This Week in Religion: The Most Bizarre Lawsuit Against Same-Sex Marriage Ever

Some prominent evangelicals now support marriage equality, while others ramp up their delusions.

Photo Credit: Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock

The Christian right’s fight to end marriage equality has gone from hateful and ignorant to just plain bizarre. This week, in what might be one of the most far-fetched federal court filings ever, South Carolinan Don Boyd filed a lawsuit to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state, citing that its legalization would prevent him from being a Christian.

In the court documents, Boyd asserts:

“Any Court/State ratification of gay 'marriages' creates a catch-22 by which in one way or another I am forced to disobey God’s Charge to warn, or in so warning disobey God’s commandment to rest — PROHIBITING the free exercise of my established religion antedating all ideas of 'gay marriage' and well-known beforehand to all adults errantly identifying and calling themselves lesbian and gay…”

Boyd, a self described Psalmist, goes as far as claiming he'd make a pest of himself if same-sex weddings are allowed, saying that he would have no choice but to "assume a life of a protester and wedding crasher."

To quote blogger Hemant Mehta, “Go ahead and make same-sex marriage legal, South Carolina. They’ve run out of reasons to prevent it from happening.”

But some Christian leaders are beginning to embrace same-sex marriage. In some good news from this week’s religious news wire, evangelical minister David P. Gushee wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post that he has shifted his stance and now supports the LGBT community and believes other churches should, too:

“In recent years, my moral position has shifted. It has dawned on me with shocking force that homosexuality is not primarily an issue of Christian sexual ethics. It’s primarily an issue of human suffering. With that realization, I have now made the radical decision to stand in solidarity with the LGBT community.”

Gushee continues to explain that biblical interpretations from Greek translations have “distracted attention from the primary moral obligation taught by Jesus — to love our neighbors as ourselves, especially our most vulnerable neighbors.”

As more lawsuits pile up against marriage equality it looks like there will be a Supreme Court ruling on the debate, so it is a nice surprise to see the LGBT community finding allies in the most unlikely places.

In New Zealand, James Humble, leader of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing is claiming to have the cure for Ebola, as well as cancer, malaria and even HIV/AIDS. His "cure" contains chlorine dioxide, a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment, and medical experts are warning it can be potentially fatal.

"These products, when used as directed, produce an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health," said Medsafe, New Zealand’s medical regulatory board. Medsafe has ordered the website selling the dangerous product to remove any claim that states it is a serious treatment for any disease and they are not to call the product a medicine.

A school district in Texas is apparently trying to set a world’s record for the most violations of separation of church and state. This is according to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which sent a missive to the Mount Vernon Independent School District to end the illegal religious endorsements.

The violations include a quote by former President Ronald Reagan reading, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Other violations include plaques with biblical scripture, a school store selling T-shirts promoting faith, and many crosses on teachers' walls.

“We have rarely seen such a collection of egregious state/church violations in one school district,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “This is religion run amok, targeting a captive audience of young students, including elementary school students. All of these religious mottos, symbols, posters, bible verses and Christian T-shirts should be removed immediately.”

The FFRF called out a school district in a similar case in Ohio. There the school refused to take down a painting of Jesus on its campus. The case was settled and the school was ordered to remove the painting and pay $95,000 in legal fees. Perhaps something the school district should keep in mind before deciding to stand its ground.

Dan Arel is the author of Parenting Without God and blogs at Danthropology. Follow him on Twitter @danarel.