Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tennessee Commissioner Brings the Crazy

I first saw this article last week, but it sounded so ridiculous that I wanted to hold off on it then in case it turned out to be some sort of joke or satirical story. But it looks like it's starting to make the rounds of other news outlets without being refuted, so it's either for real or highly successful trolling.

The deal is that Tennessee County Commissioner Karen Miller has submitted a resolution to be voted upon condemning the judiciary for overstepping its bounds on same-sex marriage. That's not the crazy part. Conservatives all over the country have proposed various resolutions to this effect ever since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry no matter where they reside.

But here's the crazy bit:

Fearing that may be too little too late, the passed resolution would also beseech God to not destroy Blount County — like He did Sodom and Gomorrah — for the sins of America.

“WE adopt this Resolution before God that He pass us by in His Coming Wrath and not destroy our County as He did Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities. As the Passover Lamb was a means of salvation to the ancient Children of Israel, so we stand upon the safety of the Lamb of God to save us, ” the resolution reads. “WE adopt this Resolution begging His favor in light of the fact that we have been forced to comply and recognize that the State of Tennessee, like so many other God-fearing States, MAY have fallen prey to a lawless judiciary in legalizing what God and the Bible expressly forbids.”

Presumably God will hold off His wrath until the resolution can be considered as it is listed as seventh on the docket — right after the board takes up compensation levels for Blount County School Board Members.

I have a hard time believing that anyone with reasonable critical thinking skills could possibly think that God would destroy some little county in Tennessee, even if you accept that (1) the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah really happened, (2)it had something to do with same-sex marriage, and (3) God has the power and/or willingness to randomly destroy places that piss him off.

It seems to me that if God were going to destroy someplace over homosexuality, wouldn't he have just nuked San Francisco in the early 1970's? I mean, that would have at least made a point. As for Blount County, Tennessee, how many gay couples even live there? How many people outside Tennessee have even heard of the place? Seriously, though, this resolution highlights the stupidity of modern literalist evangelicals.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah, according to reputable biblical scholars, has more to do with upholding the value of hospitality, which is seen as sacrosanct in Middle Eastern cultures, than it does homosexuality. And it has nothing to do with marriage. It's not like the crowd of evildoers in the story were saying, "bring them out, that we may marry them." But cherry-picking preachers at some point decided that the story was about God hating gays - not, say, rapists, which strikes me as a better interpretation.

It also seems shockingly dumb to suggest that God's wrath is going to be appeased by passing some pointless legal resolution. Jesus was a revolutionary, right? So if 1-3 above are all for real, it seems to me that Miller needs to actually do something to stop the destruction she apparently thinks is on the way. Kim Davis may be a complete shithead, but at least she put her career on the line to do something, ineffectual though it turned out to be.

I suppose if the motion fails and God really does rain down sulfur on Miller's county I'll have to admit that she had a point after all, but let's face it, that's not going to happen. It's quite possible that the Bible story itself never happened as described - after all, it was first written down many centuries after the events supposedly took place. I have no idea if Miller is just grandstanding here, or if she actually fears anything similar coming to pass, but for the sake of sanity I hope it's the former.

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