Monday, 30 July 2012

The First Baptist Church is a reflection of the future of homophobia.

Another day, another church doing something jawdroppingly backward and bigoted. Today we travel to Mississippi and the First Baptist Church in Crytal Springs. The First Baptist Church has taken the unusual step of refusing to marry a couple because they are black.

This is, rightly, anger inducing, and the fact that a Church like this exists in 21st Century America, even in Mississippi, is alarming. What we should remember, however, is that the vast majority of Christian churches in the world are as bad as this one, as they refuse to marry gay couples, fight against gay marriage and systematically work to undermine homosexuality across the globe and yet are subject to less outrage than someone swearing on TV at 8.55. The Church of England's view is that gay marriage would redefine marriage in an unacceptable way and marriage should be between a man and a woman with the possibility for procreation.

The Church of England; one of the nicest, most wishy washy moderate branches of Christianity that exists; is morally equivalent, on the issue of marriage exclusion, to a racist red-neck church in Mississippi (although I hate to think what the First Baptist's views on gay marriage are). Yet it's not generally seen this way. The outrage of which the First Baptist Church will justifiably become victim has no equivalent for the rampant homophobia of the Church of England, the Catholic Church or any other major Christian church that would not only refuse to marry gays, but campaign against their right to get married anywhere.

There has yet to be a plausible case put forward for why it's better to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation than their race, but the reason why organisations like the Church of England don't receive the outrage they so clearly deserve can be put down to homophobia being one of the final acceptable grounds for discrimination amongst large portions of society, again, thanks to organisations like the Church of England and the indecision of thick-skulled weaklings like the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It may take a while, but in a few decades, maybe longer, I believe we will be in a situation where churches that discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation are as uncommon and newsworthy as the First Baptists are today, and religious organisations that discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation are shunned by society as if they were discriminating by race.

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