Friday, April 10, 2015

Christian Right antigay attitudes: revenge of the small-town gossips?

Aimai offers an intriguing observation on the cultural roots of Christian Right antigay attitudes (Wrong, so very wrong. I Spy With My Little Eye 04/04/2015):

Providing a service to another person is a commercial transaction, not an endorsement. So why do evangelicals and their supporters keep insisting that it is? Because of a specific culture of busybody engagement. When the Pizza restaurant or the Baker sells a product to a gay person they are not, contra this guy, "lending" them anything. But the word is instructive--Evangelicals see engaging with, talking to, and selling things to gay people as "lending" support or "lending" one's good name to that person. I get it, it comes from an ethnotheory of small town religiosity in which everyone is implicated in everyone else's business. We are all damned or saved together--your bad behavior may drag me down, my upright virtue could elevate you. If we are seen together, or known to be associates, your evil rubs off on me and you are probably trying to take advantage of my good name. We are both providing "examples" to the community--yours bad, mine good. In this model failure to excoriate bad behavior, and failure of the evil ones to submit to instruction and punishment, is highly destructive, truly scary. No wonder these people are so hysterical--one gay marriage with catering, one floral arrangement--indicts the entire system of goodness, pollutes the entire community.
I think she's on to something there.

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