Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Don't pick on Gays

I think one of the biggest failures of the Religious Right has been that it has forgotten why it exists and this amnesia is hurting it and the Republican party to which it is enslaved.

I'm against abortion. I identify myself as a Social Conservative because I'm against abortion. I despised George W Bush first and foremost because he could not give a coherent case against abortion. He mouthed vague words about "sanctity of life" or something. Sanctity, that belongs in church, not the public forum. He got away with being squishy this way because where we going to go? Gore or Kerry?

Somehow the Religious Right has distracted itself with gays. If you're a Conservative and you think gay sex is wrong, don't do it. And if you're a member of the Religious Right, instigating against gays is bad for two reasons: 1) government has no business in the bedroom, 2) while you're lathered up about gays, you're doing nothing to stop abortion. Here's a clue: gays seldom have abortions. If someone needs an abortion, it wasn't because s/he engaged in gay sex.

I'm not saying gay sex is right or wrong, because you should look that up for yourself in the Bible. I won't change your mind either way. And while I'm talking politics, I think it's wrong for me to bring up bedroom activities. I think that kind of stuff is outside the proper role of government. (But if you're in church or some other social institution, that kind of stuff if fair game.)

Do I think gays have a right to use government de-legitimize my faith if it contains thou-shalt-nots about gay sex? NO. Do I think gays have a right to change traditions and institutions by force of political pressure and government? NO. You leave us alone; we'll leave you alone.

In yesterday's election an openly gay candidate for mayor of someplace won, but the Maine referendum stopping gay marriage won, too. (I think this exemplifies the Christian notion of "love the sinner; hate the sin." But that's too moralistic.) Rather, voters apply different criteria about gays when the question is personal or institutional. We care less about personal attacks predicated upon gay-rights, but we care more about preserving institutions and traditions in the face of gay activism.

Therefore, I think the Religious Right and the Republican party ought to take a more libertarian tack. Something that's been forgotten. Abortion is different b/c it takes a human life. That's nothing to be laissez-faire about. But sex, drugs and rock & roll. Meh.

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