“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord! Please don’t let me be misunderstood” – Please Don’t let me be Misunderstood Written by B. Benjamin, G. Caldwell and S. Marcus
Consider what it would be like, if your religion taught that you were cursed at birth? To know that what you are at your core is deformed, inferior. Stereotyped and compartmentalized. What would it be like to be persecuted for being you in public? You are the downfall of man. Like generations of your kind, for millenniums before you, you learn to stay covered. You try to explain to the rough and tumble men who run the world, that this is just who you are. To explain that, by sheer evidence of your life, you are as loved by their god, and necessary to their gods plan, as anyone else. Mothers and fathers prayed to this god, to not give birth to the likes of you. Fathom what it would be like if your government upheld that religious view of you and your 2nd class citizenship. Imagine going through the court system and the electoral process to be granted legal rights everyone else was granted without question. Imagine, if you were a woman.
I know. It’s hard for many people to wrap their minds around that idea. American society, and Western understanding of Christianity has evolved a lot since the days the bible was written. It has matured since the days when Emperor Constantine converted. It has advanced from a time when Martin Luther nailed that letter on the church door.
Which is why we must evolve and vote yes for Question 6 in Maryland. Considering that the only reason to vote no for Question 6 is a religious one, the question should not be on the ballot at all. If your reasoning for a law boils down to belief in your religion, it is immediately unconstitutional. But even more damning to your argument, is that you already disagree with the bible about a whole bunch of things, especially God ordained genocide Deuteronomy 3:6. Take a look at how the Christian church, and the governments they controlled, treated women in before the 1400’s. Aren’t you glad we ignore the bible’s mandates? We decided long ago that a man couldn’t escape being punished for rape leading to pregnancy by paying a fine to her father or marrying his victim Deuteronomy 22:28-29. If your women come to church without their heads covered, in full make up and jewelry, or if you let women have any speaking rolls in the services, you have already defied direct instructions of the bible 1 Timothy 2:8-14.
Because of government intervention, in places that women were being kept out of strictly because of preconceived stereotypes based in scripture, we have come closer as a society to equality. Even in our churches. No one dares speaks of the truth of Genesis 3:16, reminding all women that the pain of childbirth, and their perpetual position is to please their husband who rules over them. If the Biblical based church had their way, women would have no identity outside of their husbands. If the Biblical based church ran the government, there would be no Hillary Clinton. If the biblical based church ran society, there would be no Oprah Winfrey. Shoot, if the bible ran the church there would be no Joyce Meyer. As is made evident by the legions of faithful church going folk who love Tyler Perry, none of them care at all about Deuteronomy 22:5.
We have decided long ago that women cannot be betrothed to marry against their will, and stoned if found not to be a virgin Deuteronomy 22:13-21. We’ve decided long ago that fathers cannot sell their daughters into slavery, so we completely ignore this biblical instructions on the process Exodus 21:7-11. We decided long ago that women do not have to remain silent in church, and only ask questions about god to her husband when they get home 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.
It’s time to stand strong about those compromises we make, and not be a Christian apologist who happens to believe in gay rights. Those who say that the Bible is misinterpreted are fighting an internal struggle about spirituality and basic literary comprehension. The fact that Jesus said nothing about gay rights does not mean he tolerated or condoned it. On the contrary, the religious edict to segregate from and/or kill homosexuals is so blatant, that it didn’t require Jesus to speak on it. As Jesus stated himself, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, I have come not to abolish them, but to fulfill them” Matthew 5:17. It is not enough to complain that the bible’s verses about a woman’s place, or the punishment for homosexuality, is taken out of context. It should be appalling that there was ever a context under which those edicts were acceptable.
Men like Reverend Evans conflate the government upholding a civil right with an attack on his faith. Either he is a fool for not reading Question 6 (and misquoting the 1st Amendment), illiterate for not comprehending the question, or a liar for misrepresenting the question to the sheep that follow him. The language of Question 6 specifically gives churches the rights to not conduct homosexual marriages. He is also compromising his own bible by saying that he doesn’t believe in discriminating against homosexuals, because Leviticus 18:29-30 NIV says specifically “Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.”
Discrimination based on homosexuality is prescribed directly by the bible . To be honest, anyone claiming the infallibility of the bible on homosexuality, is also claiming that the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Executive Branch of the government are the only things between that person and calling for the public execution of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin, Leviticus 20:13. If you claim the bible is so infallible, then you must stop acting like you only want to council homosexuals out of homosexuality. The bible’s instructions are quite clear on what happens to homosexuals. When you quote the bible to condemn some ones sexual habits, you are most certainly threatening their life, because every sexual indiscretion in the bible is punishable by execution. Every homosexual should take your Biblical quotes against them as a death threat. To not call for their deaths is, once again, a compromise you have made in your belief of the Bible’s infallibility.
We know that there are things about homosexuals, the same as women, which people of Biblical times did not even attempt to understand. We know that this behavior you detest so much poses no threat to you and your family. Even the concept of “defending marriage” is a lie, by giving the false connotation that someone is attempting to take your rights from you. The discrimination is solely based on a book you have already compromised. The world is glad you’ve compromised. Homosexuals in our communities do not have any choice in their sexual orientation. Ask the homosexuals in your church. (Don’t act like you don’t know who they are). They have grown up in this community, where it is common knowledge and accepted religious truth that their way of life is a direct path to hell and damnation. You think they would change if they could?
If you look at the Maryland Marriage Alliance website, you will see that their basic problem is their decreasing ability to pretend that homosexuality does not exist. The same way that, in the past, women and their bodies were so cursed that even their monthly cycle was not to be spoken of, leaving generations of young girls to be ambushed by this natural part of life.
These bigots don’t want schools to have lessons about gay marriage or homosexuality in general. Public schools in the U.S. are not built to indoctrinate children in biblical philosophy, they exists to teach what is commonly observed to be fact. Fact: homosexuals exist. Fact: discriminating against homosexuals is unconstitutional. Fact: segregating and bullying someone for his or her sexual orientation is immoral. I’m sorry bible thumpers, but teaching those facts may be an affront to your bible, but so is teaching that every person in this country has a right to worship their god in their own way Exodus 31:14.
We have decided as a society, through trial and error, and through learning from horrendous stretches of history, that we will not ostracize or execute any members of society just because someone deems them a curse from god, despite the fact that the Bible demands us to.
We know longer believe that enslaving people who are not in your tribe is sanctioned by God 1 Timothy 6:1-2. Our military no longer requires that men in military camps who have a wet dream must leave the camp for a whole day Deuteronomy 23:9-11. Maybe you could believe in a God who kept changing and evolving, the way he did on dietary restraints, Mark 7:18. Maybe if we kept letting the God of the Bible add chapters and verses, he’ll eventually match humanities tolerance for others, the way he now accepts everyone as his chosen and not just the children of Abraham Mathew 15:22-28. But if the bible doesn’t change and evolve, at least it’s people can. Your bible has already been compromised. The world is better for it. Don’t compromise your humanity as well.