Saturday, August 22, 2015

Not All That New, Not All That Different

Straight couples are routinely shamed
 and pelted with rice just for following
the Biblical definition of marriage.
Hey, you know what never gets old? Conservatives appealing to their base by suggesting that they're being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Behold:

"There is this liberal intolerance that says that anyone that dares follow a Biblical teaching of marriage, that is the union of one man and one woman, must be persecuted, must be fined and must be driven out of business..."

-Ted Cruz, around a 
mouth full of pork chop

Yes, I said pork chop. Ted Cruz was at the Iowa State Fair grilling meat when a woman in the crowd asked him to explain why he thinks it's ok for Christian business owners to refuse service to gay people when-wait, what? Yeah, I thought that was weird too, you'd think they'd have people to do the cooking. I know he's running for the GOP nomination, but doesn't he kind of have a job already?
Grilling meat at the State Fair? How American! Nobody born in Canada would
 do something like that...wait, Canada? Who said Canada? Here, have a pork chop...
Ok, I know she only played Kitty Pride,
but still, it would have been neat to see
her sick Lockheed on Ted Cruz. 
Anyway, did I mention that he was arguing with Ellen Page? That's right nerds, Kitty goddamn Pride. Apparently, she was at the fair to confront Cruz which, while laudable, is kind of pointless. Don't get me wrong, this man deserves to get called on his bullshit everywhere he goes, preferably by the cast of the X-Men movies, but it's not like she's going to trip him up. His handlers have clearly armed him with an arsenal of anecdotes about decent, god-fearing folks whose livelihoods were ruined by gay people and their insistence on not being discriminated against.

"...or the owners of a bakery in Idaho who
were sued for discrimination and now can't
afford cancer treatment...for their puppy."
Are any of these people real? Were any of them driven out of business or hit with massive fines for failing to comply with anti-discrimination laws? Probably. I mean, it's happened, but then there's a GoFundMe campaign and they end up better off than they started. But the story is never about how they were acting like short-sighted homophobes who destroyed their own lives by stubbornly refusing to accept that sometimes not everyone is going to ask for a Biblically-sanctioned cake topper. It's about Christian business owners who heroically stood up for their faith in the face of 'liberal intolerance.'

The problem with confronting Ted Cruz or anyone who agrees with him about this is that the historical, social and logical contortion needed to make that narrative work is just not something Ellen Page can untangle in a five minute discussion over the din of a state fair. He's casting conservative evangelicals in the role of an oppressed minority, martyrs even, which is something they love to hear almost as much as he loves to spout it.
Man, you feed a few of them to the lions and they never let you forget it...

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