And Now, a Rant


Gay marriage has been all over the Internet today after yesterday’s North Carolina vote to pass Amendment One, which defines marriage as being solely between a man and a woman (again; North Carolina already had such a law). People have been going back and forth all over Facebook debating whether it is right, wrong, legal, illegal, etc, etc, etc, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of people thinking that their lives are somehow better or more valid if someone else doesn’t have the same rights. I’mreally tired of people hiding behind so-called “legal arguments” like “Oh, the state’s laws say that gay marriage is illegal so this amendment is totally constitutional.”

GUESS WHAT ELSE USED TO BE ILLEGAL. Come on, you know this. Women couldn’t vote. Children could work in dangerous mines and factories. Black people were property, and even after they weren’t property anymore, they still couldn’t vote. People of different races couldn’t get married. There was even a time when a WHITE MAN, the pinnacle of the privileged class, couldn’t vote unless he owned land. The list goes on and on. All those things were written laws, on the books, totally legal.

They changed because we are an enlightened fucking society ungoverned by superstition or prejudice, where everyone has equal opportunity to pursue life, liberty and happiness. At least, we should be. They changed because we realized that people are people no matter what they look like, and because this country was founded on a philosophy of equality. Unless equal rights are extended to everyone, we are not living up to the America that we think exists. The real America, as long as discrimination is legal, is a country not of equality but of selfishness and cowardice.

Now, here’s the thing with gay marriage. I’ve yet to see someone opposed to gay marriage whose reasons weren’t based on their religious beliefs. Not everyone uses religious language when talking about gay marriage, but you can see the undertone of Christianity in arguments about how homosexuality is “unnatural” (it’s not), how it undermines traditional marriage (heterosexuals do that well enough on their own), and how it demolishes traditional family values. That definition of marriage and that set of values almost always comes from the Christian tradition–and not even universal Christian tradition. The most vocal opposition to gay marriage comes from the fringe fundamentalists who use religion as evidence for everything they say.

Which brings me to the main source of my frustration. HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO BE REMINDED THAT THE UNITED STATES IS A SECULAR COUNTRY? Secular means “attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.” Being a secular country means that, like the 1st Amendment says, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. That means that the government cannot mandate religious belief, which means that the government cannot pass a law based on religious belief, especially without additional, non-religious justification.

I and people like me bring this up over and over again. I don’t care that you’re a Christian. In fact, I think that’s great for you, as long as it makes you happy. It doesn’t affect me–at least, not until you start trying to legislate MY life based on YOUR beliefs. Being a U.S. citizen means that I can practice whatever religion I want! I don’t have to practice yours! These laws, based on religion, are unconstitutional no matter what you say. You may be able to leave religious language out when you write the bill, and you may think you can get away with it because of that; but when I ask you why you’re opposed to gay marriage, you sure as hell ought to have a better goddamn reason than “because the Bible says it’s a sin.” I don’t give two shits what the Bible says about it. I wouldn’t even if I identified as Christian. Because guess what? Not everyone in this country is Christian, and they have a right not to be because the 1st Amendment guarantees them the free exercise of whatever religion they choose. Maybe I’m being redundant here because some people just don’t seem to be getting it. Legally, religion cannot inform policy. Personal sense of morality? Yeah, maybe. But not religious tenets.

Now, if the politicians saying these things and drafting these bills would just come out and admit that they want the U.S. to be a theocracy rather than a democratic republic, THEN maybe we could finally have an open and honest discussion about their control issues. Besides, theocracies are working SO well in the Middle East.

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25 thoughts on “And Now, a Rant

    1. Thanks dear 🙂 Sometimes it just gets to be too much and I can’t be calm about it anymore!

      1. and wow, you got some serious comments in reply! well thought out replies, smart, sassy, and wise in many areas. nice going to create a dialogue on your blog. meow!

  1. “Legally, religion cannot inform policy.”

    That is actually false. Government cannot inform religion. Government cannot demand their people to partake in a certain religion. However, religious people have every right to inform laws and legislation. However, there is a simple reason why the government should care about heterosexual marriage. Heterosexual marriage bestows benefits upon society that same-sex marriage cannot. Heterosexual couples can procreate. That means new citizens which means more people to work and participate in society. Also, the family unit is essential to society and responsible procreation between a man and a woman provide a stable home environment for children to grow up in. Homosexual couples cannot perform these same benefits. They cannot procreate thus they do not bestow the same benefits upon society that heterosexual couples can.

    Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

    1. Thank you for your comment, Travis. I appreciate your effort to make an argument outside of a religious discourse. However, children are not the end-all-be-all of society anymore, so to say that heterosexual couples should get the privilege of marriage while homosexual couples should not on the basis of procreation is not really solid.

      It gets especially shaky when you consider that because homosexual couples can’t have their own children, they’re more likely to adopt the thousands upon thousands of kids currently floundering in our country’s foster system. Isn’t it beneficial to society that these children are taken out of what is often a destructive and overcrowded system to become part of a new family unit with two parents, which you prize so highly, regardless of their gender? It seems to me that a good and stable society would provide for these children as best they can, including by allowing them to be taken in by a loving, possibly homosexual couple.

    2. Also, you seem to have missed the part where the 1st Amendment says that Congress shall make no laws about religion, which includes laws mandating certain religious ideas like the so-called sanctity of heterosexual marriage.

      1. Caitlin,

        You said: “children are not the end-all-be-all of society anymore”

        Me: I never said it was.

        You: “so to say that heterosexual couples should get the privilege of marriage while homosexual couples should not on the basis of procreation is not really solid.”

        Me: Procreation bestows benefits on society by increasing the amount of citizens. That is a benefit and an important one.

        You: “Isn’t it beneficial to society that these children are taken out of what is often a destructive and overcrowded system to become part of a new family unit with two parents, which you prize so highly, regardless of their gender?”

        Me: No, it would not be beneficial to take kids and place them in homes where there is not a father and a mother. What is “shaky” is two men trying to explain the menstrual cycle to their adopted girl going into puberty. Also, the young girl does not get to see how a man is to take care of the woman. The young girl also does not get to see what it means to be a loving wife. That is a serious problem that many do not take into account when discussing same-sex adoption.

        You: “Also, you seem to have missed the part where the 1st Amendment says that Congress shall make no laws about religion, which includes laws mandating certain religious ideas like the so-called sanctity of heterosexual marriage.”

        Me: The beginning of the 1st Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It says nothing about religion not affecting government. It only says that the government cannot “respect” (give special recognition to) a certain religion and, the government cannot deny the right for others to practice their established religions.

        Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

        1. 1. The U.S. population is some three hundred million people. I don’t think we’re in dire want of new citizens; and if we were, we could always open our borders to the immigrants!

          2. Parenting is not qualified by gender. A couple that is heterosexual is not inherently a better set of parents because they are heterosexual. It may be awkward for two dads to explain menstruation to a daughter, but luckily there are resources that they can direct her to, such as a school’s sex-ed program; assuming of course that social conservatives in government don’t get rid of all those. Healthy relationships, too, are not a question of gender. A man may be kind to his girlfriend, or he may beat her and abuse her. A wife may be loving to her husband, or she may be cruel and hurtful to him. A heterosexual relationship is not inherently more loving. Unfortunately yours is a homophobic belief and I can’t convince you otherwise, because your opinion defies logic.

          3. Writing legislation based on Christian beliefs IS giving special recognition to a certain religion! You’ve lampooned your own argument.

          1. Caitlin,

            #1. Adding citizens is still a benefit.

            #2. You said: “A couple that is heterosexual is not inherently a better set of parents because they are heterosexual.”

            Me: Never said anything like that.

            You: “It may be awkward for two dads to explain menstruation to a daughter, but luckily there are resources that they can direct her to, such as a school’s sex-ed program; assuming of course that social conservatives in government don’t get rid of all those”

            Me: Okay, so teachers are supposed to explain the complex changes and feelings that a girl might feel when she goes through puberty. Where will the girl turn when the class is over?

            You: “Healthy relationships, too, are not a question of gender. A man may be kind to his girlfriend, or he may beat her and abuse her. A wife may be loving to her husband, or she may be cruel and hurtful to him.”

            Me: Yep, there are a lot of messed up couples in the world. Sin creates chaos. However, to willingly place a child into a home with no mother or no father with no chance to ever have both is abuse. We turn not take bad situations and make them worse.

            You: “Unfortunately yours is a homophobic belief and I can’t convince you otherwise, because your opinion defies logic.”

            Me: Now we see your true colors. When someone disagrees with you they are a “homophobe”. This is a common mantra but it really has become meaningless. I am not scared of homosexuals nor do I hate homosexuals. This is really the last phrase same-sex advocates use when they run out of logical argumentation and, personally, I would think that type of language would be below you.

            #3. So, where do morals come from? Where do our laws come from? What standard do we have to judge legislation?

            Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

            1. 1. Not when the country’s economy can’t support its population.

              2. It’s implied in your assumption that a male and female parent are better for a child than two parents of the same gender.

              3. Yes, teachers are equipped to do that, and so are guidance counselors, which are often available in public schools. And when the class is over, the girl will hopefully be able to turn to her friends, her parents (male or female), and as Kayla pointed out, to her extended family. Even gay men have mothers and sisters.

              4. You say that a home without a mother AND father is abusive to a child, and yet claim not to say that heterosexual couples are better parents than homosexual couples? Which side are you on, exactly?

              5. I apologize. You’re not homophobic, However, you ARE making statements that are extremely discriminatory towards and judgmental of the homosexual community. If your personal belief is that homosexuality is a sin, that is fine. That’s your belief and it comes down to you. BUT my whole point is that any one person’s belief, ESPECIALLY if it is discriminatory, should not be the law of the land. America is supposed to be a place of equality for all, and that means setting aside our own prejudices to make sure that everyone has equal rights. Those equal rights include marriage and everything attendant to it.

              6. Morality does not come exclusively from religion. As I said before, if your sense of morality comes from religion, that’s find and well. However, NOT EVERYONE’S DOES. Mine doesn’t, and I’m sure we could agree on most moral topics. My morality just includes a wish for everyone to have equal rights, whereas yours doesn’t seem to; and an exclusionary morality has no place in a country touted for freedom and equality.

    3. I don’t understand what the emphasis is on pro-creation or the “family unit.” I have no intention of disrespecting or attacking your religious beliefs. By your argument, a heterosexual couple that is infertile shouldn’t be allowed to get married, and any pair that has children and gets divorced should have their children taken away and placed in another home with a male and female parental unit, because any other sort of home life is considered “unstable.”

      I also feel you have neglected to address the issue on parent passing away, which, unfortunately happens. If a mother dies, should the father have his daughter taken away from him because it will be awkward for him to explain the menstrual cycle (that she’s going to learn about in school anyway). It also seems in your comment thread that you fail to take into consideration the extended family that will offer additional support to ANY family structure.

      Why do we spend years and years telling children in school that it’s okay if their families are different, but devalue them in private?

      Maybe I’m starting to get a little argumentative, but it’s also pretty “unstable” to live in a home where gender roles are forced upon a child to the extent that they feel bad about wearing the color pink or not acting “man” enough. You’re using one definition of unstable, when I know plenty of heterosexual couples with children who are just as unstable.

      1. I worked at a Navajo boarding school for two school years. That does not make me an expert on American Indian culuture, but what I noticed was that the extended family in the Navajo tradition took care of children. Threatening the family structure was not the lack of a mother and father in the home instead it was other outside social pressures. Further, what I learned about the culture was that human sexuality is one of the “Goods” of life. I don’t recall if that meant one form of sexual behavior was better than another. The rites of marriage and the customs around human unions is a cultural more and has little to do with religion. In the Bible Jesus speaks more about divorce and the abuse of women than any other social subject. The Commandments do not address marriage, other than men are not covet another man’s wife (his property) along with his animals and other things of value. The argument that same-gender marriage threatens traditional marriage seems facetious on its face. North Carolinians, for example, demanding that “traditional” marriage be sanctified by a constitutional amendment is laughable when we remember the people of the western part of the state use to marry off their daughters as young as 12.

  2. The U.S. likes to say that the nation is modeled after the ancient, classical civilization of Greek and Roman. But the Greeks openly and accepted their homosexuality. Procreation is not the end-all be-all of life and many children are raised in same-sex homes with success and are rather proud of their parents. We like to say we have progress as a country but really we are moving backwards.

    The above commenter seems to believe that men cannot explain or relate to their female children, that is a fact stated without knowledge or merit. And is one the reasons why you cannot have a argument with someone of Christian belief, who is not open to knowledge of other forms of love.

    Otherwise, great rant.

    1. Elizabeth,

      You said: “But the Greeks openly and accepted their homosexuality.”

      Me: They also accepted pederasty…should we follow suit? If not why not?

      You: “We like to say we have progress as a country but really we are moving backwards.”

      Me: Can you define progress please?

      You: “The above commenter seems to believe that men cannot explain or relate to their female children”

      Me: Yep, I am a man and, I have never been through a menstrual cycle. So, explaining it may be possible but not very informative because I cannot sympathize with the pain a girl may feel. I cannot tell her that I have been through it before. I cannot relate.

