Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ruby the Church Lady

Sometimes I can't resist the urge. It isn't nice, it isn't pretty, and it usually strikes me at the worst of wrong moments.

But I'm like Pavlov's dog whenever I run across someone using religion as a blanket excuse for Being an Asshole Whilst Assuming the Mantle of Righteousness.

I'm not big on religion in general, as you know. But when I run across someone using it to justify assholery, whether it's being mean to a gay couple or engineering a sectarian massacre, it makes me all kinds of stabby.

Yesterday it was that idiotic Indiana "Jesus Sez It's Okay to be Hatin' on Homos" law, and a friend's Facebook feed.

Another FB pal posted this link to some sort of anti-anti-gay-law protest and it drew the ire of someone I'll call Ruby the Church Lady.

This is a summary of what Ruby the Church Lady had to say:
"This is not an anti- gay law but a freedom of religion law. Why do people insist others go against their religious beliefs just because they don't agree? What about the rights of the ones on the religious side. I suppose they don't count, they're not important, because there are those who think they're wrong. They are protected by the Bill of Rights. This law is redundant. Are they suppose to go against their beliefs because someone doesn't like what they are doing?...I'm not saying they are right or wrong. However, what good is freedom of religion if the gov't makes you go against your beliefs? You can't have it both ways. You are either free to follow your convictions or you're not. I doubt very seriously that these people, (bakers, photogs, florists) ever refused an African American. Because of all the uproar about this these people are losing their businesses. Is that right? It's not as tho they are the only ones in town who do these services. Instead of raising a stink about it, go to a different business. That's what I would do... If I had to choose who I would answer to it would be God, hands down...I am NOT openly against the rights of the LGBT community. I have a gay granddaughter and I support her completely and love her partner."
Of course you do, Ruby! Of course you do!

Anyway, let's see what else you have to say on the subject...
"...This is not a matter of discrimination against them. It is a matter of the free exercise of religious beliefs. Either you have that freedom or you don''t. If you are made to go against your beliefs you do not have free exercise of that belief. You and the Supreme Court can spin it anyway you want but that is a fact. Like I said., it is not as tho they have no where else to go, they do. The only reason you or anyone else would insist that they do not have the right to refuse service is because you want everyone to think as you do. and will cause trouble for anyone who doesn't. They do NOT have to do that. That is what FREEDOM is. They have as much right to their beliefs as you do and the free exercise thereof..."
Of course you see the problem here.

Ruby is, not to mince words, being a pig-ignorant, hypocritical, theocratic Bible-banger on this issue.

She completely misses the point where her Crusade - or jihad - stops at the end of my nose. And, of course, part of that is the part where if she opens a shoe shop and sells shoes to the public then she's gotta sell shoes to, you know, the Public. Every spotty ill-washed rube, every drooling gomer with money in his, her, or its wallet.

Every homo.

Doesn't mean she can't enforce some rules. No shirt, no service (can't really go with the "no shoes" in this case since, gudDAMN, she's sellin' shoes and if they had shoes they wouldn't be coming to ol' Honest Ruby's Shoe Emporium, right?).

No profanity. No show tunes.

But she can't hang up a sign that says "no blacks" or "no queers". Why not? Because let's say she's the ONLY shoe store in town. And she doesn't want to serve me because I'm black. Or queer. Or, hell, a left-handed atheist pan-flute-playing goatherd. So no Ruby shoes for me and how the hell do I get anything on my damn feet, then?

So. Bottom line - in this country, anyway, where Equal Justice Under Law is written on the fucking front door of the Supreme Court - is that I'm the Public, and you're serving the Public, you gotta serve me the same as anyone else providing I'm within the law.

Then you can then go pester Jesus, or Allah, or Buddha, on your own dime and on your own time...AND you don't get to be the "good guy" here. You may claim dot you vere chust vollowing Gott's orders but someone, either you or your God, is being an asshole. The hypocrisy of pretending to be the Noble and Upright Christian pisses me off far beyond the mere assholery of being cruel and unreasonable to other people for who they are and not for what they're doing.

In other words, Ruby the Church Lady pushed nearly every one of my buttons and I drooled on cue. To wit:
"Actually, no, it's not that simple.

I may worship Moloch, but the damn state law prevents me from sacrificing babies. I may worship Tir, but intrusive and unreasonable state law prevents me from strangling my king and throwing his body in a peat bog (actually, I suspect that state law has something to say about the whole "king" thing, but, whatev...). I may follow Jainism but the rigid and oppressive state law forbids me from walking into my kids' daycare sky-clad.

