Today, in Idiots: The People at the Comic Book Store
I was at the comics store in King of Prussia, looking at comic books while I waited for Verizon to fix my superphone. While I was there, I overheard a conversation between the clerk and, I presume, another customer, about why they were less than enthusiastic about the idea of gay marriage.
This was a revelation for me, I suppose because I tend to assume that people who like the things I like are basically the same as I am. This was false, and I found myself compelled to get involved.
Of course, it’s rude to butt into someone’s conversation, especially about politics. It makes you look like a huge jackass. But here’s what the guy, the customer, was saying:
“It’s just, I don’t care if they get married, I just don’t want to have to see them get married in my church.”
This is deeply moronic, but you see why I felt like I had to say something. If I don’t take the opportunity to correct grievous misinformation on the subject, then idiots like this guy will continue to go around believing that the gays are lobbying for the right to have a dragalicious ceremony in the First Church of Christ the Bigot.
First: gay people don’t want to get married in your stupid church. They hate your church, because your church hates them. Do you think they’re having wedding ceremonies out of spite? Bullshit, that’s what straight white protestants do.
Second, and more important: IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO FORCE YOUR CHURCH TO HAVE A WEDDING CEREMONY FOR TEH GEIGHS. Period, full stop, end of sentence. Impossible. The government cannot dictate how you practice your religion in your church. The First Amendment protects you from that, the First Amendment will ALWAYS protect you from that. Your privilege for not letting your church get directly involved in politics is that politics cannot get directly involved in your church.
Why is this? It’s because the marriage that happens in your church doesn’t actually mean anything to the government. It only means something to God. The state DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK. What the state cares about is if you signed the papers–that’s the “gay marriage” that people are trying to legalize: two people of the same gender on the fucking marriage license. It’s about taxes, healthcare benefits, adoption and social service issues, visiting rights in hospitals, &c.
There is absolutely no reason that a decent human being would refuse anyone any of these things, and there is, moreover, absolutely no reason not to just call it “marriage”, since that is exactly what it is.
I explained this to the people in the store — as I said, because I’ve come to think I have a moral responsibility to eradicate bullshit — with a great deal more tact than I’ve set it down here.
The man, who was the customer, sort of slunk off and looked at the new releases. He probably thought I was gay, and didn’t want me getting glitter on him, or something. The woman, the clerk, responded to my statement, “Well, who knows, right?”
I know, idiot. And I am explaining it to you, with basic words that you clearly comprehend. I watched the expression on your face as I smacked you in the brain with some enlightenment. I SAW YOU UNDERSTAND ME. Why are you doggedly maintaining a position that you can’t support? What’s this, “Well, who knows?” dodge? It’s bullshit, is what it is.
It is a Sysiphean task, I think, to convince people that basic things that are harmless won’t actually harm them, but some force deep in the recesses of my spirit compels me to try, anyway.