Sometimes you really have to wonder what people were thinking when they did something. But then, sometimes that thing is quite extended, and you realise that a *lot* of people were involved, and they *all* had to go along with it for the complete production time. And you start to realise that it wasn’t like that because nobody thought it through: they thought it through, and they were ok with it.
In this case, I’m talking about Catholic Vote, who created a reprehensible video declaring to the world what awful human beings they are.
Here’s the video:
Of course the video
steals appropriates the style of the fantastic It Gets Better project, religious groups have been stealing appropriating the language of the oppressed ever since the oppressed started objecting to the state of the world. So this is entirely unsurprising.
What is interesting to me about this video is the success of the message “marriage is between a man and a woman”. This particular slogan has been flung around since LGBT identified people were able to be public with their relationships and not be killed or beaten, but found themselves being denied other basic rights that straight people have always had, such as being able to visit a loved one in hospital. Why is this message interesting?
Marriage is between a man and a woman
Of course marriage is between a man and a woman, no-one has claimed otherwise. However, this statement is, itself, deceptive and an expression of cowardice. What is actually being said, which the self-identified Catholics in this video are refusing to express explicitly, is that they believe that ‘marriage is between a man and a woman only‘, or to put it directly ‘the state should prohibit men from marrying men, and women from marrying women’. But that would be far too negative (and direct) for these deceitful folk. It wouldn’t be *positive*, y’know?
I find that this video talks a lot about ‘love’, much like many Christian videos, but it’s the kind of ‘love’ that one would express for a pet dog or cat: sure, I *love* my dog, but it couldn’t possibly have the same rights as me or my human friends. That would just be weird, right?
Bigoted is a huge word that gets thrown around
“And it’s just wrong” says the guy who is in favour of denying a basic right to a whole class of people based on their gender. I have to admit, I find this claim to be confusing. I’m going to take these speakers to be confused about the meaning of this word, and that they believe that it means ‘feeling hatred against a class of people’, because that’s the only way to make sense of their remarks.
If that’s their (wholly incorrect) understanding of the term, then I can see where they’re coming from. It would be completely nonsensical for me to declare that I know what those people in the video are feeling. Of course I don’t.
However, that’s not what the word means, at all, nor is it how that word is used by anyone, except by bigots to deny that they are. To be a bigot is to be intolerant. To deny access to society to a particular class of people. All of the people in that video, all of the people denying people who are LGBT from marrying people of the same gender as themselves, all of the people saying ‘marriage is between a man and a woman’ and letting the true meaning hang in the silence: all those people? Bigots. Without exception.
You cannot have a society of hatred or a society of bigotry
Again, this only makes sense if ‘bigotry’ and ‘hatred’ are seen as very similar in meaning, and it’s just nonsense. Do we need to really break out the example of the 3rd Reich in 1930’s Germany? Of slavery in the USA (and other countries)? Of the Residential School System in Canada? Are the makers of that video so ignorant of history that they let this stand?
Or are they just lying for Jesus?
In any case, I really have to wonder what the motivation for all of this is. I mean, sure, we can point at the religious views that the objectors have, and yet in this (as with all issues) the views of the religious are split on both sides. Ireland, famous for being so Catholic, recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of legalising gay marriage. And sure, we can point to a dropping off of the Catholic beliefs in my former home, but the religion didn’t change, just the laws. These American Catholics are taking a very American Protestant position against gay marriage. I think that to point the finger at either religion or nationality is to vastly oversimplify how our beliefs form, and how we react when those beliefs are stressed.
I also find it profoundly ironic that those arguing that ‘marriage is about having kids’ are, basically, condemning their own marriages: how often is there a commitment to children in marriage vows? Isn’t the typical vow to love and to cherish the other person? Are the anti-LGBT Catholics (and Christians, and other religious groups) going to start condemning those marriages in their own communities where people profess to marry for love? Isn’t that what the shift in marriage over the last 100 years was all about?
Ultimately, bigots are going to bigot, and there’s nothing to be done to stop them. And while calling out bigotry will make them sad, I think that’s a very small price to pay in order to show support for the historically oppressed groups they’re targeting. And if being told that what their actions are expressions of bigotry is the worst thing that happens to a bigot, then that’s hardly a bad thing at all…..