Thou shall not overwork the metaphors and cliches." Jesus, The Elements of Religious Writing and Style.
Much in the media about a Houston, Texas' "Garden Guy," who reserved the right to refuse service to a gay couple offering their good, hard earned legal tender in exchange for the Garden Guy's expert Texas A&M horticultural services.
I, for one, support the Garden Guy's constitutionally protected right to deny interstate commerce to gay men with disposable income who only want to make their neighborhood and yard more beautiful and marketable. The Garden Guy has a First Amendment right to be a bigot and a Christian and exercise his free speech rights to the point he aggrivates the Hell out of me.
In 1964, Congress, in a fit of reasonableness and under the commanding thumb of congressional expert and magnificent bastard Lyndon Baines Johnson, passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act designed to get "Bubba" to stop denying service in public restaurants and hotels and gas stations to black folks who needed a place to eat, pee, get gasoline and get the Hell out of the South.
Well, gay folks were not on the political landscape at the time we got all guily about John Kennedy's death and passed that piece of fine legislation, unless of course you want to count Johnson Administration member Walter Jenkins who was busted for having sex in a YMCA (the shock!) mere blocks from the White House where other fine Americans were not busted for engaging in adult consensual sexual relations with whomever they wished to so engage. Gay people did not enjoy the fruits of our labor and generousity when we told people that by God or by law if they couldn't love each other they could at least let black folks use the bathroom at the Esso.
I for one am glad to know who the bigots are. I might have accidentally given my money to these "Christians," there by leading these idiots to conclude that I support their bigotry. Whew, I am so glad I didn't do that.
If you think these garden variety godbags are somehow righteously using Jesus Christ's words to hate the sin and hate the sinner, you would of course be wrong. But remember the Old Testament or as one of my Jewish friends says, "We prefer to call it the Holy Torah, please," which of course supported owning slaves, unless, of course, they were Jewish slaves owned by Pharaoh and daughters getting their daddy's drunk and having sex with them in order to propagate the already dwindling Jewish population. Somehow, I got the radical message from the uber-Jewish Jesus--lived with mother, until he could support himself as a rabbi, had a fall back job as a carpenter, worrying the hell out his parents, pushed into the family business, etc.--that we were supposed to love each other and that we were all equal in the eyes of the Lord. See, Romans were not closer to their little sky gods than Jews were to their mono-Yahweh.
Love and equality are still pretty radical notions, even to Christians. But if they want to turn away pieces of silver and damn people to economic segregation and ugly yards, fine with me. Until of course those activist judges, like the ones that supported Brown v. Board of Education and challenges to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, slap these silly bitches with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment which says thou shall not discriminate unless of course you want to deny yourselves all that disposable "gay" income. Go right ahead and hang on to your Church of Exclusion while other folks go right ahead a spend that godless money.
Satan--not that I believe that there is a goat-man, smelling of eau de sulfur--tempted the Jewish Jesus in a garden. Did the Garden Guy get that contract to landscape that scene of doubt and pain? But Jesus took the hard way out of the garden, sort of like Adam and Eve who would rather know that they were naked and human than live in blissful ignorance in a garden paradise. An apple a day....
Perhaps we should just go on ahead and wear our religious affiliations, by law, on our sleeves, with our better business/chamber of commerce conformity. If you won't tell me about your religion, I won't tell you about my secret garden. (see Nancy Friday for those of who don't read anything but your Bible.)
Religion has a role in public life. I don't make fun of the Garden Guy's sincerely held religious beliefs any more than I would argue the flaws in the National Socialists' logic regarding the New Testament's urging that Jews killed Jesus. (But didn't Jesus have to die to help the believers find forgiveness for their sins of hating each other and judging each other and defying God's commandment to love your silly-assed neighbors as you love your miserably perfect selves?) I don't fight with the mentally ill, the drunk, and the literalists. It makes loving them so much more difficult as my God commands me to do.