Kim Davis: It Was Never About Religious Freedom. 

Read about it here:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10156047682235615&id=358168880614

This situation with Kim Davis was never about her religious freedom. If it was, she wouldn’t have forbidden her deputy clerks to issue licenses. Instead, she ignored their personal convictions and ordered them to not fulfill the law either. Davis and her supporters have made it blatantly clear that their goal is not to protect her individual religious liberty, but to stop same sex marriages altogether at that office. It’s a gross abuse of her power as an elected official.

And the result of Davis’ insurrection? It’s far from harmless, unfortunately. Her clerks are being harassed and looked down upon if they dare to obey the Supreme Court and issue licenses (or God forbid follow their OWN religious beliefs), LGBTQ activists are receiving more threats and are fearful of engaging in public protests in that area, and this woman is STILL being held up as a hero when she’s really the villain.

I don’t care how many marriages she’s had, what her personal religious beliefs are, or what she does in her spare time. I’d be just as irate about her corruption if she was an atheist refusing to serve black people. If you ever hear of an atheist doing such a thing, I would oppose that person as well. The issue is not her personal beliefs, but her insisting on imposing those beliefs and opinions onto others in a manner that strips them of their legal rights and demeans them. The issue is her refusing to do her job but also refusing to resign, preventing another official who will do the whole job from being selected.

To be honest, despite her hurtful beliefs regarding LGBTQ people like me, I could have somewhat respected her if she’d voluntarily resigned. That’s a mark of a strong conscience, whether I agree with the beliefs or not, and that would not have oppressed anyone else.

She’s no martyr. She’s trying to use her government office to take away the legal rights of others, including her deputy clerks whose religious beliefs apparently don’t matter to Davis since she’s given them no choice. Her religious beliefs are the only ones that matter here, everyone else must bow to her wishes or she’ll throw a tantrum and purposefully go to jail to prove her point.

This situation needs to be talked about because it’s very dangerous. People like this sadly have a lot of support in the US, and the lies being spread in the media are causing increased harassment and hatred of the LGBTQ community. The Supreme Court is being compared to ISIS, irresponsible politicians are calling this a criminalization of Christianity, all of which just deepens the already deep cultural war over the legal rights of the LGBTQ community. And when you view your government as ISIS and LGBTQ people as militant bullies who are jailing Christians, why would these people refrain from taking the law into their own hands to push back against those who they so ironically view as their “oppressors”? Not much. Anything they do is “justified”. Hence all the threats and violence.

Yes, there are many other important issues in the world right now that also need attention. Davis is nothing compared to the refugee crisis, for example. But if we ignore religious oppression occurring in our midst, we will start losing our freedoms to these extremists just like Iran lost their freedoms to religious extremists. Have you seen photos of women there in the 70’s? They weren’t forced to wear Islamic coverings like they are today. Seriously, the Islamic revolution screwed up their country- and if we’re not careful that could one day happen here too. So we have to talk about situations like these, we have to challenge her martyr status that she doesn’t deserve, because otherwise our freedoms in the US will continue to be chipped away by religious extremists who don’t give a damn about what you believe.

Are you taking the side of the oppressor without realizing it?

Many anti-gay Christians think they’re being kind and loving to LGBTQ people because they’re not physically beating them up or calling them fags like Westboro does. But social oppression is about much more than just physically oppressing us or calling us a few specific names- and you’re probably contributing to our oppression even while praising yourself for being so “tolerant”. Here are a few things to consider.

When you stand by while others are oppressed and demeaned and bullied, you’re taking the side of the oppressors. They think that no one will stand up to them, that other people in their faith accept their treatment of us, and it tells us that we’re not worth defending. Multiple times I’ve been bullied by believers, and my “friends” would defend the bully instead of me just because the bully shares their beliefs and I don’t. But hurtful behavior is hurtful regardless of the beliefs behind it.

