Thursday, February 19, 2004

Getting into it with Christians

From my office today, I noticed that the line had formed again at City Hall in San Francisco. The line? Gays and lesbians from around the country had gathered at City Hall in an attempt to get married. During my lunch hour I walked down the line talking to the people waiting. Most were from California, although not necessarily San Francisco. There were, however, couples from half a dozen different states. I asked them if they had tried getting married back home. None had. I congratulated them and wished them luck. I also told them to take the revolution home with them. "Go home and get married. Go to your county clerks and demand licenses. Go to your priests and ministers and rabbis and demand they marry you. Make them either do it or look you in the eye and say no. Make it personal. Put a human face on their prejudice." I thought I was pretty fucking eloquent, but that's just me tootin' my own horn.

Later in the afternoon, the Christians arrived with their professionally printed signs (not that there's anything wrong with that) warning all that hell fire and damnation was waiting the soddomites flaunting their sin in God's face. No, really, they did talk like that. Now, I'm a Christian. I come from a very hornery protestant tradition of Christianity. My people have never been shy of looking someone in the eye and saying to them, "That's not what the scripture says to me."

I had a few issues with these "Christians." First, was the guy holding the sign wouldn't kiss me. Brother, says I, give me the kiss of peace, as Christ has commanded us. "Stay away from me," he hisses as he backs up. "Brother," says I, "I'm a Christian, too. In my church, it is customary for us to give each other the kiss of peace when we greet each other." "Stay away from me," he warns.

"By what authority do you judge me?" I ask. He proceeded to preach that I would be condemned to hell unless I repented. I noticed that he had 3 scripture references on his sign. We all know them. First, there's always Leviticus where it says men that know men should be killed and the blood is on their own hands. Then there's the two verses where Saul of Taursus, who was later called Paul, condemns what the fundies say is homosexuality. I read those verses tonight. I'm not that sure that's what they say at all.

Anyway, these people came down to harrass the couples lined up to get married. That pissed me off. So I decided to have some fun with these cretins. I was raised by a Pentecostal grandmother. I can quote scripture with the best of them. Although I was baptised a Roman Catholic as a child, I was mostly raised by my Redbone grandmother, and let me tell you right now, she was a Christian. I'm pretty sure she had Jesus' personal phone number. I learned to read by reading the Bible.

So, I asks the young homophobe, "Doesn't Jesus say anything about homosexuality?" They always switch away from Jesus to God when you go there. God spoke through Paul, the young idiot tells me. "Or so Paul says," I reply. Well, here's the story for those of you who didn't get it before. Because the Bible exists, that proves it is uncontrovertible. It is the word of God, because if it weren't, it wouldn't have survived the centuries. You can't make this shit up.

Just to keep my young homophobe Christian in check, I went back to "Why won't you kiss me?" He accused me of having ulterior motives of lust, like he should be so lucky as to be in my league. Puh-leez!"

I was on a coffee break, so I couldn't stay much longer, so I started this approach. "Do you know the only sin Jesus personally condemns in his ministry?" I ask. He starts by telling me all the things Jesus told us to do, so I interrupt him and say, "but what was the sin he personally condemned, and said that if it wasn't repented, it was an ongoing sin?" When he didn't answer immediately, I told him. Jesus said, "What God has joined together, let no man put assunder." He said that a man could not divorce his wife. It causes them both to be adulturers. Living in adultery is an ongoing act of sin against God. Continuing in my un-Christian like way, I asked them, are any of your parents divorced? Yes, of course, they are. "You heterosexuals have trashed marriage!" I screamed at him. "You have sinned against God, and continue it more so everyday. Your mothers are all whores! You're all the sons of whores!" I was being mean. I also hoped that one of the boys would make the foolish mistake of getting physical with me. First, I'd love to scrapple with those boys. I might even cop a cheap feel or two. That'd freak 'em. [I said I was a Christian. I didn't say I was a good one.] Second, I'd love to have them all arrested for assault. That would be a sweet headline. "Christians attack Gays at City Hall." Thirdly, I had about five of the butchest lesbians in the crowd covering my back. We would have had some fun.

Instead? After I called them "sons of whores," I looked at them and laughed, "You're a bunch of fucking idiots." Finally, the young man who had been entertaining me the most, said "Jesus says you shouldn't have a potty mouth." "I'm not sure where that is in the Bible," I answered. "Probably right next to where he says to love thy fellow man."

This was all fun and games, but it misses the bigger point. The argument over Gay Marriage is an issue of civil rights, not religious differences. I don't care what your religion says about homosexuality. That's your religion and none of my business. There is a 220 year tradition in this country of dividing civil and religious. If your religion says that homosexuality is wrong, then don't practice it. If I do it's my business, and the Supreme Court has backed me up on this, even with it's Republican majority.

As far as marriage goes, there is no "sacred" tradition of marriage in this or any other country. Marriage has always been defined by each generation. Used to, a man could have several wives. He could have children by his concubine. A man used to simply buy a wife. These are some of marriage's "sacred" traditions. If my generation wants to give every individual the right to determine the nature of his relationship with another person, i.e., the right to marry, then so be it. It doesn't have to be taken from you in order for me to have it. God may or may not be on your side. The Constitution, however, is on my side. See you in court.

[Update: I apologize to my friends and readers who are Christian. You're absolutely right: it's not fair to label all Christians just because a bunch of narrow-minded fundies manage to tarnish the word and the idea. I will henceforth call them either fundies (short for fundamentalists) or Taliban (because of their desire to impose a theocracy on us, by the sword, if necessary.]