[see the follow-up post too]
Once upon a time, in the magical land of Fornicalia, there was a class in society that, by virtue of visible and genetically transmitted characteristics, has been the victim of systematic discrimination for hundreds of years. Even today, this class is mired in poverty by residential discrimination (some historical, some current), leading to lousy education, crime-ridden neighborhoods, etc. Let us call that class of people the Big Ears, for, we are given to understand, it is the bigness of their ears that the society in general uses as a marker for that class that may be discriminated against.
In Fornicalia, there is some causal relationship between being poor and oppressed and religiosity. Nobody is quite sure why that is, though many of Fornicalia’s best social scientists have theories about the matter. Perhaps being victimized by piss-poor education makes it harder to reject religion. Perhaps being excluded from the community at large makes it harder to see alternatives. Perhaps the church is the only fucking nice place where strangers care about you in a crime-ridden, poor, desperate community. Or perhaps there’s a relationship between having a shitty life and turning to religion for the hope of improvement in the world beyond. (Almost like religion is some kind of drug, for the masses, or somethin’, huh?) Naturally, there are a lot of religious Big Ears.
Moreover, in Fornicalia, unlike our own, more enlightened society, religious indoctrination causes people to have socially conservative views. Not of course, invariably: there are liberal as well as conservative congregations. But many religious leaders interpret their holy texts as requiring socially conservative views. One day, there was an election in Fornicalia, and there was an unjust ballot measure in that election, one that discriminated against another group on the basis of their harmless lifestyle choices. This other group — the Zooks — likes to put their toast butter-side down. Most competent scientists in Fornicalia believe that the Zooks are genetically determined to put their toast butter-side down, and putting their toast butter-side down is very important to them. The buttering of toast is considered, in Fornicalia, an important part of one’s self-actualization. Unfortunately, the Zooks are not looked upon kindly by the dominant religious groups in the state, including those to which many Big Ears subscribe.
Unsurprisingly, in the election, many Big Ears voted for the unjust ballot measure.
After the election, many people published stupid, stupid articles to say that Big Ears are Zookophobic. The fools believed in racial essences, and their articles just replaced one form of discrimination with another, concealing the real causal processes, which lay in the oppression of the Big Ears as well as the Zooks (and the sad effect of having multiple oppressed groups in a society, cf. intersectionality literature), behind Small-Earist rants about how the Big Ears hate freedom.
Then everybody died painfully. The end.
STOP BLAMING THE BLACK PEOPLE FOR PROPOSITION 8. I MEAN IT. STOP. NOW.