May 22, 2012

What's the Matter with Missippi?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Missippi's literacy program shows improvement
Not Enough

I kid Mississippi. But then, the good citizens of Mississippi make it way too easy. Even the governor of the great state of North Carolina can't help taking pot shots at the ironically monikered Hospitality State. When her constituents voted overwhelmingly to enact a redundant ban on gay marriage, Gov. Beverly Perdue was quoted as saying:

People around the country are watching us, and they’re really confused. To have been such a progressive, forward-thinking, economically driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights of people, including the civil rights marches back in the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s — folks are saying, 'What in the world is going on in North Carolina?’ We look like Mississippi.

Mississippians were offended, but when your state legislators are publicly calling for the execution of gay people, it's hard to call yourself a progressive state. Oh sure, Rep. Andy Gipson says he "never publicly or privately called for the killing of any people." But, yeah, he kinda did... when he cited Leviticus 20:13.

The trouble began when Rep. Gipson, who moonlights as a Baptist minister, condemned President Obama's support for gay marriage on his Facebook page.

Been a lot of press on Obama's opinion on "homosexual marriage." The only opinion that counts is God's: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13. Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy.

I tire of saying this, but anyone who is pointing to the Bible as justification for legislating marriage as a one man, one woman contract isn't just sidelining the First Amendment. They're ignoring what the Bible actually says. There is no scripture that explicitly forbids the marriage of same-sex partners. There is lots of scripture that endorses polygamy and marriage as a form of female slavery. And the penalty outlined by Leviticus 20:13 for same-sex relations isn't refusal of marriage rights. It's death.

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." ~ Leviticus 20:13

See, that seems fairly straightforward to me. Likewise, it was apparently clear to Christian rocker Bradlee Dean... until it wasn't anymore and he filed suit against Rachel Maddow for saying he said what he, in fact, said.

All of which brings us back to the question of cognitive dissonance, otherwise known as being at cross purposes with oneself. It's either that or a major reading comprehension issue. (See above)

Rep. Gipson, for his part, seems to be genuinely confused. When initially confronted about the incendiary nature of his citation, Gipson seemed to double down.

On Friday, Gipson posted: "I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God's Word."

So the death penalty for sodomites it is! But wait... no... This is all just a horrible misunderstanding caused by the liberal media! Or so saith Gipson in a public statement.

Since that time, a well-known radical liberal blog (The Huffington Post) ran an article falsely claiming that this Facebook post was a call "to kill gay people." Nothing could be further from the truth. I have never publicly or privately called for the killing of any people. I believe all people are created in the image of God and I stand firmly for the sanctity of all human life. All people are entitled to the protection of the laws of our nation and the state protecting human life.

Any reasonable person who reads the actual post can see that both scriptures were cited only for the proposition that same-sex marriage is morally objectionable - sin. I believe this reflects the values of the vast majority of Mississippians and the people of District 77 whom I represent.

On the plus side, he got the spelling of both Mississippi and Mississippians right. On the down side, he's still missing the point. If you quote scripture that calls for gay people to be killed, some people just might get the idea that you want gay people killed. Or as Zach Magee of GetEQUAL put it, "If that's not what he meant then why did he quote the scripture?"

It's not like Gipson didn't have other options. I mean, even if he wanted to quote Leviticus, which so many fundamentalists try to avoid, he could have found something a trifle less homicidal.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." ~ Leviticus 18:22

That makes the point... even if it does open up Leviticus enthusiasts to new levels of irony.

"Tattoo of Leviticus 18:22 forbidding homosexuality: $200
Not knowing that Leviticus 19:28 forbids tattoos: Priceless"

~ High on Quack

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