I really don’t understand why this would need to be said, but apparently it does. Atheist is not a synonym for homosexual.
It is the current year. It is twenty sixteen. Homosexuals have the right to get married. It has happened. It isn’t going to change, nor should it. There was a brief time when there was a better option available, going forward with civil partnerships for same-sex couples which gave them all the same rights as marriage without poking the hornet’s nest and changing the definition of marriage. It seems that they were not interested in avoiding confrontation with the religious and they actively sought it. It is now too late. They have well and truly poked that hornet’s nest and nothing can undo that. So that’s the end of the matter. At least, it should be. But no, there is now a witch-hunt on against me because I went against the party line.
That’s funny, I didn’t think atheism was a party or a movement. I thought to be an atheist was simply a matter of definition, if you didn’t believe in gods, if you didn’t think gods existed, you were an atheist whether you liked the label or not. Now it seems there is a new straw man on the block, the no true atheist. No true atheist ever has a negative thought about homosexuals ever, or else they are not really an atheist at all, they must be religious and a homophobe, which means they must actually be homosexual and in denial. And they must be old and fat and ugly and stupid and uneducated and not in the slightest bit cool.
Ahhhh no. There is a fundamental reality of biology here. No matter how often you do it sodomy is not going to result in a baby, not even a lawyer. Homosexual couples are not the same as heterosexual couples. Denying biological realities will always end in tears or absurdities or both. It really doesn’t follow that the state or the law or society or however you want to define it ought to treat heterosexual and homosexual couples as if they were the same thing. They are not and they never will be. So treating them identically is A choice, not the only possible choice.
I didn’t see the point in drawing up battle lines with the religious and the older generation on the one side and homosexuals, leftists and atheists on the other. I could see that situation getting nasty. I could see that damaging atheist causes and ramping up hostility and mutual suspicion. If the only choice was marriage for homosexuals or no rights for homosexual couples at all then clearly homosexual marriage would be the best option. But that wasn’t the choice. In England there were civil partnerships. Only a tiny number of people had taken up the option, but then monogamous homosexuals are a minority within a small minority so that is not a surprise. Civil partnerships gave same-sex couples rights which were very similar to those of marriage. If they deviated from the rights of marriage then the argument should have been about tweaking them and not about changing marriage to make civil partnerships look redundant.
Civil partnerships had worked. They allowed monogamously minded homosexual couples to put their affairs in order easily. While the ceremony for the civil partnerships was deliberately low-key and devoid of symbolism which could be mistaken for a marriage there was nothing stopping a gay couple having a party afterwards or a blessing in a church or a chorus line of half-naked cardinals if they wanted it. I remember seeing a wedding in a registry office and seeing signs which said that civil partnership ceremonies were not weddings. I’m pretty sure that was because in effect that is exactly what they were: gay weddings. I also recall seeing a gay wedding cake appear in a cake shop window a few weeks before civil partnerships came into law.
Why would that not be a reasonable compromise? Everybody knows that homosexual couples cannot have children by just going home and doing what comes naturally and seeing what happens. There is a difference in the reality, so why not reflect that in a difference in the law? This is where they bring in the apartheid argument, separate but equal is not equal. But forcing two different things together and giving them the same label doesn’t make them the same thing. Rice and beans together do not become rice. Forcing integration does not make something the same.
So what was the argument against changing marriage? The precautionary principle. How on earth could marriage be improved by widening its definition and bringing in a whole new group of people with different values? To me it was obvious that if any people were married to a member of the same sex there could be no going back. This was an irreversible change. This was like rewilding Britain by releasing wolves and lynx in every town centre at midnight. Hey, it might work just fine. But it could also be a disaster, and there could be no going back. What the assistant registrar of Basildon has joined together let no man put asunder.
So the sky hasn’t fallen in. But there has been a sharper and clearer distinction now. Those who think they are tolerant have become even less tolerant of those who disagree with them. The message that atheists love debauchery and homosexuality is even stronger. The message that respect for the family is a peculiarly religious value is even stronger.
I have now been accused of being homophobic and as everybody knows homophobic people are, all of them, every last one, religious, lying, bigoted, hateful and homosexuals in denial. All this because I didn’t approve of the poke the hornet’s nest strategy for same-sex marriage.
Phobia. An irrational fear or hatred. No, no fear and no hatred either. I don’t hate homosexuals and I am not afraid of homosexuals or my own sexuality. I have no desire to engage in homosexuality because I don’t want to be intimate with a man. I have never masturbated to an image of a man, beefcake images repulse me. Images of men kissing also repulse me. It seems that when a nine-year-old boy expresses his disgust at people kissing in a film it is endearing, but if a man expresses disgust at seeing images of men kissing it is a disgusting display of hatred and fear. No, I don’t want that soppy stuff. I don’t like it. I know my own mind, you don’t. You don’t have the right to tell me what I am really thinking and feeling. So what if hardcore porn images of men are sexually stimulating, fantasy is fantasy. The reality is different. In reality having sex with a man involves a man, not a fantasy figure.
No good is done by telling men who are adamant that they are not homosexual that they are lying and really they are homosexual. Would these right on atheists tell Bruce Jenner that once a man always a man and to pull himself together and face facts? No, but they have no problem with saying that men who angrily deny that they are homosexual are really homosexual and that the anger is proof of it. It seems there is a single direction of progress for these progressives, from certainty and heterosexuality to a great big gender-fluid Grinder-powered gang bang.
What is wrong with decency and family? What is wrong with parents living together, being sexually faithful to each other and jointly focussed on providing a solid basis for raising a family? Why should the religious have the monopoly on that good life? Fuck that. I never knew what I wanted to do for a living when I grew up but I have always wanted to be a father and to have a family. That desire has absolutely nothing to do with magical invisible tyrants in the sky.
I have never been religious. I have never been abused. I am not damaged or resentful or full of hatred. I want the religious to come to terms with reality slowly and gradually. I want them to stop being silly. The last thing I want to do is force an unnecessary and damaging conflict between atheists and Christians. Christianity has tamed itself so that it doesn’t need to be hunted down like a rabid dog. It is like the neighbours small pet dog, mildly annoying when it barks at night or sniffs your crotch or barks at you when you approach your own house but not something that represents any real threat. If it did bite, of course, it would be kicked over the fence.