Yes, as we ruefully all know, there's a hardy streak of anti-intellectualism in American life. Still, those anti-gay-marriage folks seem to be hell-bent on proving it past reasonable doubt.
After Judge Vaughn Walker shot down Proposition 8, Brian S. Brown, executive director for the National Organization for Marriage, fulminated, "The American people are not going to sit idly by while judges lecture them as if they were bigots for the commonsense view that to make a marriage, you need a husband and wife, because children need a mom and a dad."
Now, the pro-8 case was pretty well doomed in part by the fact that, as Walker painstakingly detailed, the vast preponderance of evidence demonstrates that kids do in fact thrive just fine with a mom and a mom. And no, it's not that one would expect the antigay crusaders to agree with evidence, not at all. But I think what's most fucking irritating about Mr. Brown's bullshit is the notion that because something is "commonsense," it's prejudice-free, and also pretty much the truth.
It was, after all, commonsensical to untold generations that the sun revolved around the Earth: see there it goes, traveling from East to West! Matter of fact, Galileo, for stating otherwise, ran into a certain amount of tsuris from the very same Rome-based institution now proclaiming that homosexual unions run afoul of its notion of "natural law." Plus ça change, and all that.
It's not just about queer weddings, either; apparently sodomy itself also fails the commonsense test. "Nature intended us to be het," homophobes with a vested interest in the pathetic fallacy proclaim. "See how the parts fit so well together."
This, I hardly need remind the non-Mormononical among you, neatly ignores the indisputable fact that (most) dicks fit very nicely into (most) mouths, thank you very much, and, with a bit of lube, into assholes, too. And if Mom Nature didn't intend us humans to do the dirty in non-missionary-positional ways, why'd she make the clit so easily accessible, the ass and mouth such dandy erogenous zones, huh? We should be buttfucking; it's just common sense.
This "damn the facts, I know what I know" approach to homosex is, alarmingly, part of a much greater no-nothingism that's been grabbing the great unwashed by its collective throat. And when facts collide with beliefs, facts more often than not seem to lose; a 2006 poll by Time Magazine found that if scientific findings directly contradicted their religious beliefs, about two-thirds of Americans would choose blind faith over provable facts.
Hey, it only seems like commonsense to me that a desert tribe from a few millennia back and their god—a deity obsessively concerned with the Ps and Qs of making burnt offerings—might not serve as the Last Word on human sexuality. If there were reports of all these major miracles once upon a time, but they've inconveniently ceased now that YouTube could easily disseminate the proof of an interventionist god's greatness and glory, then it's more than reasonable, is it not, to suggest that the Age of Miracles was just made up. I mean, if Our Pissed-Off Father Who Art incinerated the kids of Sodom, couldn't he at least send a sign to Argentina for okaying same-sex weddings? And not just one of Pat Robertson's punitive bad weather fronts, neither. We're talking the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to a crowd in a Buenos Aires soccer stadium and, as thousands of iPhone cameras clicked, using a rainbow flag to wipe her immaculate ass. Now that would give even a confirmed cocksucker like me pause.
But no, instead of cosmic FX, we have to make do with threatening mutterings from the no-sodomy camp: "You're going to get it if you don't eat your vegetables and eat ass instead." Boring, disappointing, and maybe it's just common sense to suggest they're a bunch of bullying whiners?
But they're not bigots. Oh, good gracious no!
And how do we know they're not?
Well, because they say so.
I suppose that it's progress of a sort when outright hate speech is regarded in polite company as Just Simply Not Done, when the egregiously anti-gay no longer feel free to say "I hate fags," but instead fall back on the "God hates faggotry" gambit, or the "It's for the kids," rationale. But when people blithely ignore facts that don't fit their prejudices, it's only commonsense to believe they're bigots. Whether they say so, whether they even admit to themselves.
Sure, Brian Brown—who's made a career out of denying other folks happiness—insists that he's not a bigot.
But as Dear Bette Davis might well have said, "Y'are, Blanche! You are in that hate-filled chair!
So own it. Live with it. You're a prejudiced wanker, and to those of us not bedazzled by pseudoscience and theological fairy stories, those of us who won’t take "everybody knows" for an answer, it's just common sense.