The Federal Prop. 8 Trial / Gay Marriage Catch-All

Both my friend and I grew up in very conservative churches (mine Mennonite, his NonDom). He never really left, but thinks marriage equality is important and should be legal (in defiance of his church). I asked him why, of the 5000 Biblical rules we ignore daily, Lev 20:18 is what Americans have drawn a line in the sand on.

His response - based that he has and still does attend conservative, literalist churches - was that there's this very real feeling among these people that 1) this nation was founded on Christian principles, which 2) makes us fundamentally a Christian nation. These people quite literally believe that God has given America His blessing.

And they are scared sh*tless that He might revoke that blessing. They - like countless generations of people- view progress as moral decay, and are quite literally petrified that America is close to pissing God off enough to turn us into the next Sodom and Gomorrah.

And that image, right there, is what I believe they've latched onto. Regardless of the actual sins of the Sodomites, it's obvious that a nation deserving of God's destruction is a nation that accepts gays, especially gay males. This myth is probably more powerful to them than the actual Biblical text; Sodom was gay, and God burned it to ash.

It's hilarious and false to me, of course, but I thought it shed some light on the vicious hatred exhibited toward marriage equality; hatred well beyond a wealth of closeted gays or the more popular theory that "gays are icky."

Seth wrote:

Both my friend and I grew up in very conservative churches (mine Mennonite, his NonDom). He never really left, but thinks marriage equality is important and should be legal (in defiance of his church). I asked him why, of the 5000 Biblical rules we ignore daily, Lev 20:18 is what Americans have drawn a line in the sand on.

His response - based that he has and still does attend conservative, literalist churches - was that there's this very real feeling among these people that 1) this nation was founded on Christian principles, which 2) makes us fundamentally a Christian nation. These people quite literally believe that God has given America His blessing.

So your friend did not answer your question at all? He answered why they feel the need to make sure to follow the Bible (fear, apparently) but didn't explain why that's the only rule they seem to take a stand on.

Edit: and that's why I still stand by it's just hatred of gay people. Because they can fear God's wrath and our moral decline in 1000 ways and they don't. They only fear it in one.

Edit 2: In case it was confusing, I don't think everyone that follows the Bible does so out of fear. It just sounds like in this particular case that's what's happening.

Well the answer was that the real driver of American homophobia is the idea that God will burn us like Sodom and Gomorrah if we're bad, and He burned Sodom and Gomorrah because they were gay.

Lev 20:18 is just a convenient coincidence. So the "5000 rules but this one is important" logic becomes kinda moot to them.

Seth wrote:

Well the answer was that the real driver of American homophobia is the idea that God will burn us like Sodom and Gomorrah if we're bad, and He burned Sodom and Gomorrah because they were gay.

Lev 20:18 is just a convenient coincidence. So the "5000 rules but this one is important" logic becomes kinda moot to them.

So it's God that puts the extra emphasis on hating gay people? God set the priorities of the rules, they're just enforcing them?

Now this was the sin of Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

—Ezekiel 16:49-50

I must not be explaining this right.

God burns cities to ash sometimes.

God burnt Sodom to ash for gay stuff.

If America allows Gay stuff, America becomes like Sodom. And gets burnt to ash.

God's will or priorities really don't factor into this thought process, nor do His commands. The myth of Sodom and Gomorrah is what drives the fear of homosexuality. The text isn't even secondary, it's tertiary.

Maq wrote:

Now this was the sin of Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

—Ezekiel 16:49-50

Well like I said - regardless of Sodom's true sin, the myth of Sodom now almost wholesale refers to homosexuality.

Maq wrote:

Now this was the sin of Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

—Ezekiel 16:49-50

You beat me to it.

Ironically, Sodom and Gommorah sounded to me like the kind of cities that the modern Republican Party would feel right at home in.

Seth wrote:

I must not be explaining this right.

God burns cities to ash sometimes.

God burnt Sodom to ash for gay stuff.

If America allows Gay stuff, America becomes like Sodom. And gets burnt to ash.

God's will or priorities really don't factor into this thought process, nor do His commands. The myth of Sodom and Gomorrah is what drives the fear of homosexuality. The text isn't even secondary, it's tertiary.

