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William Owens: Irony Machine

This fills my skull with rage.

The pastor at the end, William Owens, is the worst.  But I’ll get to him.  The story says their gripe is that President Obama’s support of marriage equality threatens the stability of the family…

How?  I mean, if restaurants are allowed to sell fish, does that somehow threaten the rights of others to sell burgers?

Plus, look at the variation of divorce rates in the United States.

Religion% have been divorced
Jews30%
Born-again Christians27%
Other Christians24%
Atheists, Agnostics21%

Or, check out the divorce rate by religion among those who have been married.  30% for atheist/agnostics, but 32% for born-again Christians (33% for non born-again Christians).  The point is that you don’t get to lecture anybody on what threatens the stability of marriage, since the introduction of Christianity, on average, raises the divorce rate.

And for a pastor, the head of a church that, like every other church, doesn’t pay a red cent in taxes to say that Obama is bowing to the money by ignoring them…the only way he could do it with a straight face is if he was getting yearly irony vaccinations.  You think the gay rights movement has more money that the religious lobby?  Seriously?  In what universe does this guy live?  It sure as fuck ain’t this one.

Then he says the African American community does not support same-sex marriage.  If true, that’s a damn shame.  If there was a demographic that know the injustice of inequality and should be in a place to empathize with the victims of discrimination, it’s the African American community.  Fortunately, recent polling suggests it’s not true.  49% of African Americans would actively oppose marriage equality (even though 67% don’t approve of it).  These numbers are also plummeting.  The percentages for African Americans opposing marriage equality are higher than the national average , but dropping at a more significant clip.  So Owens doesn’t get to say the African American community opposes gay marriage when less than half of them would.

Then Owens points out that in several states they’ve voted against marriage equality.  To watch a black man tell a camera that equal rights for a minority should be a matter of voting betrays an enormous lack of situational awareness on his part.

Owens then asks where the gay community was when Obama was running for president.  Answer: voting for him, just like you.  How do people like Owens get taken seriously by anyone?  Oh, that’s right, this is a CBN piece.  Who cares if it’s inane if he agrees with us, right?

Also, this guy is pretty deep into politics.  How long before this guy and his congregation has to start paying taxes?

Then he talks about segregation, saying the gay community is guilty of segregation now.  When he talks about it, he says multiple times that whites didn’t want them – whites didn’t want them in their restaurants, etc.  Whites also didn’t want them marrying their sons and daughters, which is why it was illegal up until Loving v. Virgina in 1967.  How the hell are the ones wanting equal rights guilty of segregation and not the ones opposing it?  What would Owens have had to say to the pious Christians defending the sanctity of traditional marriage, and protecting its stability, by opposing interracial marriage back then?  Were they the victims of segregation, or its lifeblood?

The answer should worry Owens, but until he develops an awareness of irony I fear he won’t bat an eyelash.

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.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    To watch a black man tell a camera that equal rights for a minority should be a matter of voting betrays an enormous lack of situational awareness on his part.

    Especially given his age. Or did he somehow grow up privileged?

    • B

      Equality for me, but not for thee . . .

  • G Johnson

    First, I am sick and tired of hearing African American preachers authoritatively claim that they “speak for the black community”. I could really just scream! They don’t speak for me and I plan to make it known to Rev Owens if he ever shows up in my city.

    Second, Ask Rev Know Nuthin who was Bayard Rustin. I am as old as the Rev and I know that the civil rights movement he thinks just came together was really organized by a GAY man. Did you realize that Rev? Did you realize that those “gay agenda” folks had your back when you were pushing for your black agenda?

    Third, On the list of all the things hurting the Black family, gay marriage is a non sequitur. Sure Rev, all we have to do is stop those gays from getting married and all will be well with the black family. Are you kidding me?

    If Rev Owens doesn’t want to marry gay couples then that is his choice but don’t impose your backward ideas on the rest of us.
    And PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT YOU SPEAK FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

    Signed: Really pissed off African American Heterosexual Woman.

    Thanks for letting me vent JT.

    • wayneD

      Thank you G. Johnson. I couldn’t have said it better. It really erks me that someone who grew up with discrimination now stands up in his pulpit and preaches that gays should be discriminated against. Didn’t he learn anything from what he went through? Obviously not.

  • IslandBrewer

    Wait … so Jews and Born-Again Xtians are ruining traditional marriage. That’s what I’m getting from the statistics.

    /bad statistics poe

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

    Didn’t Judas betray Jesus, causing his name to become synonymous with “traitor”, and end up confined to he ninth circle of Hell (according to Dante) — all so that people who follow Jesus could be saved and go to Heaven? That doesn’t seem greedy to me. It seems he got the bad end of the deal.

    And for a pastor, the head of a church that, like every other church, doesn’t pay a red cent in taxes to say that Obama is bowing to the money by ignoring them…the only way he could do it with a straight face is if he was getting yearly irony vaccinations. You think the gay rights movement has more money that the religious lobby? Seriously? In what universe does this guy live? It sure as fuck ain’t this one.

    ‘irony vaccinations’

    Love it.

    Also, what G Johnson (#2) said, extended to others who claim to speak for various communities and use their self-given positions to discriminate against others while saying their own group deserves equal rights.

    • Joe

      Didn’t Judas betray Jesus, causing his name to become synonymous with “traitor”, and end up confined to he ninth circle of Hell (according to Dante) — all so that people who follow Jesus could be saved and go to Heaven? That doesn’t seem greedy to me. It seems he got the bad end of the deal.

      That’s always bothered me (as much as anything in the Bible bothers me). If God’s plan required Jesus to be crucified, then Judas’ betrayal was a fairly integral part of that plan. That he gets sent to hell for it seems a pretty unpleasant move on God’s part (though, not particually out of character)

  • fastlane

    So, Loving v. Virginia should be repealed, because you know, it gave blacks special rights? These bigots really are completely immune to irony, and introspection.


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