Friday, March 14, 2014

The delicious irony of Christians in the closet

I absolutely hate when bloggers send volleys back and forth, but this one may be worth following, if only in hopes of seeing a few well-placed shots.

Rod Dreher is whining about how Christians can't say that they disagree with same-sex marriage out of fear of losing their jobs, or just being ostracized. Now, if a Christian worker were to say that he thinks homosexuals are disgusting and subhuman, that might deserve the reaction of dismissal, and certainly would deserve some measure of social exile. But Christians aren't saying anything as crude as that. Instead, they're trying to deny them the civil right of marriage.

There is an easy solution to this: stop denying civil rights to gays, and understand that includes all civil rights, including the right to marry. If you're going to parse which human rights a fellow human should have, you're not fully accepting the humanity of that person.

And don't act so surprised and offended that people are angry with you when you don't want them to have the full complement of civil rights. The message you send when you deny rights is: you aren't as human as me. Would you take away voting rights from gays? The right to own property? The right to shop in the markets? The right of burial? No, most Christians wouldn't take away these rights. So notice that the right to marriage is just as important, and don't stand in the way of it happening.

I've written before that I understand the deeply held religious beliefs, but religious people, like all people, must learn how to behave in a diverse society. That includes tempering your statements or paying the consequences. Rod Dreher knows that gay people were forced to hide their beliefs for a very long time:
"Christians and other traditionalists were wrong to have demonized gay people in the past, and forced them to live in the closet for fear of their careers."
Yes, and Christians are still wrong if they think they have to power or the right to choose which rights are granted to gays. The whole idea of rights "being granted" is wrong, as though gays were inferior, but their superiors deigned to pretend otherwise to a certain extent.

Rod Dreher again:
"Gay rights activists did a lot of good work to end this climate of fear, and to wake the rest of us up to the humanity of our gay brothers and sisters, and to increase tolerance for them."
Rod, finish waking up, and see that gays have the same right to marriage as you do, as Jews do, as Christians do, as Muslims do, as all people do. You don't have to support it, like it, celebrate it, but just get out of the way. And if you want to stand in the way of others' civil rights, stop whining that traffic is coming your way.


Extra. Andrew Sullivan's reply. There are no doubt other posts as well, but I'm not going to chase them down.


Dangerous said...


H. M. Stuart said...

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