Masking anti Gay bigotry as religious freedom is just a cover for hatred, intolerance and prejudice!
Masking anti Gay bigotry has become the new symbol for “Religious freedom” in America. Wedding celebrations are something we all look forward to, sometimes dread, get cold feet in and remember all of our lives. So when any group of people begins to gain access to rights, fundamental rights that we as Gay people have had to fight for and will have to continue to fight for, you can expect some real hateful anti gay sentiment to come forth. This is happening right now in America as well as other places around the world. There are Religious people who will insist that their rights are being trampled on because somehow others getting access to rights they have always had has them scared as hell.
And they should be. Younger voters and American citizens are turning away from Religious conservatives in ever increasing numbers because of the sheer hypocrisy of the Religious right in America. Marriage itself is in trouble. 56% of all marriages end in divorce and nearly 60% of those ending in divorce are in the Bible belt. Yet when you talk to religious conservatives, being Gay is somehow something new and born out of Western Civilization, which couldn’t be further from the truth. At the same time, those same Christians fail to realize that it is there religion which has been used to oppress people around the world while advancing their own cause.
So how does one overcome the hatred and ignorance? Well younger people are doing it already on their own! They don’t see Bigotry as an expression of Religious freedom, in fact they see it as a slave master who could easily one day throw them under the bus if they don’t play to get along! These younger generations of politically savvy and concerned citizens are increasingly becoming College Republicans and fiscal conservatives and they are branding their belief system as their own. Most of them know Gay people as friends and neighbors, family and social network contacts of people they can rely on, not an adversary to be ready to declare war on at moments notice! They see how easily their own friends and social network can be damaged. And they are speaking out! They are going against their elders and thinking for themselves.
And they are increasingly in numbers supporting Marriage Equality as well as equal rights for all, some even going as far as running for office themselves to correct what they see are the wrongs in our society that have for too long existed. They are ready to put a disclaimer at the end of every same sex wedding: “No Christians were harmed as a result of this union” which is of course true. Religious freedom is the biggest shell and con game of our modern times. These religious business owners who are dressmakers, bakers and wedding planners want you to believe that somehow assisting same sex couples in making a lifetime commitment to each other is a violation of their religious freedom. Now you have a clear picture of the religious shell and con game in a nutshell.
Now we have the dichotomy of the religious freedom argument itself.
How can one have their own religious freedom at the expense of another? How can one persons religious freedom be granted at the expense of someone else’s? The existence of multiple religious freedoms in our society is not a situation that can exist. No one in our modern society wishes that those wrapped in their so called ‘religious freedom’ argument should have their lives in danger over it. But it is clear that those who do wrap themselves up in their own ‘religious freedom’ are perfectly willing to condemn those in the LGBT community to a life without honor, dignity, freedom, love, commitment, equality and happiness and should do so to sacrifice their personal well being to another’s belief in their God.
In short, they who wrap themselves up in their ‘religious freedom’ are perfectly happy to condemn Gay people to a permanent loss of their own well being. This isn’t principled religious freedom! This is religious bigotry played by those on the religious right because they are frightened the world around them has not only changed, but it stopped revolving around them a long time ago. I believe that to achieve a greater sense of real Christian love, our people, our courts, our churches and our religious communities must now be willing to discard the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the past and quit trying to justify their own prejudices.
This is not going to happen with self victimization or self aggrandizement. This will take true courage and faith to accomplish on a personal and professional level. In other words, this will take real guts.