Monday, June 15, 2015

Conservatives Make up Stuff, Lie about it being in the Bible

On June 3, 2015 the Charlotte Observer reported on this law suit where the state attempted to deny freedom of the exercise of religion by Christians and Jews:
The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Alliance of Baptists have made it official that they are joining as plaintiffs in a Federal District Court lawsuit opposing North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban.
The United Church of Christ filed the lawsuit in April, challenging North Carolina’s state ban on same sex marriage. The suit is said to be the nation’s first faith-based challenge to same-sex marriage bans.
As it stands, North Carolina law makes it illegal for rabbis, priests, ministers and other religious officials to solemnize the marriage of same-sex couples on an equal basis with opposite sex couples without fear of criminal prosecution and civil penalty.

Read more here:
North Carolina and other states, and many conservatives across the nation (including those who want to be president after the 2016 election), support denying this exercise of the freedom of religion involved in this suit.  And now North Carolina is attempting to bring back a ban of sorts on interracial marriage as well.

June 12, 2015 marked the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia.  When the Lovings were refused marriage licenses in Virginia, the justification for doing so -- not once, but twice, was that it was prohibited in the Bible.  The Lovings were lectured by the bureaucrats in Virginia, actual BIBLES IN HAND, on how they believed God intended the races to be separate.

Chief Justice Warren wrote (my bold emphasis added):
“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.”

There were more other states in the US that DID allow interracial marriage, and there were other branches of Christianity that allowed it also, then, just as religious groups and  other states permit same sex marriage, now. 

That did not matter to the conservative racist bigots of the Virginia state bureaucracy.  They instead chose to impose THEIR religious beliefs on all other citizens.

This is part of the wording of the unanimous decision, authored by Chief Justice Earl Warren:
“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.”

Recently we have ol' racist bigot and notorious homophobe Pat Robertson claiming that we shouldn't interfere with the racist policies of institutions like Bob Jones University when they try to ban inter-racial dating, as an exercise of freedom (or, in this case free-dumb) of religion.

And recently we have the state of North Carolina passing legislation that permits their bureaucrats to refuse to issue marriage licenses or to refuse to perform marriages as exercising freedom of religion.  Like Bob Jones University, that encompasses both freedom of the bureaucrats to refuse interracial marriage, which was found to be illegal and unconstitutional in the SCOTUS decision, Loving v. Virginia or same sex marriage.  But North Carolina doesn't give a tinker's damn about legality or the Constitution or freedom for 'other' people.

Not of course, YOUR freedom of religion -- no, the only thing they want to exercise is THEIR limited and narrow freedom of religion.  They have NO problem whatsoever curtailing YOUR freedom or MY freedom of religion. 

The proffered reasoning of candidates like Ben Carson represent what is faulty and unethical about the conservative position - so far held by every declared or thinking-about-declaring conservative candidate for president, and by most conservative candidates for other office, and by every conservative policy platform.  The right wants to define and coerce how everyone else lives, based on their narrow religious beliefs.  Like the beliefs of many conservatives about race, which is not a real 'thing', but rather a factually false artificial construct, sexuality is not as conservatives believe EITHER.

Facts matter in setting public policy and our laws.  Factually erroneous beliefs should not matter, in that specific context.

Conservatives do not care one whit if they insult, degrade, or defame anyone who disagrees with them in the process, or how dishonest they are in doing so.  But no one else gets to disagree with them, because to do so is to bully good conservatives and make them victims and to attack religion --- up to and including false claims that those seeking civil equality will criminalize Christianity (or maybe Judaism).

We have presidential candidate wannabe Ben Carson wailing and moaning about how anyone who supports gay marriage equality is curtailing HIS freedom of religion.
“Well, a lot of people say ‘Ben Carson’s a homophobe because he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.’ That’s ridiculous.”
“Yes, I do believe that it’s between a man and a woman, but I don’t believe that anybody gets to change the definition of something that is a societal pillar.”
This is the same argument used to prohibit the marriage of Richard and Mildred Loving.  Richard and Mildred Loving were sentenced to prison for daring to oppose this narrow racist religious view of their freedom of choice that conservatives attempted to impose on them.

You see, Ben Carson wants people to be civil and to follow a double standard, one standard for HIM, and another standard for those terrible 'others'. 

We have had Ben Carson claiming that homosexual orientation is the result of a choice.  It is clearly not, and while he is free to believe the moon is made of green cheese if he so desires, or any other factually inaccurate thing, his believing it does not make it so, and is not a basis for other people's civil rights to control and order their lives, especially their family decisions.

In the past, notably at a NOM meeting, Carson called the efforts for equality for LGBT people an attempt to destroy America and to impose a "New World Order".  In the past he has equated any sexual orientation or gender identity that differs from heterosexual normative to bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia.  We have Carson claiming:
“When we talk about liberty and justice for all, doesn’t that mean that people can be left alone, that no-one else gets to change definitions on them and change life for them?” he asked. “They have no right to say to me that I must change the way I think in order to accommodate what they believe,” he said. “That’s where the injustice comes from, and we have to understand that.”
No one is saying Ben Carson must change the way he thinks.  He - like the racist people of Virginia back in the days of miscegenation laws - can BELIEVE anything he likes.  What he, and other conservatives, may NOT do is force others to conform to those beliefs, and he and other conservatives may not unreasonably restrict the freedom of individuals to marry whom they choose on that religious basis. 

Monogamy is not in fact the definition of marriage in the Bible, and the Bible is not the law of the land. 

Monogamy is not in fact the pillar of society, either, as it has not been the norm for humans across the course of history around the globe.  For that matter, neither is the so-called nuclear family.  Rather polygamy, concubinage and sex slavery, and tribal or clan organizations of extended family raising children has in fact been far more frequent and common.

Carson and the other conservatives are wrong.  We can and do change the definition of marriage so as to recognize the rights and freedom of individuals, and conservatives are NOT supporting freedom of religion or civil equality.  Conservatives are doing the OPPOSITE of what they claim they want.  Freedom of religion is the freedom for same sex marriage, just as it is for interracial marriage.

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