The Religious Right Insists On Comparing Marriage Equality With Slavery

Church SteepleWhy can’t the religious right stop comparing marriage equality to slavery? The latest episode involves a panel discussion at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, when pastor J.D. Greear said that opposing marriage equality was the modern-day equivalent of being an abolitionist.

“Preaching against homosexuality in our day is about as popular as preaching against slavery and racism in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1861,” said Greear. “And back then, I’m sure the politically correct people were like, ‘You’re just creating a lot of waves that are unnecessary, just preach the Gospel.’”

Greear is engaging in some wishful historical thinking. For the record, the Southern Baptists were not exactly at the forefront of opposition to slavery. In fact, in 1995, they officially apologized for their support of it and of segregation.

Greear is hardly alone in his wistful belief that he’s a 21st century John Brown. The theme is a common one among the antigay religious right, with everyone from Cardinal Keith O’Brien (who resigned for having a priest as a boyfriend) to erstwhile GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee trotting it out to make themselves feel like moral giants. Trouble is, freeing people from bondage is not the best analogy for denying people their rights.

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  • hyhybt

    I do like that, at least from what Queerty has reproduced, he only states outright that the one was unpopular then and the other now, which is largely true so far as it goes… and leaves the unsupportable notion that this makes them equivalent morally or in any other way in the realm of implication

    Which sounds a lot like he doesn’t really even believe it himself, but is just trying to sell it to others.

  • jonjct

    queerty is hate mongering against the religious right with this superfluous post. let it go haters, let it go.

  • DickieJohnson

    Where DO they get this sh*t? Play the anti-queer card, get the White bigots on your side; play the slavery card, get the Black ones, when they, should be most aware of bigotry and discrimination against others.

  • Mezaien


  • Razmos

    @jonjct: Well they are lying and making stuff up to help them feel justified for denying people their rights.
    I don’t see how reporting on this is considered hate mongering, and it isn’t like they don’t deserve to be mocked when they make remarks as stupid as this.

  • Harley

    And Southern Baptists (all evangelicals) are like the inquisition.

  • Cam

    “Why can’t the religious right stop comparing marriage equality to slavery?”

    Easy, because the religious right is desperate for anything they can use to claim to be victims. They have oppressed and discriminated against others and they constantly need to try to hide that fact by claiming to be victims themselves.

    And in their twisted world, not being allowed to attack others makes them a victim.

  • Ken

    They are not comparing slavery and marriage, they have chosen two movements to compare the popularity of the participants in each one.

    It’s a syllogism:

    1. Virtuous opponents are unpopular until they win
    2. We are virtuous opponents
    3. Therefore we will be unpopular until we win.

    The first premise is true. The second premise, that they are virtuous, is presumptuous at best. The conclusion is flawed because the two groups of opponents are not comparable. The opponents of slavery were accelerating social change. The opponents of gay marriage are trying to stop social change.

    Even if their cause was just, they can never prevail, their cause will never be popular, and neither will they.

  • DarSco

    There is NOTHING on this earth that can compare to slavery. Most black people get pissed off because of the comparison.

  • Merv

    @DarSco: I’d say the continuous persecution and eventual genocide of Jews in Europe compares favorably to black slavery in the oppression Olympics.

  • Cam


    The difference being that nobody alive today went through old south slavery. So if you see an interview with that Pakistani girl shot in the head for walking to school or Afghan women tortured and married off at age 9 forced to exist in complete servitude and having even their humanity negated through the face covering, beaten and stoned to death if they are raped because technically by being raped they committed adultery, you may not want to get angry at them.

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