Mayor Pete Buttigieg (of South Bend) and Mike Pence are both politicians from Indiana. To his credit, Mayor Pete remembers every nasty thing that Pence did to ruin the happiness of Indiana homosexuals while he, Pence, was in one office or another in the state. He is still disposed to hold Pence's feet to the fire whenever he gets a chance. I recall the general outlines of Pence's campaign of terror and discrimination, all in the name of religion, and I'm just a concerned outsider. Mayor Pete was a citizen of Indiana, and gay.
(For a nice rundown of Mike Pence's greatest (anti gay) hits, see the website of the Indiana Democratic Party (indem.org). They have a nice timeline covering anti gay legislation that Mike Pence either initiated or helped pass. It's too much to copy here.)
He's still at it, Pence is. That fat, white monument to religiously based intolerance and hatred just can't let go of the gay thing. It's almost as though Mike believed that the homosexuals, the handsome male homosexuals, were following him around trying to trap him in their lifestyle! Mike seems to be afraid that he could have a dog in that fight! What is he afraid of?
The two of them were at each others throats last week.
Mayor Pete addressed Pence in a speech before the LGBTQ Victory Fund, suggesting that:
“. . . if you (Pence) have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.” (Daily Beast; The Raw Story.)
By suggesting that he, and all other gay men and women, had been born gay, he really got Pence's attention. This is because Mike Pence, and most of those insufferable religious exclusivists, claim to believe that homosexuality is a choice. After all, God's opinion is right there in the Bible. In an early book of the Old Testament.
These people slay me. That “choice” argument belongs in the first order of stupidity. It's right up there with the belief that the earth is flat. But here it is again, from a man whose personal values and morals are slippery enough to allow him to back every play that Donald Trump makes. “I'm a Bible believing Christian. I draw my truth from God's word.” (cnn.com) These guys are so stupid that they stand there saying this with no beard, wearing clothing made from blended fabrics. I'll bet that if you made a cursory investigation, you would discover that Pence's wife has never once spent the night in the shed because she was menstruating. These Old Testament Bible thumping so-called Christians make me sick. Even Jesus had little patience with the Old Testament. “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” Now, two thousand years later, geniuses like Mike Pence claim to know the mind of God better than God or Jesus. Somebody gag me with a spoon.
All of the hundreds of versions of Christianity agree that there is an all powerful, unique entity referred to as “God,” who lives outside of time and space, having preceded both things, and in fact having created both time and space, out of nothing. In this system, God created us as well, in a flash, using the results of his creation of time and space.
The spectrum of people who believe this nonsense always amazes me, It ranges from the extremely dumb, like Mike Pence, to the extremely intelligent, like Pete Buttigieg. It is the very silliness of religion what has resulted in the hundreds of versions of Christianity. There is no evidence for any of it; it is all a matter of “belief.” You must believe! Well no, there really is no reason to believe any of it. In the absence of any evidence whatsoever, there is nothing to compel anyone to believe any of it.
This is why Mike and Pete can disagree so vigorously on the choice question. This lack of evidence leaves people on their own, free to interpret the rules and norms of Christianity in wildly different ways. Does God want us to baptize babies, or does God insist that the individual to be baptized be an adult? Is reaching the age of consent sufficient? The age of reason? Is the Sabbath every Sunday? Or is it Saturday? Europeans used to fight endless wars over things like these.
Take a break here. The only source materials for this foolishness come in the form of mediocre, fourth or fifth generation translations of Iron Age texts which all, in turn, separated by centuries, had to pass through an approval process designed to please the political requirements of a royal personage. Perfectly good revealed texts were discarded as having no value to the power elite of the time or appearing to contradict other revealed texts that the bosses liked.
Now add the cherry-pickers who refuse to take Mr. Jesus' sage advice to shit-can the entire Old Testament as superannuated bullshit. The beardless shrimp eaters in their cotton/polyester shirts under woolen suits. This allows some men to believe that God made us all straight because being straight pleased God and by golly, God don't make junk. This is a comfort to men whose teenage experience included unbidden erections while watching Hercules or a gladiator movie and who decided right then and there that hell no, they were straight and that was that. Prayer was their way to keep the demons at bay after that. We're all straight, gol-darn it! If anyone CHOOSES to be gay at some later date, that is a terrible sin and God had nothing to do with it.
On the other hand, it allows other men, like Mayor Pete, to believe that God made us all, and if some of us were born gay, that was God's will. For the same reason: God don't make junk.
Most reasonable men and women these days think that Mayor Pete has the better side of this argument. Most of us know and love some homosexuals, they are our friends and family, we work together, we go to school and serve in the military together, and we have been assured many times that yes, they have always known that they were gay, they were, in fact, born gay. It's obvious to most REASONABLE people.
Mike Pence is far from reasonable though, so he and Mr. Buttigieg are gearing up for a war over that point of belief, just like those long ago Europeans would in their shoes. Mr. Pence has even mentioned the 1st Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion. I would give my eye teeth to see him bring that question to the courts. Those would be Federal Courts, and some poor judge would have to listen to lawyers arguing that Mr. Buttigieg somehow violated Mr. Pence's right to hold a literal belief in the Old Testament, in its entirety, standing there without a beard. Pure comedy gold, that.
Speaking of potential for humor! That entire “choosing to be gay” thing makes me wonder if anyone has ever thought that one through. What would the mechanics of that be? Some kid is not getting anywhere with the local girls so he figures, fuck it, I'm going with the guys. The kid wants to get some one way or the other. Like you could turn it on with a switch. I did some thinking about what this would look like, and it was some funny shit. I discarded the idea, though. Way too stupid and unbelievable, unless you're Mike Pence.