Combating Dystopia.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Persecutory Complexes At Their Finest.

Another great post from good old JoeMyGod,

See, here's the problem with their argument: They believe that anyone rejecting the idea that their right to discriminate based on religion is "discriminating" against their religion. Which is just plain false. The level of entilement required to push this argument forward is epic in its scope. Beyond the reality that a religious statistical majority cannot be at the same time a put upon persecuted minority, there are a few other logical snags with this sort of assertion.

The problem here is that the equation works out that a.) Christians may not be inherently homophobic but homophobia tends to be an inherent part of the interpretation of the Old Testament, b.) Because of this, Christians tend to be opposed to both the "evils" of homosexuality and any equality granted to what it considers "sin" based on this interpretation, c.) when the state and the constitution acts in ways that is counter to this wish, and society does not back in masse this "hate the sin/sinner" brief, they take it to be an affront not only to their position, but an attack on their ability to practice their religion. In other words, to discriminate is in this view a cornerstone of their religion, and not being allowed to do so based on either the idea that being disallowed the right to marry is unconstitutional or the idea that Western cultures are relaxing their views on issues regarding sexual orientation is seen as a cause of anxiety.

All cultural change regarding stigmatized minority groups tends to take this shape. As the minority group moves from internalizing the social expectations and condemnation of the dominant culture (the minstrel phase), they gain a sense of normalcy that comparatively serves to express to those in the dominant culture that the differences between the two groups are fewer than previously believed. All this comes at the cost of those in the dominant culture who seek to cling to the power that comes with being able to apply the label of deviant to the groups it wishes to minimize or control. Those in the religious set see their losing of the ability to stigmatize homosexuals and rigidly control the expectations of marriage as an extreme loss of power. Catholicism and its various offshoots and iterations have insinuated itself into numerous aspects of society, and as people become less religious and less dependent on that authority the traction of the church as an agent of social control wanes.

On a personal note, I had a row with a man at a bar over this issue the other day. He kept resubmitting the statement that he was "concerned" about the idea of same sex marriage as a Catholic who feared that "those people" would force his church to marry them despite their objections. Its an argument I hear from the more progressive of the Xtianists, so its one I'm willing to entertain. I told him that while his concern might have some far flung possibility to it, I don't know many rational people that would seek out social institutions for one of the most important days of their lives that have made it glaringly obvious they're not welcome there. By nature of the exclusion the Catholic church (and many others) make policy as it pertains to its would be homosexual membership, its basically ensured that many a gay person of faith has rejected Christianity out of the vilification and rejection it insists upon. And any self respecting person I can think of isn't going to give money or invest emotionally in an institution STILL actively interested in discriminating against them.Further, if you approach this from a civil rights model, it becomes even more difficult to justify the position. Even IF various religions will still have the right to discriminate based on same sex marriage, and people who want to marry honor that without a it even something that is comparable legally? Do churches get to dismiss the wishes of interracial or interfaith couples if it flies in the face of their belief system? Legally I could forsee this becoming a tad wonky, but again, I submit that when gay people are allowed to marry the lionshare will gladly do so in environments that have been welcoming and supportive to them- not ones that have been tooth and nail fighting their ability to do so.

Its telling that the tenor of the argument for anti-gay institutions and groups here has become such that a lot of the forthrightness and moral certainty of late seems to be waining. What I find interesting about how religion intersects with the argument, those actively going about the work of dis-empowering and enshrining institutional discrimination are those framing the argument in a way where they are in fact the victims.

And now for something outstanding from Ra Ra Riot (again...they've been getting a ton of play on my ipod)

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