We’ve all heard that the Old Testament calls homosexuality an “abomination,” right? It’s the homophobes’ favorite clobber verse. One of the best responses to this is to point out that this comes in the midst of a long list of other things which were also forbidden under the laws established in Leviticus, notably the dietary restrictions of Judaism. If you actually study the material, it emerges that there are two kinds of restrictions against “forbidden” things being distinguished: one is sort of like civil law, while the other is a religious objection. Things that are religiously disallowed are described with the word translated by King James’ merry band of religious demagogues as “abomination.”
One of the strongest arguments that liberal Christians use is that since the dietary laws of ancient Judaism are no longer observed by contemporary Christians, perhaps some of those other religio-cultural restrictions ought to be reconsidered, too. Conservative Christians have been arguing against this in various ways for a long time. But now there’s a new argument I’ve never heard before:
Yup, somebody actually went there, wrote articles of incorporation, and elected himself Mayor of There.
Via Right Wing Watch, you can hear a conservative Christian arguing that refrigeration is what makes it not a sin to eat shellfish et al. anymore.
You see, conservative Christians like to argue that 1. their God is way cool because he gave his followers religious laws that were actually secretly hygiene regulations to protect them against food poisoning and 2. their certainty about why these things were demanded by their God is what allows them to split those two categories of civil and religious law into three categories: civil law, religious law that we don’t have to follow, and religious law that it is our God-given duty to impose on all our fellow citizens by any means necessary.
This is the first time I’ve heard that argument flipped around in this particular way, though. It’s probably part of the continuing struggle of these folks to find secular justifications for their religious positions. (See also: so-called intelligent design, etc.) Just for giggles, let’s follow it to its (pseudo) logical conclusion: if you could invent something that would make being queer no longer a health risk, would these Christians then say being queer was a-okay?
Never in a million years. (Until, of course, the next time that their position changes and they decide that they’ve always been at war with Eastasia, I mean, supporting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s ideals and against contraception.)
I’m writing about this not just because it’s laugh-out-loud ridiculous, but because it highlights a really evil form of hypocrisy that homophobes engage in. Homophobes and hate-peddlers create social conditions that make it hazardous to be queer and then use that as evidence that they were right all along. They do this all the time and in some really despicable ways.
Aside from all the other things that caused social scientists to shred it into conveniently toilet-paper-sized pieces, that’s something else that’s wrong with the Regnerus study. Even if it had been a well-designed study, if it found that kids raised in QUILTBAG households had adverse outcomes, that wouldn’t be some kind of truth handed down from a mountain. It would be a reflection of our current social and cultural milieu. If we denigrate certain people, maybe that makes their lives – and their kids’ lives – harder, don’t you think? And maybe if we start treating these folks like full human beings with equal civil rights, things will get better…
So actually, there is a way to “refrigerate” being queer, to turn it from something potentially hazardous to your health into just another part of daily life: stop the lying homophobes from continuing to denigrate their fellow human beings.
It’s not QUILTBAG folks who need to chill out. It’s the haters.