3 excuses for homophobiaDecember 1, 2008 — Deacon Duncan
The Associated Press is reporting that Christians, and especially Christians in ethnic minority groups, are rushing to excuse their behavior with regards to the anti-gay Proposition 8 and similar measures.
“I do not consider (gays) to be a minority in legal and adjudicated terms, the same way people who only like to eat broccoli with butter aren’t a minority,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “We can’t categorize things according to behavior. It’s based on ethnicity, on who we are rather than what we do.”
Hmm, let’s try that again, shall we?
“I do not consider (Christians) to be a minority in legal and adjudicated terms, the same way people who only like to eat broccoli with butter aren’t a minority,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “We can’t categorize things according to behavior. It’s based on ethnicity, on who we are rather than what we do.”
Time for an amendment defining marriage as a union of two non-Christians?
One of the hallmarks of injustice and oppression is when you have to resort to obvious lies in order to rationalize your behavior. Rodriguez says minorities ought to be defined and protected based “on who we are rather than what we do.” How, then, does he justify discriminating against people who ARE gay? Homosexuality is not a behavior, it is a condition, which is why we say someone IS homosexual instead of saying someone DOES homosexual. Lie Number One, then, is a denial of the fact that homosexuals are being targeted because of what they are. Gays are gay in AND out of the bedroom.
Rodriguez continues by conceding that homosexuality may indeed a matter of what you are rather than what you do:
“Who am I to say that you weren’t born that way … (but) sexual activity, what you do, who you sleep with, is your business,” Rodriguez said. “That’s between you, your lover, and the good God Almighty in heaven. I don’t want to know. Let’s leave sexual activity in the bedroom. The government shouldn’t be legislating what we do behind closed doors between two consenting adults. And to compare it to the African-American struggle, to me that’s an abomination.”
If the government shouldn’t be legislating what we do behind closed doors between two consenting adults, then Rodriguez might have a good argument for why the government shouldn’t be licensing marriage for anyone, gay or straight. But that doesn’t explain why gays are being singled out and forced to choose between mandatory celibacy and mandatory fornication.
The hypocrisy drips off of every word coming out of Rodriguez’s mouth. Your sexual relationships are none of the government’s business, he says. Government shouldn’t be legislating what you do in the bedroom. Yet this is precisely what Proposition 8 and other mandatory fornication amendments do: pass laws designed to penalize people for being attracted to the “wrong” sexual partner—where “wrong” is defined in terms of the homophobic prejudices of some third party who has no business interfering. Lie Number Two: that this isn’t about government oppression of gays.
Lie Number Three is that this is not comparable to institutionalized discrimination against blacks. Answer me this: which would be more discriminatory, an amendment that defined citizenship as a relationship between a nation and a white man, or an amendment that defined marriage as a union of two white people? Would blacks today feel like they had achieved racial equality if they had to give up marriage in order to be accepted as equal members of society? Is it not clear that marital discrimination is just as oppressive as racial discrimination?
Of course, that’s not really a fair question. We shouldn’t be in a situation where we have to ask which form of discrimination is less evil, any more than we should have to decide whether to have an arm chopped off or a leg chopped off. We ought to live in a society where all citizens enjoy the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of the individual differences that may exist between us. It does not matter whether those differences are visible(race), behavioral (religion), or cultural (ethnic).
Christians like Rev. Rodriguez are promoting a dishonest, unprincipled, and pernicious form of self-righteous hypocrisy that goes beyond mere belief and trespasses into actual oppression and injustice. Mandatory Fornication Amendments like Proposition 8 need to be overturned by men and women of conscience and good will. Tolerance may mean we put up with your bigoted and selfish ideas, but it does not mean we should sit idly by and let you persecute those whose only “sin” is being the “wrong” kind of person.
Rise up America, and show the world you have a soul.