It’s truly amazing how, in a country such as America (in which the citizenry openly and loudly proclaim their love for freedom, justice, and liberty), inequity and bigotry can be celebrated in such a manner.
For the uninitiated—which is a nice way of saying “those of you livings under rocks completely removed from all forms of modern media”—I’m speaking about the “family values conservatives” of the nation rallying around Chick-fil-A after CEO Dan Cathy loudly proclaimed his support for “traditional marriage.”
Let me preface: I, personally, have no qualms with the COO of Chick-fil-A stating his opinion; his first amendment right guarantees him free speech and I have no problem that he decided to use said right. In fact, I applaud him for speaking his mind. The right to free speech is something we all should celebrate, no matter the opinion. Better yet, it is something we shouldn’t take for granted, considering there are billions of others, globally, who don’t enjoy that same right.
In this rather unfortunate course of events, many people have expressed their disdain for said opinion, including myself. This, unfortunately, also includes three overzealous mayors who apparently have a distasteful opinion of the constitution. They’re not a threat—believe me, Mr. Huckabee, they’re not. Your national day of intolerance wasn’t really necessary. They were immediately rebuked on a nationwide scale and backed off almost as quickly. Nobody to be taken seriously is still saying you can’t have your hate chicken in Chicago or Boston. Well, the economy might, but I digress–
What I—and millions of others around this nation with varying political opinions and religious values–have direct problem with is said opinion being the continuation of inequity and bigotry against homosexuals based on the false premise of “traditional marriage.” What he said was not only ignorant of modern biological and psychological studies; it allies itself to antiquated cultural beliefs that simply didn’t enjoy the same modern sciences we enjoy today.
According to the American Psychological Association, while there is no absolute consensus, “Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.” The New Scientist reports that, “Researchers used MRI scans to find out the overall volume and shapes of brains in a group of 90 volunteers consisting of 25 heterosexuals and 20 homosexuals of each gender.
“The results showed that straight men had asymmetric brains, with the right hemisphere slightly larger – and the gay women also had this asymmetry. Gay men, meanwhile, had symmetrical brains like those of straight women.” This shows that, biologically, homosexuals and heterosexuals are simply different.”
Biblically, Mr. Cathy has little to stand on. Traditions in the Bible have been continually discarded throughout the years in an effort to reflect the culture of the time. There are a few principles that are universal in the Bible, such as loving your neighbor as you love yourself, that lying and stealing are bad, among others. There are others that are—well, less-than-applicable. Tell me–anyone–do you still practice kosher? Do you eat shellfish? Do you wear multifibered clothing? Do you eat pork? They’re all forbidden, according to the Bible. Leviticus 20 is truly a goldmine of not only antiquated, but also truly ridiculous condemnations and corresponding punishments. In fact, I’m willing to bet—if I were a betting man—that quite a few of you at home answered exactly opposite of what the Bible commands us to do.
Religious scholar TJ Wray, who is the author of What the Bible Really Tells Us (ISBN: 0742562530), offers brilliant insight into this. Wray makes note in said book that they simply didn’t understand the mentality, the psychology, or the biology of the homosexual of that time. In the mind of those who wrote the Bible, homosexuals were simply heterosexual men who happened to be committing extramarital sexual acts with other men. Well, in that case, of course it seems a little odd. Never once did the authors question, “What if these men were actually attracted to one another?”
And with that, we’ve reached the beauty of being a modern Christian in this modern time, which greatly differs from that of our religious ancestors. We have access to psychological and scientific studies that simply weren’t available then. We—well, some of us—are literate, intelligent, and able to make rational decisions on our own. Thus, as rational, intelligent beings we can differentiate—for ourselves—what is cultural code for 1CE and what is universal principle. We can, for ourselves, question whether or not our religion should influence our acceptance of proven scientific findings.
Despite the zealous usage of the Bible as a main defense for “traditional marriage” from the bible-thumping “moral majority,” it isn’t the only defense being abused. Many are still stuck on the “first amendment” non-issue. This is also concurrent with apparently completely forgetting about that pesky 14th amendment, which is the guaranteed equal protection under the law. Stating that someone shouldn’t have the same right as you simply because they love someone of the same sex is wrong by that standard alone, completely putting aside the moral implications of such a superiority complex.
Everyone screaming about the first amendment in this debacle has yet to consider, apparently, that the 14th amendment is just as applicable as the 1st.
I question, where is the fairness in denying federal and state benefits because of a person’s sexual preference based on YOUR religious preference? Oh, wait, it isn’t–also according to the Constitution’s establishment clause.
Fact is, you’re free to have your religious and political beliefs. And I’ll applaud you, too, for speaking and defending them publically. I have mine—I’m a Christian, I’m a Libertarian, and I support the rights of homosexuals everywhere. But to use them as a crutch to substantiate your unadulterated bigotry and irrational fear of those who are different than you is simply ridiculous. I’m quite sure that Jesus, who preached love and understanding, would certainly be in dismay seeing this.