Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Horse and One Carriage

Sinatra, apparently, did not know that marriage was the union of one man and one woman. He sang only that love and marriage went together like a horse and carriage.

Of course, you won’t find that rule in the bible: “Thy horse shall not lie with horsekind, as with carriagekind; it is abomination.”

Since the New Jersey Supreme Court has thrown the issue of gay marriage back to the state legislature, the bible-thumpers are vowing to keep the Institution of Marriage (hereinafter, the IOM) safe, not only in the Garden State but throughout the nation. The Republican leadership is anti-homobolizing the party’s base, particularly in the eight states deciding on constitutional amendments about whether or not to ban gay wedlock: The IOM must be safeguarded or civilization as we know it will disappear. In gay marriage, the GOP has once again identified a weapon of mass destruction.

But why does the IOM need protection? Is there some purely secular reason?

Don’t bother thinking about it; you won’t find one. The IOM is a religious construct. Laws passed to define marriage in sectarian terms, no matter how veiled, lead to an unconstitutional entanglement between church and state. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The zealots of the religious right need to put down Leviticus once in a while and read the First Amendment.

You don’t have to like gay marriage; no one can force you. You may have the same negative emotions about it that others of us have about two attractive blond people getting together; it’s not natural. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and ship’s captains would—and should—be free to decide whether or not to solemnize gay unions. But the government cannot make that choice. It is specifically enjoined by the Bill of Rights from establishing religion.

That’s why our homegrown taliban are pushing for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage. Wouldn’t such a new amendment conflict—if not legally, then at least in spirit—with the long-established Establishment Clause? Wouldn’t it be an insidious step up the stairway to theocratic heaven? Before voting to enshrine the IOM, would-be ayatollahs need to ask themselves: WWJD? What would Jefferson do?

In the meantime, don’t be fooled by reference to “tradition.” The First Amendment is not fiddling around, on the roof or elsewhere. Religious fanaticism and opposition to gay marriage go together like a horse and carriage. As Sinatra sang, “You can’t have one without the other.”


Anonymous said...

And now "Dubya" has decided to go off message to get in on the gay bashing act. His handlers were going to have him cruising the country appearing with those brave right wing souls who were willing to be seen on the podium with the "thief in chief." He was to speak about the surging economy and how well things are really going in Iraq if only the "driveby media" would just tell the truth. The fact that the stock market is up means everything is well in the "rightwingoverse." The fact that more and more Americans are getting reorganized out of a job doesn't register with the White House. Now we have another bunch of activist judges to be the targets of extremist radio.
On November 8th, unless Diebold and the GOP steal yet another election, the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on the right will be deafening.

Nick Danger

Anonymous said...

Hey! You're a pretty good writer! Who knew?


The Exterminator said...

Yes, Nick, let's hope the gnashing of teeth on the right sends them screaming to the dentist. However, many politicos on the so-called left have been ramming god down our throats, as well. I hate to characterize myself as a one-issue guy, but most other issues seem to spring, either directly or indirectly, from the use of religion as a political justification for despicable actions. I will not vote for anyone who claims to have any supernatural being on his or her side.