The absurdity of theocratic Republicans trying to impose Mosaic Law on America is exposed daily. But never have I seen a more absurd example of than what took place on May 27, during the Twins home game at Target Field against the L.A. Angels. There, a lesbian couple, in the words of Andy Mannix of City Pages, was “recently scolded by a Target Field security guard for what they call a “brief kiss.”
City Pages recounts the event:
Campione and Culpepper showed up to the game a little late. Culpepper stopped to use the restroom, giving Campione a quick kiss on the lips as she departed.
Immediately after, a middle-aged, mustached security guard in a Twins hat walked toward her, shaking his head.
“I saw you kissing that girl, you can’t do that,” the security guard said.
“I can kiss whoever I want to,” Campione replied.
“Well, we don’t play grab ass here,” the guard answered.
When Culpepper came out of the bathroom, Campione told her what happened, and Culpepper decided to confront the security guard.
“I don’t understand what’s wrong with kissing my girlfriend,” Culpepper told the man.
After some argument, the guard repeated his comment about not “playing grab ass.”
“Then he said, ‘Well here in the stadium, we adhere to the 10 Commandments,'” recalls Culpepper. “After that, I decided I was no longer going to speak with him, and I asked for his manager.”
First things first: the term “Ten Commandments” is itself problematic. There aren’t ten. And there are actually three versions of the Decalogue in the Bible, Exodus 20:2-17, Exodus 34:12-26, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, though Exodus 20 is probably the most used and best known. In actuality, there are 19 commandments – yes, nineteen – contained in the Decalogue but they are grouped so as to make just ten, as stated in Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13 and Deuteronomy 10:4.
If that isn’t confusing enough, we are also presented with three mutually incompatible sets of laws (Exodus 20-23; Leviticus 11-27; Deuteronomy 12-26). In any case, as Lane Fox rightly observes, “There are not ten, and they are patently not original commands which were given to Moses by the mountain god of Sinai.” Though they may originally date from around the 10th century BCE, “the versions which we now read have been enlarged and varied and their final form may be as late as c. 550 BC.”
That alone would make it rather difficult for anyone to know which laws the security guard was talking about. Given biblical literacy levels among fundamentalists, my guess is that if pressed, he could not himself name all ten.
Let’s take a look at Exodus 20:2-17 as an example:
And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
- Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
I don’t see anything in there about two women kissing, do you? Or about anyone at all kissing? Let alone at a baseball game. Maybe the security guard had a different set of commandments. We know that for all their stance against moral relativity nobody is more morally relative than a fundamentalist Christian.
The two women – Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper – a Minneapolis couple, had every right to be upset:
“That ruined our entire evening,” says Campione. “We were super upset, we felt super uncomfortable.”
According to the City Pages:
The security guard has since been reprimanded, but continues to work at the stadium, says Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Twins.
“That behavior just is unacceptable,” Smith says of the biblical put-down. “That security guard has received both a verbal and written reprimand that will be put in his personnel file, and he understands that that is not an acceptable behavior.”
Meanwhile, Campione and Culpepper are not contenting themselves with the knowledge of a reprimand in the employee’s file. They are themselves filing a complaint: with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, accusing the self-righteous guard of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. You can bet the religious right will see this, and not the abusive guard’s actions, as the attack on our liberties.
It’s a sad commentary on society that two people can’t show affection in public. The fundamentalists in our society rage against the supposed threat of Sharia law to our rights but they are busily trying to take rights away every day, determined to turn the United States into Taliban Afghanistan, where nobody smiles because nobody has anything to smile about.
 Robin Lane Fox, The Unauthorized Version, 53-54.