Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Discrimination as Platform

The Republican candidates' debate was held last night. Most of these candidates seem to run on the platform of discrimination, not unlike my Presbyterian colleagues who are planning a little gathering of their own in August.

From the GOP presidential candidates:

Five of the seven Republican presidential candidates at Monday night’s GOP debate said they want a constitutional amendment banning same-​sex marriage. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all stated if they were elected president, they would support anti-​gay discrimination written directly into the constitution.
And the "Fellowship":
As the spring progressed, however, and it became clear that ordination standards and a significant portion of the Book of Order would be changed, the August Gathering became the go-to place for many more people with a wide range of different needs and concerns.
Nothing like anti-gay discrimination to coalesce voters and pew-sitters against a common enemy.

Here is the irony.

Anti-gay discrimination, no matter how it is disguised by religious or political rhetoric, is on its way out. More and more people are caring less and less for homophobic rhetoric. This is true in New York State and in Appalachia.

This past week I met with three same-gender couples as we planned their holy union ceremonies. These couples cannot at present get a marriage license in Tennessee but it is important for them nonetheless to have a ceremony of blessing for their relationship. It is far more likely that Tennessee will grant equality in marriage than for a federal amendment banning equal marriage to get any traction.

I am sure that elevating oneself by putting down gays promises yet a few gold coins at the end its discriminatory rainbow, but that prize is getting smaller and smaller. Politicians and religious leaders will soon learn that homophobia, like crime, doesn't pay.


  1. Anti-gay rhetoric on the right is as necessary to defining orthodoxy as promises about inclusion are on the left.

    The trick is not to believe they're actually serious about doing anything about it. For example, GWB had all the time in the world (plus a Republican Congress and a conservative SCOTUS) to get a Federal Anti-Gay Marriage amendment passed and neither he nor did Congress (including some currently running for President) did anything.

    And the Republican wing of the PCUSA is no more serious about actually following through on its 30 years of threats. The Fellowship will be another waste-of-time meeting of a bunch of rapidly aging blue-hairs who have nothing better to do during their retirement years. They'll gripe a lot and then decide to do what they've been doing for years -- nothing. Or maybe they'll come up with yet another toothless "Declaration".

    Meanwhile, we'll get rid of DADT, see more and more states like NY approve gay marriage, get rid of the anti-gay apartheid in the PCUSA, etc. Heck even marriage will be a done deal officially in the PCUSA soon.

    Let them rant all they want. As long as they're just sitting amongst themselves trying to see who can hate the gays the most (and cheering each other's efforts) we've got nothing to worry about. Demographics is on our side.

    They've lost again and again on gay issues and with each loss people see them for what they are: losers. No one wants to be on that team.

  2. In addition to griping, hating the gays, and making a declaration, they do have an attractive website.