Thursday, February 27, 2014

What would Martha do?

Some organize their lives by asking the question, "What would Jesus do? (WWJD?). I ask, WWMD? --- What would Martha do?

While my favorite domestic diva may be lacking in omnipotence and omniscience --- that's more than compensated for by the gazillions of dollars she's earned over the years as a consummate entrepreneur.

And I know one thing for sure --- If Martha were an evangelical Christian and had been asked to bake a cake for a gay wedding, she'd have baked the darned cake, pocketed the check and said, "It's a good thing."

Martha, even if born again, also would have done just what Jan Brewer, Arizona's quixotic governor, did Wednesday --- vetoed SB1062, a Republican bill designed to give business owners the right to refuse service based on religious grounds to gay men, lesbians and basically anyone else they disliked. Only quicker. In fact, had Martha been there, the bill most likely never would have cleared the Legislature.

Just because, God knows, it's bad for business. As were and are the spate of similar bills introduced this year in states like Kansas, Idaho and many others, where Bible-thumpers control legislatures. Most have been derailed by Chambers of Commerce, entrepreneurs, tourism officials and others concerned about their states' business image.

While I'm by no means a fan of unbridled capitalism, you've got to admit in these cases at least that the free market has been a heck of a lot more effective than Christians when it comes to standing against discrimination.


This spate of anti-gay legislation was triggered, of course, by the increasing number of court rulings against states that have attempted by constitutional amendment and statute to prevent same-sex couples from marrying --- following a precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court when it gutted the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act last June.

That happened again yesterday in Texas, when a federal judge struck down that state's ban. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also issued a stay, however, so same-sex couples won't be marrying any time soon in the Lone Star State.

Such rulings have inspired Republican lawmakers in the Bible Belt and its satellite states to get busy trying to build into statute the Christian right to discriminate --- even though such efforts, targeting as they do a specific segment of the population, without a doubt would have been ruled unconstitutional in the long run, too.

About all that's been accomplished in the process is to further convince a citizenry increasingly skeptical about the motives and outlook of the church that Christians are just plain nuts, maybe even dangerously so. These folks are the public face of Christianity these days, you know.


Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians have taken to talking a lot lately about the mythical war LGBT people and their allies allegedly have launched against all they hold dear. But of course there is no war --- no need for one, really.

One of the more bizarre spectacles of my lifetime has involved watching Christianity narrow its focus to sexual acts and their outcome.

And you can be fairly sure nowadays that when the church unholsters its six-shooter of righteousness about all it's going to accomplish is to blow off another toe.

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