Gay Marriage Activists are Kinda Making My Point

Gay Marriage Activists are Kinda Making My Point April 11, 2015
Indiana Govenor Mike Pence. Photo Source: Wikimedia, by Gage Skidmore
Indiana Govenor Mike Pence. Photo Source: Wikimedia, by Gage Skidmore

I wrote a post a couple of days ago in which I asked the question Are Gay Marriage Activists Too Needy to Take Yes for an Answer?

The combox response was immediate and vociferous. Before I could say “wedding cake,” the discussion had abandoned the matter of political exigencies, as well as the weighty Constitutional questions involved, to become a discussion about whether or not gay people are people (yes) and what causes homosexuality (as of today, unknown, but I’m personally betting on a combination of causes both genetic and social, along with unique personal vulnerabilities.)

It seems that nobody is willing to deal with the real issues involved in the media drubbing of Indiana in favor of the use of government force against a long-held and time-honored religious belief that spans the millennia, circles the globe and directly challenges the freedom of religion of fully 70% of the American electorate. Likewise, nobody wants to discuss at all — and I mean at all — the vicious corporatism involved in corporate heads directly and effectively dictating the actions of governors, as Wal Mart did in Arkansas, or as many other corporations are trying to do with Indiana.

Nobody asks what, pray tell, does a corporate boycott of a state mean? Is Apple planning to close its Apple stores in Indiana? Is it planning to refuse downloads from the app store to Indianians? If it tries this, will it be legal? Corporations are certainly allowed to sell their products where they will, but are they allowed to use the sale of their products as direct political blackmail of elected officials? Are cell phone companies allowed to refuse service, are corporate hospitals allowed to refuse treatment, to citizens whose elected officials vote in ways that offend the plastic sensibilities of corporate heads?

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Photo Source: Wikimedia, public domain
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Photo Source: Wikimedia, public domain

How far have we gone down the road toward corporate fascism, otherwise known as corporatism, when these businesses feel no temerity whatsoever in using their clout to dictate public policy in this manner?

None of this is a surprise to me. I’ve seen the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce shove people around like garden variety thugs for a long time now. I’ve seen the corruptions of legislation written by corporate thinkers and passed by a toady legislature to the detriment of the people. I’ve seen a legislature and a governor that flat-out refused to provide storm shelters for school children in this most tornado-bound of states because the Chamber of Commerce wanted to repeal the tax that would have funded it.

So I’m not surprised at all to see the corporate leaders decide to flex their muscle on a national scale to bring errant elected officials to heel. And I’m also not surprised to see those elected official tug their forelocks, bow from the waist and perform as ordered.

Both political parties have their corruptions. I’m going to write Monday about a corruption coming from the Democratic White House. But the Republicans are corporatist puppets first, and everything else, including pro life, pro family, pro second amendment, and pro religious freedom, second. These things we care about are campaign slogans to them in exactly the same way that “getting America working again” is a campaign slogan for the Democrats.

Elect a majority Republican governing body and what do you get? Corporatism.

Elect a majority Democratic governing body and what do you get? It appears that what you get, at least from the White House, is abortion and gay rights thinking points, mainlined into the body politic.

In the meantime, nobody’s going back to work. Nobody’s children are any safer from the next big tornado. Nobody is living fat except the people who bought and own the government to the point that they are now going public with it and publicly instructing governors, as happened with the Governor of Arkansas, as to how to perform their office, and (get ready for this, now) the governor is doing what he’s told.

That’s one aspect of this sorry mess.

The other aspect is the outrageous shark-jumping on the part of gay marriage advocates. They’ve strained credulity repeatedly by equating their wedding cakes and flowers with the massive and singular violation of human rights that we call segregation. This is a bogus argument. (A statement that I’m sure will engender endless rounds of circular debate.)

The political exigency is that gay marriage advocates are endangering their still unsolidified victories in the sphere of gay marriage by seeking to conflate themselves with people who were slaves in this country for several hundred years, and who then were subjected to massive violations of their basic human rights by legal structures that clearly violated both the Constitution and the Gospels.