Sucks to be me, but, there it is. There's all kinds of things that your religion says you have to do - or can't do - that the law forces you to refrain from, or to perform. So this isn't a "controversy, got it? The people who want to run a public business have to leave their racial, sexual, religious, etc. exclusionary beliefs at home and serve the public. If you insist that your religion should let you discriminate based on things that people are and not things that people do then either you or your religion are effed up and wrong."
Now Ruby didn't like this at all. She replied:
"You are really comparing not wanting to provide your services on religious grounds to sacrificing babies or strangling a king etc? That doesn't even deserve a response!"
Yep, I said, and is the comparison so inapt?

Tir, Moloch, Satan, Ayn Rand, Communism...all have their "religions". Human and animal sacrifice were a respected part of most religions for millenia. The reasons for sacrificing kings, babies, and goats seemed perfectly good at the time. So did the reasons for stoning adulterers. So, frankly, do these contemporary "reasons" refusing to admit homosexuals to the common lot of humanity.

It's just a whole lot of lovin' or hatin' on things for no real "reasons" at all; just what your or their or his or her invisible sky-wizard or Earth spirit or inner voice tells you is good or bad. Or that YOU tink is bad and icky and wriggle around trying to find something in your religion to justify, so you won't feel like a self-righteous asshole.

And in a nation like ours, where citizenship is a matter of believing not in a God, or a flag, or a race, or a language, but in a couple of pieces of paper that boil down to "Equal Justice Under Law" that law must, must, require you to park your prejudice at the door of your public accommodation.

You don't have to love me.

You just have to work for me if I hire you, same as you do for Pastor Jenkins.

It seems to me - and pisses me off no end - that instead of admitting that they're being assholes, that they're indulging themselves and cherry-picking their beliefs that people like Ruby the Church Lady and her pals just want to have it all. They want to be "cafeteria Christian" - pick the parts of their religion they want - like not baking a cake for a couple of gay guys - but still want to wear mixed fabrics, eat shellfish, and go golfing on Sunday...and be considered sweet, wholesome, corn-fed, upstanding pillars of the community and all around Good People of the Earth.

Instead of a mob of selfish, hypocritical, bilious old bitches and bastards with a hate-on for stuff they find icky.

I'd respect them more if they just came out and said honestly that they hate what they hate and stood up honestly as the hate-filled skinsacks they are instead of hiding behind "God".

It's not the hate.

It's the hypocrisy that really gets my goat.

3 comments:

Ael said...

Chief:
I have teenage children, so *of course* I'm a hypocrite.
Being a hypocrite is fun because it frees you from petty constraints. So I'd be tempted to go easier on Ruby. Feet of clay and all that.

Furthermore, this issue is merely a flapping of the matador's cape. Something designed to distract from the inevitable thrust of the blade. Ruby's poison bile (and it is poison) is of little actual concern. Businesses *want* customers. Chasing customers away is a good way of ensuring that customers (and their friends and relatives) don't come back.

The real concern is with those worshipers of Mammon. You think that human sacrifice has been done away with? Look around and think again.

FDChief said...

I'm the other way; I tend to be harder on people like Ruby - who want to be spiteful, petty sonsofbitches but not be called out as spiteful, petty sonsofbitches - than the openly bigoted assholes who say straight up "I just hate fags/niggers/bitches/insert group here..."

Those people ARE obviously a-holes and everybody around them can't deny that. So the lines are drawn and everybody can get the knives out and fight.

The God-pestering sorts of bigots are really irritating just because its so difficult to get 99.9% of the sorts of places that most people get their information from to CALL them the bigots that are. The religion angle typically gets them cover, and they run it as far as they can, at it often works surprisingly well.

Interestingly, tho, the "prosperity gospel" sorts don't usually get that cover to work; they're tagged as the grifters they are and get hammered by everyone not obviously in on the grift.

It's the secular worshippers of Mammon - the "job creators" and their GOP enablers - that are the ones getting the pass. The whole "free market" nonsense has developed much of the aspect of a religion and is, similarly, usually left untroubled by the very people who should be most skeptical of its miraculous claims...

experientialpagan said...

Since I AM pagan, Ruby the Rube IS stomping on MY buttons. I particularly like her "that doesn't deserve a response" bullshit. Why can HER type demand a day off, why does school spring break always coincide with Easter and NOT necessarily with MY spring equinox, for instance? But my son was FIRED for taking HIS religious day off; while her type is legally protected.

And yes, most "modern" Christians do seem to worship Mammon more than allegedly gentle Jesus, as Ael said.

So no, I have NO tolerance. And MY religion does not require me to tolerate ignorant assinine twitches like her.