I belong to a closed group on Facebook where members spend vast amounts of their free time arguing about the finer points of biblical truth. It’s actually kind of fun! In this particular instance, a member of the believer variety tried to come up with an analogy about how he should be able to claim that he is a war veteran and get benefits for it because he was born that way.
Here are the words to his original post, verbatim:
“I want to identify with a retired war vet and start receiving benefits. I should be allowed. So should pedifiles, and rapist be allowed to identify as that and thought to be “born that way”, so why discriminate against anyone that doesn’t want to be what they actually are?
After all, if gay people were born gay, then I was born a war vet.
So, if I interpreted this analogy correctly, I think he was trying to draw an analogy to argue against the idea of gay people being born gay. I did not correct his misspellings or usage, or ask him to clarify, so my interpretation could be off, but I will state that that is the direction the discussion went for everyone who participated.
Now, I don’t know if gay people are born that way or not and it really is none of my business what other people do when they’re naked – especially if it is consensual and in the privacy of their own safe spaces. “If you have a problem with gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person,” (Jim Jefferies).
What is my business, however, is pointing out the blatant discrimination that is perpetuated by religious people against gay people and how by not allowing them to legally marry all across the nation, it impedes their ability to reap the benefits we’ve all grown used to that come along with a marriage certificate, such as: being able to provide healthcare benefits to our loved ones; receiving tax breaks for being married; qualifying for better interest rates for major purchases such as when purchasing homes; receiving discounts on car insurance because married people are considered more responsible; those types of things.
What was really great about this stupid analogy that this particular individual tried to draw is that it backfired on him big time because I am, after all, an actual war veteran, and no, I was not born that way. Plus, there are other veterans who belong to this closed group as well who joined in on the discussion.
Initially, I told him how most war vets tend to have some kind of supporting evidence that the Veteran’s Administration (VA) finds to be substantial. Something like a public, military record that can be verified if one were so inclined to check – but maybe it’s all a big conspiracy, though.
Another veteran in the group says: “Yeah, it’s called a DD214.”
Then the particular individual who tried to draw the analogy says: “Evidence is subjective, nuff said.”
I believe he stated this as an extension of a previous discussion we all had regarding what it would take for evidence to be considered sufficient versus insufficient. He seems to have come away from the discussion with the idea that all evidence is subjective, and I think he says this in an effort to discount the fact that sufficient evidence is observable, testable, replicable, verifiable, predictable, and ultimately undeniable.
Furthermore, I think he just says that evidence is subjective, but I don’t think he really believes that. If he did, he would also be discounting any evidence that he considers sufficient to warrant his belief in anything, especially the supernatural. Some evidence is sufficient; some of it, such as anecdotal evidence that is unverifiable, is not.
So, I encouraged him to file a claim with the VA.
“Hey [name]: go file a claim with the VA and see how far that gets you then. You say evidence is subjective, but you don’t really think that. You say ridiculous things and then wonder why people don’t take you seriously. Nice try, though!”
Then I got to thinking about how I inadvertently came up with a really good analogy to show how ridiculous religious people sound when professing to know things that they don’t actually know, when they talk about faith, and when they try to verify truth-claims that have no basis in reality with no sufficient evidence to back up the claim.
I pressed on with my encouragement:
“Go on, [name], Do it! Then when they respond with how there are no records found for a veteran with your name, social, and date of birth, tell them how flawed the government’s record keeping is and that evidence is subjective and then quote lines from Rambo and Full Metal Jacket and Blackhawk Down as proof of your claims.”
We then (with other veterans in the group chiming in) went a little further, discussing some of the finer details of stolen valor. It is a crime to lie about military service in an effort to receive benefits of any sort from it (i.e. monetary, medical treatment), but it is not a crime to lie and say that that you were a veteran even if you weren’t.
This led me to make the statement that America must not be a Christian nation then, as religious people like to state so often.
Telling a lie is actually a constitutionally protected right according to the first amendment as lying is considered free speech. Lying about military service for monetary gain is a crime, though. So, therefore, if it’s okay to lie and it’s protected free speech according to the first amendment of the Constitution, what does that mean as far as whether or not America is a Christian nation goes? I mean, think about it – if it’s a constitutionally protected right to bear false witness and say things that aren’t true, that’s means it’s okay to go against one of the ten commandments in America.
And, to make matters worse for people who claim America is a Christian nation, a further examination of the bible would indicate that our nation’s bird, the eagle, is actually considered an “unclean” animal (what does that even mean?).