One of the most common arguments deployed by opponents of marriage equality is that allowing same-sex couples to marry will result in the persecution of anyone who believes in a discriminatory definition of marriage. (Of course, that argument is completely and utterly baseless, but when has that ever stopped them before?)
Almost as soon as it became apparent that the anti-gay forces would ultimately lose their battle against equal marriage rights, everyone from the U.S. Catholic bishops to Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage to Christians chowing down at Chick-fil-A began hopping on the persecution bandwagon.
While the religious left has long refuted this canard, the latest smackdown comes from an unlikelier source: Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Raw Story reports:
Christians in Britain and the US who claim that they are persecuted should "grow up" and not exaggerate what amounts to feeling "mildly uncomfortable", according to Rowan Williams, who last year stepped down as archbishop of Canterbury after an often turbulent decade.
"When you've had any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word very chastely," he said. "Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable. 'For goodness sake, grow up,' I want to say."
True persecution was "systematic brutality and often murderous hostility that means that every morning you wonder if you and your children are going to live through the day". He cited the experience of a woman he met in India "who had seen her husband butchered by a mob".
Amazing, right? Williams is essentially telling anti-gay Western Christians with a persecution complex to buck up, find some perspective, and get the hell over it.
This is a refreshing change from his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, which he spent pandering to the Stone-Age sexual mores of his church's African bishops, legitimizing homophobia in an attempt to hold the fragile Anglican Communion together.
I wish Williams would have shown this same kind of backbone while he held the archbishopric, but I suppose it's better late than never.