Thursday, September 10, 2015

You Knew I Had to Go There

When I was a little girl, my mom would tell me to quit rolling my eyes because they might stick in mid-roll and I would be left with only my peripheral vision. In true Mythbusters fashion, I have tested that theory to the limit this last week. My eyes were rolling to within an inch of their poor, MS-riddled lives. For this was the week of Kim Davis. (For the record, my eyes have not stuck into the feeding shark position. I have, however, had a pretty decent headache for the last couple days.)
It’s a funny dichotomy, this conversation around the devout—if incredibly short-sighted and hypocritical—Clerk of Kentucky’s Rowan County. Because I hate the message she is sending, and I have to defend her right to say it.

At home. She has the right to say it at home. She has to wait to defend “marriage as God intended it” after she leaves the County Clerk’s office. After she finishes her workday as a (very well compensated) public official. You know what? She doesn’t even have to wait until she gets home. She has the right to stand on the sidewalk in front of the her office and display her bigotry by screaming at couples in love and waiving God Hates Fags signs.
But not on our dime, she doesn’t.
If she truly believed that she was angering God, Davis should quit her job. If she really believed that she could not have her name on a piece of paper joining together two people that love each other, she should sacrifice herself to her beliefs. Put her money where her many-times-married mouth is. She should quit her $80,000 a year job as a declaration of her piety. She should find the courage of her convictions.

But, of course, that is not what she did. Because Kim Davis is a hypocritical, bigoted coward. You know, just the kind of person that the Republican Presidential candidates want to align themselves with. Be photographed next to. Ugh.
As Americans, we all have a right to religious freedom. We all get to have our opinions and we all get to express those opinions. And we all get to be called out if we are spewing hate based on flawed logic. We all get to be mocked when we cherry pick the rules of the Bible that benefit our lives while ignoring the ones that may cause us to think. Or to perhaps become a better person.

And to say that anyone else's life choices impacts the sincere beliefs and choices you, yourself, make—you are allowed to make—only displays the religious insanity of your mind. By the way, when I say choices, I mean things like deciding to marry the person you love. I know being gay is not a choice. Being fabulous, on the other hand...

If your faith and your marriage are so fragile that I can break both by getting married to a woman, then you need to seriously reevaluate both your faith AND your marriage.

Aside—Is it only gay people that marry each other that will be condemned to hell? What about a gay man that is shamed and religiously beaten to the point where he marries a woman and makes both of their lives miserable? I think that he deserves that little marshmallow-over-the-campfire feeling too. Don’t you, Kim Davis?

According to Talmudic law, Orthodox Jews are not allowed to light a fire on the Sabbath. They take the Sabbath very seriously, above all other religious dictates. It's a big deal. Shabbat is right there among the Big 10. Ranking somewhere between Michigan State and Rutgers.

I kid, I kid. The Ten Commandments rank keeping the Sabbath holy right after taking the Lord’s name in vain and above both the ban on adultery and murder. So yeah, it’s a big deal. And on the Sabbath, you aren’t allowed to make a fire. So what do you do when you have to warm your house or light your stove on a cold Friday night? 

You hire a Shabbat Goy.

A Goy is a non-Jew. A Shabbat Goy is someone that you can hire for a mandated paltry fee (usually a dime or the end slices of a loaf of bread) to do the necessary tasks that need to be completed during the time period in which you are forbidden to do so. That way, the fire to warm your house is lit without a) you having to work on the Sabbath and b) without asking some other believer to break the Shabbat-no-work rules.

I feel like there is something kind of nobility in that. I know the stakes are low, compared to forever roasting in a hell pit with those damned married gays. But needing a Shabbat Goy is an inconvenience, to be sure. And Orthodox Jews do it anyway. And for the Goy himself (or herself, to be fair), helping light that stove—or babysit the kids or fixing a leaking pipe or running down to the corner store—those Goys are doing a true mitzvah. An act of human kindness.

Today’s Shabbat Goys are in great company. Among their ranks: Colin Powell, Martin Scorsese, and Harry Truman.  And you know who else? One teenage Elvis Presley.
I will never understand how anyone could spend any amount of time worried about what a couple in love are doing if they are not a part of said couple. I just don’t get it. Kim Davis is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because she feels that it violates her religious beliefs. Isn’t it obvious what she needs?
Kim Davis needs a Shabbat Gay.