Serious question: Why isn't religious hypocrisy used more often against the opponents to same sex marriage?

For the last couple months, I've been writing the occasional post - titled #Biblebuffet - indicating the hypocrisy of people who oppose same sex marriage for religious reasons.

If you use The Bible to oppose same sex marriage, don't forget to execute adulterers, people who work on Sundays, and any woman engaging in premarital sex. All of these edicts are stated in The Bible just as explicitly as opposition to same sex marriage, and oftentimes within the same book of the Bible.

I was going to write another post today, but instead, I just have a question:

Why is this argument not made more often?

When someone like Ted Cruz argues against same sex marriage on religious grounds, why don't his opponents ask him why he isn't also stoning those who work on Sunday?

Or at least attempting to reinstate the Blue laws, making it illegal to conduct business on Sunday?

This seems like a perfectly logical argument to make, but I never hear it. And as someone who has read The Bible from cover to cover three times, I assure you that I could continue to write #Biblebuffet posts for years without running out of bizarre edicts and inexplicable prohibitions contained within the text.

Why not highlight the hypocrisy of bigots who hide their bigotry behind a religious text filled with equally clear prohibitions that no sane person would ever follow?

Seriously, what am I missing?

I'm also stunned that no one brings up Jesus when it comes to same sex marriage, because a complete reading of the first four books of the New Testament - the section on Jesus's life on Earth - makes sit abundantly clear that he never treat homosexual men or women with the same hatred and prejudice as people like Ted Cruz do today.

The man who opposed so many things in the Old Testament by advising his followers to turn the other cheek and "love thy neighbor as yourself" (also stating that there is no commandment greater than this) would never support these bigots and their crusade against same sex marriage.

No one ever talks about this. They allow religious zealots to treat The Bible like a breakfast buffet, picking and choosing convenient sections while ignoring others in order to support their own bigotry without ever challenging this hypocrisy. 

I want to know why. Seriously. What am I missing?

Star Wars will have gay characters. Bigoted heads presumably explode like Alderaan.

Director JJ Abrams has announced that there will be gay characters in future Star Wars films.

“When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course there will be gay characters.”

“I would love it. To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”
— JJ Abrams

My first thought:

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of bigoted, small minded, homophobic voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

I love it when the news can ruin a bigot's day.

A note to my children regarding the shame and embarrassment of 2015

When you read about the year 2015 in the history books, little ones, please remember this:

Yes, it’s true. It is still perfectly legal in much of the United States in 2015 to terminate a person’s employment because he or she was gay.

But please know that many of us – and perhaps even most of us – are nothing like the bigoted, cowardly elected officials who allowed such laws to persist.

I don’t know a single person who supports this form of discrimination, little ones. I know these bigots exist. I see them on television from time to time, holding up grammatically incorrect and poorly spelled signs and expressing their support for the predominantly old, white men who either believe in this form of discrimination or are too cowardly to stand by their own convictions and oppose their constituency.

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The country is changing fast, little ones. Same sex marriage is now legal in a majority of the states and for the vast majority of Americans. Ten years ago, there was just one state where same sex marriage was legal. The shift in attitude has been profound.

I have no doubt that by the time you are my age, the ability for an employer to fire an employee because he or she is gay will seem as archaic to you as Jim Crow seems to me. And like Jim Crow, a large majority of Americans opposed those laws at the time, too. But changing the law is oftentimes more difficult than changing attitudes and beliefs. 

Thankfully, the country is changing more quickly than anyone would have ever imagined. Just not quick enough if you are gay.

Mike Huckabee is a bigot still living in 1996

Jon Stewart, while interviewing Mike Huckabee, said the following:

Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have for religion — we protect religion. And talk about a lifestyle choice —religion is absolutely a choice. Gay people don’t choose to be gay. At what age did you choose to not be gay?

You know, you talk about the pro-life movement being one of the great shames of our nation. I think if you want number two, I think it’s that: It’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else.

I feel bad for Mike Huckabee. He talks about same sex marriage like it's 1996 and the world is still ruled by ignorant bigots and sensible cowards.

Someone please tell him that while he was busy doing his show on Fox News, the world finally moved on.


If you want to deny homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals, you are evil.

After reading about the doctor who refused to treat a six day-old baby because the parents were lesbians, my first thought, which I tweeted alongside a link to the piece from Slate, was this:

Evil scumbag.

And so I starting thinking:

Do I really believe that? Are the bigots who deny or wish to deny homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals inherently evil?

I think they might be.


Racists are evil. Right?

Denying children of color the same educational opportunities as whites simply because of the color of their skin is evil.

