Recently Danielle sent me an article from Rage Against the Minivan regarding the issue of marriage equality and Christianity. I, of course, read the article and couldn’t wait to post some thoughts.
The author’s main beef is that they perceive Christians as trying to push their religious beliefs on others / use their religious beliefs to formulate their opinion on whether or not the state should provide marriage equality. The author states that this is incorrect, since we are offered freedom of religion in the First Amendment.
That got me thinking. What about murder? That was listed in the 10 Commandments, which would (one would assume) make it a religious belief. So, should we get rid of our laws regarding murder because we’re just trying to push our intolerant beliefs on someone else? What about other people groups who have no problem with committing murder? Are we violating their rights?
What about perjury? There is that pesky commandment about not bearing false witness. Do we throw perjury laws out the window as well?
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. If you don’t, leave a comment, and I’ll elaborate.
While I agree with the author, to an extent, I also strongly disagree. Yes, we can’t force our religious beliefs on others. If they choose to practice a religion or not, that is their freedom, again afforded to them by the Constitution/Bill of Rights. However, this does not disallow me the right to voice my opinion on a given law or situation.
Furthermore, if you’re forming your opinions on life matters without taking your religious beliefs into account (where appropriate), I’d question just how much your beliefs mean to you, but that’s just me.
As a little back story, let’s take a look at the part of the First Amendment dealing with religious freedom:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
That’s it. No laws regarding the establishment of religion and no laws prohibiting the free exercise of said religion. Which is ironic, if you think about it. What happens almost every Christmas in towns/cities around the country? You guessed it. Nativity displays must be taken down so as to not offend someone. In taking that display down, aren’t you infringing on someone’s rights to practice their religion? Seems like a bit of a double standard to me.
I bring up the First Amendment because the author at RATM said,
Most of us would agree that the separation of church and state was something our forefathers desired.
However, somewhere along the way freedom of religion got translated into “freedom from religion”, which is certainly not what the founders wanted. Go ahead, read quotes from various founding fathers. They hardly seem like irreligious folk to me.
If the homosexual community is so amped up about marriage, why not just establish civil unions with whatever benefits married couples also receive from the government? Or, why not have the government not be in the business of marriage and nobody gets any benefits? Perhaps that would go a little way to resolving some of our financial woes.
The author from RATM states that this is one of the most dangerous things they’ve seen (the supposed imposing our our religious beliefs) in social media over the past week or so. I would kindly disagree.