All Army Soldier Stephen Hill did was ask: Would any of the Republican presidential candidates repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, forcing him back into the darkest place on Earth—the gay closet. For that, he was booed by audience members and barely acknowledged by candidates who never miss the opportunity to flaunt their patriotism by shining their flag lapel pins and slathering all over the “brave soldiers” for their service. Read the story.
Michelle Bachmann, whose husband takes government money for his efforts to make gay people straight, was present at that debate. Rick Santorum danced around the issue saying that sex shouldn’t be involved in the military at all. The one thing everyone in that room had in common was they hate the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and they hate gay people (of course Christians call it love).
Scientifically minded people have grown exhausted attempting to reason with fundamentalists and many, such as Richard Dawkins, have abandoned the effort altogether. It’s understandable. After all, he’s basically just banging his head against a brick wall of ignorance. However, his resignation has put a real strain on those working to change the laws to elevate our society so that ALL men and women are treated fairly.
At the crux of Stephen Hill’s dilemma is creationism—the story that fuels the anti-gay movement and their justification for prejudice and intolerance.
Rational beings are confused. Why do Fundamentalists fight so hard against proven, scientific reality? Why do they risk looking unintelligible and illiterate in the face of knowledge? The answer is wrapped up in the Creation myth itself. The story answers their most fundamental questions: Why are we here (Because god put us here)? Why is there suffering and death (Because a man listened to a woman)? What happens when we die (We get a new garden)?
One of the most enlightening discussions on the Christian versus science debate was an interview on Piers Morgan Tonight with megachurch pastor Joel Osteen, who was asked about his view on the issue of homosexuality.
Osteen is often criticized by fundamentalists for never addressing the issue, which was why many on both sides were surprised when he said, point-blank, that he believed homosexuality was sinful. He drew heat from all sides—from those who called it hate speech, and from those who believed that he capitulated to the gay agenda by not saying “God hates fags!”
But the most telling aspect of the interview was Osteen’s candid admission that ‘he didn’t fully understand the issue.’ An admission that was both encouraging and disheartening: Encouraging because Osteen admitted that he didn’t understand the issue, but disheartening because Osteen, even though he was not fully equipped to deal with the issue in-depth, still chose to call it sinful: Thus reaching into the heart of this issue.
Joel Osteen admitted what evangelicals and fundamentalist will not: he doesn’t fully understand the issue. Yet, even though he doesn’t understand the issue, he (and everyone else) is still willing to call it sinful.
Their reasoning goes back to the beginning: In the beginning. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve; or Eve and Genevieve. Therefore one man and one woman will forever remain the template for human sexuality. Of course there is probably nothing on Earth more complex than human sexuality, but thanks to the fundamentalist’s inability to think beyond generalizations or to even contemplate complexity, the LGBT community is constantly relegated to the simple violation of a parable.
So it would appear that we still desperately need men and women like Richard Dawkins to stay involved in the creationist debate. Yes, it’s true that fundamentalists cannot (and will not) be reasoned with. If god himself were to speak from a burning bush and say that science was right, fundamentalists would abandon him (as they have already) and simply return to their created god. Still, we must continue to expose their story, over and over again. We must reveal every flaw, point out every mistake, expose every lie, until they can no longer justify their bigotry. Then, and only then, they will have to either abandon their attempts to harm gay men and women, or admit that it isn’t “love,” motivating them, it’s their own prejudice.
By the way, Stephen Hill, those are really nice arms. Are you seeing anyone right now?