It’s not easy trying to win a war when you’re always on the defensive. The religious right has had us with our backs to the wall for so long, that it seems a natural position to be in. They keep throwing more and more blows, and we take a defensive stance and try to remain standing. I’m tired of it.
What if we played the game just as dirty as they do? They want to use the legislature and the courts to deny us our right to equality, why not use the legislature and the courts to fight right back? How about law suits against churches that amass huge amounts of wealth, and never pay a penny in taxes? Why should they be allowed to go without paying taxes when their funds aren’t used to feed the hungry, or house the homeless, but buy people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson designer suits, expensive homes, expensive cars, and to feed the campaign funds of other ultra right wing bigots?
We could lobby to introduce legislation to keep “creationism” and “intelligent design” out of the science classroom. Many of us don’t necessarily believe that it shouldn’t be taught, but then again, there are a lot of republicans out there who aren’t against gay marriage but still vote for candidates that are determined to see gays and lesbians have no rights at all.
What if we became just as politically active trying to keep religion “out” of the constitution and separated from government, as they are in their efforts to turn the United States into a theocracy? How do you think they would feel if instead of filing suits to try and achieve equality by bringing ourselves up to their level, we were filing suits to bring them down to where we live? You don’t want us to have protected rights as married couples? Fine, but you don’t get them either. Equal protection under the law doesn’t mean you have to let us get married, but it means that your rights, and mine, have to be the same.
My life long partner can’t collect my social security when I die? Fine, but neither can yours. We can’t pay less in taxes as a couple? Fine, but you don’t get to file jointly with your spouse either. I can’t marry the person of my choosing? Fine, then neither can you.
What if instead of playing on the defensive all the time, we did develop an agenda? What if that agenda was to attack, on every front that we could possibly find, the real enemy that we are facing and that is the extremists in the religious right? They are seeking to turn this country that was founded on religious freedom, into a theocracy that they get to define. If there was ever an “agenda” out there, the religious right has one, and they aren’t even trying to be secretive about it. They want gays and lesbians to be second class citizens. They want their view of how the universe was born taught as science. They want their definition of morality written as law. They want the constitution to reflect their views, and no one else’s. They want all this and more, and they want it now.
I’ve heard it said that it isn’t about whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. I’m not sure I agree with that statement in our case. They’re proving that by playing dirty, lying, manipulating data, and using fear and power to influence politicians and voters they CAN win. Granted, you don’t want to stoop to their level, but then guess what? They win.