Sunday, 4 December 2011

Religious freedom?

So it seems that the religious "civil partnership" may be going to hit a reef of bigoted Tory MPs and bigoted Tory peers. But, to be safe, the Church of England has already rushed forward to make it clear that equality and love cannot happen in their churches! No surprises there; the homophobic church is pre-emptively ensuring homophobia is upheld but still hasn’t cracked its teeth on this hot mess in the Church of England newsletter.

Of course, we know that the Tory promises on marriage are pretty hollow, and the pathetic Lib Dems are going to continue to run interference on that one (no doubt lead by enabler in chief, Lyn Featherstone) so we’re probably not going to see marriage any time soon. But if we do see it, then it will also include a religious ban.

You’ve got to love the whole ridiculous “religious freedom” argument here. In the name of religious freedom, it’s necessary to prevent churches from having religious civil partnerships and it’s necessary to prevent gay people from having religious elements in their civil partnership.

We got that? In the name of religious freedom my religious choices are restricted, the religious choices of non-bigoted churches have to be restricted in the interest of religious freedom.

And this really shows you how hollow the argument of “religious freedom” really is. Here are religions that want to have marriage equality – the Quakers WANT to hold religious ceremonies marrying us but are prevented from doing so by a law that restricts their religious freedom.

In fact, I’m well and truly sick of the whole “religious freedom” argument. I’m sick of bigotry being characterised as “freedom.” I’m sick of my right to exist as a full citizen being considered less important than a bigot’s right to hate me. And I’m sick, sick, beyond sick, of us tip-toeing around some of the most hateful, bigoted monsters because they wave a Bible around.

If your church does not want to marry 2 people of the same-sex, if your church does not accept gay clergy on equal terms with straight clergy, if your church says we should change or be celibate or should die, if your church spends resources fighting our rights, if your church supports, produces or promotes hate speech, if your church treats us differently from straight people in any way, if your church considers it reasonable to debate our equality and worth – THEN YOUR CHURCH IS BIGOTED. It is taking part in the persecution of a marginalised group, it is homophobic and generally not nice people.

I am sick of churches being termed “liberal” or “traditional” rather than “bigoted” and “not bigoted” (I won’t even call them allied or good because not being bigots isn’t praiseworthy – it’s basic humanity. And it says a lot about the state of organised religion that we have to pull out the pom-poms and the trumpets whenever we find a church that doesn’t hate us). I am sick of churches being called “liberal” who STILL won’t treat us as fully equal (but they totally support civil partnerships! And they don’t want you dead! ZOMG SO LIBERAL AND ALLY-LIKE!). Enough. Call a spade a spade – and call a bigot a bigot already.

It’s not a traditional church, it’s not a conservative church, it’s not a moral church – it’s a bigoted church. Enough of treating these bigots with kids gloves. And people fighting to against our rights don’t have differing values – they’re bigots. People fighting in the courts so they can hang up “straights-only” signs in their window aren’t moral – they’re bigots. Churches fighting to have loopholes in equality laws for them to squeeze through aren’t upholding their faith – they’re bigots.

Bigots with a holy book are still bigots. Bigots who use holy verse for their hate speech are still bigots. There is NO principled objection to GBLT people or our rights – there is only bigotry

Religion is not an excuse for hatred and I’m tired of everyone giving it a pass and pretending homophobic bigotry is ok so long as it has a holy symbol draped on it.