Another day at the job where I bite my tongue so hard it shreds in my mouth.
Most of us who are working outside the home have to work with other people. Sometimes, no, for me most of the time, my co-workers are like family. Not in the way that i feel so very close to them, but we spend an awful lot of time together. In close quarters. Yes, it's government work, so I can't talk a lot about it, but I don't need to to tell this story. It's probably a familiar story to most agnostic/non-theist/atheists.
There's this one guy at work (how many stories start this way? Tons, I bet: "this one guy..."). This one guy is not stupid, usualy pretty pleasant, knows his job, but is somewhat lax in keeping up to the standards for himself, while calling others on it. So he is not a complete asshole, but has his moments. I think we all have our moments, I know I have been an asshole and will probably be one again. I actually kind of like the dude, because he is well read, and seems to think about stuff beyond the glut on infotainment that is so popular and easy to digest.
I'm not even sure how the conversation went to Prop 8 (I live in California; Proposition 8 says that marriage is between a man and a woman, and was recently overturned, yet we are still not out of the woods). This guy (I will call him Mitch) tried to defend his opposition to equal rights to marriage by saying, "It's offensive to some people who happen to be religious (he is a catholic) and an affront to how sacred we hold the sacrament."
Easy pickin's, no? I have learned from being Pagan which is now more acceptable than being non-theist, but at a time was very dangerous how to frame my arguments. also, you have to work with people, and when people who are of a higher rank than yourself share opinions you dissagree with, sometimes silence is best - hence the shredded tongue.
Not today. "Oh really? Straights have honored marriage so much that they make reality TV shows about marrying for money, or an aging rap or rock star, or even those not wanting media attention marrying for medical benefits or to keep a loved one in the USA?"
Much apologizing ("Those people are just as bad!") More pontificating about the sacred bond that I believe Jesus never said much about, but Paul had a lot to say about. Why don't christians read their book? I struggle through the thing once every few years, and get more disgusted; why do they let their preachers tell them what to think? It's a hard read; it is full of so much junk; if it were presented to a proof-reader today, she would snap her gum and circle passages that contradict and repeat ad nauseum and edit the thing properly. God needs a good beta reader.
Then I get to rub my hands and get into historical purposes of marriage. It's a contract, dude, that gives the couple legal rights. It was a civil contract LONG before love became a matter - most marriages were for some kind of convenience. It is a civil contract still. You can have it blessed by a priest, or a minister (I still have my credentials from the Universal Life Church,and I do a great wedding) but without the civil contract you are dead in the water. Legally. I have done hand-fastings, where couples pledged for a year and a day, then jumped over a bonfire.
Still not convinced. He went slippery-slope: 'Well, what's stopping me from marrying my mother, or my sister?"
"You being dumb. Work for comprehensive health care, if this is your issue. No one is saying you can marry your Mom or Sister. About fourty years ago interacial marriages were very unpopular, but the Supreme court upheld the right of people to marry. What you got to say about that?"
Nothing. Oh, some whinging about what the majority wants, but this country is not supposed to be majority rules, it is about liberty for all.
The final blow: "It is a civil contract. When I got married, we had to go to the courthouse; now that I want to divorce my Ex, I have to go through a lawyer or para-legal.
It is a contract. It is Civil. End of discussion.
Crispy religion crap followed, and it was a good day.