Gay people have their just claims about mistreatment as well, but the public mistreatment of homosexuals has pretty much fallen by the wayside. As it should have.

If they’re smart, they’ll take yes for an answer and let time resolve this debate about wedding cakes. If they’re stupid, they’ll keep on harassing and attacking hapless individuals and ruining their lives. They’ll pit themselves against basic freedoms that belong to everyone, including themselves.

This is stupid politically, because it raises up an opposition they have not dealt with before. That is those people who actually treasure freedom of religion in this country, irregardless of gay marriage.

It is also stupid because almost all gay people are down here the pits with the rest of us. Empowering corporations to attack the one voice capable of challenging their hegemony over our government and our way of life, which is the Church, is a little bit like arming the mob that wants to burn down your neighbor’s house because you don’t like your neighbor. How long before that same mob, armed with the weapons you gave them, will turn on you? When they do, your neighbor, who would have come to your aid, will be too weak to fight.

To get back to the post I put up earlier. I think that this combox avoidance of dealing with the reality of this present situation is telling. Ignoring the issues at hand to go  skittering down the worn-through debates of just how human gay people are, and what causes them to be gay in first place kinda makes my point. If that doesn’t make my point, then I offer the splendid display of emotional fireworks the post created.

It wasn’t a post attacking homosexual people. It was a post warning of the utter cold-bloodedness of politics. But the ire it wrought was entirely along the “how can you saaaayyyyy that about me?” line. The reason, I think, is that I accidentally hit a nerve. Neediness is at the bottom of a lot of this political sturm und drang. My advice to gay marriage advocates is to get your head out.

Politics is an uncaring bosom on which to lay your emotional head. Gay people are the same as straight people. Nothing will fill the holes inside their hearts except the love of God in Christ Jesus. Take those sorrows, rejections and self-questions to the cross.

Politics is a tool. Use it freely as any other American citizen should. But do not confuse it with your worth or your value as a child of God. There is only one affirmation any of us needs. Without it, no other affirmation will suffice. Go to the cross. And trust Him. Just, trust Him.

Jesus loves gay people as much as He loves any one else. He wants to enfold you in His mercy. He wants to lift your pain off you and set you free from the chains that bind you. Go to Him and trust Him.

As for politics, We the People need to get together against these overbearing corporatists while we still can. By that I mean all the people, both gay and straight.


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44 responses to “Gay Marriage Activists are Kinda Making My Point”

  1. I too noticed that the comments quickly took your topic in another direction. In fairness, after reading the article, my own thought was “well, I have nothing to add to this post, neither as support nor challenge.”

    As for your segregation point, here’s how I see it. Gay people have suffered systemic persecution in this country and around the world. I crafted that sentence with care – I could state it more severely or less severely, but I think my sentence is at heart factual. Is it exactly the same as the persecution Jews have suffered, or blacks, or women? No, of course not.

    But it is certainly appropriate for them and us to draw reasonable analogies to other historically persecuted groups, to the ways society treated (and treats) them, to the laws our governments enacted and (enact) to keep them down, to the judicial decisions that thankfully redressed (and redress) such wrongs and the ways that Christ-like people came to (and come to) their aid.

    Segregation is the best analogy – unless you can offer a better one. It was arguably the most systemic persecution our country has suffered, it was very recent and we have countless examples of it, all begging for comparison. So it shouldn’t surprise us that gay rights advocates use the treatment of blacks in the USA as an analogy jumping-off point. Any hyperbolic statements beginning with “this is exactly the same as the time…” should be ignored.

    That said, your statement that the mistreatment of gays has pretty much fallen by the wayside surprised me. I don’t know if anyone, gay or straight, has the authority to make such a brave claim.

  2. Okay, back to disagreeing… or sometimes agreeing and sometimes disagreeing.

    I continue to disagree with you that the efforts for marriage equality and equal public treatment are motivated by some sort of deep-seated psychological emptiness and longing for universal love on the part of gay people, rather than by the simple desire to be treated equally in public contexts.

    I continue to disagree with you that the age of the religious belief or the number of people who hold it has any bearing on whether the believer is entitled to exemptions from general public-access standards.

    I continue to disagree with you– or at least many or your commenters– that marriage equality heralds some sort of impending apocalypse, or at least the onset of persecution of Christians. Same-sex marriage has been legal in my state for some years now, and the only people it’s made a difference to are the people who contract such marriages.

    I continue to disagree with you that discrimination and bigotry against gay people has “fallen by the wayside.” Racism didn’t disappear when the Civil Rights Act was passed, sexism didn’t disappear when the prohibition against discrimination by sex was added to the Civil Rights Act. And bigotry against gay people is alive and well and often kicking (to steal a Terry Pratchett line).

    Legal equality is only a first step. But it’s a necessary first step.

    I agree with you (I think) that marriage equality and equal-access laws are seen, by both activists and political or corporate entities, as something of an “easy fix” or “inexpensive sop,” depending on one’s point of view. Legal changes, difficult as they can be, are still easier than changing hearts and minds. And still very, very much easier than dealing with some of the other problems that afflict us. Easier than solving the increasing tendency to class inequality and the two-tier society, easier than dealing with the complexities and unpalatable choices of a changing climate, easier even than fixing our crumbling infrastructure or figuring out what to do about health care or, well, any number of seemingly intractable problems.

    And I agree with you that the corporate boycott of Indiana was probably not a good idea. It “worked,” more or less, but at the risk of damaging the actual residents of Indiana, whatever their personal opinions it’s their livelihood at risk. And discrimination against LGBTQ people is still legal in Indiana.

    I agree with you that the ever-increasing influence of corporate interests in politics is very concerning.
    Elect a majority Republican governing body and what do you get? Corporatism.
    Elect a majority Democratic governing body and what do you get?

    … also corporatism, as far as I can see.

    But if the Church needs to have its way in the public sphere regardless of the multiple and diverse beliefs of the affected public, it’s possibly not so much an ally as another would-be overlord… Does that constitute church-bashing? I hope not. I’m not bashing, just worrying.

  3. I meant here in the United States. That’s certainly not true in countries where many of these corporations do business.

  4. Thank you for this, Rebecca. As I mentioned in my post on the original thread, the corporations are trying very hard to push the Trans Pacific Partnership, which is NAFTA on steroids, with the help of Obama and corporatist Democrats and Republicans. They have been doing this secretively, without any public notification or scrutiny. It truly comes down to global profits over people. But the corrupted mainstream media don’t bother to mention the TPP; instead focusing on these emotional hot button issues.

    Those in power encourage a divide-and-conquer strategy on cultural issues as a very effective distraction so that no one is the wiser on their machinations. The American people need to wake up and work together on reforming our corrupted political-financial system, before it destroys the nation.

  5. Yes, that’s how I took your statement. And I, for one, am not aware that the public mistreatment of gay people has pretty much fallen by the wayside here in the United States.

  6. I almost commented on your how to make a Mac disk that I had no need to know because as a Hoosier I can’t imagine ever buying an Apple product ever again. Or contributing in any way to the NCAA. That’s where I am because the only way the American people will ever get anywhere is by knocking off the ones enforcing this evil. I’m a Catholic and I don’t appreciate attacks on my faith by anti-Christian bigots. As far as gay people go, we managed for a long time to treat them with respect without laws requiring us to do so. And being who we are, that’s not going to change, even without laws forcing us to do what we were doing anyway.

  7. If homosexuals are so persecuted and downtrodden, how have they simultaneously risen to be the most influential economic force in the country with public figures heading major corporations?

    Trying to compare the current “situation” of homosexuals to any time during segregation is hyperbole at best.

