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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Wake Up! What Theists Don’t Realize About Supporting Marriage Equality

Yesterday, in response to this post, I was told on Twitter that I alone, more or less, am making LGBT rights a divisive issue between theists and atheists.

While I found this entirely laughable – perhaps they were confusing me with God? – the conversation that ensued just absolutely blew my mind. Ultimately, I realized that LGBT rights supporting theists don’t actually understand that the fight for marriage equality is damn near entirely a fight directly against religion.

They don’t get that they would be fighting their own damned church. Even if their church happens to be one of the few that accepts and performs same sex marriages.

Here’s how it went down. I responded to the accusation that I was making this a divisive issue, with the fact that only 5 of 41,000 denominations of Christianity accept same sex marriage. I spewed other stats, but that’s the one that really hammers the nail into the coffin. In response, my facts were ignored and I was challenged to sign my name to a letter to my opponent’s church in support of gay rights. I took that a step further and suggested we started a movement in which LGBT supporting Christians the world over boycott their own church, both in attendance and in tithing, until it supports and performs same sex marriages. This was, once again, completely ignored and I was accused of not wanting to “stand by” my opponent and sign my name to their letter to their church.

Ultimately, my opponent felt uncomfortable with the idea of boycotting their own church, but was not honest enough to come out and say it. We all know my plan would be far more affective if we could get theists to commit to it, than a fucking letter. Being as this person is on another continent, adding my Godless name to a letter to their church would have about as much effect as a fart in an empty stadium: sweet, fucking bupkus.

Here’s the thing, though. If you’re tithing to your church, some of that money ends up in the hands of Christian lobbyists. There are religious lobbyists the world over, and they’re a factor in damn near every democratic country. They’re not only funded by money from most churches, but also money from individuals which include church leaders and members of church congregations. To think that your tithes don’t, in some way, reach a lobby group fighting to ban same sex marriage, is to be completely unaware of what’s going on in the world around you.

In the United States, where same sex marriage is still not legal in 20 states, there are several major Christian and Catholic lobbying outfits which, all together, represent every denomination of the faith. If you actually think you can attend a church, give to the collection plate, and not have that money help fund Christian lobbying in some way, you’re fucking insane. While churches are not supposed to engage in any sort of political activity, in order to maintain their charitable organization status, there are loopholes that can and are used and abused.

By giving your money to your church, you’re funding a war on marriage equality. There is no other way to look at it. 

The fact is, there would be no issue with same sex marriage if there was no religion. Sure, there are homophobes who are not religious, but they are few and far between. I, myself, have never met a homophobic atheist, although I am sure there are some out there. They are few and ineffectual. They most certainly do not have powerful lobbyists fighting for a ban on same sex marriage on their behalf.

The hatred for homosexuals comes entirely from religion. A fight for equal rights, is a fight against the church. If you’re uncomfortable actually taking a stand against your own church in the name of equal rights, well then, you’re not really a supporter. You just like to appear as such.

It sounds pretty: “I support equal rights”. It just means shit all if you can’t back it up with action.

It’s easy to look at the issue from a macro level, without having your emotions get involved or seeing the actual hurt and pain it causes in real people’s lives. It’s easy to stand back, give your money to your hateful church policy-changers and affirm day after day that you can support gay rights and still attend church. But at some point, you’ll see the damage it does. You’ll meet someone, or hear a story and it’ll finally sink in that this organization you refuse to leave is the direct cause of suicidal thoughts in teenagers, is the sole reason for kids to have no relationship with their parents, it is the force behind torn apart families, hate crimes and abuse. It’s a repulsive, abhorrent organization that, until it’s willing to turn on itself and eliminate that hateful faction of homophobes, is all to blame.

All to blame. There is no denomination, no church in the world that hasn’t been, at some point in history, an enabler of homophobic hatred.

I came across this video later on, which I shared on Twitter (have tissues handy):

Here is a gorgeous, brave and intelligent young man who thought daily of ending his life as a child. Here is an apparently loving family that has grown distant because of the homophobic hatred spewed by the religion they adhere to. Here is a child who would have, if this father and mother had not been religious, had a drastically different and more positive life. Here is a man who would not be still considering a life of celibacy to please God if he had not been raised religious.

Here is a child who struggled, day in and day out, wondering if he would be disowned and heartbroken without his family. A child who should have been worrying about homework and friends and jobs and fun, not whether or not he was an abomination. A real life, an entire childhood and young adulthood spent in self-loathing at a distance from his loving parents. Why? Because God.

And this, this is one of the stories that ended well. Think of all those parents out there whose children took their own lives, wishing that they had done anything but listen to their hateful church.

It’s not enough to say you support equal rights. It’s simply not enough to be a member of a church that performs same sex marriages. It’s not enough to write a letter to your church leaders. Unfortunately, it’s simply not enough… and the sad thing is, you know that.

Real people’s lives are being ruined. Real love is being thwarted. Real children are killing themselves or being forced into reparative therapies that are nothing short of Geneva-violating torture. Children. Children.

And all you want to do is write a letter. Shame on you.

As far as me making this a divisive issue between believers and atheists, while I am flattered you think I have that much power, the fact that you continue to support this hateful organization is what divides us. The book you revere contains hateful words that I would, under no circumstances, ever consider worshipping. I have far too much love for my fellow human beings to follow such a despicable piece of literature.

The time for fighting this murderous bigotry from within the church has well passed. It’s time now, to destroy it. Once we do, the equal rights thing will all fall right into place.

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