Rage Against my Beliefs? 8

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.

8 thoughts on “Rage Against my Beliefs?

  1. Reply Sara Apr 4,2013 5:13 pm

    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. “-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    “I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1799

    There are also multiple other quotes from Jefferson that show his view of freedom of religion and separation of church and state means that the all religious expression should be protected whether you’re Christian, Jew, etc and the the government does not pick a state sponsored religion.

    I know you could probably go and find quotes by other founding fathers that disagree with Jefferson on politics and religion, but that only shows that disagreement about these issues goes back to the very beginning. There wasn’t 100% consensus on the founding documents. They were flawed people just like we still are today, and we have to be willing to adjust our ways of doing things when it’s necessary. George Washington did say, “The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.”

    So, as to murder and the 10 Commandments, morals and ethics can exist separate from religion, which is also a theme you can find in Thomas Jefferson quotes. Atheists don’t believe murder or perjury is ok.

    In regards to the marriage equality debate, I think separation of church and state comes in here: in the eyes of the government, all marriages should be the same. If two guys or two girls want to go to the local courthouse and get married, that should be fine. However, the government should in no way tell churches that they have to perform gay marriages. That is up to each church to decide. This last quote from Thomas Jefferson illustrates how this “wall” works both ways:

    “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.” — Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808)

    • Reply Jared Apr 5,2013 3:10 pm

      But what if two people who happen to be brother and sister want to get married? Or what if three people want to get married? Who is to decide what’s acceptable and what’s not? That’s a whole other debate as to where morality comes from, and if Atheists don’t believe in God, who do they use as their moral source?

      I would bet money that once gay marriage gets approved (because it will, if not now, eventually) then there will be a movement to force churches to perform gay marriages, and if they don’t they’ll be punished under some sort of discrimination/hate law.

      I still maintain that they call the agreement something other than marriage, unless we’re just going to completely change what that word means.

      • Reply Sara Apr 5,2013 7:21 pm

        Just as you dislike it when people label anyone as homophobic who disagrees with gay marriage, I dislike it when people use the argument that if you allow gay marriage, people will immediately want to marry their brother or their horse (I know you didn’t use the animal example yourself – but it’s brought up a lot by others). If I were a homosexual, I’d probably be pretty offended that there are people who think that allowing me to get married is one step away from incest and bestiality. There are already laws in place regarding marrying family members, and allowing gay marriage doesn’t make it ok to marry your cousin. There are always going to be the crazies that want to marry a family member, or their car, or have five wives, etc – but allowing homosexuals to be married doesn’t make those people any more relevant.

        If there is ever a movement to force churches to perform gay marriages, I will be right there with you in opposing it.

        • Reply Jared Apr 5,2013 8:53 pm

          I only use those examples, because I can’t count how many times over the past few weeks I’ve heard “people should be able to marry whomever they love.” That is not a rational reason at all, in my opinion, because it does open a whole host of marriages that many people would consider wrong.

  2. Reply Vicki Eilenberger May 16,2013 11:31 am

    The issue for me is the redefining of a sacred term. Marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman. The problem is the redefining not the moral aspects of it. Should we as a society redefine a sacred act? If we do where does that take us? Is it a Pandora’s Box? If it is what else do we open up to redefinition? The purpose of this ‘gay marriage’ issue is not whether or not two adults can do what they want. It is the distruction of marriage and the family as we know it. Discuss what you will. Bring every dot and dash to the discussion but the bottom line looms large and that is the distruction of the family. If we redefine marriage then the rug has been pulled from beneath us and we fall. Step back and look at what you both have written and what is discussed. With one swipe of a big and broad brush religion and it’s sacraments are attacked and rendered illegitimate, a system (the family) that has been set up and worked well for centuries is attacked and weakened and nothing but confussion comes into play for humankind. Is this what we want for our children?

  3. Reply Crystal May 16,2013 1:44 pm

    While I usually keep quiet on such a hot topic, I do love a good debate.
    I do agree that the christian view of marriage is between a man and a woman . I do take my religious beliefs into account, but I also love people who are gay . I do think that if you are looking in on the issue and you have no personal connection to anyone who is gay, you may have a very disconnected judge mental view . That being said, I also think that as a CIVIL right,” gay “couples should have access to the same rights as “straight “couples. The marriage ceremony & religious acceptance is not what they want. Only the RIGHTS that are afforded to “straight ” citizens. Please see referenced link for more detailed information. Knowledge is important.


    I don’t personally see the changing of rights to marry as “ruining”our society or the “downfall “of our beliefs. I think it’s wise to remember that we are to love others as Jesus loves us. And that tolerance and acceptance are two different things. As a society we should be kind & respectful of everyone . LOVE is how we show the way to Jesus .
    Ephesians 4:2
    Matthew 7:1

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Reply admin May 24,2013 5:22 pm

      Crystal, thanks for chiming in!

      We could get into a big discussion as to whether or not marriage is even a right, but that’s for another day 🙂

      I think we’re on the slope of, if we allow gay marriage, then eventually churches/pastors will be labeled as hateful or bigots if they refuse to perform gay marriages. I could be entirely wrong, but just look at how our government is forcing employers to provide health care that doesn’t line up with their religious beliefs, or Catholic institutions being forced into the same health care.

      We are, indeed, to be examples of Christ’s love, for sure. On that I think we can all agree!

  4. Reply Luke Jun 25,2013 2:34 pm

    Hey Jared, I agree with your stance here! Secular doesn’t mean “No Religion” it means “no religion is valued over the other.” So we religious folk and comment and do whatever. However, secular also means that the government can’t tell religion what to do. Well, to an extent.

    I am saddened to see that you haven’t moved too much on gay marriage issue. Did you know that statements like this: “But what if two people who happen to be brother and sister want to get married?” were used to block inter-racial marriages? This is a slippery slope logical fallacy.

    Strangely though, “Or what if three people want to get married?” is a Biblical marriage. Why are you against this one? And here’s another note, it’s only straight people who are asking for this, not LGTBQ. I’m against this form of marriage too even though it’s in the Bible.

    As for this, “I would bet money that once gay marriage gets approved (because it will, if not now, eventually) then there will be a movement to force churches to perform gay marriage” here’s where separation of church and state is your friend. I have turned down hetero-couples before and haven’t been sued. It’s all in what the pastor decides and what the religious community can handle. My church will be all about gay marriages when they’re legal. I have performed LGBTQ commitment ceremonies before and have loved blessing the couple and their friends and family. I have turned down the hetero-couples because they wanted to be married in a church just to appease their grandparents and/or parents but told me “don’t use any Jesus or God language.” Sorry dudes, I use “that language” all the time. If I can’t say this, you don’t need a pastor you need a Justice of the Peace. Or a boat captain. Or someone who printed out their ordination from a website. They don’t need me or the church. Nor will they need yours. You can send the LGBTQ couples who want to be married in a church and want a church community to me. We’ll be happy to have them.

    Soo…. anyway, I hope you are well! Glennon had a post and I thought of our conversation and thought I’d stop over and see what’s up. Congrats on #2! You are expecting again?! Did I read that right? Blessings to you and yours!

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