Listening in on the Right-Wing Fringe: Gay Marriage Edition

Sometimes it’s fun to listen in on the religious right wing when they’re having internal debates about big issues like marriage equality.

Over at World Net Daily (which features such fact-challenged articles on how terrorists are setting wildfires and ads that promise to show you how to get an untraceable AR-15) there’s a fairly comprehensive article laying out the argument between those who wish to privatize marriage, and those who believe the government’s role is a necessary evil … for the children.

Those speaking in favor of privatization, like conservative talk host Larry Elder, say we should “leave marriage to non-governmental institutions like churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship or private institutions.” Others like anti-abortion professor Doug Kmiec agree, saying if the state got out of the marriage business “the question of who can and cannot be married would be entirely determined in your voluntarily chosen faith community.”

Which, of course, means atheists and those who have no “faith community” (think our millennial “spiritual but not religious” types) are cut out of the institution just like gays and lesbians. In their rush to give marriage to the churches, these folks would exclude a lot of people.

On the other side we hear from Ruth Institute president Jennifer Morse and the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg who argue passionately for keeping the state involved in marriage, if only for the children.

“Marriage is designed to protect the legitimate interests that children have,” said Morse, which actually, quite effectively, makes the case for marriage equality because, while the religious right doesn’t like and wish it didn’t happen, gay and lesbian people have children, too, and their kids deserve a little of that state protection as well.

I think it’s a legitimate question to ask the religious right, “What about the protection of our community’s children?” Apparently keeping gay and lesbian people as second class citizens and sinners in the hands of an angry God trumps the needs of kids.

But, the article closes by wrapping all the hypocrisy into a big ball and putting a bow on it.

Matt Trewhella, founder of Missionaries to the Preborn, (which wins the contest for “Most Ridiculous Right Wing Organization Name”), says we can solve this whole “gay marriage” problem pretty easily by re-criminalizing sodomy.

Which brings us right to their favorite rallying cry: “Government control for thee, but not for me.”

Candace Chellew-Hodge is the founder/editor of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for GLBT Christians and currently serves as the pastor of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C. She is also the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians (Jossey-Bass, 2008)