David DeWolf, like so many touched by Christianity, mistakes virtue for bigotry.

Washington State recently legalized gay marriage and marijuana.  Jesus didn’t care much for this, but can’t be bothered to pop down and tell us himself, so his followers are out in force to talk about what a hell Washington has become.

One of them is David DeWolf.

To David DeWolf, who teaches law at Gonzaga University, a Catholic institution in Spokane, the votes reflect individuals disconnecting from the rest of society, “elevating the desires of the individual over the needs of the community.”

While most people might see marriage as forging a deeper connection with someone, apparently that’s only when it’s a straight couple tying the knot.  Apparently getting married to the person you wish if it’s not a person DeWolf’s religion approves of means being disconnected from those around you.

And the community will apparently suffer for these people marrying the person they choose.  DeWolf doesn’t say exactly how this will harm the community, but it sure will.  Perhaps, like the nightmare scenarios the True Believers spun us about the consequences of letting gays serve openly in the military that never materialized, the same will happen here and will convince people that Christian morality is a bunch of arbitrary nonsense.  Personally, I think that would only improve the community.

DeWolf, a Catholic, sees the votes as “sort of a reversion to a less developed way of living,” he said. “The impulse here is a kind of selfish, me-oriented way of not wanting to think about the impact my behavior might have on the rest of society.”

Yeah, those selfish, selfish gays wanting to be happy.

He, too, thinks about ancient Rome. “The introduction of Christianity was the introduction of a way of understanding ourselves that says we’re made for better things, we’re capable of real charity and concern for one another and living a life of virtue.”

Christianity does not hold the deeds to charity and empathy.  In fact, in the case of loving adults who don’t comport themselves to the moral standards of ancient nomads, DeWolf’s Christianity has severely stunted his empathy, not improved it.

And what’s this bullshit about Christianity making us capable of real charity?  What is real charity?  When an atheist donates to feed the needy, is it not real if we’re only doing it out of compassion?  Or is it only real if we buy fewer oranges for the starving so we can also provide them with bibles?

People who speak like David DeWolf about concern for society, as if that means binding the happiness of those in society to a set of rules that have nothing to do with the amount of joy they produce or the amount of suffering they avert, should not be listened to when they speak of how to live a life of virtue.

Christian virtues, which he believes were ignored in this election, have created “much of what we value in society,” DeWolf said. “In my mind, this is an unhappy reversion to a pagan understanding of ourselves and of society.”

Christianity has created swaths of people who confuse virtue with bigotry.  David DeWolf may value that, but “we” should not.

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.

  • Loqi

    “like so many touched my Christianity”
    BAD TOUCH! BAD TOUCH!

  • smrnda

    So here’s my retort. Gay people don’t make up a very big percentage of the population. Ballot initiatives in favor of gay marriage therefore had to pass with significant support from among straight people, all of whom realized that they had a duty to ensure the welfare and happiness of a minority population, probably after realizing that a benefit they took for granted (marriage) was being denied other people for no good reason.

    To me, De Wolf is the one arguing for selfishness; he thinks his religious views should stand in the way of other people getting married because he cares about this Christian/Catholic privilege more than he cares about other people’s welfare. He wants them to sacrifice their happiness so that he can feel his religious is a very big deal.

    I also don’t get the big deal anyway; gay marriages are just like straight marriages, nobody bothers to get married if it’s just all about some wild sex. It requires the same type of maturity and responsibility that a straight marriage does, and probably more since you’ve got to content with social prejudice.

    • Azkyroth

      I also don’t get the big deal anyway; gay marriages are just like straight marriage.

      Not true. In fact, same-sex marriages cannot possibly experience the most sacred connection in traditional Christian society: quickie marriage to a near-stranger because one of you got pregnant.