Right, I guess what I was getting as did God burn any other cities for other things? I'm not familiar with the Bible enough to answer, but Sodom and Gomorrah is the only story of that I'm familiar with.

Maq also just posted evidence that it was not because of homosexuality. So again, why are they concerned about marriage equality and not helping the poor and needy, as a direct quote from God says that is a big part of the problem.

Edit:

Seth wrote:
Maq wrote:

Now this was the sin of Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

—Ezekiel 16:49-50

Well like I said - regardless of Sodom's true sin, the myth of Sodom now almost wholesale refers to homosexuality.

Exactly. They don't care what God says, they're basing their actions on a myth that they can easily disprove. They're acting first and justifying second.

I'm not sure why that particular Biblical myth stuck in popular conservative consciousness, nor am I sure why Sodom's actual sins have been perverted to refer exclusively to homosexuality. It's why I keep refering to the story as a myth, because the myth isn't even Biblically accurate, as you point out. I'm not even sure why they use this particular story as an apocalyptic myth when there's a flood story a few pages nearby.

Just reporting on what I thought was a reason more plausible than "gays are icky." If you fervently believe that your God will destroy your nation if it accepts homosexuals, it would make sense to bite and claw and scream against that.

Seth: I'm totally with you, and it's a good perspective to bear in mind. It's also worth reading biblical literalists that passage then ask them again why God razed Sodom.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Seth wrote:

I must not be explaining this right.

God burns cities to ash sometimes.

God burnt Sodom to ash for gay stuff.

If America allows Gay stuff, America becomes like Sodom. And gets burnt to ash.

God's will or priorities really don't factor into this thought process, nor do His commands. The myth of Sodom and Gomorrah is what drives the fear of homosexuality. The text isn't even secondary, it's tertiary.

Right, I guess what I was getting as did God burn any other cities for other things? I'm not familiar with the Bible enough to answer, but Sodom and Gomorrah is the only story of that I'm familiar with.

I found this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_...

Seth wrote:

I'm not sure why that particular Biblical myth stuck in popular conservative consciousness, nor am I sure why Sodom's actual sins have been perverted to refer exclusively to homosexuality. It's why I keep refering to the story as a myth, because the myth isn't even Biblically accurate, as you point out. I'm not even sure why they use this particular story as an apocalyptic myth when there's a flood story a few pages nearby.

Just reporting on what I thought was a reason more plausible than "gays are icky." If you fervently believe that your God will destroy your nation if it accepts homosexuals, it would make sense to bite and claw and scream against that.

At some point someone invented the myth, and I have a hard time believing that it wasn't out of homophobia. In my experience, the myths that are most believable are ones that hit on something we want to believe is true. So, if there are large swaths of biblical literalists believing the myth that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality despite biblical evidence to the contrary, there is likely something greater beneath the surface.

We may be at a chicken-and-egg scenario (do we hate gays because God does, or did we use this convenient story of a sinful city to make it look like God hates gays) here, but that's okay.

I certainly agree that there's something greater beneath the surface; that was the point of me questioning; if conservatives ignore 5000 bible rules but not this one, there's definitely something more than "just following God's law." This was me looking for that greater impetus.

Obviously in the big scheme of things, the answer is "homosexuality is different and that scares me so let's make laws about it." I'm looking for more personal reasons.

Are there other nations favored by God that have more equality than the US in terms of gay rights?

(from Wikipeida)
In Italy, for example, the home of the Roman Catholic Church, same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1890. Sex changes are recognized under the law and gays can serve openly in the military.

And yet, look see, it's not been burned to the ground.

Brazil, a heavily Catholic nation, goes even further than Italy, with civil unions being legalized in 2010.

And yet, I don't recall seeing anything in the news about it being turned into ash.

Which suggests that there's a healthy dose of 'American Exceptionalism' to that line of thought. And I have nothing but contempt for that idea - it's arrogant, and insulting to the other 3 billion or so people in the world.

Jonman wrote:

Which suggests that there's a healthy dose of 'American Exceptionalism' to that line of thought. And I have nothing but contempt for that idea - it's arrogant, and insulting to the other 3 billion or so people in the world.

