How Many Disclaimers Will You Make Today?
You can tell how progressive a society has become by how many disclaimers you are asked to make. There was a time when any comment about another race had to be followed by the obligatory, "Listen, I'm not a racist, and some of my best friends are from that race." Thankfully we've moved on from that - it shows real progress when you don't have to clarify so much. The level of acceptance of gays in society is still at that point, though. It's the famous Seinfeld line: "Not that there's anything wrong with that." People feel the need to issue a disclaimer about what they think about gays, because so many Americans are still shunning them as sinners, rather than a biological fact of life found in other species.
I predict that there will be a time when this will all seem quaint and backward - just as other eras have their embarrassing prejudices. I bet there was a time after women got the right to vote, when people felt compelled to say, "Not that there's anything wrong with women voting." In this case, our religious brethren have waded through a mountain of Biblical text, and ignored much of it, only to settle on a couple of sentences about gays as absolute truths. Why? because they want to - it's their free will to disobey any part of the Bible they choose, but latch onto this, and yet still lord it over us about how Christian they are.
If this country is so Christian then how come we have so many billionaires? Isn't there a hell of a lot more about helping the poor and the dangers of being rich, than about how to think about gays?
No matter. It used to annoy me listening to them try and make the Bible sound true - even as they ignore so much of it. Now I just find it fascinating and entertaining.
The timeline in the Bible - the 6,000 year old earth part - is my favorite. Hearing these people try and explain how light traveled so far from distant galaxies in 6,000 years, is joy to my ears. It is complete spin, and I love it. Hearing OJ's lawyers talk about a timeline problem was also wonderfully entertaining. Ahh, the things people say to try and cram reality into an explanation they choose to believe. Truly some admirable stuff. Karl Rove should have been a preacher.
Yesterday, I had a post involving gays and I felt the need to issue a disclaimer. I didn't, but I felt society leaning on me to do it. That's where we're at with this. Maybe I should put my beliefs this way: I believe gay marriage is a legal no-brainer. Let's say Citizen X is a very attractive person. Let's say that civil marriage is a government thing. Religions are free to have their own requirements as long as they don't violate the law and the law is constitutional. Age limits are allowed and are present in the Constitution in other matters, but saying to one gender that they can't marry Citizen X but another gender can, is in a strict legal sense, a no-brainer case of discrimination. Where's the Equal Protection?
Society is against it though, and that is out of step with the Constitution. That's why there's a movement to ban gay marriage by an amendment - if the Constitution were followed, we'd have gay marriage right now. In a strict legal sense, it's a no-brainer.
I believe there will be a time when gay marriage is a reality and society won't collapse. That part of the Bible will seem quaint and from another time, just like stoning to death an adulterer and all that other primitive stuff nobody follows anymore. I'm sure they used to. If you caught your daughter having sex or whatever the requirments, you would have to stone her to death. Then they got over it. There was probably even a time when progressive townsfolk said, "Isiah caught his daughter having sex and he didn't stone her to death - not that there's anything wrong with that."
I'm sure there were preachers back then who threatened that society would collapse if we stop stoning our daughters to death when they sinned. All these years later, we have some problems, but ironically, it's these primitive, ancient religions that pose the biggest threat to finish us off. I even hear the phrase "Global Holy War" to decide once and for all whose spin is best, but instead of throwing stones, we could be launching nuclear warheads. Tough to blame that on some lonely daughter somewhere getting some.
Now we're in the stage when gay people are becoming accepted. Oh, they're a long way from where they will be, but at least we're at the disclaimer stage. We're closer to the day when gay cowboys won't be the basis of a movie plot. They'll just be gay cowboys.
Who knows what the disclaimer issues will be in the future? Maybe people who embrace these ancient religions will require a disclaimer. Those who believe the earth is 6,000 years old, will eventually be such a minority that they'll be ridiculed and discriminated against. If you say a person believes the earth is 6,000 years old, you'll have to say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."