Sam Rohrer, president of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, stated that he was “stunned at [the decisions on DOMA and Prop 8] today to take a 360-degree turn away from the biblical definition of marriage.…we must continue to work to keep marriages and families intact, the way God intended them, and pray for a continued revival of the values upon which this country was founded,” said Rohrer.1
When I was 15 years old I created a 2 and a half foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe. It was quite an engineering feat: there she was in all of her youthful voluptuousness striding forward supported on nothing more than two strappy sandal, stiletto high heels. I determined that once dried and kilned, she would balance perfectly. Her curves, her expression her pose evoked a totally different era for womanhood…both good and bad. Tragically, she exploded in the kiln due to unseen air pockets throughout. That’s what I think of as I watch Paula Deen’s demise and it is also what I think of when I watch some of the conservative Christian reaction to the demise of DOMA and Prop 8.
Poor Paula. She doesn’t understand why people get upset when she uses the word ‘nigger’ when she is angry or threatened or why having it as a part of her personal vocabulary is seen as…uh, questionable. But then this shouldn’t be surprising coming from a woman who was fully willing to recreate a “Gone With the Wind” era South, complete with black slave help, for someone’s wedding2.
But remember, Paula Deen has always been this way; we’re just finding out about it. We still lapped up every dollop of butter she served and bought every book and laughed with her when she was brained by a ham. So what’s so different now. Well, now we know.
So what do Paula Deen and Conservative Christians against Marriage Equality have in common? A lot more than meets the swollen ham eye. Although statements like Sam Roher’s and pretty much anything Michelle Bachmann has ever said, are just plain offensive, they point to a deeper more restrictive concept of religion than the one they are touting as being solely for married heterosexual couples and couples in waiting (aka their offspring) in much the same way that Paula Deen’s claim that ‘nigger’ is a fun expression is a sign of a deeper set of flaws. These limited religious factions have decided that there is only one God, and only one interpretation of God not to mention deciding for everyone that there IS a God. Last time I checked, most Atheists didn’t quite run that way, Hindus are creeped out by that kind of limitation in the concept of existence, Pagans question “just one?”,and well, us Unitarian Universalists don’t accept anything that hasn’t been decided by committee.
Before MB makes a statement like:
Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted….For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations.3
She might want to consult a Rabbi:
If you didn’t navigate away and look at Reb Jeff’s article on marriage (from 2012 but effective nonetheless) he basically says that the Bible just doesn’t lay it out that clearly. He also brings up American law that only in the last 100 years gave married women ANY rights at all to their own property…largely because they were property themselves.
And Lord knows Michelle might be pretty confused by some of the “ins and outs” of Kosher sex…particularly where it says that the woman may not withhold sex or it is grounds for divorce.4
If the conservative Christians are not willing to accept even the twisted and conflicting language of their own Bible, do we really believe that they are going to take the time to truly accept Sikhs, Buddhists, Taoists, Confucianists, Zoroastrians, Shinto or any tribal religions? The framework that Roher, Bachmann et al are using is to declare Protestant Christianity the official national religion of the United States. I will not argue that Protestant Christianity is what the dominant population who founded this country practiced. But that same dominant population also practiced and perpetuated slavery, genocide, dowry rituals, marital rape, incest (first cousin marriage is still legal in 20 US states5) blood letting, and more recently pre-frontal lobotomies, thalidomide, ‘hygenic’ circumcision, silicone breast implants and anti-miscegenation. Not a great track record.
In the world of Bachmann, church is on Sunday, sex is in missionary position (appropriately named), marriage equals babies, people are either white or something else and God is God. The terrifying part is that there are an awful lot of people in America who think this same way on some level, just like Paula Deen ignorantly accepts ‘nigger’ as a form of endearment (and she is definitely no rapper.) The repulsion to same sex marriage is just the tip of the iceberg here. This is a group of people that does not want to see beyond their limited view and gay marriage is the current whipping boy. After 9/11 Muslims got their wrath (and still carry it.) Next year, there will be a new ‘other’ for them to be afraid of. Prior to 1967, it was interracial marriage and before that integration in general and throughout our history any kind of immigrants. These are all assaults on diversity and our rights to seek independent truth.
I return to my ill fated Marilyn statue, beautiful in some ways though she was, she could never have survived…and that is a good thing; let her rest in peace with all the conflict of talent, honest womanhood and male objectification and victimization she has come to represent. Similarly, we need to see the limited thinkers who invoke the US founding fathers to foist their beliefs on the rest of us just for what they are: perilously constructed statues of dead icons, waiting to self destruct in the kiln of modern justice.
1. Christians Stunned Disappointed in DOMA Prop 8 Decisions
2. Paula Deen uses the n-word: 8 Shocking Details from her Deposition
3. Michelle Bachmann Rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 Attack our Constitution
5.Wikipedia – Cousin Marriage