Science and Other Drugs

….maybe a little less wrong….

The maths of marriage equality

Few things are as humorous as when Christians Do Memes. Seriously. I mean, there are a lot of poorly-applied memes out there, but Christians seem particularly skilled at modifying memes with absolutely no idea what the originals represent or derive from.

Take the recent trend of people setting this red-and-pink equal sign as their profile pictures (or otherwise displaying it) to show support for marriage equality in the shadow of the current Supreme Court case:


Naturally, there are a great many Christians who have come up with their own unique take. Inevitably, this means replacing the equal sign with a different mathematical symbol.

Of course, there’s a problem right off the get-go. The pink-and-red equal sign logo is the current logo of the Human Rights Campaign, and it’s a take off their more recognizable blue-and-yellow logo you see on bumper stickers and so on. They chose to change it to pink-and-red in reference to the Supreme Court case because, as HRC spokesperson Charlie Joughlin told MSNBC, “Red is a symbol for love, and that’s what marriage is all about.” So, by co-opting the red-and-pink motif, the traditionalist movement is already tacitly admitting that marriage is about love, not about heterosexuality. Oops.

But let’s get to some of the Christianized memes floating around on Facebook, shall we?


Okay, I have to say….I’m really not sure WHAT this is supposed to mean. They’re in favor of addition? Maybe addition means procreation. That’s it! They are cool with marriage as long as procreation is possible. Guess that rules out post-menopausal marriage or infertile marriages….oh well.

But doesn’t the Bible say, “Be fruitful and multiply“? If they’re talking about procreation, they should probably use a multiplication sign. Hmm.

Division Sign

This one is just silly. “Okay, what’s the opposite of equality. Division? Yes, division!” A knee-jerk reaction here by someone who is not only a homophobe, but also bad at math. Division is not the opposite of equality, thankyouverymuch. On its own, I can’t think of a division sign being a symbol of anything except….divorce? Yeah, these are Christians in favor of divorce! Go for it!

pink cross on red

And here we have the failsafe, the favorite fallback of all over-spiritualizing Christians everywhere. The Cross. Because, as we know, Jesus is the Answer To Everything.

  • “What’s your opinion of gay marriage?” “JESUS!”
  • “Do you think that women should have access to inexpensive, legal birth control?” “JESUS!”
  • “What approach should the United States take toward North Korean aggression?” “JESUS!”
  • “Do you want to go to IHOP or Cracker Barrel after church?” “JESUS!”

“I just think Jesus is all you need!” No, you also need a brain.

Of course, all these are really just obfuscating the real point. There’s one symbol that perfectly describes the traditional marriage viewpoint:

less than


7 responses to “The maths of marriage equality

  1. violetwisp 2013/03/28 at 11:29

    I love your posts! But I’m so embarrassed that I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean at the end of this one … is it that the traditional marriage viewpoint is worth less than one that includes gay marriage? I’m guessing it is, but as I’ve had to think about it for five minutes, I could be wrong …

    • physicsandwhiskey 2013/03/28 at 11:41

      Haha — no, that’s not what I meant. That’s the symbol the anti-equality crowd ought to use if it’s being honest, because they believe gay relationships are worth “less than” straight relationships.

  2. Argus 2013/04/02 at 21:05

    Whatever it is—if it’s in private between consenting adults and no-one gets hurt … does it really matter a damn to anyone else?

    Ergo the symbol should be a big fat Zero …

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