Oh, *absolutely,* I think this is a huge part of it. I didn't focus on it much since I got caught up in explaining Sodom is somehow a story about homosexuality to these people despite no Biblical evidence, but that's the crux: they think America is the greatest nation in the world and they think God made it the greatest nation in the world and they are terrified of losing God's favor. Somehow they've made the leap that losing God's favor = Sodom, and Sodom = homosexual.

Seth wrote:

I'm not sure why that particular Biblical myth stuck in popular conservative consciousness, nor am I sure why Sodom's actual sins have been perverted to refer exclusively to homosexuality. It's why I keep refering to the story as a myth, because the myth isn't even Biblically accurate, as you point out. I'm not even sure why they use this particular story as an apocalyptic myth when there's a flood story a few pages nearby.

Just reporting on what I thought was a reason more plausible than "gays are icky." If you fervently believe that your God will destroy your nation if it accepts homosexuals, it would make sense to bite and claw and scream against that.

While the Ezekiel 16 quote is exactly right, that the prime reason for the destruction of Sodom was their treatment of the poor and defenseless, the detestable things mentioned in the passage is probably referring to situations like the man on man gang rape of strangers as depicted in Genesis 19.

Seth wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Which suggests that there's a healthy dose of 'American Exceptionalism' to that line of thought. And I have nothing but contempt for that idea - it's arrogant, and insulting to the other 3 billion or so people in the world.

Oh, *absolutely,* I think this is a huge part of it. I didn't focus on it much since I got caught up in explaining Sodom is somehow a story about homosexuality to these people despite no Biblical evidence, but that's the crux: they think America is the greatest nation in the world and they think God made it the greatest nation in the world and they are terrified of losing God's favor. Somehow they've made the leap that losing God's favor = Sodom, and Sodom = homosexual.

Indeed, yet they don't look further than the end of their own nose. Have Italy and Brazil lost God's favor? And if so, it seems that God's favor isn't really worth a whole hill of beans, cos last I checked, those countries seem to be doing just as well without the blessing of The Big man.

On a completely off-topic note, writing 'Brazil' and 'beans' in the same paragraph now has me salivating thinking about feijoada.

Nomad wrote:
Seth wrote:

I'm not sure why that particular Biblical myth stuck in popular conservative consciousness, nor am I sure why Sodom's actual sins have been perverted to refer exclusively to homosexuality. It's why I keep refering to the story as a myth, because the myth isn't even Biblically accurate, as you point out. I'm not even sure why they use this particular story as an apocalyptic myth when there's a flood story a few pages nearby.

Just reporting on what I thought was a reason more plausible than "gays are icky." If you fervently believe that your God will destroy your nation if it accepts homosexuals, it would make sense to bite and claw and scream against that.

While the Ezekiel 16 quote is exactly right, that the prime reason for the destruction of Sodom was their treatment of the poor and defenseless, the detestable things mentioned in the passage is probably referring to situations like the man on man gang rape of strangers as depicted in Genesis 19.

But.. the man part is worse than the rape part? Does not compute.

Tanglebones wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Seth wrote:

I'm not sure why that particular Biblical myth stuck in popular conservative consciousness, nor am I sure why Sodom's actual sins have been perverted to refer exclusively to homosexuality. It's why I keep refering to the story as a myth, because the myth isn't even Biblically accurate, as you point out. I'm not even sure why they use this particular story as an apocalyptic myth when there's a flood story a few pages nearby.

Just reporting on what I thought was a reason more plausible than "gays are icky." If you fervently believe that your God will destroy your nation if it accepts homosexuals, it would make sense to bite and claw and scream against that.

While the Ezekiel 16 quote is exactly right, that the prime reason for the destruction of Sodom was their treatment of the poor and defenseless, the detestable things mentioned in the passage is probably referring to situations like the man on man gang rape of strangers as depicted in Genesis 19.

But.. the man part is worse than the rape part? Does not compute.

Obviously. That's why Lot offered them his own daughters to have their way with instead of his (male) guests.

I dunno Jonman. Italy allows gay marriage, and Lamborgini gets sold to Audi/VW. Coincidence? Or the will of a vengeful god. Just saying, a 4 wheel drive Gallardo was made.

KingGorilla wrote:

I dunno Jonman. Italy allows gay marriage, and Lamborgini gets sold to Audi/VW. Coincidence? Or the will of a vengeful god. Just saying, a 4 wheel drive Gallardo was made.