  8. “Is it planning to refuse downloads from the app store to Indianians?” I think you mean Hoosiers…

  9. “Elect a majority Democratic governing body and what do you get? It appears that what you get, at least from the White House, is abortion and gay rights thinking points, mainlined into the body politic.”

    Actually, you get all of the above AND corporatism, to boot.

  10. Ah…. so millions of women in our country aren’t really paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes makes because …. Meg Whitman exists.

    Logan Smith didnt really (even though they confessed) set his black neighbor’s home on fire with Molotov cocktails, writing ni**er and Nazi swastikas on the property because …. Colin Powell exists.

    Dollar General Store in didnt really(even though they confessed) commit disability discrimination last year because … Stephen Hawking exists.

  11. “As far as gay people go, we managed for a long time to treat them with respect without laws requiring us to do so. And being who we are, that’s not going to change, even without laws forcing us to do what we were doing anyway.”

    That was the best part of your post. It’s an admirable attitude. However, not everyone is as noble as you are, and some justify their lack of nobility using faith.

    Working in high tech in California, I have a perspective that might be helpful to you. I believe that Tim Cook’s actions are entirely explainable as protection of his company’s bottom line. Multi-state high tech companies are compelled to construct their HR policies to comply with every state they work in. Hence, high tech companies with California employees as residents protect those residents from discrimination on the basis of the federally protected classes and sexually orientation, which is only protected at a state level. Indiana had no state protection on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Corporate HR would compromise by trying obey civil rights laws in both states and by drafting a policy that limits the event to which gays and Christians can conflict at work. Everyone is forgiven one truly offensive remark or action but given a warning if necessary. The law in Indiana undermined this by applying a RFRA as a defense not merely to government penalty but also to private penalty, for example censure by HR for violating a contract by repeatedly engaging in hate speech at work directed against fellow employees.

    If a Christian employee in Indiana engaged in demeaning speech or hate speech toward a gay employee from California, the Christian employee would be protected under Indiana law. Likewise, the gay employee would be protected under California Law. Both employees could sue under their respective jurisdictions and win.

    The multi-state corporate would lose money no matter how it decides disputes.

    Now, I understand that opposition to this law in your eyes leaves Christian small business owners unprotected against lawsuits by less than noble gays and lesbians, but two things have to be acknowledged. Less than noble Christians are free to discriminate in employment and public accommodation against gays, celibate or not, under Indiana law. Moreover, the Indiana RFRA protected every firm of any size from prosecution for discrimination as long as the discrimination could be justified under a subjective claim of faith.

  12. Apple, for instance, does online business with both Saudi Arabia and Iran but has no brick and mortar stores there or in any other country that has an anti-gay death penalty.

  13. According to the FBI, the number of hate crimes reported involving religious bias and sexual orientation bias are approximately equal in number, about 20% each. However, 60% of hate crimes committed because of sexual orientation are committed because of bias against gay males. Gay males constitute no more than 5% of the population in the U.S. Moreover, the 2011 FBI statistics on violent hate crime show 679 violent anti-gay-male bias crimes, but only 6 anti-Catholic bias crimes. Given that 24% of the U.S. population is Catholic, gays are much more likely to face violent discrimination in the U.S. than Catholics are. Hence, public bias against gays is in no way a thing of the past.

  14. I can’t imagine anyone I work with making those kinds of statements, and if they did their fellow employees would say something. It’s Midwest, flyover country values that form the basic culture. And no Christian faith requires anyone to treat anyone else with disrespect. Instead, such actions are contrary to religion.

  15. Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman faced anti-Jewish quotas in the Ivy League an had to get special permission to attend Princeton. He still contributed to the Manhattan Project as a grad student and still was acknowledged as one of the greatest physicists who ever lived.

    Likewise Alan Turing unraveled the mystery of embryonic development, founded computer science by defining computability, and cracked the most secure version of the Enigma code saving countless allied lives in World War II. He was chemically castrated and driven to suicide by his government for being a practicing homosexual.

