Bring on the Disparagement

Bring on the Disparagement June 30, 2015
By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (ws'08 (21)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (ws’08 (21)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s so much more enjoyable watching the right wing foam at the mouth from this side of the historic decision on same-sex marriage.

Part of this is just the smug satisfaction that the good guys won. But there’s something else going on, too. It bubbles up in many of their stuttering reactions and expressions of disbelief. I’m referring to their fear that, as opponents of same-sex marriage, they will now be looked down upon.

I noted this in my previous post about Jewish reactions to the decision. The ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel of America put it this way:

… we are deeply concerned that, as a result of today’s ruling, and as the dissenting Justices have pointed out, members and institutions of traditional communities like the Orthodox Jewish community we represent may incur moral opprobrium and risk tangible negative consequence if they refuse to transgress their beliefs, and even if they simply teach and express their religious views publicly. That prospect is chilling, and should be unacceptable to all people of good will on both sides of this debate.

But it’s not just the people who make women ride in the back of buses and force them to walk on separate sidewalks (because they are so full of religious “good will). Chief Justice Roberts fretted about it in his dissent, too (as quoted at ThinkProgress.org):

Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of today’s decision is the extent to which the majority feels compelled to sully those on the other side of the debate. The majority offers a cursory assurance that it does not intend to disparage people who, as a matter of conscience, cannot accept same- sex marriage.

By the majority’s account, Americans who did nothing more than follow the understanding of marriage that has existed for our entire history — in particular, the tens of millions of people who voted to reaffirm their States’ enduring definition of marriage — have acted to “lock . . . out,” “disparage,” “disrespect and subordinate,” and inflict “[d]ignitary wounds” upon their gay and lesbian neighbors. These apparent assaults on the character of fairminded people will have an effect, in society and in court.

Oh, boo-hoo. Poor bigots have to be called out for being bigots. Isn’t that so sad?

The fact is that our side has been disparaging them and their side has been disparaging us for a long time now. The difference is that our side is right.

This is not just a matter of perspective.

We may be a little too zealous about calling them the adult version of narrow-minded poopy-heads, but they have gone much, much further, characterizing our relationships and lives as sinful and even “satanic” since the first gays came out of the closet.

One of the sorriest parts of their entire charade is their effort to pretend that this decision is nothing like Loving v. Virginia. But if you look at the historical record, most of the people who opposed “interracial” marriages did so on religious grounds. Today you can’t find one of them who will admit that it was Christian biblical “hamitic” racial theory that reinforced their hatred of blacks and their opposition to mixed marriages.

This is because good people cast “opprobrium” on them and “disparaged” them to the point where they were rightfully ashamed that they had ever supported such a nauseating theology. Most of them, finally, abandoned it. Or at least they stopped being so publicly proud of it.

A long time ago I predicted that in one hundred years Christians would take credit for leading the fight for marriage equality. And in fairness, many good liberal Christians helped. But they didn’t do it because their Christianity revealed to them the eternal wisdom and truth of treating gay people fairly. They did it because they felt ashamed of their religion’s role in oppressing gay people.

So bring on the opprobrium and break out the disparagement. These people deserve it. Shaming them helps to pave the path to progress.

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