Penn Jillette is an athiest and libertarian. He is torn. He wants people to have the right to run their businesses in stupid ways, like deciding to not serve people they don’t agree with, but does not want to encourage or allow discrimination. As a Libertarian, he does not want government to tell him how to run his business, but thinks that the idea of a cake maker making a cake for a same sex wedding is not an unreasonable thing. He says it all pretty well. And the video on this page makes it clear that many people think this is all simply the far right being sore losers in the same sex marriage battle and trying to win in a backhanded way, like the Jim Crow laws did.
One thing I have never understood is how people – who already have the right to go to their own church, worship their own way, go to a church that would not perform same sex marriages, and even not allow gays into the church – insist that everyone else behave the way they do. It would be like the French insisting that everyone in the US speak French. They already have their own country where they get to do what ever they want. Why do they need the US to be French? I think it is some deep rooted lack of confidence. Anyone with an opinion other than theirs is a threat. Or maybe a basic tenant of the whole conservative versus liberal universe.
Similar to the idea of people getting upset that you can’t put a creche up in a public space, when my own little town has 6 or 7 churches and a few hundred homes, all of which you can put up creches at. So why the need to put one up in front of the post office, police station, or water works? Why are there some people who cannot be tolerant of others and have to have all people do as they do?
I also like to substitute other situations to see how I think about them. For instance, can religious beliefs allow people to not serve people of other races? The bible was used by the church I grew up in, the Baptist church, to justify slavery pre Civil War. Here is the most shocking verse from the bible about slavery that I have seen: When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 – NAB Bible).
A very well written piece by Frank Bruni of the NY Times. Like many pieces I have read, it points out the historical string of beliefs of evangelical Christians being changed – like when many believed having slaves was not a sin, or using contraception was a sin – and used the Bible to back the beliefs up.
Matthew Vines left Harvard to confront homophobia in his evangelical community. Here is his video debunking the 6 verses dealing with same sex relationships in the Bible, using the Bible to do it. He is pretty good at using the Bible to point out there are more than a couple ways to look at same sex relationships.