It is a fundamental fact about power or politics. Smaller groups band together in an alliance in order to be able to stand up to larger groups. This helps preserve the existence of smaller groups and works to get both groups what they want. Such alliances can be powerful, but the last only as long as both groups work together for mutual benefit.
When one group throws another under the bus for their own gain, that ends the alliance, effectively. Because the abandoned group can no longer trust the betrayer to have their back. The sacred trust is broken, and so each must see to their own.
This is what the Gay Community has done with their relentless attack against RFRA laws.
At their core, RFRA laws are about protecting religious freedom for all religions. To date, religious freedom laws have been used to see that Muslims can have beards in prison (and now Heathens can too because of that ruling). A Native American was kept out of prison and allowed to keep his sacred eagle feathers, and many Native American tribes have been allowed the use of sacred hallucinogens. Pagans have been allowed their religious symbols and ritual items, and RFRA laws have been very, very important for allowing Pagan prisoners to have Pagan clergy for their religious needs, rather than having to rely on Christians, Jews, or Muslim clergy, especially in California, but other states as well. It allows Sikhs to wear their ceremonial daggers in places where weapons are banned. It allows Every religious person to wear symbols of their faith where ever they go.
Now, could an RFRA law be used by a Christian to defend themselves legally if they refuse to partake in something like a Gay Wedding? Potentially, but all the existent RFRA laws haven’t allowed that to happen. At best, the Christian would be able to argue they do not want to take part in a religious ritual that goes against their own religion, but then they could make the same case for not wanting to take part in a Satanic ritual.
But at their heart, RFRA laws are about preserving and defending the rights of religions, especially minority religions, from government control and force.
The Gay Community, however, has painted RFRA laws as nothing more than Gay bashing, homophobic excuses to discriminate against the GLBT+ community. They do not care about anything except a very slight chance that they would not be able to force someone who doesn’t agree with their lifestyle to do what the GLBT+ community wants. Simply because a Christian might have the option of not partaking in a Gay Wedding, the GLBT+ community have labeled all religious freedom laws as homophobic and evil.
They do not care about Pagan Rights. In leading the charge to have major business and other state government boycott states that try to affect a Religious Freedom Law, the GLBT+ community shows not only a complete disregard for any attempt to enshrine into law legal ways to defend and help Paganism obtain its full legal rights, they have shown a completely Fascist attitude to the rights of anyone but themselves, but especially to anyone that identifies themselves as religious. To further this end, Christians (like Memories Pizza) have been repeatedly threaten with real physical harm and the firebombing of their businesses.
That is behavior I would expect from ISIL or some other supremacist terrorist group. While anger would be understandable in the face of oppression, this level of violent rage in the face of mere opposition to their desires shames the GLBT+ community and puts us Pagans in an awkward place. Do we want to support such hateful and violent rhetoric and potential actions?
Many in the Pagan community like to laugh when we hear Christians complain that they are being persecuted. They’re the majority religion, and arguably the majority of citizenry in the USA. But at this point, the GLBT+ communities actions validate all those claims of persecution for Christians, but then spread that persecution to every minority religion, including Pagans, Heathens, Sikhs, Muslims, Native Americans, Buddhists, etc. Because RFRA laws allow us to argue for the legal right to do actions our faith requires that might be “morally” objectionable or Illegal based on the beliefs of others.
Let me repeat that: RFRA laws allow religious people to do what we are morally required to do by our religions, even if other people find those things objectionable and attempt to make them illegal or have made them illegal in the past to prevent the practices of minority religions.
Could that include Christians refusing to take part in a Gay “religious” ceremony? Yes. But that same inclusion is what would allow a Pagan to not take part in a Christian religious ceremony, or a Muslim to not take part in a Satanic ceremony, or a Sikh to take part in a Muslim ceremony. It allows us to not take part in religious rituals we object to, as much as it allows us to commit religious rituals others object to. So should we be forced to commit objectionable religious ceremonies simply because the GLBT+ community feels it is entitled to be able to do just that…all while stridently objecting to having to live by anyone’s morals but their own?
