I was blissfully unaware of the existence of the "Nation for Marriage" website and the brain dead video it put out concerning the national peril of gay marriage until Frank Rich's column of last week in the New York Times. "The Gathering Storm" is damn near unwatchable in its faux solemnity and limited production values. The parodies of it that sprung up practically overnight on the Internet are far more entertaining as performance art.
Query: What did these idiots think would happen? Gay folks have access to technology too. And they tend to be better at it and funnier than a bunch of tight-assed lying straight people.
But I don't really want to delve back into my position on this other than to say that the gay friends that I have are about as exotic and militant as I am. Which is to say about as exotic as Tupperware. I say that if you oppose gay marriage, don't marry a gay person. And somehow the notion that gay relationships threaten straight relationships is preposterous.
It's not like I am likely to say, " Gee, living life as a second class citizen with no legal protections about the joint property acquired during a union with another man seems like the way to go. Where do I sign and is there any test involved?" However, I do concede that certain tedious discussions about the appropriateness of certain sexual activity is instantly off the table. They got that going for them.
No. What I am interested in is a new argument that is making the rounds, one which pops up in "Gathering Storm." It goes something like this: My religion opposes homosexuality. Therefore, any accommodation of such relationships by society interferes with the free exercise of my religion which is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.
My first response is that's a pretty narcissistic view of your religion. I am not overly fond of televangelists and other white collar-no pun intended-criminals. However, the fact that they have a right to ply their dubious trade is not questioned by me. Nor they affect my religious practices in the slightest.
Secondly, to have such a worldview is not that far removed from the way those old rednecks used to think. The only thing they had to be proud of was the fact that they were white. Which is why the Civil Rights movement was so threatening to them. The immutable characteristics imposed upon you by the entirely happy accident of your birth are no basis upon which to run an orderly society.
But this theory is out there. It is an equal opportunity basis for expressing intolerance. Certain pharmacists are using it to justify not filling prescriptions for birth control medicine. And some old boy over to Gassville used a variation of it the other day as a defense to a bank robbery
prosecution. No lie.
According to the Democrat-Gazette, our hero entered a little bank over there, implied he had a weapon and demanded money. While he was busy binding the hands of the tellers a local police officer snuck in and got the drop on him.
His defense? He felt entitled to rob the bank because the IRS violated his constitutional rights by taking too much money from him in taxes.
Naturally, he represented himself. And just as naturally, he took the stand to explain himself. Cross examination did not go well.
"So," said the prosecutor." " You believe you have the right to rob a bank and tie people up because the IRS violated your constitutional rights?"
" Yes," was the answer on cross.
The jury was out all of 5 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty.
The existence of people you don't like doesn't violate your rights. You are not that special.
And it sure as hell is no defense to a prosecution for armed robbery.
If you want to see the video go here. It's dumb.