    Unjust discrimination doesn’t always prevent success. Character can overcome injustice to allow one to make a contribution to society, but unjust discrimination always leaves scars and damages lives.

  16. This isn’t about the Church having its way. The Church hasn’t ordered people to decline to serve gay marriages. This is about individual people feeling unable in conscience to provide services for events which they believe are morally wrong. It is NOT about gay people. Most of the same people would also have a problem serving a celebration of adultery, for example.

    If a gay couple had any sense, they wouldn’t even WANT a photographer or video professional at their wedding who believed that it was morally wrong. I know that I couldn’t do a good job photographing an event that I believed was morally wrong. No, this is about trying to punish people for even thinking that it’s morally wrong in the first place.

  17. We’ll have to go on disagreeing about that. People aren’t being punished for thought crimes. People are being asked to treat people equally in the public sphere, regardless of their private convictions.

    And it absolutely is about gay people. You don’t see Catholic bakers taking a stand about second-marriage wedding cakes for divorced-and-remarried Catholics, even though such marriages are considered adulterous.

    It’s not about hating gay people?

    Then don’t treat them with hatred.

    Anyway, whether or not any individual business owner provides any particular services in accordance with a general standard for equal access, has nothing to do with the ability of that person, or her parish church, or the hierarchy up to and including the Pope of Rome, to speak out on the issue that concern all of us. Nobody is being silenced here.

  18. “Most of the same people would also have a problem serving a celebration of adultery, for example.”

    I don’t think you can know that. I don’t think anyone can. That said, just last week CNN interviewed one store owner in the south who said on camera the opposite – that she’s happy to serve adulterers, but not gays.

  19. 1. You’re trying to put caveats of intent on First Amendment rights. Doesn’t work.

    2. When was the last time, you heard about people throwing a “celebration of adultery party.”

    I can see someone refusing, on religious grounds, to provide cakes for, say, a gang bang with prostitutes, if it was explained to them that this was the type of party at hand. I certainly would. No question about it.

  20. R: I’m not sure if your reply was meant for me, or if we even have a disagreement here. Dave expressed an assumption about the willingness of religious business owners to be equal and fair in their discrimination against other types of sins and I pointed him to at least one vocal Southern business owner who is happy to own her intention to discriminate against gays but not thieves or adulterers, because she personally views gay sins as worse than other sins.

    My initial point though was that we can’t really make assumptions about where any person of conscience will draw the line and say “A violates my conscience, but B doesn’t.”

    And to answer your #2 – the second or third marriage of 2 divorced people who have living ex-spouses is, in my view and the view of many Christians, the “celebration of adultery.”

  21. Declining to serve an event that one finds morally offensive is not hatred. I don’t doubt that some people do treat gay people with hatred, but declining to serve an event which one finds morally offensive does not qualify. It’s not a matter of being silenced – conscience is being overrun.

    It’s the very same principle as being a cashier at a store, and the customer is buying a rope. No problem there, even if the person looks to me like a shady character. If, however, the person outright declares that they are going to use the rope to strangle someone in the parking lot, then I would have a moral right, and probably an obligation, not to sell him the rope.

    So I don’t understand the underlying mentality that people should always be obligated to sell their products and services regardless of their moral objections.

  22. And you would know that they were in their second or third marriage by what method? You do realize that many marriages are annuled for good reason?

    Having said that I’ll go back to what matters: There is no caveat on First Amendment rights. Sincerity does not enter into it.

  23. The couple who live next door to me have 3 prior civil marriages and divorces between them in addition to their current marriage. They told me so, and I believe them. that’s how I know. They invited me to celebrate their current marriage and I declined. I think that answers your question.

    As to your second paragraph, I’m not following you at all. I’m not crticizing you or complaining, I just need you to know that i don’t think we are talking about the same thing at all here.

    I thought caveat meant a warning or a cautionary detail. If you believe I’ve suggested some kind of warning or caution with respect to exercising FA rights I dont see it in any of my words. (But i’m 100% guessing here b/c i am not following your thought line. )

    Work with me here. What are u and I saying on this topic that is different from what the other is saying?