I say no, and any Pagan with any sense to realize what stripping away or denying legal protections for our religious freedoms should do the same. Not to mention supporting such gross hypocrisy. To support the idea that one community has the right to force other communities to live by its rules violates every ideal of equality and sets a dangerous precedent for other communities to come in and legally dictate morality for others. The GLBT+ community has not become what it always accuses the Christians of being and doing. Do we Pagans really want to stand in support of that action, when that blade can easily be turned to our own throats?
Legally, no Christian would be allowed to deny a Gay person service. In fact, most of the Christians I’ve heard from are happy to serve the GLBT+ community…just not at a wedding. Because it violates their moral conciseness. They will still serve them under pretty much every other situation, and do so happily. This law would not change every day business laws on discrimination. It might only have a chance, a chance not a certainty, of allowing a Christian shop owner not have to take place in a religious ritual they object to.
The ultimate sad fact to me is that RFRA laws could have gotten the GLBT+ community what they say they want the most: Gay Marriage. Because a successfully won RFRA case means the state has to legally recognize the right of the religion to commit an act/ritual/ceremony even if it otherwise is illegal in the state to do.
So if a pair of same sex Wiccans get married and they argued in court that theirs had to be a Legal Marriage because IT WAS PART OF THEIR RELIGION, and the court agreed…then Gay Marriage would be Legal. And the non-religious gay community could then point to that legal precedent and say “hey, if they can do it, why can’t we?”
And boom, legalized gay marriage.
But they didn’t do that. They refused to do that. Instead of being Pagan Allies, they are proverbially gunning us down as they try to hit the Christians. They are trying to cut down the laws that protect Pagan religions and their practices. Now, there are a lot of GLBT+ people in Paganism. Ours is one of the few religions out there that do not have any moral objection to that lifestyle or orientation. That’s one of the reasons so many Pagans were eager to jump in with the GLBT+ community several decades ago and in protesting the RFRA laws now. But Pagans failed to realize what these RFRA laws are doing for us and how important they are for Pagan Religions, and other Minority Religions.
So at this point Pagans, GLBT+ Pagans especially, have a choice to make. Are you going to base your identity on your sexual orientation or your religion? Which is more important to you, who you sleep with or who you worship? What matters most in your life: Your personal sex life or your Gods? Do you stand for equality and respect for everyone, or do you stand for using threats of violence and false narratives in order to force others to live by a moral code not their own?
What do you worship and hold most dear?
If you answer yourself, that your right to marry a person of the same sex and force others to aid you in your ceremonies against their will…why are you a Pagan? Why do you worship and pray to Gods when you put them of secondary importance to your own personal desires and gain? You dishonor them, and you dishonor yourself. Had you put your faith fully in them, it is possible you would have gotten gay marriage, but instead you spit in their faces for your own personal gain. Such things the myths tell us are acts of dangerous hubris which bring reprisals.
If you answer the Gods, then you cannot support attempt to curtail religious freedom, even if it offends you, because that freedom allows you to commit acts that offend as well. In keeping your faith, in putting the Gods first, you honor them and yourself, because you agree all should be free to live by their moral consciousness, even if it offends. You are showing not only them the highest respect, but all others the highest respect, because by allowing people to practice that which offends…you allow noble things like gay marriage to come into being.
I used to stand with the GLBT+ community. I supported their right to marriage, family, full legal rights. But they have not shown me the same respect. Their actions have shown me they would deny me my full legal rights…for their own personal convenience and pleasure. They have no respect for me, they are not my ally. So I cannot be their ally any longer and this saddens me.
The GLBT+ community has made their choice. They put themselves first, even above the needs of their allies, The Pagan Community. So the choice is on you, my fellow Pagans. Will you stand up for yourself, will you be Pagan, and your legal rights? Or will you allow yourself, your religion, and your Gods, to be a casualty for the GLBT+ community to win all they desire and let your freedoms die? Because that is the choice the GLBT+ community is forcing us to make with their actions against RFRA laws.