OK, I don’t mean to sweep all residents of Arizona into the same asbestos-lined basket of rotting rat turds. In fact, I like everyone I’ve ever met from that state. But the majority of voters in Arizona seem to be assholes of the highest order.
First they pass a law on par with those of the old East Germany, giving the police the right to demand proof of citizenship from anyone who looks the least bit suspicious. So if I, with my Mediterranean good looks, were to walk into a dinner outside of Tuscon, the local cops could saunter over to my booth and legally demand “Papers, please!” It must be like living in a Cold War spy movie, except this is your home – not some Iron Curtain backwater.
Then the esteemed citizens of Arizona tried to pass a law on par with Uganda’s recently enacted official hatred of all things homosexual. Clearly looking to outmaneuver Mississippi in the race to be the Shithead State, Arizona tried to pass legislation that would give businesses the right to refuse service to anyone they deemed gay.
How exactly would that have worked? I mean, Richard Simmons is about as flamboyant as the stereotype can get, but he’s never openly discussed his sexual preference. Would he be able to order a gluten-free kale wrap at an Arizona diner with more enthusiasm than the entire cast of Glee? Or would he be refused service simply based on appearance, like the state’s “I Hate Hispanics” law? And what if someone is bisexual? Does that mean they can only order half a sandwich?
Religious Freedom, Religious Liberty
Look, I understand where these people are coming from. They do not believe in homosexuality, just as a significant portion of like-minded individuals in this country don’t believe in science. It’s ludicrous and shameful, but they are certainly entitled to believe what they choose to believe. The problem is that these religious fanatics are now trying to legislate their beliefs, insisting that we must all adhere to their extremism as as if this country were some sort of medieval theocracy.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve also flirted with the notion of religious freedom as an excuse to shape legislation. Though, rather than using it to oppose a behavior I found objectionable, I was thinking of using it to support one that I enjoy: the legalization of marijuana. After all, I reckoned, the practice is considered a sacrament in the Rastafarian religion. So, if I grew some dreads, I shouldn’t have any trouble with the feds, right? Religious freedom…religious liberty!
Wrong. I quickly dismissed this notion because it is hopelessly flawed. Religious freedom is about the freedom to believe whatever you want, not necessarily do whatever you want. Of course, you are free to practice your beliefs in whatever way you want as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others, who may not share your beliefs, or the laws of the land, which are – and should always be – secular, just like our Constitution. And that’s where the problem lies, in that these boneheads think the law should be dictated by their own religious beliefs, like the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Besides, if we had to allow everything that is illegal simply because someone claims their God says it is or is not permissible, then we’d have to allow clowns like David Koresh and Warren Jeffs to freely molest children. Is that what Arizona wants? I don’t think so.
Leave Judgement To Your God
OK, so you still insist that your invisible being in the ether says that homosexuality is a sin. An abomination, if you choose to interpret it that way (I have a friend who is fluent in Hebrew and she argues that the biblical passage says it’s merely frowned upon, not an “abomination” as some – particularly those who aren’t fluent in Hebrew – claim). But if that’s what you believe, then simply don’t practice homosexuality. Don’t commit that sin.
Why must you judge others based on your beliefs? Isn’t it part of your beliefs that only God can judge your fellow man? Or is that now your job because the omnipotent one is having a little trouble multitasking as he tries to assist every single high school football team in Texas that has a pre-game prayer, with the team that prays harder winning in the all-too-likely event that both teams engage in this ridiculous and surely blasphemous practice?
How do I know this is nothing more than blatant homophobic bullshit? Because the Bible also claims that coveting thy neighbor’s wife is a sin. Is anyone pushing for legislation to refuse service to men who leer? Strangely, no, these pure adherents of the Bible have chosen to ignore or overlook that one.
Many Christians also consider gluttony to be a sin, one of the Big Seven. So where was the Religious Right when Mayor Bloomberg tried to ban large servings of sugary sodas in New York City? Shouldn’t they have thrown their millions of dollars and supporters into that well-intentioned effort to combat the sin of gluttony?
The Bible’s Book of Proverbs contains a list of six things that God allegedly hates, and one he considers an abomination. The first two items on that list are a proud look and a lying tongue. Why is it that Christians, particularly those who think every word of the Bible was written by God, never concentrate any of their venomous judgement and well-financed lobbying on those two offenses?
There’s a lot more vanity and deception out there than homosexuality. But rather than focus on these two offenses, among the first things their God is clearly said to hate, Bible thumpers are totally obsessed with one obscure passage that may or may not claim that homosexuality is an abomination.
If these people genuinely believe that the Bible is the word of God, and have dedicated their lives to following it, then why do they ignore that passage in the Book of Proverbs? Perhaps its because the seventh offense on that list, the one that God supposedly does consider an abomination, is one that doesn’t fit well with their chosen lifestyle: him that soweth discord among brethren.
Hmm, that sounds a lot like the voters of Arizona.