A Response to Christians Who Want To Know ‘What To Do’, Now That Gays Have Full Civil Rights

First of all, people who self-identify as Christians in the United States, and who weren’t civil rights supporters in this recent dustup, should recognize that the days of being able to impose their religion on non-consenting adults, are ending. That’s the first thing. The bad old days are finally coming to a close, the tide of history is inexorable, and it is against you. You can live the life you want, but you cannot choose the type of life that others lead, as long as they’re not a proximate cause of harm to another human being. So, I suppose, you should begin to become comfortable with that – it’s not up to you to determine the character of society. Society is an abstraction that we give to the aggregate interactions of an entire population – you do not determine your culture, you participate in it.

liberty and justice for all

So participate constructively, by loving your fellow human being and accepting them as who they are as long as they aren’t the proximate cause of harm being done to another human being. And if you really care about the issue of homosexuality, then the next homosexual person, or married couple that you meet, show them love and acceptance. Show them that they can know you by your fruits, and that your religion is really a religion of love, not the hatred that they’re grown up with all of their lives. Consider the fact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender children are still at the highest risk of suicide, and think of what you can do to help make the world a place where LGBT children don’t feel as if their very identity means that death is a better choice than life. Think of the fact that, if you really want to draw LGBT people to Jesus, that you’ll need to actually attract them, not condemn them. Not pretend to like them as a sales pitch. Not chat them up as a prelude to getting them to come to your church. I mean simply, relentlessly, demonstrating your love for your fellow man. I mean catching more flies with honey than with vinegar, and honestly loving and honestly accepting all of your fellow human beings, and offering them compassion and support.

So, that’s some stuff you could do. But, as for SSM? You should do what I did with my wife tonight – you should eat dinner as a family, you should spend time together, you should live your life as a couple who are committed to standing the test of time… and then you should go to sleep and do the same thing again the next day.

Millions of Americans are about to have their civil rights restored, they’re going to be free to marry the people they love and raise families with full legal protection, they’re going to be able to feel as if their very love isn’t opposed by the state. They’re going to be full citizens in all respects.

So if that fact really bothers you… what should you do?
You should tend to your own garden.


2 thoughts on “A Response to Christians Who Want To Know ‘What To Do’, Now That Gays Have Full Civil Rights

  1. then respect my rights also. if my faith prevente from doingg things, then dont makee do it because you want to force me to accept you

    • Well, that depends on what exactly you’re prevented from doing because of your faith. For instance, if what you’re prevented from doing is obeying the law? Then, no, that’s not something I would find at all acceptable. Nor would that be a “right” that you actually hold, but a demand for special, theocratic privilege.

      For example, if my religion says that paying taxes is sinful, I don’t get to have my income be tax-free. If I owned a business and my religion says that paying workers the minimum wage or above the minimum wage is sinful, I can’t pay my employees below the minimum wage. If I own a lunch counter and my religion says that providing service to black is sinful, I can’t refuse to serve black people. If my religion says that I should beat my wife if she displeases me, I’m not free to assault her. And so on.

      Your religious rights end where other people’s civil rights, and human rights, begin. Much like your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

      It is not, in point of fact, a violation of your rights if you are prevented from oppressing other people. Nobody has the right to oppress other human beings.

      And just for clarification, I’m not asking for you to accept me, I’m a straight man who’s happily married to a beautiful, brilliant, amazing woman. Nor did my blog post simply say that you should accept LGBT individuals and support their civil rights, and that that’s that. What it did say is that, ideally, yes, you should embrace your fellow human beings with love and fellowship. But that, if you are unwilling to do that, that you should tend to your own garden.

      And just as a postscript on the notion of cloaking demands for special privilege as “religious freedom”… do you know where the word “privilege” comes from? It’s from the Latin for “private law”. You are not entitled to special privileges, to private laws, in the United States of America. Not even if your demand for those private laws is based on your religious beliefs. I’m lucky enough that I live in the republic of the United States of America, where individual rights and civil liberties are codified in the law of the land. And I’m lucky enough that I don’t live in theocratic hellholes like Iran, Saudi Arabia, or territory controlled by ISIS or the Taliban. Likewise, I oppose any and all attempts to infect America with creeping theocracy. I have no sympathy for Theocrats. I especially have no sympathy for Theocrats who have nothing but antipathy for nations like Saudi Arabia, not because they object to theocracy in principle, but because they believe that it should be their religion in charge of a theocracy. And, I would note: any Theocrats who have rosy dreams of their rise to power and the ability to inflict their religious views upon non-consenting adults? Well… they should be very aware of the fact that once the dust settles, it might very well not be their religion / sect / denomination that is in control of the theocracy.

      Or, to steal a quote: once the avalanche begins, it’s too late for the pebbles to vote.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s