When you tell the oppressed that their struggles “aren’t that bad”, that they “shouldn’t make such a big deal out of it”, you’re taking the side of the oppressors. You’re also telling the oppressed that our stories and pain aren’t believable or important to you. Instead of listening to us, you are telling us how bad our pain is even though you have no first hand knowledge of it- and when we tell you that you’re incorrect, you get defensive. Bottom line: We’re telling you about our pain and you won’t believe us. That’s what an oppressive society does: It pretends that the pain they cause minority groups doesn’t exist so the oppressors never have to change. 

When we point out that you’re one of the people causing us pain through your actions or attitudes or words you use to describe us, and you get defensive and call us “bullies” or “too sensitive”, you’re taking the side of the oppressors. We all make mistakes- are you compassionate and humble enough to admit when you’ve made mistakes? Can you learn from them and refrain from causing us more pain in the future? Just because you’re not calling us “fags” doesn’t mean you’re not using words and phrases that demean and belittle us. Not sure what those are? Ask us! Or look it up! Many of us write blogs about this issue all the time.

When you tell us that our oppression is acceptable or even necessary because you believe we are “sinning”, you are taking one of the most oppressive stands of all. You’re telling us that it’s ok for us to suffer because of your religion, even if we did not consent to live by the rules of your religion. Our freedom of choice does not matter to you. Our right to live in peace and without persecution does not matter to you. Our right to follow our OWN beliefs does not matter to you.

Yes-I-am-a-Christian-I-believe-the-bible

Memes like the one to the left are supposed to sound loving and non-oppressive because they say they love us and won’t let anyone bully us. But it’s all very shallow.

“Name calling” and “stereotyping” is what we’re usually accused of when we point out that you’re still causing us immense pain and social oppression- we’re essentially called bullies for calling you out on how you’re treating a marginalized, mistreated minority. We can’t say anything about the negative way you treat us without being accused of having bad attitudes or being mean- even though your camp has been putting us down and restricting our rights for generations.

You say you’re not judging us, and yet in this meme you are:

Demeaning and belittling our loving unions by calling it “homosexual marriage”. Why the quotes? It’s clear that you don’t even accept this as a real thing, even though it’s very real and important to us and it’s now 100% legal. Your disgust and refusal to accept our relationships is crystal clear, and it’s not remotely loving. How would your black friends feel if you posted this meme with the words “interracial marriage” instead of “homosexual marriage”? Would they feel loved and accepted by you? Probably not.

Also, our sexual orientations are not up for debate in whether or not you support it- it’s a core part of who we are, just as yours is. Do I support your sexual orientation? I don’t demean it, I respect your right to live it even if I’m not straight myself, I don’t support laws that would restrict your right to live out your sexual orientation, so yes I do support it. So why won’t you do the same for me? You can support my basic human rights even if you think it’s sinful, just as you do with divorce and many other things that the Bible condemns but we allow in society. Supporting me as a non-heterosexual person doesn’t mean you’re condoning sin, it just means you acknowledge that not everyone is the same as you and that’s ok. 

You still won’t support our right to choose for ourselves or to be ourselves. You don’t have to agree with someone to support them and their choices. I don’t agree with your religion, but I support you as a person and I’ll always support your right to go to church even if I hate what they’re preaching. And I certainly wouldn’t imply that your religion isn’t real or valid just because I strongly disagree with it. You won’t support me as a non-hetereosexual person at ALL, even when my basic human rights are being denied and it’s causing me pain- but I’d better support you, or I’ll get accused of stereotyping and name calling and attacking your religious right to persecute me.

Do not diminish our struggles. Don’t patronize us and tell us that this is just about us “having different opinions” because it’s not. You are treating us like second class citizens, and then getting upset when we tell you that it isn’t enough- that being second class people is not ok with us. We’re ALL equal, we ALL deserve legal and social equality. And when you treat us like second class citizens and then call yourself our friends or say you love us- well, don’t be surprised if we don’t believe you, or when we get upset at the hypocrisy. With friends like these, who needs enemies, right? If our friends and loved ones won’t even support our right to be treated equally and fairly, socially and legally, what do you think we deal with from our enemies? Let that sink in for a moment.

And this is what we deal with. Every. Single. Day. And you wonder why some of us have short fuses. We have these very unloving friends that we must either put up with and try to coexist with even as they contribute to our social and legal oppression, or we remove them from our lives and get accused of being intolerant of someone else’s beliefs because we can’t stand seeing them claim to love us even as they hurt us over and over again. We can’t win!

