Sunday, September 6, 2015

John Bijarney on Kim Davis and Her Supporters: Seeking License to Escape Change and Project Status Quo into the Future

This commentary by my Facebook friend John Bijarney on what Kim Davis and her supporters are really all about, at the core of their movement, is right on target, I think.

• Conservative white evangelicals have long had cultural hegemony in much of the country, notably in the bible belt. For the first time in a very long time, that hegemony is being challenged by shifting demographics and changing views of human rights, and they're as mad as hell about their loss of control.

• LGBT people crystallize the loss of control, and are an easy target, because bible. Because bible, if we 1) ignore most of what the bible actually says, and 2) if we pretend it says a single blessed word about homosexuality (it doesn't).

• Even as their control of the culture at large wanes, conservative white evangelicals and their many allies in the American political and religious right wing are determined to lock this control in for the foreseeable future, as minority control. As minority control of all the rest of us . . . . 

• The U.S. Catholic bishops cannot have been unaware of all of this when they made their fateful political alliance with right-wing white evangelicals in the final decades of the 20th century — and, so, though the U.S. Catholic bishops are now trying to duck and dodge as the Kim Show, a show they have enabled, goes on in Kentucky, they themselves are center-stage in that show.

• As are all those "liberal" Catholics in the academic and commentariat who have played the centrist game, the game or pretending to stand in some objective "middle" as they argue that poor Kim Davis is being badly abused by hateful gays who tastelessly bring up the subject of her four marriages when she's really standing on principle in refusing to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples (for examples of this kind of argument by "liberal" Catholics who have never done anything to stick their necks out for LGBT people and who are utterly blind to their own considerable unmerited privilege as white, heterosexual, married women [and men], see this Commonweal thread).

As Elias Isquith notes yesterday, what Kim Davis is fighting to assert is her own privilege as a heterosexual woman who is, in contrast to those to whom she wishes to deny this privilege, "able to marry (again and again and again and again)." Let the gays marry, and that privilege vanishes — and for the Kim Davises of our culture, there simply aren't many other privileges left to exalt them above anyone else. The Kim Davises of our culture have very little else going for them than their "right" to lord it over some hapless, demeaned group of others.

Hence the fierceness of their determination to escape change and project the status quo into the future, as John Bijarney brilliantly observes . . . . 

(See John's wonderful site featuring his music, which is linked to Bilgrimage.)

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