Last Friday night, like many a night during the winters here in Louisiana, I was at a hockey game at the Cajundome along with a couple thousand other fans. The section I sit in is probably the loudest in the entire arena – that’s pretty much common knowledge to anyone who has gone to a game there. We heckle the opposing players, yell at the always incompetent referees and of course, cheer on our team. It’s a great time and since this is small town hockey, everyone from the owners on down know us by name. We’re loud, we’re silly but we keep it clean because there’s kids with us and all around us.
Well, this past Friday, someone didn’t like our antics and decided to raise a stink about it. First, he angrily stormed over to a couple of us with his finger waving in our faces saying that if he came back over, he was going to “knock someone out.” Once he was told to buzz off, he then went and tried to complain to security that he wanted us ejected for no other reason than he didn’t like the noise. The cops eventually got involved and he was basically told to sit down and mind his business, or he could just move to another section, or leave in handcuffs.
As I laughed and took another sip off my delicious Abita Grapefruit IPA after the drama had died down, I couldn’t help but draw the comparison between the angry old man and America’s rightwing. Just like the only person out of thousands who had an issue and created a scene about it, the same thing is true of the far right. You see, these are people who really do believe the world does, or should, revolve around them because they’re white, heterosexual, and Christian. They don’t want equal rights, they want superior rights. They want a VIP ticket to a world that existed not too long ago, a world that was dominated by white Christians. The “good old days” in which women and minorities “knew their place” and white privilege was alive and well.
These are people who believe that their perceived right to impose their worldview on others somehow supersedes the actual rights guaranteed to those they are trying to repress under the Constitution, and when they fail to intimidate those individuals as the old man at the hockey game tried to do Friday, they’ll then turn to government to try to make their prejudices into law while screaming that they’re being discriminated against.
There’s few better examples than the recent bills that have been introduced in states like Kansas and Arizona that allow businesses to refuse service due to religious beliefs. Of course, if any of these ridiculous pieces of legislation are signed into law, they will be struck down by the judicial system after costing the states millions of dollars in legal fees, but never let common sense get in the way of passing laws designed to cater to the radical right which currently has a near choke hold on the Republican primary systems. I honestly believe that a majority of GOP politicians think these laws are asinine but vote for them anyhow because they are absolutely terrified at the thought of losing their job to a primary challenger backed by groups such as the Tea Party or the Family Research Council.
To me, there really is little difference between the modern civil rights movement that is pressing for equal rights for the LGBT community and the civil rights cause in the 1960s. The arguments from those who wish to impose their twisted, utterly false version of what some Jewish prophet said 2,000 years are very similar to the statements of segregationists 50 years ago, or even slave owners 150+ years ago.
Now let me explain this to the lawmakers and social conservatives in Arizona and elsewhere who are pushing legislation allowing discrimination. Hatred and bigotry justified by a flag or a cross is still hatred and bigotry, no matter where in history you may find them. You may not like the fact that LGBT people or other minority groups are slowly gaining the same rights that you always took for granted but your statements of “it’s against God’s law” are bullshit. The majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage and your false interpretation of an ancient book does not override the will of the people, or the equal rights of citizens as laid out in the 14th Amendment.
You cannot pass laws to allow discrimination against someone based on the color of their skin or the gender of someone they love. Certainly if I refused to cater your church wedding because I didn’t believe in your religion you would lawyer up in a heartbeat and scream religious persecution on every conservative TV program you could get on. You are not a special privileged class above everyone else because you are a heterosexual Christian, you are the same as everyone else – and it’s time for you to get over yourselves.
So, like the disgruntled old man at the game Friday night, you have a couple of choices. You can sit down, shut up and go about living your life with all of the rights that other people are just now getting to enjoy. Or you can move to a place where the laws are actually based on religion, the LGBT community is pushed so far into the closet they might as well be in Narnia, and Christianity is actually persecuted. It’s called Saudi Arabia, and I’ll be glad to help you pack.
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