Okay, this post is going to cover a variety of topics because a lot has happened recently and I wanted to record some of my thoughts.
First off, due to the actions of the Republican party over the past several years, I have not only left the Republican party, I have actually joined the Democratic party. Believe it or not, for me this has been a major decision. I have been a Republican for my whole life until last December when I changed my registration to Not Affiliated. However, as has been made abundantly clear to me from the actions of people in the Republican party, I can no longer vote for anyone in the Republican party as it currently exists. If the party ever regains its sanity, I may go back. I know I could stay Unaffiliated, but I really feel that I want to vote in primaries, and in order to do that in Maryland, I have to be in one of the major parties, so I went Democratic.
Second, I have to address the Republican party's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision holding that same-sex couple have the constitutional right to marry. Listening to their reaction, you would think that the world was coming to an end. The hellfire and brimstone, apocalyptic rhetoric coming out of the right wing of the country has gone beyond disgusting. The Republican slate of presidential competitors seem to be racing each other to see who can come up with the most inane and asinine response to the decision.
While I can respect that people may have religious objections to same-sex marriage, there is a line that has to be drawn between people's public duties and their personal beliefs. Should churches be forced to marry two gay men or two lesbians in a religious ceremony? Of course not. Should a public servant be allowed to not issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple? The answer is again a resounding NO! If you are performing a public job, you have to serve everyone, period. If you cannot fulfill the basic requirements of the job, then you should leave the job, The only general exceptions are relaxing requirements due to physical/medical requirements. Even then, there are certain basic requirements that must be adhered to. This is true for almost any job.
Despite what conservatives (or some of them at least) may believe, (1) they are *NOT* a persecuted minority, and (2) the United States is *NOT* a Christian nation. While a large part of the population may be Christian, that does not mean that they get to impose their beliefs on everyone else. I have never heard a good or legitimate argument against same-sex marriages that was not based in religion. Does that mean that they don't exist? Of course not, but I still haven't heard one. And arguments based on the "traditional" definition of marriage don't work because there is no single definition of "traditional" marriage. For much of human history, marriages were arranged as business deals or were polygamous. The current definition of marriage as "one man, one woman" marrying out of love is a relatively recent invention.
In fact, the reactions of the right and various religious leader has driven me even further from both of them. I am not talking about simple disagreement, I am talking about the way that they have totally demonized LGBTQIA people or anyone else who supports same-sex marriage. Take, for example, the hardware store in Tennessee where the owner has posted a "No Gays Allowed" sign. While he is not breaking the law, the sign is a gross and blatant display of bigotry and hatred from someone who is a minister in a Baptist church. To have someone claiming to be Christian and obviously harboring such hatred and ill will is disgusting and will only serve to drive people from Christian churches. For more disgusting displays of bigotry see this video or this one.
Coming back to the claims that they are a persecuted minority in the United States, I want to know when the last time it was that someone was denied housing because they are Christian. When was the last time that non-religious parents kicked their kids out of the house because they said they were Christian? How many Christian kids have been driven to suicide because their parents rejected who they are or told them that they are evil and intrinsically disordered? How many Christians have been killed and left on the side of the road because they were Christian? All of these things (and more) happen to LGBTQIA people all the time at the hands of "Christians" and not the reverse. So stop the disgusting displays of crocodile tears at things that aren't truly happening.
I am not saying that all same-sex marriage opponents are bigots, but I am at the point where I am finding it almost impossible to give them the benefit of the doubt where this is concerned. I had harbored the hope that I would eventually go back to the Catholic Church or the Republican party, but at this point, I don't see how it can happen without some serious adjustments from both. Would I go to a more LGBTQIA accepting, inclusive church? Maybe. At this point, I am so disgusted with religion in general that I don't see it happening.