Friday, 16 August 2013

Religious Freedom Slapfight!

posted on 8/16/2013 by the Salt City Sinner

Happy Friday, ye godless, begodded and many-godded pilgrims!

The sun came up in the East this morning, gravity apparently still works, and water is still wet, and thus homophobes are still engaging in contortions of screwball logic and epic bouts of sulky wailing about their supposed persecution at the daintily manicured hands of the gays. The fact that most Christians – that is to say, those who are not affiliated with the likes of Big Joe Farah or Pat Roberson – do NOT feel the iron boot of Hitler / Stalin / Obama on their necks doesn't faze these wild-eyed true believers, who see themselves as beleaguered heroes desperately trying to warn an ignorantly sleeping population of God-fearing Americans that they are done for.

The Supreme Court's DOMA ruling prompted what was probably the apex of this screeching so far ( jeepers! ), but it is anti-discrimination laws – the slowly evolving legal framework that, in some places like Salt Lake City, protect (admittedly only some) LGBT people from being excluded from housing and/or employment – that seem to rankle most consistently.

I'll boil all the considerable fat and gristle off of the argument and give you the gleaming bones: some evangelical Christians would like to tack up a “NO FAGS ALLOWED” sign over their little clubhouses, so to speak, and claim that said “NO FAGS ALLOWED” sign is a matter of religious liberty.

We uncover a particularly toothsome bone here, as religious liberty is something that I am a big fan of. However, occasionally said religious liberty runs afoul of other things that I and other people value. For example, it may be that the right to self-determination of oppressed people (such as The Gays) trumps the hurt feelings of people in positions of tremendous social and political power (such as American Jesus Freaks). “Tyranny of the majority,” and all that.

But let's carry this little thought experiment through and pretend that gay-hating evangelicals are undercover civil liberty scholars and ACLU supporters. Certainly, such open-minded folk would have no problem with private clubs or organizations excluding Christians or Jews from membership on the grounds of their religious beliefs, due to some religious-belief-trump-card (what happens when an irresistible religious inclination meets an immovable religious inclination, I wonder?).

On Earth-Prime in the DC Comics Universe (which is the reality that we, the readers, occupy) we know what would happen: a “No Christians Allowed” policy in, say, San Fran Sicko would send tidal waves of righteous indignation the likes of which the world has never seen washing over America's right-wing Christian mouthpieces, from the halls of Fox News to the shores of WND.

The libertarian crowd at least has the courage of their convictions – right wing Christian leaders' approach can be summed up as “freedom to discriminate and hate for ME (which you must tolerate), state-sponsored prayer and a Judeo-Christian Caliphate for YOU.”

Thanks, true believers, but no thanks.

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