By Jim Koury, Editor
Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2012 Diversity Rules Magazine. All Rights Reserved
The debate raging throughout the country related to abortion and contraception and the intrusion into the decision-making process by politicians in what should be a personal decision related to a woman’s health generally, has prompted me to ponder the whole issue of discrimination.
We are used to talking about discrimination in the context of public entities and protecting the rights of minorities and others through established laws and legal precedents. As unexamined cases arise that have not been dealt with, new laws are passed and subsequent legal precedents are set advancing us forward toward fulfilling our constitutional guarantee of equal protection to all, albeit we have a ways to go!
Our constitution and current legal precedents, guarantee our unfettered ability to practice any religion we want, or to not subscribe to any religious philosophy at all, and rightfully so. In a truly ideal situation, religious institutions should be practicing their faith in their churches on Sunday and whatever other day one wishes, and not be engaged in political activity and lobbying that infringes upon the rights of others to enjoy the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.
We all know that the ideal situation does not exist, and religious institutions, daily and relentlessly try to influence our political figures to pass laws that take away rights instead of granting additional ones in order to fulfill the American promise of liberty and justice for all through intimidation and expenditure of literally millions of dollars that could be used to feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the poor, and on and on.
Religious institutions are granted the free exercise of their faith, and unfortunately, with that has come legal precedents that allow them a lot of leeway and flexibility to engage in political activity and to legally discriminate against those they believe are not following God’s will, under the subterfuge of “religious liberty.” Additionally, many religious entities believe they do not have to adhere to established laws and decrees that guarantee equal protection and access to the rights and privileges accorded to all US citizens. They also believe that they can accept and use government money and exclude those from benefiting from that government money, that they deem “sinners” and not in sync with their respective religious philosophies.
The impetus against same sex marriage and equality generally on all fronts for this nation’s queer people is grounded in religious persecution and prejudice, and in some cases a hateful and angry reaction against queer folks ensues by supposed “religious” and understanding people when queer folks are granted rights that everyone else enjoys and takes for granted. Their premise that we “love the sinner, but hate the sin” is simply a guise to shroud their inherent fear of people who are different and allows them to turn their backs on what I believe Jesus Christ (although I don’t believe in his omnipotent power) taught; love people for who they are, and that we are all God’s people, unique in its image.
Sin is sin, no matter what it is. So if religious institutions wish to take the bible literally and discriminate against queer people because the bible justifies that discrimination, then they need to be consistent and discriminate against all sinners! Adulterers should be put to death right? Pedophiles should be exposed and sent to prison right? The list can go on and on!
One must also take issue with the statement that the bible is the end all and word of God. It is probably the most inconsistent book there is when it comes to telling people what and what not to do! So for every passage a “religious” person can find to deny someone a right or ability to do something, there is one that justifies and allows it. Therefore, how can we take religious people seriously that want to deny a queer person equal access to the same things everyone else has? Some examples (source: www.evilbible.com):
1. Robbery commanded (Ex 3:21,22/ Ex 12:35,36), Robbery forbidden (Lev 19:13/ Ex 20:15)
2. Lying approved and sanctioned (Josh 2:4-6/ James 2:25/ Ex 1:18-20/ 1 Kings 22:21,22); Lying forbidden (Ex 20:16/ Prov 12:22/ Rev 21:8)
3. Judging of others forbidden (Matt 7:1,2); Judging of others approved (1 Cor 6:2-4/ 1 Cor 5:12)
4. Baptism commanded (Matt 28:19); Baptism not commanded (1 Cor 1:17,14)
5. Marriage approved (Gen 2:18/ Gen 1:28/ Matt 19:5/ Heb 13:4); Marriage disapproved (1 Cor 7:1/ 1 Cor 7:7,8)
6. Freedom of divorce permitted (Deut 24:1/ Deut 21:10,11,14); Divorce restricted (Matt 5:32)
7. Adultery forbidden (Ex 20:14/ Heb 13:4); Adultery allowed (Num 31:18/ Hos 1:2; 2:1-3)
8. Marriage or cohabitation with a sister denounced (Deut 27:22/ Lev 20:17); Abraham married his sister and God blessed the union (Gen 20:11,12/ Gen 17:16)
9. Women’s rights denied (Gen 3:16/ 1 Tim 2:12/ 1 Cor 14:34/ 1 Pet 3:6); Women’s rights affirmed (Judg 4:4,14,15/ Judg 5:7/ Acts 2:18/ Acts 21:9)
10. There is an unpardonable sin (Mark 3:29); There is not unpardonable sin (Acts 13:39)
Now, I do not claim to be a biblical expert but this short list of contradictions is a clear indication that the bible is NOT the end all, nor is it a reliable barometer to judge one’s actions against, since the very book they use to condemn others, also empowers and promotes the very things they say are cause for eternal damnation.
Therefore one must conclude and surmise that the vehemence expressed against queer people is simply a man-made hate and dislike, and is grounded in the prejudices of humans who find use of an inconsistent book to hurl insults, express contempt for others who are different and condone and promote prejudice and injustice all in the name of “religious liberty.”
I reject this premise. I reject the statement that queer people are somehow less of a human being because we love another of the same sex. I reject and am offended at and with politicians who subscribe to biblical “truths” and then do the direct opposite of what they are holding up to be the truth. I reject and will fight until my last dying breath, any attempt by those religious people of “faith” that use that faith to promote their own selfish ends at the expense of the well-being and freedom of another.
Equality knows no restriction. Equal treatment for all will win in the end. That is the one truth I hold near and dear to my heart, not, the falsified and abridged truth of one’s flippant interpretation of a book that is inherently and unequivocally flawed and is no way the “end all” of anything!