For the second time in less than two weeks, I found myself hanging out with a buddy who brought along an acquaintance who felt the need to bring up politics and religion. While I sort of knew this woman (let’s call her Jenn), she was the cliché “friend of a friend” and we certainly haven’t spoken often.
Well, when my friend brought up what I do for a living, Jenn’s response was something along the lines of, “Please don’t tell me you’re voting for that lying b*tch Hillary Clinton.”
“Right now, name five factual statements about her,” I replied.
What followed (after the obligatory sign, of course) was your typical anti-Clinton talking points about her emails, Benghazi and how all she does is lie.
At that point, I decided (against my better judgement) to pull up some facts on my iPhone to debunk the drivel she had just spewed into my peaceful night of cold beer and the occasional whiskey.
Needless to say, as with most anti-Clinton folks, facts did not matter. She didn’t like Hillary Clinton and nothing I said or did was going to change her mind.
However, that’s when religion got brought up.
Jenn is one of those individuals who says they’re “about the Constitution” and “believes gay people have rights” — just as long as they don’t call their unions “marriage” and businesses like bakeries don’t have to be “forced” to go against their religious values.
It was around this point I fully engaged in “make this person look like an idiot” mode and unleashed a barrage of common sense, logic and rational statements that literally left her speechless at times.
I started by pointing out the contradiction in saying she believes in the Constitution, but then claiming that gay marriages should be treated “separate but equal” based upon her religious views. I made sure to point out that racial segregation was founded upon that same idea of “separate but equal.”
“That’s different,” she said.
Even after I pointed out that it’s a contradiction to claim that religion should be the basis for legalized discrimination against homosexual marriage or gay couples wanting something like a wedding cake (being that a person has rights — a business, however, must follow the law), but a person can’t claim religion to discriminate based on something like skin color, she continued to disagree. When I brought up the fact that people often cited religion as their justification for slavery, segregation and bans on interracial marriage, she didn’t have a whole lot to say about that. But that didn’t stop me from repeatedly asking her to explain why one person’s religious beliefs should be respected but another person’s shouldn’t.
Knowing that she’s divorced, I asked her if she felt it should be legal for businesses to deny her and her children service if they don’t believe in divorce. Obviously she didn’t believe that they should have that right, though you could tell that she was trying to think of some sort of reasonable reason why, but was struggling to do so without contradicting her belief about the “gay wedding cakes.”
I also asked her if she felt a Muslim business should have the right to deny services to non-Muslims.
“No,” she replied.
Being that her answer was expected, that’s when I pointed out that if a bakery should have the right to cite their religion to deny service to homosexuals then Muslims should have the right to deny service to Christians.
“Well, I disagree. This is the United States…,” she stated.
“Yes, which means we’re not a theocracy! Therefore it doesn’t matter what you personally feel religiously, no business has the right to force its religious values upon customers because it’s regulated by laws via a Constitutional republic. A person has Constitutional rights, a business must abide by Constitutional laws,” I said, cutting her off.
Spoiler Alert: She disagreed.
It was around that time I went a little “below the belt” asking her if, since the Bible frowns upon divorce and sex outside of marriage (especially for women), she felt people had the right to judge her for such behavior, or even possibly stone her since the Bible seems to be okay with executing women for all sorts of “sins.”
Not surprisingly, she didn’t think people should have that right.
I then asked her if she felt blended fabrics or shellfish should be banned since, you know, the Bible is clear that neither are acceptable.
“Oh, come on, now you’re just being silly,” she quipped.
I agreed, but then explained I was only being that way to show how utterly and completely ridiculous her views were on gay marriage and the right for businesses to deny services to gay couples. If you’re going to cherry pick biblical rules, you then have to give everyone the right to cite religion to justify a certain type of behavior. Otherwise, you’re setting a precedent where “it’s against my religion” is a pick-and-choose approach based upon subjective views rather than adhering to the strict standard of “religious views supersede Constitutional law.”
Another spoiler alert: In the United States of America, religious views don’t supersede our Constitutional law — because we’re not governed by a theocracy.
This back and forth went on for a little while, her continuing to try to justify why some religious beliefs should be respected while others weren’t, with me continuing to point out that it’s not only hypocritical to say some religious views are more important than others, but it’s also unconstitutional. I even brought up how Jesus Christ (you know, the individual on which Christianity is derived) never once spoke about homosexuality, which means she’s pulling her anti-gay views from the Old Testament, which strongly frowns upon divorce and sexual activity outside of marriage.
Toward the end of the conversation she was completely befuddled. It was actually quite entertaining to sit there and watch her realize her arguments weren’t making any sense, yet continue to stubbornly cling to her views no matter how many times I used different examples or situations to prove that not only was she being a hypocrite, but she was just flat-out wrong.