What It Sounds Like

In just a few days Minnesotans will be given the choice to amend their constitution to deny gay people the right to marry (a right they didn’t already have). Civil rights issues don’t usually get put to a vote. Imagine what would have happened if Brown vs. The Board of Education had been put to a vote. Do you think we’d have integrated schools today? What about if Affirmative Action had been put to a vote? I didn’t think so.

Only a fool would deny that this is a religiously motivated piece of legislation. It is the church imposing on the state (check your First Amendment people this is unconstitutional on its face). Not every church is behind this, mind you, just a vocal minority. What bothers me is that the conversation has been about what the bible has to say about same-sex marriage. Some say it has a clear stance against, sighting Leviticus, others say it preaches tolerance, sighting the whole of Christ’s teachings. Should we care what a two thousand year old socially constructed document has to say about an institution that is still evolving?

I’m not going to deny the bible’s role in our heritage, our traditions or our language. It may very well shape your sense of morality and you’re view of the afterlife. That’s okay.

It’s just the moment you tell me how it defines marriage, I feel a compulsion to remind you how it defines a few other things. It defines the earth as flat (yeah, I said it). It defines the sun as something that rotates around the flat earth. It defines “rape” as a pretext for marriage. It defines “polygamy” as a viable form of marriage. It defines “slavery” as a just practice… And it goes on and on. If we’re going to have a conversation about the bible’s role in our society, fine. Let’s have that whole conversation. I mean, if we’re banning evolution from our text books, why not ban the belief in a round earth and heliocentricity while we’re at it? I’m not pulling this out of my ass, lest we forget, Copernicus was the Charles Darwin of his day.

I have a friend from Canada, where they’ve had same-sex marriage since 2005. I asked him if coming down here felt like traveling back in time. It’s like the Enlightenment can see the Dark Ages from across its borders. Come on people, this is America. We can do better than that. Let’s get our asses in gear.

Give up your cynical bullshit apathy and actually go out and vote.

***

The following piece is my way of describing what it sounds like to hear these religiously motivated debates from my perspective.

What It Sounds Like

You can keep telling me
That your belief in the Abominable Snow Man
Has filled your life with meaning
And helped you find your place in the world

That knowing there is a Big Foot
Has helped you overcome your fear of death
And given you the incentive
To live a better, fuller life

That the Lochness Monster
Works in mysterious ways
That El Chupacabra
Has a plan for all of us

That the Mothman has delivered you
From the temptations of sin and excess
That the Jersey Devil has put you on the path
To the straight and the narrow

That Bloody Marry cares about
What you do in your bedroom
That the Slender Man cares about how
And when we make love

That the crop circles clearly define
The institution of marriage
That the Ancient Aliens left signs
To tell us the exact moment that life begins

That the only way to be forgiven
To be granted entrance into the kingdom of Atlantis
Is to accept the Giant Squid
Into my heart

You tell me that my emptiness
Comes from a Wendigo shaped hole in my life
You tell me Spring Heeled Jack
Never gives me more than I can handle

You tell me all of this
Because you want to save me
Because you’re my friend
But this is what it sounds like to me

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