Friday, November 07, 2008

A call to action

It was a great day on Tuesday, the right man was picked for the job in my opinion, and I feel fairly confident that he'll be able to get us moving in the right direction again. And, Obama has finally broken our pattern of only white males in office. About time. But as great as the election was, it overshadowed (and rightly so) an insidious plague in our country. The plague is religious fundamentalism.

We hear news all the time about the religious extremists over there! Watch out, those other people are trying to take away your freedoms! And it's true, Muslim extremists are assholes. But we have been duped into not noticing that our very own country is slowly becoming a theocracy. We mock Iran for their government and policy that's led by religion. We say, "look at us, we're so free!" We pride ourselves on the fact that people can say whatever they'd like, and believe in whatever they'd like to believe in. But like it or not, we are becoming a Christian country. Not that everyone in the country is becoming Christian, but we are increasingly letting Christians fundamentalists dictate policy and laws for us. The entire Republican party depends on capturing their vote, and Obama had to repeat over and over that he was a Christian, that he attended church and believed in god. In a nation made up of dozens of religions, as well as agnostics and atheists, that believes in the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state, why did both candidates have to prove that they were good Christians?

This is from the World Factbook, regarding the makeup of the US population:
Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

So by that estimate, a little more than %75 of the population is some kind of Christian religion, but that leaves %25 who are not (or in other terms, about 75 million people).

Where am I going with this? Some people might have seen the news that Prop 8 passed in California, banning gay people from getting married. Why was this even on the books in the first place? Because of the Mormon church for one, but also because of a large group of people who's religion tells them that homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin to them, but not against the law in the US. It's also a sin to commit adultery, covet your neighbor's goods and wife, as well as a multitude of other things that are not against the law. So does the fact that adultery is a sin stop Christians from committing that sin? Some yes, but certainly not all, not even a majority. So basically they pushed legislation up for a vote, banning a right for an entire group of people, simply because some people's religion considers it a sin. Does that sound like something that happens in a free country, where people's religion is not supposed to influence legislation and law?

I read a comment about it by a guy telling gays not to sue, because it was the will of the people, the majority has spoken. Yes, all %51 of the majority. The population of Cali is about 38 million, so that means that just less than half of the people, or 18 million people give or take, did not want that prop passed. But if all it takes is a majority, what if it turned out that 51% of a certain state did not want blacks and whites to get married? What if it turned out that since 51% of people thought cheating on your wife/husband is a sin, laws would be passed making cheating punishable with jail time?

The fact of the matter is, no matter your thoughts on homosexuality, being gay isn't a crime. It doesn't matter if you think gay people are born gay, or if they choose their lifestyle, it's still not a crime. And if two people wish to get married, who they fuck are we to say they can't? If they're of legal age, and both going into the marriage willingly, then they should be allowed to marry. Don't people see, this is no different than not allowing interracial marriages? Don't they see that legislation like this eats away at the most cherished foundations of our society and country, that all people are free and have a right to happiness? Doesn't everyone see that by allowing legislation like this to stand, we are no better than any of the "unfree" countries conservatives and liberals alike love to mock?

So my view is this: There are more of us than there are of them. There are more religious and non-religious people in this country who believe in the separation of church and state, who want to be free to live and practice as we see fit. The Christian fundamentalists are louder, meaner and more cutthroat, and that's usually why they're heard so often, but it's time to put a stop to this nonsense. It's time for us to demand they keep their creationist beliefs out of school textbooks and other public places where they don't belong. It's time for us to demand they keep their beliefs about what is a sin and what is not a sin out of our public domain. This is our country, and unlike them we believe in freedoms for all people, that everyone is equal and should be treated as such, and we're not going to let them turn our country into a theocracy. It's time to start fighting back.

No comments: