Monday, April 7, 2014

Aww, poor them!

Last Friday evening, at about 9:40 PM EDT, National Organization for Marriage sent out an email to their base titled “The Mask is Off.” On Sunday, NOM's former subsidiary, the Ruth Institute sent out a similar email titled “The Equality Battering Ram.” Both of these emails dealt with the resignation of the newly appointed head of Mozilla, Brendan Eich. Eich came under pressure when it was discovered that he had made a contribution to the ultimately doomed Yes on 8 campaign. These folks have manufactured yet another victim. Oh the poor persecuted white, heterosexual Christians.

That both organizations get some of their facts wrong is irrelevant; NOM, for example, claimed that Eich was forced out. He was not. That neither organization understands the open source culture is understandable and equally unimportant. What is important, however, is the fact that, from the earliest days of Proposition 8, Bryan Brown voiced the fear that should gay marriage become legal then those opposed to its recognition would be branded as bigots.

It is important in this discussion to note that what one thinks has never been an issue. People are perfectly free to believe whatever they like. However, if one plays an active rule in frustrating the equality of another group then that may very well be an issue. As numerous courts have now determined (and there seems no end in sight to the federal district court rulings) same-sex marriage is what we have been saying it is all along — an essential component of equal protection under law and due process. Rights afforded us by the United States Constitution. This has been at the core of our collective message from the very beginning and it is something from which we have never wavered.

The other side is determined to diminish our constitutional rights. Not for any real tangible purpose but rather because they need to do so in order to align public policy with religion. In NOM's case, that has always meant the teachings of the Catholic Church. Some of  those teachings are provided by a 2003 treatise written by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Eventually Ratzinger would become Pope Benedict which gave the highly offensive discourse even more gravitas. And it is as uninformed as it is offensive.

So here we have had NOM trying to impose a doctrinal statement for the Catholic Church that was written by an ambitious cellibate priest in Rome with no significant education in sociology or law and little respect for our secular form of government. To get around some of the more awkward aspects of what was nothing short of calling for theocracy, NOM and its allies concocted absurd, mostly theoretical, rationale written in flowery pseudo-intellectual prose trying to substantiate why same-sex marriage was bad for society. They even funded a study (Regnerus) having nothing to do with same-sex marriage per se, cooked the results into dishonest methodology and then claimed that its findings were what they originally paid Regnerus to produce, in spite of the fact that Regnerus had difficulty putting together a cohesive result.

So if you want to believe that same-sex marriage is bad then you are free not to enter into a same-sex marriage. However, if you are going to work to make same-sex marriage illegal or to forestall its eventual legality then you might suffer the possible label of either a religious crackpot or a bigot or both. That seems like a small price to pay compared to the ominous sounding "doctrine of the faith."
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