‘Great Precaution Not To Offend A Minister’: Couple Denied Marriage Explains Why They Chose A Judge (link)

“We took great precaution not to offend a minister — that’s why we went to a judge to get married, never dreaming that he couldn’t follow the law,” Wilson told WTOL. “That he wouldn’t follow the law.”

“To go through that experience when it’s not pleasant and singles you out at a time in your life when you’re celebrating the fact that you have the same right as everyone else, it’s just not good. I don’t want anyone else to go through it,” she added.

But of course, the religious right will never be satisfied. Most same-sex couples who want to marry aren’t asking clergy members they don’t know to marry them, to avoid awkward situations and out of respect for their religious beliefs.

But taxpayer employees of the state have, as written above, a legal duty and sworn oath to do their jobs, “faithfully and impartially.”

How much more are same-sex couples supposed to do to appease anti-gay activists and “Christians”?

What more does the religious right want?

http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/_great_precaution_not_to_offend_a_minister_couple_denied_marriage_explains_why_they_chose_a_judge

So what more can we do? This couple specifically didn’t go to a church in order to not offend any clergy, and they were STILL faced with a religious person who refused to marry them, even though it was literally his job to do so.

This is the next stage of the LGBTQ movement for equality- making sure that state officials actually obey the law. State officials are NOT entitled to refuse service to anyone because of their personal beliefs- they are obligated to represent the law, not themselves, even when they personally disagree with the law. Any government official that cannot represent the law consistently should find a new profession, since they’re unable to fulfill their most basic duties which they swear to uphold.

Government Officials Already Fighting to Discriminate Against Same Sex Couples

Church-and-State

https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/memo-to-state-officials-you-have-no-right-to-discriminate

This action is necessary for two reasons: One, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley have deliberately confused the issue by asserting county clerks may have a “religious freedom” right to refuse to service to some couples and two, some clerks have in fact turned away same-sex couples.

Many of us had hoped that, in the wake of the high court’s ruling, recalcitrant state and local officials would do the mature thing, accept reality and move on. After some initial defiance, that appeared to be the case. In Alabama, probate judges who didn’t want to issue licenses to same-sex couples gave up after Americans United and its allies threatened further legal action.

It’s now obvious that some government officials will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.

County clerks are already trying to get out of issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, despite the law now allowing it. It’s caused humiliation, unfair delays, and it’s just plain wrong. They’ve even called the police on peaceful gay/lesbian couples just asking for a marriage license, which the law says they’re completely entitled to now. It’s like they see us as criminals for daring to ask a government employee to actually do their job.

It’s not the place of a government official to judge a marriage application that is legal under the law. Their job is to carry out the law, not carry out their personal opinions. Their personal views of the marriages they service are utterly irrelevant in this context; they could inwardly disapprove of every single one and still do their job. Racist clerks still have to do their job or they get fired. It’s no different denying an interracial couple than a same sex couple- they’re both legal and the clerk is not entitled to refuse either of them government service due to personal belief or prejudice.

Discrimination is not a religious freedom in public places of business or government service. These are our shared public spaces that must be accessible equally by all citizens. People can, however, discriminate all day in their homes, churches, private property, etc if they wish.

Satanic Group Wants to Erect Statue, Christians Should Support Them

This is great.

Ben Moushon Fitness

At first glance you’d want to think the headline is a joke “Group Unveils Satan Statue for Oklahoma Capitol“.  Then as you read, you realize it’s for real.  Most Christian’s will start by feeling confused, then scared, and finally angry.  Sure enough the same people who claimed that Phil Robertson’s rights were violated will begin to write their congressman and petition and most likely start protesting.  While others who aren’t quite sure what to think will resort to “it’s time to start praying”.  However, despite the disagreement that the two groups have, Christians should stay out of the way and even quietly support the statue.  Here’s why:

1.  The same rights that allow Christian’s the right to protest and evangelize, are the same rights that protect every other religious and non-religious group.  If you want to continue speaking your mind in public, the same right must be given to…

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