It’s all about the Benjamins

Jonathan D. Septer

Two consenting adults can do whatever they want with each other. I don’t care, and neither should you. Now wipe that puritanical smirk off your face, put your head between your legs and breathe deeply. It’s going to get bumpy.

The Bible is held by many to be the end-all historical-fact-filled word of God. It isn’t. It was written centuries ago by people just like you and me, and it was distorted from its original meaning by King James to reflect what he thought was right. People make mistakes. For instance, it was a mistake to start a war based on the idea that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. If you’ve seen any of the recent political debates you know that even the Republicans admit that.

The Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman and that sexual relations between members of the same sex are wrong. So what? All of this is in the Old Testament or the post-crucifixion New Testament. Read your Bible again. Pay particular attention to the New Testament teachings of Christ. He says you should toss the Old Testament, his Father is not a vengeful God but a loving God and every person on this planet is just as much a child of God as He is. Your religion is named after the guy: One would think you’d actually listen to the things He said.

The religious debate about gay marriages and same-sex partner benefits leads me to ask one simple question: What would Jesus do?

Would Jesus tell two of his “brothers” not to be happy? Would he say to his “sisters” that they are going to burn in hell? Would he string a young man up on a barbed-wire fence and torture him to death for being different?

I doubt it.

I bet all he would say is this: Love your neighbor, be happy and treat others with respect and kindness. That or he’d just shake his head at the absolute gullibility of the average human being.

The real reason there is an argument about same-sex marriages and partner benefits boils down to one thing: money. It just so happens that religion is an excellent cover-up because people have such a blind faith in what their pastor, minister or priest says. Why are Republicans against same-sex marriages and benefits? Think of the money the government would lose in tax-credits and the insurers (read campaign contributors) would lose in benefits if these issues were resolved in a Christ-like fashion.

Want an example closer to home? Kent State has fought same-sex partner benefits for its staff and students and will continue to do so. Not because it would be un-Christian to grant the benefits, and not because religion really matters in the world of business; but simply for the same reason the “parking garage” promised to students and supporters of the university is actually going to be a relatively small parking lot: It would be good in theory, but expensive in practice.

These benefits won’t happen because Kent State has more important things to spend its money on. What, you ask? How about two university presidents and a wireless network that works when it feels like it.

Jonathan D. Septer is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].