Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sexuality, Faith & pronouns: Doughnuts and diabetes.

I was in a cafe with a Christian couple and a Muslim, this is not a strange state of affairs in Jakarta nor had we just walked into a bar. I had been posed a question: "How can you agree with gay marriage?" I had laughed originally but the looks of intensity I had been given implied that I was supposed to answer.

"Right." My teacher arms did their thing subconsciously, indicating my torso and then swapping to indicate the listener as if throwing invisible information at them.

"If a man meets a woman, you don't know them." I gestured to an empty space in the room. "They're over there. They fall in love, get married and things. Has it got anything to do with you?"
"No." The Muslim confirmed, but he smiled as his brows furrowed with friendly suspicion.
"So if a man meets a man and you don't know them." I gestured to the same empty space in the room. "They get married. Has it got anything to do with you?" 
King Salman: Thinks the internet spreads
homosexuality, it doesn't.
"It is against my religion."

The Christian responded quickly with a quizzical face, the Muslim nodded and I took a deep breath.

"Do you eat pork?" I asked the Christian.
"Of course." I pointed at the Muslim.
"That is against his religion."
"That's his..."
"Yes. His, hers, theirs. Not yours."

I lit a cigarette as though smelling napalm in the morning.

No anger poured from either, a consensual nodding from the lady and thinking faces from the blokes. We are all still friends, we all had dinner and spoke about other stuff: Why I don't like football, favourite Indonesian and western foods, the myriad of reasons why I'm single, why I should be married and, well, stuff.

The Ancient Greeks: Used Tinder.
Religion seems to struggle with personal and possessive pronouns: His, hers, theirs and mine. If you feel that others should behave in accordance with your religion then surely you should behave in accordance with that of everyone else's: Don't work Saturday or Sunday because someone else doesn't. Don't eat pork, and moving outside the Abrahamic sphere, why not, don't eat beef either. You might suggest that this makes no sense and you'd be right.

Tolerate doesn't seem the verb for the job either, it seems rather presumptuous to assume that you are in the position to simply put up with the behaviour of another when it doesn't actually affect you in the slightest.

The seemingly consistent oversight in regard to gay marriage is that you don't have to join in; you can eat pork and you don't have to drive on a Saturday. Other people eating doughnuts does not affect your diabetes so please stop pretending that it does.