comments makes me ill. I hope this isn’t the last time JT mops the floor with him.

  • iknklast

    “People have told me that my marriage isn’t a real marriage because I and my husband are atheist. We didn’t make any sacrament or covenant with any god when we got married.”

    A ‘friend’ of mine told me when I got married that it wasn’t legal, because my ex hadn’t cheated on me before he left me, and therefore I was bound to him eternally (the logic of that escapes me; if we weren’t really legally apart, then the minute he moved in with his lover, he effectively cheated on me, and the marriage would them be over – years before I got remarried – but, hey, that’s logic, and it’s beyond these folks). People using their holy book to try to prevent other people from finding happiness are sick, perverted, and evil – which is why I now put friend in sneer quotes when I speak of a person I used to respect

  • M Groesbeck

    Timothy seems quite invested on treating the whole thing as a debate over theology — when really, the theology’s irrelevant. Once people like him start turning theology into law, it becomes a debate over theocracy. It would actually be rather terrifying to think that people like Mr. Dalrymple can’t understand the difference — but they do understand the difference. (See: atheist marriages, non-Christian or wrong-kind-of-Christian marriages, no laws against unbelief, etc., etc., etc.) It’s just that when it comes to non-heterosexuals, the heterosexual-supremacists have determined that it’s good PR to be hypocrites and pretend that only in this case there can be no possible distinction between theology and theocracy.

    • Ibis3

      Not just in this case, but in the case of women’s sexuality, reproductive rights, and status as chattel instead of human beings as well.

  • Makoto

    Excellent takedown. I am so tired of Christians saying things like “but I hate the sin, not the sinner, so I’m not a bigot” (even while voting for laws and politicians that relegate gay and lesbian couples to 2nd class citizen status because of a bible that not everyone believes in).

    Sure, fine, maybe your church believes they can’t/won’t perform the ceremony. That’s within their rights. But also making sure the couple can’t get the secular rights that all other married couples do, even through a civil ceremony, that’s bigotry and hate because of your religion.

    As for the Christians out there who are fine with civil marriages for gay couples – talk about it! Be willing to be that person that goes in front of your congregation and says “You know what? We think we’re right.. but not everyone thinks like us. These are our friends and neighbors. Let’s let them live a loving life, pledging themselves to each other as many of us have, if they so choose. It’s not right for us to judge them, the bible tells us that specifically.”

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani J. Sharmin

    Dalrymple’s post seemed to be a response to people who think that Christianity is filled with hate, but he didn’t actually adequately address the issues in Christianity which cause people to believe that about the religion. As Dexeron commented above, Dalrymple’s post just came across as an attempt to portray himself and other like-minded Christians as the real victims while ignoring the harm that their religion does to others.

  • Steve

    What a gigantic, sanctimonious, self-righteous, self-obsessed asshole *vomits*

  • Azkyroth

    You do realize that Thinking Things Through is a cardinal sin for people like Dalrymple?

    Why are you trying to tempt him?

  • Derrick

    Can I agree with this post and with Timothy’s? His resonated with me as a Christian, because it’s what a lot of us go through with this issue. How do you reconcile beliefs about morality, humanity, and truth with a culture that departs from them? I think Christina has the right solution.

    But I also think that there’s a lot more hate in the comments of this article than there is in Tim’s own article.

    • otocump

      Because the level of mental gymnastics Timothy goes through to ‘resonate’ with you, a lot of others see right through and get the the heart of the matter. He can wrap it all up in a pretty bow, but its the same garbage over and over. “Why can’t I oppress like my religion tells me too without being called out?”

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  • rork

    I share your views but dispute a small point.
    “Here in St. Louis, the Ethical Society is banned by law from legally marrying gay people. Why do you think it’s okay to deny the Ethical Society the ability to practice their religion?”
    The Ethical Society can “marry” anyone they want, it just can’t make them legally married in the eyes of the law. You can change “marry” to any word you want – they can call the result of the ceremony whatever they wish.
    You were talking about the law, not the rituals of some sect that haven’t the force of law.

  • Sansgerd

    This is one of the best pro-gay blog posts ever…forever eva


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