      You: “And is one the reasons why you cannot have a argument with someone of Christian belief, who is not open to knowledge of other forms of love.”

      Me: Oh, so you can’t argue with someone who disagrees with you? There wouldn’t be a need for argumentation if everyone agreed. I also think it is funny that you claim to be “open” but would you even consider that Jesus was who he said he was?

      Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

      1. You make too many assumptions about people you do not know. Progress as stated by Caitlin is giving women the right to vote, accepting interracial marriage, understanding different religious and cultural beliefs. That is progress from when this nation was founded. You can have an conversation with someone who does not have the beliefs that you have, but you cannot have a conversation with someone who nitpicks every point in someone’s argument.

        Also you cannot empathize but can you sympathize? That is what you do, you try to understand from different points of view. But again, you cannot argue with someone whose religious faith dictates their reasoning of how people should live and how governments should govern.

        1. Elizabeth,

          I am not sure you read my response correctly.

          Also, if my “religious faith dictates my reasoning” shouldn’t you be open minded to my view point? You stated in your response that progress is “understanding different religious and cultural beliefs” so why don’t you try to understand my beliefs then you can see where I am coming from? It seems to me that people who disagree with you are “closed minded” but when you disagree with others you aren’t. That is a double standard and typical from liberals.

          Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

          1. I didn’t say I wasn’t open-minded, you didn’t read my response. I am simply pointing out the fact that when you argue with someone whose religion dictates their life, it is a lost cause. The argument can be healthy, yes. But that person is not open to others argument based on their religious stand point. Again, you make assumptions about someone you do not know.

            1. Elizabeth,

              I never said that you claimed to be closed-minded. But when you say that “you can’t argue with someone whose religion dictates their life,” you are making the implication that you are closed-minded to speaking with those people. Maybe they have a rational reason for their religious views. Maybe you shouldn’t make assumptions about people you don’t know.

              Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

              1. Wow, again you didn’t read what I said. I said you cannot have argue, not you cannot have a conversation. Travis I believe that you need to stop trying to make assumptions about what I said. My response was worded very carefully. ARE we not having a conversation? Two people who believe different things? Is that not what is going on? Because if I was “close-minded”, then I would not have responded to you. And that is the point. You are trying to point out flaws in my argument by “making the implication that you are closed-minded to speaking with those people”, but yet I am talking to you. NEVER did I say that religious people are unrational.

                If there was any way that you were offended by my “assumptions’, then I will be the bigger man and apologize. I am sorry Travis, is you were offended by my “assumptions” about you. Believing in equal rights for everyone is something we differ in. But it was only because I took the time to be open to same-sex relationships and everything they encompass. Maybe you should do that same, not based on your religious beliefs but from what you experience.

          2. Travis, you’ll note that the only reason we’re in opposition here is because I support gay marriage and you don’t. I believe in equal rights, and you apparently do not. I understand your view point–I’ve been there, in fact–but understanding is not the same as agreeing.

            1. Caitlin,

              When you say, “I believe in equal rights, and you apparently do not,” you are either being disingenuous or naive. Do you support an adult man marrying his adult daughter? If not why not? If you say no, then you must realize that you do not believe in “equal rights” for everyone. The fact is, a man + a man or a woman + a woman does not equal a man + a woman. No matter which way you slice it, changing the definition of marriage doesn’t make it equal.

              One more question…Would you be for or against polygamy? Why or why not?

              Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

              1. Incest, unlike homosexuality, is taboo because it has a high likelihood of producing genetic disorders in the children that society values so much. It’s also taboo because rarely does it begin as two consenting adults; it often starts as child abuse. Therefore, a society would do well to continue to forbid incest. As for me personally, if they’re not bothering anyone, if the relationship began with two consenting adults, and it’s not a case of Stockholm Syndrome or other abuse, I couldn’t care less what they do.

                Changing the definition of marriage absolutely makes it equal. The current legal definition in most states is marriage as one man and one woman. If we amend that definition to include one man and one man and one woman and one woman, then under the law those marriages are all equal. Duh. Remember, interracial marriage used to be illegal and it is legal now. There is precedent for changing the definition of marriage.

                As for polygamy, I personally don’t believe in it because frankly, having a meaningful and loving relationship with one person is hard enough. It seems like a good situation in which to breed jealousy and competition between wives or husbands as well, which isn’t good for anyone. But polygamy is part of some people’s religious beliefs, and if they’re not hurting anyone but themselves it’s none of my business–just like someone’s possibly gay marriage is none of yours.

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