Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why Is It That Bigot's Can't Admit That They're Bogots?

One thing that always amazes me about Christianists and other anti-gay bigots - other than, of course, their utter disregard for the truth - is the way in which they cry and whine when they're correctly described as bigots. I'm sorry, but if your conduct and statements are those of a bigot, then like it or not, you are a bigot regardless of the flimsy excuses and justifications cited. A case in point is the whining from Rev. Mark Harris (pictured at left), the head of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and a vociferous supporter of the anti-gay constitutional amendment set for the ballot net spring in North Carolina. Harris' ONLY justification for the amendment is religious based prejudice and bigotry that flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom for ALL citizens, not solely Southern Baptists and similar Christianist denominations. Candidly, Harris is no better than the pro-slavery advocates and the segregationists of the 1950's and 1960's who used the Bible to justify their anti-black bigotry and prejudice. Those excuses were bullshit back then and Harris excuses are bullshit today. My blogger friend and fellow activist Pam Spaulding looks at Harris' disingenuous crocodile tears. Here are some highlights:

No one likes being called a bigot, but no matter how you slice it, Rev. Mark Harris is exactly that. The Charlotte Observer has a puff piece on the senior minister at uptown Charlotte’s First Baptist Church, who will be a well-known advocate for the passage of the anti-gay marriage discrimination amendment that will go before voters on May 8. He is the head of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina – the organization represents 4,300 N.C. Baptist churches (1.3 million members).

The gist of the Observer profile is that Harris is just for a civil public debate on the referendum, which would bar gays and lesbians from civil marriage as well as negate any opportunity for civil unions and eliminate domestic partnerships where they have been locally established.

What is getting out of hand is the obvious stated goal of these fundies to conflate church and state when it comes to civil marriage. I don’t care what he believes or preaches on Sunday, or what happens in his church. This amendment has nothing to do with interfering in church affairs, it’s about enshrining bigotry in the North Carolina constitution, which should be expanding rights, not restricting them, based on any group’s objection to another group of people.

Harris tries to extract himself from the bigotry he is a proponent of by stating he’s not for “discrimination.” I’m not sure what dictionary he’s using but try to square your definition with this:

From a biblical position, all I can do is state my position: I believe that homosexuality is a sin … That said, I don’t believe that that position is at the heart of this amendment. If homosexuals choose to maintain a relationship and live together, that’s their business. I don’t believe people should be discriminated against.” Same-sex marriages, he said, aren’t good for children. “I just believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ideal,” he said. “It is such a unique union, and it is absolutely essential to the future of humanity.”

Are we back to the procreation argument? What about infertile couples? Couples beyond procreative years? They aren’t marrying to further the human race. And they don’t need a church ceremony to be married under state law.

Harris also adds that the amendment is needed to stop “activist judges” from overturning the state DOMA. The sad truth is that none of these anti-gay arguments make logical sense, but this is an emotional and personal issue for many North Carolinians. The debate can be civil, but it needs to be fact and evidence based, not about fear-mongering or religious justification for discrimination.

Harris is yet another example of why I long for the day that Christianity - or at least the perverted Christianist version of it - is a deal religion. Hate, division and lies seem to be its only discernible fruits most of the time.

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