Reader Commentary: Free to not have to believe what everyone else does

By Michael Cash

Well, it appears that the right wing religious groups are up in arms over the recent Supreme Court decisions on federal benefits for legally married same sex couples and Proposition 8 in California.

The Westboro Baptist Church, for example, sees this decision as a hastening of God’s destruction of America.

I’m glad to get some clarity on who is responsible for destroying America. Since God is doing it, I guess it is no use to rail against Obama because he’s a socialist Muslim. Or to rail against the corporate greed that is killing our economy along with the help of the Republicans voting down every job-creating proposal that comes from the Democrats. And it is good to know that the fault for not extending Medicaid to the poor in several states is not to be laid at the feet of the Republicans, who refuse to help the “least of these,” but instead needs to be laid at the feet of Jesus, himself.

Although, I must admit to a bit of confusion on this last point in particular, since Jesus did say something to the effect of “in as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.” But then, I’m confused how right wing Christians can support not extending Medicaid to the sick and poor folks, and support cutting off money for food stamps for the poor (which includes a large percentage of our military veterans, by the way), when clearly their Lord advocates that we feed the poor and take care of the sick and feeble; or, at least, so I was taught. But then I guess somehow all that gets reversed because some men fall in love with other men and some women fall in love with other women and want to marry each other, and some justices say some of our state’s constitutions (like California’s) allow that to happen.

But for the life of me, I do not understand how Jesus could now be to blame for destroying America, where love and marriage just became more expansive, legally. Isn’t more love, good? Didn’t the Apostle Paul say something to the effect of love, hope and charity abide, but the greatest of these is love?

I guess I just don’t get how everything gets reversed simply because our courts have allowed some homosexual folks to marry and get some legal benefits in the process. But then, I’m not God and can’t speak for him.

But I’m sure glad to know that the politicians are not to blame for the mess we are in. And if some god wants us to now turn our backs on the poor and feeble and sick, then I will have to choose not to worship that god, and not to serve that god. I will have to stand in defiance to those who believe in that god. I will have to choose to celebrate those who choose to love one another whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.

I cannot rap my mind or my heart around the twisted belief system of those like the Westboro Baptist Church, or Cardinal Dolan, or Pat Robertson, or the Family Research Council. Something in their theology stinks and has lost touch with the Jesus of Nazareth I learned about. His admonishment about “straining over a gnat but swallowing a camel” comes to mind for some reason.

Oh well, I’m glad this is America, and I am free to not have to believe what everyone else does, and free to fall in love with whomever I am lucky enough to fall in love with, and free to speak my mind in newspapers like this one. I, for one, hope God will bless America for allowing me those freedoms.

Michael Cash is a retired human rights professional currently serving part time on the faculty of the National Fair Housing Training Academy. He is a Fort Valley resident.