I learned about Abraham Lincoln, and the war that freed the slaves.
I learned about when no one except the white man could vote.
I remember when women burned their bras for sexual equality,
and mixed race marriage was unheard of in our societal melting pot.
I watched as they banned prayer in public schools,
and I will remember when same-sex marriage was illegal.
The subject of non-traditional, “same-sex marriage” brings with it individual religious philosophies and moral codes among lawmakers that are impeding the progress of laws regarding the definition of marriage. Humanity is characteristically defective; consequently, laws and precedents were created to keep private views and attitudes from upsetting the justice system. These issues are controversial, and that controversy is usually interspersed with religious viewpoints when it comes to any topic that challenges a distinct religious belief system.
Even churches are divided, which is evidenced by an article published in the New York Times on May 14, 2012 titled “Unions That Divide: Churches Split Over Question of Gay Marriage.” Author Laurie Goldstein discusses the North Carolina vote banning “same-sex marriage,” and quotes the words of current President Barack Obama at the time he announced that he is a “practicing Christian”, but he is also in favor of “same-sex marriage”. He named the “Golden Rule” as his moral compass concerning the subject. The main point of this article by Goldstein was to reveal the internal separation of entire congregations regarding same-sex marriage. An impacting statement from this article that I did find of great importance was a quote from a Lutheran minister named Pastor Schneider from Madison, North Carolina. While speaking to her congregation she stated, ”Yes, it’s true that the Bible says some nasty things about homosexuality. It’s also true that the Bible has passages that prohibit men from cutting their hair, and that forbid anyone from wearing mixed fiber clothing, or planting two different kinds of seed in their fields, or eating shellfish.
The Bible also commands slaves to obey their masters, parents to stone unruly children, and upholds as heroes of the faith men with multiple wives and concubines.” Pastor Schneider’s statement shows the absolute ludicrous nature of those who use the Bible to substantiate the outdated laws in place in this country. We have evolved past stoning children and slavery. Society has evolved over time, and these ecclesiastical rules, also outdated, need a modern change just like the marriage law. Pastor Schneider further solidifies my position when stating, ”The only thing that has changed in the church since the first century is who is considered ‘us,’ and who is considered ‘them,’ ” she said. ”The essential issue is the same: We aren’t sure ‘they’ belong with God at all. When I was young, a pastor said, whenever you draw a line between us and them, bear in mind that Jesus is on the other side of that line.” This statement is definitive to “The Golden Rule” as it individualizes Jesus as someone who is with every person just as he is with one person. He does not distinguish his treatment of anyone, and all should follow his example.
The impact of religion and politics versus church and state has affected organizations. Organizational directives are distinguished by their autonomy that contradicts any individual personal beliefs regarding their affiliates just as church and state organizations should distinguish from the religious and political viewpoints of the lawmakers. When the exclusion of religious beliefs and morality codes are separated from the governmental systems will we finally allow an all-encompassing marriage law for consenting adults, and not just “one man and one woman?”
In the journal, First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life issue 213, an article by Matthew J. Franck titled “Religion, Reason, and Same-Sex Marriage: Matthew J. Franck exposes the faulty reasoning behind the claim that opposition to gay marriage is an irrational religious prejudice,” Franck discusses the individual arguments behind the “same-sex marriage” debate. In this extensive commentary, the author cites modern sources of religious viewpoints that project “flawed” reasoning when it comes to the determination of laws in our country. Franck simplifies the definitions of the closely interweaved subjects of “church and state” and “religion and politics” which directly affect the development of a “same-sex marriage” law. He explains, “Church and state are authoritative institutions, while religion and politics are activities pursued by individuals, groups, and organic communities.”
This article solidifies viewpoints that the laws of our country incorporate morality whether it has stemmed from religious belief or not. Franck’s statement regarding morality in the “traditional” law is “all that this tradition has going for it is the “moral and religious views” of its supporters.” The laws of this country embody freedom, and that freedom includes morality freedom. The issue with morality freedom is that it directly negates “traditional” law. The problem with encompassing moral codes into the law “is that it is driven too much by the religious commitments of those who hold it–and so it must be dismissed from public life and relegated to the realm of “private moral choice,” disallowed from enactment as the view of the majority in a democratic society. So toxic is it to hold certain religious views that merely believing them works a “harm” to other people.”
Do we fear change? The line between civil power and religious conviction concerning “same-sex marriage” seems unclear. We have the right to freedom in our country. Morality perceptions are a personal choice just as religious viewpoints are characteristic to an individual. “The Golden Rule” was adopted from the Bible, so why is there so much controversy over the subject of “same-sex marriage”? Laws have progressed civil rights so that all humanity has equality under the law except for the laws regarding the privileges of marriage. In a perfect democracy, descriptions of morality would be personal. Human characterizations do impact the delays in law development, and this is especially true regarding the marriage law. Laws have progressed civil rights so that all humanity has equality under the law except for the laws regarding the privileges of marriage. In a perfect democracy, descriptions of morality would be personal. Human characterizations do impact the delays in law development, and this is especially true regarding the marriage law. Throughout history, the loudest voice is sometimes the only voice. People fear change, and an updated law that reflects sexual equality in marriage encourages fundamentalist emotion. Could lawmakers be waiting for the masses of controversy to quiet politically to make their changes? Are our marriage laws truly outdated and ecclesiastical? This is indeed a possibility that can be comparable to many other controversial civil rights issues in decades past.
In the article “Gay Marriage Will Happen – Get Over It,” by Nelson Jones published in the New Statesman, an award winning Britain periodical in March 2012, the author rebuffs concern regarding “same-sex marriage” in one notable subsection by stating, “I mean, really. What we are talking about here is replacing the phrase “civil partnership” with the word “marriage” in official documents.” It is “calling a spade a spade – no more and no less.” Jones states, “The use of the phrase ‘men and women’ rather than, say, ‘human beings’ does not strike me as an assertion of exclusive heterosexuality. Rather, it should be read as a statement of sexual equality, reinforcing the following provision that marriage “shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” Spouses, note, not ‘husband and wife'”. This statement regarding Nelson’s “sexual equality” viewpoint is exactly what our country stands for. Wars have been fought over less than this.