For too long, religious and political maniacs have battled equality and social progress, and we should be tired of it
More than eight decades after the Scopes Trial, we’re still fighting that same religious mentality that throws up barriers each time someone fights for an enlightened government or equality for all Americans. Aren’t we tired of them?
On Dec. 2, 2013, Heath and Ronnie, a Dallas couple, were married in New Mexico. It would have been nice if they could have driven the few miles to the Dallas County Records Building for their marriage license instead of the 650 miles to Albuquerque, but petulant Texas is holding out on allowing same-sex marriage — along with 32 other states.
In 2013, nine states — Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico and Utah — moved out of the socially challenged column and into the camp of the District of Columbia and another nine states where millions of tax dollars will no longer be squandered on fighting marriage equality.
Not surprisingly, none of those states are in the Bible Belt, that region famous for its high teen pregnancy rate and inability to distinguish between a democracy and a theocracy. Oh, and there’s another indigenous trait those states, including Texas, harbor — stupidity. We’re right back to the Scopes Trial.
That 1925 legal case pitted the state of Tennessee against John Thomas Scopes, a high school teacher, who was accused of violating the state’s Butler Act, which made it illegal to teach human evolution in a state-funded school. That mentality still prevails in the Bible Belt, and it’s so very sad that it does.
The fight Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and their followers wage against same-sex marriage is an emotionally based one, not one fought with facts and rational thought. But the Bible Belt has always been as maudlin as an East Texas tent revival with its theological revisions and calls to fight anyone who believes Earth is billions of years old and not thousands.
For a country that faced the Great Depression, Nazi Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union and ’70s sitcoms, we’re a passel of pussies when it comes to shouting down the religious nut jobs. They attack us with their Bibles in their hands, acting as if the book was published last week in St. Louis. Listen to me, people. It’s an Eastern book, written by Eastern people for Eastern people. We are, if you haven’t learned, Western.
To understand the Bible, you need to understand the political, religious and social happenings that influenced the thousands of years of history it covers. And, it wasn’t written in English. There, I said it. Burn me at the stake.
Ignorant people wielding the Bible have been taking the government and schools hostage for too long. We don’t dare challenge them because what are you supposed to say when they tell us it’s the Word of God? Who’s brave enough to fight that reasoning? Better to shut up and cower than be branded a heathen, right?
I, for one, wish Jesus would come again, like right now, and take care of Perry, Sarah Palin and the millions of people who think as they do. As we wrap up the season dedicated to celebrating the birth of the Christian Savior, I’d like to add a prayer. Please, God, give those people a brain. Do you see what they’re doing? Do you hear what they’re saying? They’re about as Christian as a swastika.
We need to get angry with the religious bullies. We need to strip them of any control they have of our government and our schools. We need to debate them when they dare tell us we’re sinners because we’re gay and don’t deserve equality.
And I mean get right up in their hateful mugs and give them what for.
We need to re-enact the Freedom Riders of the ’60s and descend on Austin, Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and all the state capitals where same-sex marriage battles are being fought. We aren’t mad enough, people. We aren’t sick and tired enough of the religious tyranny. So, what’s it going to take to get us there?
The walls are coming down, just as they have in the past when fed-up people fought the political and religious bigots. But we have 32 states to go before marriage equality is enacted throughout our land of the free. Now let’s make it the land of the brave and help the activists pull down those last barriers.
Steve Ramos is senior editor at Dallas Voice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 27, 2013.