So…who died and made you God?

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

I was reading about President Donald Trump’s latest appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, Allison Jones Rushing, not just a vehement opponent of same-sex marriage, but someone who thinks homosexuality should be illegal again. She’s also wildly inexperienced and completely unqualified for the bench, but whatever.

And while we could get tied up with the outrage and angst of her views, it struck me with a bigger question that no one — ever — has been able to answer: why do folks like Rushing care so much?

While a similar argument on abortion could be made — if you don’t personally believe in it, don’t do it (the sympathy for innocent life rings hollow when anti-choice folks argue vociferously for gun rights, which has led to children being gunned down in their schools, on sidewalks and in church) — this “moral” crusade against the rights of the LGBTQ community strikes me as, well, bizarre.

Presuming you are a straight person, why the hell does it bother you that someone else is in love with someone else, whatever their sex? Frankly, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult (both words here are, of course, crucial), I’ve always thought that it was none of my damn business.

As a straight, happily married white guy, I frankly never cared one whit about whether someone is gay, straight, Bi, or whatever. It’s not like press gangs of gay men (in my case, they’d need to be visually impaired gay men) are going to come to my house and make me gay and break up my marriage. I’m straight, I like women — I was born that way, as I presume is the case with people of varied orientations. And nothing, and certainly no one else’s alleged moral outrage, is going to change that pesky fact.

To be clear, the evidence that straight people are such paragons of sexual morality is marginal at best. Divorce rates are pretty high — as is the incidence of cheating in the straight community. There’s probably a bigger conversation needed about the morality of monogamy, sex and the rest — but that’s even more complicated.

My simple standard is this: are you happy and are you loved? If the answer to both is yes, then why should anyone else be bothered about your life?

The idea of happily married LGBTQ folks seems to wildly excite the “morality” police, though.

“God said this is wrong,” they’ll say, like God stopped by on Hannity the other night to share a latte and a little hell and brimstone.

To be clear: the Bible is pretty fuzzy on this and seems more worried about folks eating shellfish and wearing clothing of mixed fibers than homosexuality — especially the Old Testament. As I don’t see protests at Red Lobster (and frankly — there should be because the chain is horrifying) or Nordstrom, this game seems a bit more like “who should we hate today to make ourselves feel morally superior?” rather than some high purpose.

In essence, these folks are sitting in judgment of others, exactly what the Bible suggests — in the words of Jesus Christ — is a bad idea:

Matthew 7:1-3: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

And in the Gospel of John Jesus is quoted as saying: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

In other words, leave the judging to God and worry about yourself. If you think it is a sin, don’t do it.

Really simple, right?

One could argue further that these folks are attempting to preempt the will of God — if you are a spiritual person, it is fair to believe that God created all of us exactly how we are and did so for a higher reason. For mortals to understand — or claim to understand — that reason or greater plan is a bit like a kindergartner claiming to understand quantum mechanics.

But apparently, these folks seem to think they know more than God and are happy to impose their world view on everyone else — some sort of misguided religious tyranny, wrapped in a veneer of “religious freedom.”

But again, why?

Not one person has ever been able to explain to me why one person loving another is wrong.

Maybe what we need is less judgment and more love.   

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