If you think Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is wacky for claiming that equality creates inequality (which goes along with the Religious Right’s claim that tyranny = granting rights rather than suppressing them) you will love Liberty Counsel’s bizarre reasoning that, as Right Wing Watch puts it, the legalization of same-sex marriage is like banning interracial marriage. The obvious comparison to be made is that banning one is like banning the other, since both suppress a right, but don’t ask the Religious Right to make sense. They won’t.
Liberty Counsel is fighting against same-sex unions in Utah and Oklahoma, claiming that, “while same-sex couples can enter a union of the wills, it is not possible for them to join in body in the way true marriage has always required.” He must mean the way a husband could cleave to his concubine or slave girl or his second or third wives, or the odd-fifteen year-old girl the Duck Dynasty has forced into marriage, Bible in hand.
Obviously, they will not be making that comparison because the Religious Right couldn’t give a fig what the Bible actually says anymore than they give a fig what the Constitution actually says. It’s ironic that while claiming that those championing the cause of marriage equality “are seeking to replace the institution [of marriage] with their own agenda-driven proposal” that the Religious Right is seeking to replace the gospel with its own agenda-driven false gospel.
These fake Christians have created a gospel that revolves around suppressing marriage equality, abortion, and contraception. From listening to their rhetoric you would imagine that the Bible consists of nothing else. Republican politicians and candidates – like Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) – vow to supplant our republic with a theocracy, and like DOMA champion and member of the House’s Rapist’s Roll of Shame, Rep. Ted Huelskamp (R-KS) refuse to acknowledge that anyone could live their lives outside of the narrow little box the Religious Right wants to fashion for them. Huelskamp insisted that God is the “third person in your marriage.”
I can tell you right now that if there is a god in my marriage, it isn’t Huelskamp’s god and that if there is a god, because I am a polytheist, there is more than one. For atheists, obviously, there will be no god in a marriage. But the Religious Right refuses to accept differences and demand for America an Old Testament theocracy where everybody who is different in ejected (“vomited forth” in the language of the Old Testament), or worse, stoned.
In short, people like Huelskamp and Broun miss the entire point of the First Amendment, that no one religion be able to legislate to every other religion (or non-religion). Their attitude seems to be, “if other religions have equal rights, I have none.” As Americans United informs us, there is even a move afoot, involving David Barton, to call a Constitutional convention in order to rewrite it as it “should” have been written, as an extension of the Bible. Be assured, as AU.org points out, any such re-writing would not protect but restrict our liberties.
And if you think it is just extremist groups like the AFA and FRC we have to worry about, think again. We have already witnessed an attempt to Huelskamp to establish Christianity as the state religion and he’s hardly the first. Worse, Right Wing Watch reported yesterday that five religious groups opposed to marriage equality filed an amicus brief with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to uphold the struck-down marriage bans in those states: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and was joined by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
These groups are not content that men and women should continue to have the right to marry and have children. They are determined that nobody else have that right and that moreover, non-Christians should have to abide by what Christians deem to be right and wrong. Again, the First Amendment forbids that by rejecting the establishment of a state religion. These Christian groups all seem to feel that Christianity is already that state religion.
Ignore anyone who says the Religious Right is going away. It’s not. And loss of privilege will only make them more extreme. Yes, people are leaving organized religion because of the crazies but people from mainstream Christian groups are also joining the crazies. These people pose a very real threat to democracy in America and they will continue to do so.
Any group that says only their group has rights is anti-American and must be opposed. Real freedom means liberty for all, not just a few, and I cannot imagine a worse fate for the United States than to see it become a giant, Jim Jones-style Peoples Temple – which is exactly what it will be if the Religious Right gets its way.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.