  24. pesq87, I’m not sure how it answers the question. These retail outlets usually have a larger clientele than just their next door neighbors.

    I meant that you can not limit Constitutional Rights according to what someone may feel down in their heart, not even if you think you have surmised what they feel down in their hearts.

    A caveat is a stipulation or a limitation.

  25. I completely agree that we cannot limit a constitutional right based on what someone may feel down in his or her heart. Never suggested we can.

  26. No, because they are not analogous at all. Black people are not analogous to a group of people who have similar sexual proclivities. At any rate, the group of gays is not being discriminated against per se, only a gay marriage event is declined to be served, and generally, gay people would be served under any other circumstance.

  27. You said that people shouldn’t be “obligated to sell their products and services regardless of their moral objections.”

    But that’s exactly what happened with the Civil Rights Act. Many business owners cited moral objections to “race mixing.” They were obligated to obey the law anyway.

  28. Well, one is right, and the other is wrong – and one involves all selling to a certain group of individuals, and one involves declining to serve a specific event.

    Also, and I’m probably in the minority on this one, but I’m not so sure those people back then should have been forced either. I think the way to change hearts and minds is with persuasion and an appeal to what is right and if any force is to be applied, social pressure and boycotts, not an iron-clad boot from above.

  29. Dave, I think there’s an argument that it is – in fact – discrimination per se, since the only thing that makes it a gay wedding is the fact that its gay people that are doing it.

    It’s analogous to me with my blond hair and blue eyes saying I’m happy to serve brown eyed people, so long as they aren’t getting married, b/c my conscience tells me that marriage is meant for blue eyed people.

    It’s analogous to me at age 35 saying I’m happy to serve old people, so long as they aren’t getting married, b/c my conscience tells me marriage is meant for young people.

    In one instance i am discriminating on the basis of eye color, in another on the basis of age, and in another on the basis of sexual orientation.

  30. It is CERTAINLY discrimination, in the sense of (one of) the dictionary definitions – “the ability to recognize the difference between things that are of good quality and those that are not.”

    The trick is determining which things are of good quality and which are not.

    When I visited our state capitol last weekend, there was a large quote in the main area, “Nothing can be politically right which is morally wrong.” At the time, I wondered if many of our state legislators ever noticed it. It really does come down to morality in the end.

    Besides, I don’t completely agree that the only thing that makes it a gay (same-sex) wedding is the fact that gay people are doing it. No, the only thing that makes it a same-sex wedding is the fact that the two parties are of the same sex. That is what is morally impossible, whatever the orientation of the two parties.

  31. And the bus companies of Selma could, and did, argue that they weren’t denying service to black people when they sent them to the back of the bus, or made them stand while white people sat. But the businessmen of Selma had moral objections to black and white people sitting side by side. Should they have been allowed to continue that practice?

    As for waiting until minds were changed and hearts were softened, there’s a rather famous answer to that one:

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

    Martin Luther King, 1963

  32. All irrelevant to my point. Corporations see the homosexual demographic as a whole as one of the most wealthy, influential CLASSES of people. They aren’t basing their decisions off the existence of the current CEO of Apple.

    When businesses were forced to discriminate against blacks because of Jim Crow laws, no one considered the blacks as a class as having any sort of clout in the country.

  33. It’s funny and as obnoxious and rude as some of the gay activists. In my opinion, very unbecoming of a priest. I think this hurts all Christians.

  34. But, so what? Do you think it matters to a lesbian teenager in Palookaville who is bullied by her classmates (as the teacher looks away) that corporate America considers lesbians as a whole as wealthy and influential?

    What exactly IS your point, other than she should just get over it, because if she survives she’ll one day be the ideal market for Starbucks?

  35. No, it doesn’t matter to her and such bullying should not be tolerated. But for homosexual activists to claim the modern mantle of Jim Crow and segregation is just disingenuous because their condition is nothing like what blacks experienced in the South.