“I still don’t understand: why they hate us so much.”
Valerie, V for Vendetta (the movie)
So Rick Santorum won three states. The Prince of Piety, the Pied Piper of Religious Pomposity, good ol’ Righteous Rick appealed enough in those states, among their Republicans at least, to spank the competition. It should be pointed out that this is not necessarily indicative of any particular attitude held by the Republican citizens of Colorado, Minnesota or Missouri. Rick gambled on spending a lot of time, money and effort on each of those three states long before the contests at the expense of ignoring other states. He may regret the strategy when California and New York hold their primaries.
With that said the margins are frightening, especially considering the only thing different about his message is the “homosexuals and feminists are ruining America” bit. Oh, he runs on the ironically named “fiscal responsibility” platform (though how fighting two wars AND cutting taxes across the board is fiscally responsible is beyond my cognitive talents.) So do his competitors, however, so it bares examining what makes him different.
It is important to notice that one of those three states is the home of Representative (and Primary drop out) Michelle Bachmann, who aside from being a darling of the Tea Party for her ill defined and ill conceived economic policy ideas is also a rabid anti-LGBTQ advocate. It is worth recognizing that Colorado passed an amendment in their State Constitution protecting the right to discriminate based on sexuality. Missouri has proudly been one of the most religiously conservative states in the Union for some time.
Just as Valerie, quoted above, is confused, so am I. The vigor with which the heterosexist and cissexist bigots attack us is beyond reason. What makes it even more confusing is the ambiguous or hypocritical nature of the Biblical basis for their hate. We are all familiar with the quotes from Leviticus “man shall not lie with a man as with a woman” (paraphrased, I didn’t look this one up since it is used so often.) If that is so important why do so many of the beat-you-over-the-head-with-my-beliefs type Christians love their clam bakes so much? I know from personal experience that they do. Why is that OK when eating shellfish is verbotten according to Leviticus as well?
Never mind that argument though. They keep bringing their signs with that Leviticus quote and we keep making the signs lampooning them. It has become self mockery on everyone’s part at this point. What really interests me is the oft mentioned but seldom challenged appeal to the story of Sodom. A story the Economist recently credited with being the cause of LGBTQ hate in Islamic countries (with only a passing mention of it being relevant to Christian dominated nations.) Let’s look at those lines.
Genesis 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
Genesis 19:8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them unto you, and do you to them as is good in your eyes: only to these men do nothing; for therefore they came under the shadow of my roof.
These are the only passages that I could find even remotely related to the subject at hand and they are vague in the extreme. How were the people of Sodom wicked? What was it the men of Sodom wanted from the strangers (Angels that came to Lot) that it was worth Lot offering up his daughters? It does not say these men intended to have their way sexually with the strangers. The only thing that can be taken to be sexual about it is Lot’s rather disgusting bribe (apparently giving your daughters over to rape is OK with God.) Anyone can insert any behavior they do not like into the above scenarios, and they do.
The Bible is very vague throughout. It is thousands of years old and despite what some would have you believe it has been edited a number of times, both for academic and political purposes. This has allowed it to be used to justify any agenda, making it difficult for those that would refute it to penetrate the fog of accidental ambiguity and deliberate obfuscation. It allows homophobes to justify their hate, one actually based in no small part on good old fashioned sexism (more on that another post.)
Well, I have a passage that is a little less vague from the Bible:
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
In other words: keep it to your own damn self. A rule that Rick Santorum and his hate mongering followers seem unable to obey. By all means, hate me if you must, though you do us both harm when you do, but the moment you use your supposed faith (and I doubt very much how devout many of these people are) to attack me you are breaking the laws of our land, the mores of basic civility and the commands of your own God.