Seems like we have a wealth of less than true comments here in the news from conservative Christians.
Here in the US, the Supreme Court has essentially abdicated its responsibility and has left a series of lower court decisions to stand when it comes to the legality of same sex marriage. They have let the Equal Protection Clause argument stand. From my perspective, it seems that the usual conservative justices are too afraid of speaking their opinions on the subject (mostly Roman Catholic) and want the whole issue to just go away so they aren’t exposed for the theocratic twits that they are.
Of course, this means that the usual conservative pundits are having a conniption that their ignorance and bigotry hasn’t a chance of becoming the law of the land. One pundit has a great column in my local Sunday paper; it shows just how nasty this type of person is. The pundit is Cal Thomas, the former VP of the infamous Moral Majority, which was neither moral or a majority, a sad collection of Christians who hated other Christians, other theists and everyone else. It, and its founder Jerry Falwell (see here for some good quotes from ol’ Jerry) did its best to make the US a theocracy. It died a deserved death when people realized its predictions of dire events were nonsense and money driven by fear dried up.
Cal does want some attention, so I am inclined to give it to him, if only to show that such people still exist. They occasionally crawl back into the light and it is worth seeing what misery they might be fomenting in the darkness.
In Cal’s column, titled What Next? (my local paper doesn’t have a link to it, so we’ll use the Albany Herald’s), he says that there are three points that need to be made about the SCOTUS action to allow the Equal Protection Clause (EPC) argument to stand without challenge. The EPC states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This was originally just applied to states but it was expanded to the federal government in the 1950s with the Bolling vs Sharpe decision.
Point number one is a baseless claim which may or may not be partially true. Cal is sure that the conservative justices are all about states’ rights and simply must have wanted the states to decide for themselves on matters of equal protection under the law. He is sure that the liberal justices must have wanted to accept these cases where states banned same sex marriage and that the lower courts over turned those laws. This doesn’t make much sense because if the SCOTUS let the lower courts ruling stand, as it did, the liberal justices would have to do nothing and still agree with the result and still have the overturning of DOMA on their side. If the conservative justices thought their arguments had merit, they would have wanted to establish that states rights trumped federal. They intentionally chose not to. Why would they allow lower court decisions that they did not agree with stand? It seems that they were not confident in their arguments at all and again, did not want to be forced to declare what they really believed, that some people have more rights than others according to religion.
Cal tries to make the argument that maybe (!) they conservative justices didn’t want to have another Roe vs Wade, because they didn’t want to create a controversy that would exist for a long time. Umm, Cal? Roe vs Wade didn’t create a controversy; it came about because of a controversy, if women could exercise their rights without interference from the government. Same sex marriage has been a controversy for years; having one more ruling on it would make no difference to that controversy. You and yours would still be claiming that the sky will fall if you don’t get your religious beliefs made law.
Point number two is Cal trying to claim that it’s fine for the court to ignore its responsibilities because it stops “judicial activism”. If there is no ruling, then the judges weren’t activist and no one can complain about conservative justices being the same activists as they say liberal justices are. What an attempt to claim that well it’s no our fault if something bad happens and oooooh, it will, honest, really, just like every other prediction of disaster if we go against some religion. I live about 20 miles from Dover, PA, where another Christian conservative predicted dire consequences for saying that his religion was wrong and still nothing.
And that is a great segue into point number three. Yep, you guessed it, the end of everything good and decent is coming because people get equal rights and it’s NOT BIBLICAL. The reason that conservative Christians like Cal are such failures, is not because their beliefs are based on hypocritical acceptance of xenophobic nonsense from a small group of agrarians; it’s because everyone else dares to not agree with their beliefs and their interpretation of their holy book. Cal tries to claim that the arguments against same-sex marriage are moral and biblical. Well, they may be considered moral, coming from a moral code from a couple of thousand years ago that also approved of owning slaves, owning women, killing people for working on certain days, forcing a woman to marry her rapist, killing people for not agreeing with your religion, etc. The claims that the bible doesn’t approve of SSM is only inferred by Cal, when he says marriage is to only be between a man and a woman. The bible doesn’t say that at all, it says that a woman was made out of a man’s rib, and *that’s* why women should marry men (Genesis 2), not to have children, and it doesn’t say that men should not marry men. One might make the argument that it *is* against the marriage of lesbians, but lesbians get practically no notice in the bible.
Now, since there is nothing showing that ribs were involved in the origin of women, it’s rather silly to cite this as a valid reason on who should marry who. Of course, Cal leaves the silly rib stuff out. He also says that JC said exactly this and implies that JC was talking about same-sex marriage. He wasn’t, he was talking about divorce, which Cal never insists that it should be a law that people can’t divorce. He doesn’t like divorce, but golly what would happen if Cal said his fellow Christian conservatives couldn’t do it?
Cal wants everyone to read the bible and the US Constitution just like he does, because only he is “right”. Cal is sure that his god doesn’t like same sex marriage, but he’s also sure that his god wasn’t serious about those other laws that Cal just doesn’t have the time or inclination to obey. He is astonished that the conservatives on the SCOTUS ignore the bible laws just like he does, this supposedly great source of “moral instruction”.
Thanks to Cal and his ilk, the bible is “changed or ignored to suit the times”, just like he complains the Constitution has been. He’s also sure that no one understands the constitution “correctly” either, just like so many Christians claim about their religion. Cal is again astonished that the Constitution can be changed. I guess he missed those 27 changes aka “amendments”, including those that gave other minorities equal rights. By Cal’s argument, those changes shouldn’t have been made either.
Finally, he uses the good ol’ slippery slope fallacy again e.g. if we allow same sex marriage, then there will be “Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!… Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…The dead rising from the grave!… Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” Yes, Cal claims that “social anarchy” will follow if we allow same-sex marriage. Now, let’s look at reality: there are seventeen countries that allow same-sex marriage: Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, and Luxembourg. Add to that the states in the US that allow SSM. And we all know the social anarchy that is Canada and Iowa…. So, Cal, again you show that you are a liar and an idiot. It’s sad that all Cal has are lies and claims that the US and all of these countries will fall like Rome did. All with the usual willful ignorance and fear-mongering that most religions depend on.
Cal wants those of us who want equal rights for all, known to him as “those working so diligently to attack structures that have preserved cultures for centuries”, to tell him how far we intend to go and where we “would shout “Stop, no further.” Well, Cal, I can only speak for myself, but I intend to go far enough to prevent you and yours from taking away rights from people based on your personal imaginings of what a god is and what it wants. Until those rights impinge on another’s, there is no reason to say “stop, no further.”
As usual, this sequence of events and claims by Cal goes to show that hypocrites are alive and well, and trying to force their personal versions of their religions on everyone. I am gratified that Cal does admit that he cannot show that his claims are approved by some god. That should tell him something. There’s a quote by Thomas that goes “One of the reasons that people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.” Well, Cal, you are one to know because one of the reasons people hate conservative Christians is that the truth is so rarely their objective. Power and control are.