Right? If that's the best that God can muster with his righteous vengence and furious anger, he's managed to mildly irritate a laughably teeny number of people.

Jonman wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

I dunno Jonman. Italy allows gay marriage, and Lamborgini gets sold to Audi/VW. Coincidence? Or the will of a vengeful god. Just saying, a 4 wheel drive Gallardo was made.

Right? If that's the best that God can muster with his righteous vengence and furious anger, he's managed to mildly irritate a laughably teeny number of people.

All Wheel Drive vehicles are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benjamin Franklin

Tanglebones wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Seth wrote:

I'm not sure why that particular Biblical myth stuck in popular conservative consciousness, nor am I sure why Sodom's actual sins have been perverted to refer exclusively to homosexuality. It's why I keep refering to the story as a myth, because the myth isn't even Biblically accurate, as you point out. I'm not even sure why they use this particular story as an apocalyptic myth when there's a flood story a few pages nearby.

Just reporting on what I thought was a reason more plausible than "gays are icky." If you fervently believe that your God will destroy your nation if it accepts homosexuals, it would make sense to bite and claw and scream against that.

While the Ezekiel 16 quote is exactly right, that the prime reason for the destruction of Sodom was their treatment of the poor and defenseless, the detestable things mentioned in the passage is probably referring to situations like the man on man gang rape of strangers as depicted in Genesis 19.

But.. the man part is worse than the rape part? Does not compute.

Sorry, I wasn't implying that one was worse than the other, just addressing your comment about why people connect homosexuality with Sodom.

KingGorilla wrote:

I dunno Jonman. Italy allows gay marriage, and Lamborgini gets sold to Audi/VW. Coincidence? Or the will of a vengeful god. Just saying, a 4 wheel drive Gallardo was made.

Sweden repealed its "registered partnership" laws and fully replaced them with gender-neutral marriage in 2009. Two years later Saab files for bankruptcy.

Nomad wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Seth wrote:

I'm not sure why that particular Biblical myth stuck in popular conservative consciousness, nor am I sure why Sodom's actual sins have been perverted to refer exclusively to homosexuality. It's why I keep refering to the story as a myth, because the myth isn't even Biblically accurate, as you point out. I'm not even sure why they use this particular story as an apocalyptic myth when there's a flood story a few pages nearby.

Just reporting on what I thought was a reason more plausible than "gays are icky." If you fervently believe that your God will destroy your nation if it accepts homosexuals, it would make sense to bite and claw and scream against that.

While the Ezekiel 16 quote is exactly right, that the prime reason for the destruction of Sodom was their treatment of the poor and defenseless, the detestable things mentioned in the passage is probably referring to situations like the man on man gang rape of strangers as depicted in Genesis 19.

But.. the man part is worse than the rape part? Does not compute.

Sorry, I wasn't implying that one was worse than the other, just addressing your comment about why people connect homosexuality with Sodom.

Right, I have assumed there is a legitimate connection there, my question was why do they tend to ONLY connect homosexuality and not all of other reasons God destroyed Sodom.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

I dunno Jonman. Italy allows gay marriage, and Lamborgini gets sold to Audi/VW. Coincidence? Or the will of a vengeful god. Just saying, a 4 wheel drive Gallardo was made.

Sweden repealed its "registered partnership" laws and fully replaced them with gender-neutral marriage in 2009. Two years later Saab files for bankruptcy.

Do gays really, really like nice cars? Maybe God is just really really passive-aggressive in his punishments?

But America doesn't make any really really nice cars, so what are they worried about

Rezzy wrote:
Jonman wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

I dunno Jonman. Italy allows gay marriage, and Lamborgini gets sold to Audi/VW. Coincidence? Or the will of a vengeful god. Just saying, a 4 wheel drive Gallardo was made.

Right? If that's the best that God can muster with his righteous vengence and furious anger, he's managed to mildly irritate a laughably teeny number of people.

All Wheel Drive vehicles are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - @kiteandkey

Fixed for proper trolling grammar.

Activist judges strike again!

2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down saying that DOMA violates the 14th amendment. I guess this means I'm going to want to start getting it on with my toaster any day now.