“No religious tests shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall anyone be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”
I’m an atheist. I hear a lot about how I oppress Christian. I hear a lot about what I believe (most of it wrong), what I should believe (which is none of your business), and how I war on everything from Christmas to straight people, to freedom of religion. I’m constantly told I will go to hell, am destroying the country’s morals, and that I’m Satan trying to trick the righteous into perversion. And I hear this nearly every day from the roughly 75% of the nation that identifies as Christian.
Most national holidays find me struggling with a post offering my own brand of snarky wisdom to my fellow countrymen. I usually pick a dysfunctional topic du jour or bemoan people having only a scant idea what they are celebrating beyond a BOGO sale at the local appliance mart. There is often a plea to save ourselves from ourselves by showing rare common sense and unity we can use to pull ourselves together instead of sitting in a hand-basket and arguing about where we’re off to.
Of course, those pleas go unanswered so I’m growing bored with them. After all, how often can you lead a horse to water and stick his head beneath the surface to make him drink?
The Supremes have decided about gay marriage along very predictable ideological lines and — if you’ll excuse an unfortunate metaphor — the butt hurt is strong in some. Some of my conservative friends are in a funk, convinced they are doomed to irrelevancy for eternity. Others are — again, excuse the metaphor — taking the intransigent “The straight shall rise again” approach. Neither of these positions are true and what’s more, neither of them are very cogent.
Gay supporters, forget the notion the fight is over. Gay marriage may now be simply marriage, but that doesn’t mean truly equal rights. Depending on the state, legally married queer folk can still be fired or have benefits denied. Systemic discrimination will live on. People who won’t live next door to “one of those” or that drop a vicious remark or intentional slight abound. They won’t go away…ever. People are like that. You can legislate discrimination. You can’t legislate human emotions, no matter how hard you try.