      • smrnda

        Yes, because in American Christianity, a marriage is valued to the extent that it’s all about ‘commitment’ and not about actually loving the other person or being compatible; it’s about one’s willingness to sign onto a life of misery and pretend to be happy, but as Oscar Wilde wrote, the difference between a commitment and a caprice is that a caprice lasts a little longer.

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

      To me, De Wolf is the one arguing for selfishness; he thinks his religious views should stand in the way of other people getting married because he cares about this Christian/Catholic privilege more than he cares about other people’s welfare. He wants them to sacrifice their happiness so that he can feel his religious is a very big deal.

      This, exactly.

  • RuQu

    “sort of a reversion to a less developed way of living,” he said.

    You mean like believing in fantastical beings and attributing to divine intervention events that are explainable by science and reason?

    “Charity” is a concept that extends from when the majority of people had nothing, and the wealthy deigned to give them something. We all know this inside, and it is why people often say “I don’t want your charity” because it feels like something is being handed down to them from on high. Charity is a form of social spending done from a small tax base, left over from when a larger tax base was irrelevant. After the rise of the middle class, a far better way to fund any necessary social spending is through the largest base possible: taxes. Charity is an excuse to feel good about your taxes, or to avoid them entirely if you opt to not give, thus either leaving the need underfunded or with a larger than necessary burden on the givers. It is supported by those charities who exist to fill that need, ie churches that make a living off of “charity” dollars.

    Finally, I’d be curious what parts of our society are so great because of Christianity. Catholicism didn’t do much to make life better in the Middle Ages (see Inquisition, Crusades, Divine Right of Monarchs, etc). What is responsible for our modern life is the Enlightenment (a non-Christian intellectual movement), industrialization (for the rise of the middle class), socialism and the New Deal (re: middle class), and science/technology (Hello, Siri!).

  • eric

    He, too, thinks about ancient Rome. “The introduction of Christianity was the introduction of a way of understanding ourselves that says we’re made for better things,

    ~509 BC: Roman monarchy overthrown, Republic period begins. Rome slowly grows into the most powerful geopolitical unit on the planet.
    ~50BC to 30 AD: Republic era ends (depending on how you count). But Rome continues to be the most powerful geopolitical unit on the planet.
    ~313 AD: Constantine legalizes Christianity.
    ~395 AD: Eastern and Western empires divide
    ~410 AD: Rome sacked.
    ~455 AD: Rome sacked again
    ~476 AD: Western Roman empire dissolves

    Whatever Christianity introduced, political stability and prosperity was not part of it.

    • Baal

      Early christianinty spread at the point of a sword. Various leaders basically said (not unlike highschool football), well if this god grants me victory, me and all my subjects will follow him. Boom, xians got lucky and that was that. This fits nicely with the troubled times chart eric has ;p.

    • Artor

      Let’s not forget Bloody Mary & her Catholic vs. Protestant pogroms, or Oliver Cromwell & his bloody Protestant vs. Catholic reign of terror. Political stability indeed.

    • AJ

      eric, did you bring facts to a bigoted rant? That’s, well, uncharitable of you.

  • BKsea

    “elevating the desires of the individual over the needs of the community.”

    Sounds like he’s accusing gay marriage supporters of being Republicans.

    • eric

      Sounds more to me like he’s accusing his opponents of supporting the Bill of Rights.

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

    It never ceases to amaze/infuriate me that one man-one woman marriages are considered the foundation of society and responsibility while same-sex marriages are considered selfish. Apparently, taking on all the same responsibilities doesn’t count if you and your spouse are the same gender.

    • eric

      Ah, you make the mistake of thinking his definitions of selfish and responsible have something to do with how you interact with your partner or people in general. Bzzzzt. Its all about how you interact with DeWolf and his interpretation of the bible. You are being selfish when you are not living the way DeWolf/his interepretation of the bible wants you to live, and you are being responsible when you do.
      Nothing much here except straight up theocracy. Doing what religious leaders demand is the only way they’ll consider you to be responsible.

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