People who hide behind their religion to promote and tolerate the subjugation of marginalized folks disgust me. Plain and simple. Andy Gipson, a Mississippi Republican state representative, is among those who fall into this wanna be holier-than-thou category. In his response to President Barack Obama’s support for marriage equality, Gipson referred to the infamous Leviticus passage in the Bible as his stance on homosexuality in his Facebook status update:
Been a lot of press on Obama’s opinion on “homosexual marriage.” The only opinion that counts is God’s: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13. Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy.
For those who don’t read the Bible, Leviticus states: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
Gipson later responded to someone who condemned his status update with this:
Sorry I’ve been busy and not had a chance to reply. David, in addition to the basic principal that it is morally wrong, here are three social reasons it’s horrific social policy: 1) Unnatural behavior which results in disease, not the least of which is its high association with the development and spread of HIV/AIDS; 2) Confusing behavior which is harmful to children who have a deep need to understand the proper role of men and women in society and the important differences between men and women, and fathers and mothers; and 3) Undermines the longstanding definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, a definition which has been key to all aspects of social order and prosperity. Anytime that definition is weakened our culture is also weakened. And yes, that is also true for other conduct which weakens marriage’s importance in society.
When will these homophobic bigots stop hiding behind their religion in their hatred for the GLBTQ community and its activism to garner equal protection–and equal rights–under the law?
I know some out there feel social justice activists should waste little time discussing and dissecting the bigotry of those who hide behind the Bible and their religion to promote hatred. While the idea that an argument seeped in religious dogma won’t achieve anything is valid, I don’t think it’s prudent for us to allow these people to sit back and mask their hatred with their so-called respect for God and his alleged written words.
Bigots have long used the Bible as their reference when citing their opposition to any marginalized group’s advancement to gain equal protection under the law. While this has become a standard practice, it’s nevertheless reckless, dishonest and a distraction from the issue at hand: GLBTQ individuals are not entitled the same rights and privileges we straight folks take for granted. White racists used the bible and certain passages as proof that slavery and racial segregation were commanded by God for Christians to obey and tolerate. That type of selective appropriation eventually was widely abandoned as politicians and regular citizens alike began to accept that once-radical notion that people of color were indeed equal and deserved the same rights as whites. It’s well past high time this type of thinking related to GLBTQ individuals and their quest for full equality under the law be banished as legitimate reasoning.
Gipson’s assertion not only makes a mockery of Jesus Christ’s preachings of tolerance, charity and acceptance, but also puts forth the theory that the literal belief in the Bible is an acceptable way to live one’s life. Translating the Bible’s passages as truth will merely compel those who take those words literally to operate in a way that subjugates women, children and others they feel the Bible directs its oppression to.
Gipson’s assertion that homosexuality as an “unnatural” action that leads to disease promotes the perception that any expression of love other than heterosexuality is inferior. It maintains the idea that the only valid way adults can love one another is when men and women are joined in holy matrimony and use sex only as a mean to reproduce offspring. This cissexist, heterosexualist view of the world others homosexuality by linking it to other behavior such as bestiality and pedophilia and labels it as one that’s only designed to corrupt innocent, unsuspecting children and passing along diseases that these Bible literalists believe will wipe hope heterosexual beings, thus putting in jeopardy God’s will to carry on his will through offspring. This heterosexual supremacist thinking also others those in the GLBTQ community as those who are a threat to God’s creation and God’s will for cisgendered men and women to marry and reproduce.
There is no valid reason to not accept GLBTQ people and their sexuality as equal and entitled to the same rights and privilege straight, cisgendered individuals enjoy. An antiquated Bible passage does not give one free rein to use as their reason to cling to their bigotry. One’s religion does not give one a free pass in their promotion and tolerance of discrimination, hatred and violence towards any marginalized body. Gipson, or any Bible thumbing bigot, has no right to wield their religiosity as the basis for their beliefs in suppressing the rights and liberties of GLBTQ individuals.