Gay Marriage: The New Apocalypse?

Forget the Rapture, the Mayan calendar, the sinister United Nations, and socialist/Muslim/antichrist President Obama. Fundamentalist Christians know what will trigger the end of America, Western Civilization, and possibly herald the start of the Great Tribulation. Gay marriage! That’s right folks, if same-gender marriage is recognized by the Federal government; if gays are extended the same rights and protections as straights, Very Bad Things will happen!

Who knew that the future of the planet dangled from the slim thread of a word definition? Who knew that marriage, which has existed in such a variety of cultural forms throughout history, could be neatly squeezed into the Traditional Marriage™ box and that Christians owned the rights to it?

Bewildered by, and fearful of the cultural change happening around them, pastors of evangelical churches, and pundits of the Religious Right are wailing and gnashing their teeth, while issuing dire pronouncements of what will happen if America begins treat gays and lesbians without prejudice. If things continue as they are trending, mistreatment of gays will start to transition into a shameful historical and cultural memory. It will join the ranks of the waning power of racism, the marginalization of women, slavery, and other artifacts of unenlightened thinking.

Fundamentalists know that if gays are treated as, *gasp* normal, no longer will preachers be able to get away with using them as whipping boys. Hateful sermons and beliefs about gays will be nakedly revealed as the despicable things that they are. ‘Ex-gay’ ministries will no longer be able to peddle their useless and toxic ‘help’. No longer will religion be able to inject shame and self-loathing into the minds of gay teenagers and their frightened parents.

The over-the-top venom and hysteria against gay marriage is merely the death-rattle of a rapidly-failing fundamentalism. As distasteful as it is, all this extremism will serve a good purpose. It will further marginalize the outlandish views of those who insist on clinging to hate, fear, and prejudice.

According to the Public Religion Research Center, 76% of white Evangelicals oppose same-sex marriage, as do 60% of black Protestants (2011). A Pew Research Center poll in 2012 puts the percentage at 73%. A USA/Gallup poll in 2012 finds the single-largest reason that people give for opposing gay marriage (47%) is that their religion and/or the Bible says it is wrong.

Evangelicals like to view themselves as very different from the Westboro Baptist freaks, but in reality, they are both just two sides to the same coin. They from the same poisoned well of the Bible, finding the inspiration for their distaste for homosexuals. Westboro just doesn’t bother to wear a mask. They put the ugliness out there on display.

In public, Evangelical Christians often like to disguise the real source for their ‘moral’ opposition towards gays. They will talk of the history of marriage, and the well-being of children. They will emphasize the need to propagate (as if somehow gays marrying will prevent heterosexuals from procreating). If you attempt to home in on the statistically-identified top reason why they oppose gay marriage, you may find them very reluctant to lay their cards on the table.

In a recent Facebook dialog, I asked a Christian gay-marriage opponent if she held the Bible as a significant source of moral authority in her thinking. I also asked if she agreed with the Bible that gays were an ‘abomination’. She refused to answer both questions, stating that she would not discuss the Bible. I'm quite positive that she views the Bible as the final arbiter of moral authority. Why then the reluctance to acknowledge this?

I believe that Evangelicals know that not everyone shares their view of the Bible as God’s magical Answer Book, so they must hunt around for non-biblical reasons to support their prejudicial view of homosexuality. They already have a verdict, now they must find evidence to justify it. They also know that when the Bible is brought into the discussion, they will lose, because it is so riddled with barbarism and primitive thinking. After all, why should a book which gives instructions as to how to properly own and beat slaves carry any credibility in a discussion on civil rights?

Absent the Bible, Christians will resort to anti-gay propaganda they have been spoon-fed by their leaders. Gays are miserable (hello, there are many miserable straights, and Bible-believing Christians have often been the cause of gays’ misery). Gay = pedophile (sigh, are we still hearing that lie?). Being gay is a decision (and you decided to be straight, when?). It’s not the same-sex attraction that is wrong, it’s the behavior (hello, your sexual orientation is connected to the gender(s) you are attracted to).

The biggest lie which Christians have been fed is that gays can change. Prayer, demonic deliverance, therapy and so on. The methodologies vary, but the claim is that if you are sincere, God will turn you into a red-blooded hetero. Either that or you will have to remain lonely and celibate for sake of Jesus.

Allow me to quote from men who have led the largest ‘ex-gay’ organizations in the United States:

“One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable… I also want to reiterate here that the transformation for the vast majority of homosexuals will not include a change of sexual orientation. Actually I’ve never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual.”
John Smid, former director of Love in Action

“The majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them have not experienced a change in their orientation or have gotten to a place where they could say that they could never be tempted or are not tempted in some way or experience some level of same-sex attraction.”
Alan Chambers, President, Exodus International

These quotes are from Christians, who have worked with gays for many years, trying to ‘cure’ them.

It’s high time that fundamentalist Christians stopped trying to peddle a cure which doesn’t work. It’s time they get over their discomfort with gays and lesbians, and get to know them as living, breathing human beings, rather than a scary ‘other’ which they must oppose. It’s time that they started being honest about the book that feeds their fear and hatred of gays. It’s time they denounced the despicable parts of their man-made Bible. Time to choose love and empathy. The biggest threat to 'traditional marriage' is evangelicals themselves. Their divorce rate is higher than the national average. Physician, heal thyself. Until Christians begin to live out what they claim to believe about marriage, they have no moral high ground to speak from.

Written by J. M. Green

See also: A Modest Proposal for Comprehensive Traditional Marriage™ Reform.