The Absolute Truth

Posted on March 26, 2013

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marriage-equality

There’s a guy who hosts a local radio show here.  He’s a right-winger, a conservative, a Mormon, and someone I’m loathe to give any more publicity to, but…

But sometimes the only way to fight ignorance is to call it out.  Once upon a time our country (and others) went for public shaming in the town square as a form of punishment.

Sometimes, I think that still might not be a bad idea.

The man in question, Bob Lonsberry, hosts a radio show and writes a daily column (on both the station’s website and his own).  Today’s topic?

Gay marriage.

The title of today’s post:  When were we wrong – then or now?

The thesis of said post is simple – at some point, either then or now, we were wrong about homosexuality and homosexual marriage.

I’ll let Bob make his own point:

 

“If gay marriage is right, there is no such thing as absolute truth. Absolute truth – which never changes and always stands – has been replaced with situational truth, which is no truth at all. Truth today is determined by pollsters and elections and, soon, the Supreme Court.

We have dismissed the wisdom of the heavens and the wisdom of the ages, and we rely upon our own understanding.

We don’t respect the past, we spit in its face.”

 

To be fair, Lonsberry frames his entire post not as a condemnation of gays and gay marriage (GM), but as making the point that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of GM and against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), then it is essentially saying that thousands of years of religion is wrong.

And yes, I know that is essentially condemning gays and GM.

Our “heritage” as he calls it, and GM cannot both be right, because they are “mutually exclusive”.  We have to choose between “the collective wisdom of humankind” and our “current obsession with gay marriage.”

According to Bob, we can’t have both.

And according to me?

Bob’s an idiot.

No… he’s worse than that.  An idiot is often an idiot through no fault of their own.  Intellect, or lack thereof, doesn’t make someone good or bad, moral or immoral.

Bob’s problem is not one of intellect.  It’s a choice.  A willful, self-imposed, deliberate decision to support a position that unquestionably flies in the face of everything he’s supposed to support.

Bob and his ilk preach every day, if not in a traditional “Bible-thumping” way, then through actions, through columns and radio shows.  They preach through their encouragement of belief in a God that doesn’t love but judges, who doesn’t forgive but punishes, who doesn’t see us all as created in his (or her) image, but sees some of us as flawed mistakes that need to see the error of our ways in order to attain some measure of “Godliness.”

That’s not being closer to God.

That’s being closer to man.  Fallible, weak, imperfect man.

In his column, Bob’s one consistent point is that if GM is right, then thousands of years of religion and culture are wrong.

He references Moses and Mohammed, Islam and Judaism, Martin Luther, John Paul II, and Allah.

If GM is right, he says, then they were all wrong.

Of course, Bob’s skipping a central point:  many folks who worship / follow one of those religions or figures would already tell you that folks who worship / follow one of the others are wrong.

As wrong as someone who is gay.  As wrong as someone who is gay and wants to get married.

Because those others worship the wrong God.  A false God.  Because only their God knows what is truly right and truly wrong.

But since most, if not all, of those religions seem to agree with Bob’s true unspoken thesis – that GM is wrong and immoral – well then Bob will defend them all. (Seem being the operative word — it’s all in the interpretation).

It’s a convenience.  One he and others like him will abandon as soon as the Great Gay Threat has been squashed.

That’s not Godliness either.

Godliness, as near as I can figure, should be about making things better.  It should be about peace and love and unity – the sorts of things so many of us shrug off and lump in as “hippie love child” crap.

Except it’s not.

Because that hippie love child “crap”?

That is Godliness.

It’s about encouraging those who love to continue to do so, no matter who it is they love.

It’s about encouraging and helping to build families, no matter what form they may take.

It’s about doing anything and everything we can to make the world better, to help bring us together – not to push and pull us even further apart.

It’s about remembering that we all live in glass houses, so we all should keep our stones in our pockets.

Because all of that is good.  And if God is as good as Bob and his ilk would have us believe, then how could he / she be opposed to any of that?

He / she couldn’t.  In fact, I’d wager he / she never was.

That would be us.  Fallible, weak, imperfect us.

Because that ignorance I said needed to be called out?  That shaming in the public square I said we needed to do?

It’s not just about Bob.

It’s about us.

It’s about every one of us who doesn’t have the courage of our convictions.  Every one of us who supports something, so long as it’s done from the comfort of our own couch.

It’s about every one of us who wore red or changed our Facebook profile picture today to support Marriage Equality.

And will change it back to a picture of our kids or our dogs or our favorite baseball team tomorrow.

And trust me, when it comes to this, I know my house is made of the same glass as yours.  And yours.  And yours.

Bob and his kind aren’t willing to adapt.  They aren’t willing to change.  They aren’t willing to put human beings ahead of their lockstep inflexible beliefs.

And they never will be.  Unless we make them.

Once upon a time, the “absolute truth” was that blacks weren’t even human.  The “absolute truth” was that women were inferior and had no business voting.

The “absolute truth” was that the Earth was flat.

Once upon a time, men stood in the doorways of schools refusing to allow black students in.

All because of the collective wisdom of humanity.

If there is any one absolute truth, it’s this:  the collective wisdom of humanity almost always leads to us doing something stupid, immoral, ignorant, or hurtful.  It almost always leads us further from God, not closer to him / her.

History is littered with examples of our collective wisdom leading  us astray.  And just as many examples of us finding our way back, of moments when we found a way to come closer to a loving, moral, unified sense of true Godliness.

And someday, if we all stand up now and make the loving, fair, and moral choice, the words of Bob and his kind will be forgotten and this will be another one of those moments.

Another moment when we realized what’s really right and did something about it.