Imposing the death penalty on a person of color while imposing a prison  sentence on white defendant who is guilty of the same crime is evil.

Refusing to hire a person for a job because of the color of their skin or paying them less than a white applicant of equal ability is evil.

Slavery was evil. Apartheid was evil. Jim Crow was evil. Denying any basic human right or equal access to privileges afforded to the majority based upon the color of a person’s skin is evil.


I think the same probably applies to discrimination based upon sexual preference.

Denying a person the ability to adopt a child or receive medical treatment or marry or worship in a public place or benefit from legal protections afforded to heterosexuals simply because of their sexual preference is not only ignorant and cruel, but I think it’s probably evil, too.

No, I’m sure it’s evil.

There are people – including the evil scumbag doctor who refused to treat the infant – who will cite religious reasons for their discriminatory beliefs, but I have read the Bible cover to cover three times and know that these people – or at least the Christians – are simply cherry-picking the parts of Scripture most convenient to their belief system. The New Testament alone is enough to contradict the Biblical admonitions against homophobia. But even if you ignore Jesus’s command to “Love thy neighbor” or his warning to “Let him without sin cast the first stone,” the hypocrisy required to discriminate against homosexuals while still allowing adulterers and anyone who works on Sunday to continue to live negates any excuse for discrimination based upon Biblical doctrine.

The Biblical excuse for homophobia and discrimination is nonsense.

No, I think discrimination of any kind against homosexuals is evil, and anyone engaging in this behavior or supporting those who engage in or defend in this form of discrimination are evil, too.

Does their evilness rise to Hitler-like levels? Of course not.

This is not to say that these people are not wonderful parents and beloved colleagues and gentle souls who bring warmth and light to the world in many respects, but their desire to deny people basic human rights based upon their sexual preference is evil.

It’s time we start calling it what it is. If logic and reason and common decency isn’t enough to convince these bigots to change their minds and afford equal rights to all people, maybe shame will do the job.

Maybe the label “evil scumbag” will do some good.

If given the choice, I choose this tea party over the one that advocates killing gay people.

No, not the Tea Party that includes Oklahoma State House candidate Scott Esk, who endorsed stoning gay people to death via his Facebook page.

This was a kinder, gentler, more rational tea party with my daughter, but with strict rules about behavior and a serious condemnation of my chosen attire.

My daughter can be quite demanding. Then again, this tea party was planned for two days, so perhaps her expectations were reasonable.

Please note her own change of attire mid-party, which was the result of having to use the bathroom and not wanting to pull her princess dress back over her head.

Perhaps formality isn’t as important as she originally thought. 

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This Stephen Colbert segment is perfect. Stop everything and watch it now.

This satirical, snarky, occasionally condescending segment from The Colbert Show has given me heartfelt, legitimate hope for the country. It has caused me to question some of my assumptions about people and reminded me to keep an open mind at all times. It’s inspiring. And funny as hell.

It’s one of the best seven minutes of television I’ve seen in a long time.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Another bad day for the bigots

This is the second day in a row that I write about Pope Francis, and in a fairly positive light both times.


Today, it’s just one sentence, spoken yesterday by the pope and reported in the New York Times among many other places:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” – Pope Francis

My mother was a Catholic. If she were still alive, I suspect that she would be feeling especially proud of her faith today.

It took them long enough to come to their sense, but still. It’s a great day for the human rights struggle. 

More importantly, when the religious defense for bigotry disappears, the only thing the bigots have left to stand on is their own hatred and stupidity.

Just admit that you think homosexuality is yucky. Don’t drag religion into it.

A couple days a ago I posted a letter that was forwarded to me by a reader regarding gay marriage. It was pointed out to me soon after that The West Wing has a scene that conveys a similar message.

The message in both the letter and the scene from The West Wing is simple:

If you are going to use The Bible to justify your bigotry toward homosexuals, then you should be required to adhere to all the bigotry that The Bible demands. The word of God should not be digested buffet-style. Either it represents the infallible word of God or it does not.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last couple days, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s this inconsistency that bothers me most about these bigots.

If you don’t like my gay friends or believe that they are not entitled to the same rights as all Americans, I can at least understand this. Hating people for being different is nothing new. While I don’t agree with your position, I can at least attribute it to basic human nature. The human race has a long, unfortunate history of treating people poorly because they are different.

We’ve seen your breed of stupidity before.

