At a rally in Iowa City in support of far-right Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the hunting supply business Duck Commander and star of reality TV series Duck Dynasty, amid glowing praise for Cruz, continued to flog a dead horse in opposition to same-sex marriage.
“Don’t you understand that when a fellow like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion — redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman? Come on Iowa! It’s nonsense. It is evil. It’s wicked, it’s sinful. They want us to swallow it, you say. We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there. Ted Cruz loves God, he loves James Madison and he’s a strict Constitutionalist.”
After Ted Cruz took the stage, he made no objection whatsoever to Phil Robertson’s extremist outburst, declaring, “What an extraordinary human being.” Such a casual attitude on the part of a Presidential candidate is exceptionally disturbing, considering the courageous Lutheran minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, known for supporting his arguments for tolerance with Bible verses, believed that not taking a decisive stand in word and deed against evil was to align one’s self with evil.
Clearly, turgid, fevered, hateful, belligerently ignorant ideologues like Phil Robertson disregard quite a lot. They have no sense of history, no idea of how the democratic process works, no knowledge of what freedoms the Constitution actually provides, and frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if their memory does not go further back than last week.
Though the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion, the preceding portion before that specifically, which forbids the establishment of a religion by the government, must not be ignored. With that in mind, practicing religion ethically, specifically choosing not to follow the more hateful, punitive and coercive dogma of any given faith, is a form of religious freedom, especially since such an act does not encroach upon the freedom of others. Hence, several Christian denominations in the United States, such as the Presbyterian Church, the Disciples of Christ and certain congregations of the United Church of Christ have all been accommodating of same-sex marriage, ostensibly in the interest of upholding the right to religious freedom for all.
In addition, same-sex marriage is protected under the Citizenship and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Being that marriage provides tax, inheritance, insurance and immigration incentives, to forbid homosexuals to marry is to deny them equal protection as outlined thusly.
Of course, neither Phil Robertson nor Ted Cruz take into account the fact that the idea of marriage predates the idea of religion. In ancient times, marriage provided opportunities for people to gain wealth, property and connections and to expand the family labor force. Despite the pair’s ridiculous and irrational aversion to same-sex marriage, in first century of the Common Era, about a couple centuries and change before Constantine indelibly saved the character and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth from obscurity by declaring Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, the Emperor Nero married twice, each of his spouses being male. In his first wedding to his former slave Pythagoras (not to be confused with the famous Greek mathematician), taking place in December 64, the Emperor took the role of the bride. The second spouse, Sporus, wed by Nero circa 66, was a teenage boy whom Nero emasculated in a primitive attempt at sexual reassignment surgery so that he could take a bride.
Moreover, it certainly seems more and more that Ted Cruz and his ilk are flogging a dead horse in regard to same-sex marriage. According to a 2001 Pew Research poll, 57% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. However, Pew data published in 2015 shows that 55% of Americans now support gay marriage, which demonstrates that a large pillar of Ted Cruz’s political platform is completely indifferent to what the majority of American voters actually want.
With all that in mind, I do not believe for the smallest measurable fraction of a second that either Ted Cruz or Phil Robertson are strict Constitutionalists or that they give a damn about real democracy. More accurately, they are a pair of toxic fascists who want the law to conform to their emotions and desire that the rest of the U.S. population bend at the knee in the name of their hateful beliefs or die. Might I add, given that Phil Robertson and Ted Cruz have such a ridiculous obsession with what other consenting adults do with their private parts, they and their followers are the real perverts.
Featured image: Screenshot via CNN.