It would appear that a million unicorns have accessed the server rooms at Facebook and Twitter and worked their magic all over them, resulting in a billion glorious, rainbow-filtered profile pictures.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably know these sprang up in response to the Supreme Court of the United States making same sex marriage a legal right across the country, with Facebook offering users the rainbow filters in celebration of the historic decision.
The U.S. change in law makes my heart happy and gives me hope because where America goes, Australia is sure to follow, right? Some think not, because this is same sex marriage, and not a war, after all. I know that our current PM isn’t in favour of following suit, but there are those in government with other ideas and it may happen regardless of what the Tonester wants. While they’re at it, perhaps they could find a way for an early election as well?
Seeing the profile pictures of so many friends morph into a rainbow in support of same sex marriage rights adds to the hope I feel. These friends are diverse- from many places, of many faiths and of no faith at all, from many cultures and varied professions.
Speaking of faith, I’m not religious. There is no spiritual hurdle to be overcome for me to support the right of anyone who wants to get married, regardless of their gender identity or preferences.
In fact, there are a whole bunch of people who ARE religious who also don’t have this hurdle, like fellow blogger Peachy Keen Mumma, who wrote some great advice from one Christian to another (more self-righteous and judgy) Christian. If only more people would take that advice on board.
The reason I’m mentioning it is that you have probably already seen a blog post or article, Facebook status, tweet or comment somewhere online lamenting the fact that same sex couples in the U.S. can get hitched. I know I have. And without exception, they’ve all been made by people who justify their position with religion.
Here’s the thing, though. “Because the Bible says…” does not make your words any less hurtful. “In the book of Leviticus…” does not make your words less alienating. Words like “unnatural“, “perverted“, “detestable” and “abomination” are not softened by a claim to “hate the sin and not the sinner“. Promising to pray for someone to stop being gay is not a kindness; it is condescending and hurtful. It says “Being yourself is wrong and you should be someone else instead.”
As an atheist, I’m not comfortable telling people how to Christian, generally speaking. But here is what I do know about it: You’re supposed to be loving and kind and you’re supposed to leave the judging up to your God.
There is nothing helpful, tolerant or loving about refusing to acknowledge a marriage between two people of the same gender. Yet a whole bunch of religious people say that is exactly what they will be doing. There is no kindness or acceptance in labeling anyone who isn’t heterosexual as “unnatural” at best. Yet many religious people have being doing it for centuries.
It might be a person’s opinion or deeply held belief but that does not and should not mean that they get to express it unchallenged- especially when such attitudes are nothing but harmful.
Homophobia is homophobia, no matter what you try to hide it behind. There’s all kinds of stuff in the Bible that religious people don’t abide by anymore, like wearing mixed fabrics or putting tassels on your outfits. We live in different times, thousands of years after those books were put together. We know much more than people did when those passages were written. We know human sexuality and gender identity is a spectrum. We know there are genetic indicators for homosexuality.
I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re using Christianity as an excuse to hate on homosexuality, you’re way behind the times.