“Bible Schmible!” That’s essentially what an article on the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog by Susan Jacoby (aka. The Spirited Atheist) said about the moral and legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage. Jacoby approvingly quoted Judge Vaughn Walker’s recent opinion overturning California’s Proposition 8’s restriction of marriage to a union of a man and woman.
“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” Walker had written. Jascoby called it a “historic sentence,” but admitted she didn’t have much hope the Supreme Court would uphold Walker’s decision.
“The profound religious conservatism of Robscalitomas (my acronym for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas) probably means four automatic votes against gay marriage as a right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” she wrote.
Jacoby explained that “conservative religion – based on a literal interpretation of Genesis and Leviticus – is and always has been the main source of opposition to gay rights.” That and simple biological reality, but Jacoby didn’t stray from her skewering of Christianity. She said Judge Walker had ruled that “disdain based on religious faith – even if ratified by majority vote – cannot jettison the constitutional rights of any group.” Thus, Walker’s ruling hewed to “what the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment are all about.”
While she was happy to mock “people who think Leviticus is an appropriate manual for modern life,” Jacoby was equally dismissive of “more rational, nonreligious” objections to same-sex marriage. “[G]ay marriage is so new and offers such a small sample that we really don't know whether such unions will be more or less stable than heterosexual unions or whether children will turn out more or less happy.”
But with characteristic liberal disregard for the potential consequences of the demand du jour, she wrote, “And guess what? It doesn't matter.”
Jacoby compared the case to “Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court ruling that overturned state bans on interracial marriage. While she cited the Virginia trial judge’s contention that God put the races on separate continents because “he did not intend for the races to mix,” she didn’t say whether that judge had cited scripture to back up his assertion. Nor did she acknowledge that, unlike same-sex marriage, there is no biological argument to be made against interracial marriage.
In a final effort to de-legitimize the California’s ratification of Prop. 8, Jacoby referred to polls suggesting generational rifts within various traditional Christian sects over the issue. Catholic bishops and “well-financed Protestant Christian Right organizations” threw money around to ensure Prop. 8’s passage – an act “unrelated … to the beliefs of their church members.”
A column by an atheist seems out of place in the Post’s “On Faith” blog, but the space regularly serves as a platform to push liberal agenda issues like global warming, and for attacks on religious and political conservatism, including the Catholic Church.