158. climacteric


Most people will make a few bad decisions in their lives. Drink too much, get arrested, shave your head, get a tongue piercing or a dumb tattoo. I like to think that my poor decision was voting for George W. Bush in 2004. To be fair, the alternative was John Kerry. Now, if I’d been voting in the 2000 election, which I missed participating in by just a few months (why couldn’t my parents have had sex a few months earlier?), I’d’ve voted for Al Gore hands down. Or at least I like to think that I would’ve. Vote for the nerd over the nincompoop? Is that even a choice?

My political affiliations have changed radically in the last ten years or so. Most of it has reflected my steady shift towards atheism and abandoning the fundamentalist beliefs of my childhood. My parents, who will be voting for Romney (because at least he believes in God) and “Yes” on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, are staunch Republicans, and believe that how elections go will determine how God will judge America. They also believe that Jesus is coming back to swoop all the Christians up into heaven one of these days. Personally, I hope they’re right about that part.

But my other poor decision was to attend Northwestern College in Saint Paul, MN. It’s a small conservative Christian liberal arts college. It had a good music composition program, which was my focus then. (Another poor decision — not majoring in something practical).

The past few weeks I’ve had some interactions with students there via my writing on several online journals and newspapers about the marriage amendment. The Huffington Post ran a story today about Northwestern students “proudly” voicing their support for “traditional” marriage. Here are a few of the students’ reasons:

I’m voting Yes because…

This is actually a great cross-section of why Christians support this amendment. Moreover, these responses highlight the intellectual poverty of these young people, and of the pro-amendment folks, and of the community that celebrates willful ignorance.

This also highlights how much the Minnesota for Marriage people have distorted the reality that this amendment isn’t about voting to legalize same-sex marriage, as they’re doing in Washington, Maryland and Maine. This is about voting whether or not to permanently ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota — or at least put it off for another two years.

To the “Our future depends on it” girl: You think your petty, misogynistic God is going to destroy America because gays decide to, oh, make life-long commitments to each other? — which a lot fucking more than most Christians can claim these days. (Especially Christians from Northwestern. Hm.) Or perhaps you think that, as Chris Kluwe suggested, once gays are allowed to marry that your super-duper Christian youth pastor boyfriend will decide to leave the closet he’s been hiding in and become a “lustful cockmonster.” If that’s the case, then he was never yours to begin with.

To the “arrow pointing to girlfriend” guy: You’re going to vote to deny gay people their constitutional rights because you have a girlfriend?

To the “Marriage is a spiritual covenant, not a secular issue” guy: You have drunk the Kool-Aid, buddy. You’re taking a bloody bath in it. Religious marriage may be a spiritual three-way covenant between your dear wifey and your imaginary sky friend, but marriage is a legal, secular institution. The officiant doesn’t say “By the power invested in me by God” or “by the Church.” Marriage is regulated by the state you live in.

To the “I believe Jesus died for me, now it’s my turn to live for Him” guy: That’s so great that you have a boner for Jesus. But your silly religious beliefs have nothing to do with why we should ignore both the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to discriminate against gay people because you don’t like them.

To the “Christ calls us to take a stand on marriage” girl: Where exactly does Christ say “Marriage is between one man and one woman [and not two fucking queers]”? (Emphasis mine.) That’s right. HE DIDN’T. Christ did say something about judging your neighbor and treating people the way you want to be treated. Would you like someone voting on whether you should have the right to marry the person you love?

To the “It’s the way GOD designed life to be, and a child needs a mom and a father” girl: You want to talk about the way your God apparently designed life to be? Read the Bible like a guidebook. You should be a sex slave to your husband, your daughters sold into slavery if he desires it. You should be forced to have an abortion (trial by ordeal) if your master merely suspects you of infidelity. Sound good?

To the “I believe the WORD of GOD” girl: Which has what, exactly, to do with public policy? If you’d care to go live in a theocracy, be my guest. But America is not a fucking Christian nation. We are a nation founded on secular values. The people who fled here did so to escape ignorant, hateful people like you, and you want to make this country into a religiofascist dictatorship.

I don’t begrudge you your religious beliefs. Just don’t hide behind them to mask your being a prejudiced bigot.

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