But when you use The Bible as justification for your bigotry while ignoring those passages that are inconvenient to your cause (or demand that you stone your mother to death for wearing that Christmas sweater), you offend me and like-minded people on the grounds of logic and reason. Simply admit that you find homosexuals despicable or inexplicable or yucky, and I will at least respect you for your honesty. Defending your ignorance through blatant hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty only serves to further highlight your ignorance.

And while I may not be a religious person, this buffet-style approach to Biblical  doctrine also does great harm to the people of faith who sensibly acknowledge that the lessons of The Bible are not absolute. It’s the radicals, the lunatics and the hypocrites who cast a pall on the good work of the believers. Defending your opposition to gay marriage on religious grounds diminishes their good work and causes people like me to question religion in general.

Besides, anyone with half a brain knows that there is nothing redeeming about the Old Testament argument anyway. We all know that the same book that justifies your hatred of homosexuals demands that we kill anyone who works on Sunday.

By your logic, I should be stoning the New England Patriot players tomorrow at Gillette Stadium rather than cheering them on.

Please just admit that you are grossed out by the idea of two boys kissing and move on.

Leave religion out of it. 

Owning a Canadian would be awesome.

A reader sent this to me, expecting that I would like it. I did. It’s not exactly original in its conceit, but it’s well done and quite amusing , so I thought I’d pass it along.

I’ve also listened to Laura Schlesinger and found her to be condescending and unpalatable.


On her radio show, Dr. Laura said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Schlesinger, written by a US citizen and posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman,
Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia

P.S. (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian.)

Stop delaying the inevitable. Same-sex marriage is going to happen. Don’t be left standing with the ignorant and bigoted few.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant recently criticized a predominantly white church in his state for refusing to allow a black couple to wed in its sanctuary because they were “uncomfortable with a black ceremony.”

Bryant called that decision "unfortunate" and "disappointing," and said that it would likely taint the state's image in the eyes of others.

This same governor, however, does not support same-sex marriage in his state, seeming to possess no fear over the likely taint that his state’s image is already suffering in the eyes of others.

Regardless of what you believe about same-sex marriage, I do not understand why people like Phil Bryant cannot see that legalized same-sex marriage is coming to every corner of this country, just as it has already arrived to most parts of the industrialized world. To stand against same-sex marriage only serves to delay the inevitable. More importantly, you risk being known as the last of the bigots to oppose the marriage of two people who love each other, regardless of their sex.

Are Bryant and others who oppose same-sex marriage unable to see how this fight is no different than the civil rights battles of the 1960s and the shame associated with being forced to integrate your public schools by the National Guard?

Are we surprised that the church that is “uncomfortable with a black marriage” is located in one of the last states to segregate its public schools?

Support for same-sex marriage has increased steadily for more than a decade, with supporters first achieving a majority in 2010. An August 2010 CNN poll became the first national poll to show majority support for same-sex marriage, with numerous polls after it echoing this finding.

Those who oppose it seek only to delay the inevitable and risk being compared to men like George Wallace, who later recanted his opposition to racial segregation but not before his name was forever linked to it.

If you’re opposed to same-sex marriage for religious reasons, I urge you to open your Bible and take an honest look at the Book of Leviticus. Read it from beginning to end. Yes, it declares that homosexuality is an abomination. But it also says, in the very same book, that wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread and cutting your hair are offenses punishable by death, and that owning slaves is perfectly legal as long as they come from a country other than your own.

If you’re wearing polyester or getting haircuts on a regular basis, or if you oppose the human slave trade, maybe you can also find it in your heart to accept that same-sex marriage is just as benign. If you can pick and choose from the Book of Leviticus, why not add same-sex marriage into the column with crew cuts and cotton blends?

Pick and choose better, damn it.

If you claim to oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons but are simply using religion as a cover for your bigotry and intolerance of people unlike yourself, that’s a whole different story, and not one easily corrected.

Ignorance and cowardice are powerful forces to overcome.  

Nevertheless, there will come a day, not too far down the road, when our children or grandchildren will look back on this period in the history of the country and wonder why so many people were so concerned about two men or two women getting married, much the same way my generation looks back on the concepts of separate drinking fountains and separate lunch counters and segregated schools and wonder what the hell those people were thinking.

I write this today to urge you to reconsider your position if you are opposed to same-sex marriage. Your ranks are rapidly thinning as more and more people move to the right.

Not the conservative right, but the side of the righteous.

Change is inevitable. Don’t be left standing alone.

But I also write this today so that when my children and grandchildren look back on this period in the history of our country, they will know that I was not one of those people who opposed the marriage between two men or two women.

My children and future grandchildren will not wonder what the hell I was thinking. They will know that I was thinking the same thing they were thinking:

What the hell is wrong with you people?