To Unrelenting Opponents of the Same-sex Marriage Ruling

So here’s the thing:

The United States government is one that specifically separates church and state, or rather religion and law. As a U.S. citizen you have the right to practice any religion and visit whatever place of worship is available to you. However, there seems to be a very common misconception that this country is a “Christian nation.” A majority of the founding fathers were deists, not Christians. For those of you who may not know, deists believe that a divine being, most commonly referred to as god, exists but is not active in the affairs of humans and nature. Aside from this, there is no mention of a national religion or dependence on god in the constitution. This is because the U.S. has freedom of religion, and does not only allow Christianity to be practiced. In fact, the phrase “In God We Trust” was not added to American currency until the 1950’s, which is obviously nowhere near when the country was established.

Many evangelical christians, catholics, and the like have always been secure in their opposition to homosexuality in general, let alone same-sex marriage. A few months ago, there was a bit of an issue in Indiana concerning religious liberty and discrimination against gay people. That battle has not ended despite the recent legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide. Many religious people feel that they need to fight for their religious right. But the thing is, they have not yet lost anything. They still have the freedom to believe whatever they want, say whatever they want, and worship at any available place of worship. There is an outcry over this ruling because they want to maintain the ”right” to be prejudiced against other people and to legally discriminate against someone on the basis of sexual orientation. Of course, the main support of their argument is that the Bible denounces homosexuality in multiple passages, but they fail to remember that theirs is not the only faith that exists. There are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Confucians, etc, yet no one is standing up for their religious rights or liberty.
Regardless, the United States does not allow any law to be established on the sole basis of any religion or religious belief because obviously not everyone shares the same faith, and allowing any single religion to be at the basis of government and the establishment of laws is not what a democracy stands for. However, the notorious Taliban uses the Qu’ran and the Islamic religion to dictate their laws and how those laws affect citizens. Different religion, same concept. Most Americans don’t think of the Taliban as a governmental aspiration, but the same structure is what many anti-gay Christians are in favor of. Yes, it sounds extreme at first because the Taliban is big and scary and violent and our country tends to have an aversion to muslims in general, but the concept is very similar.

So when a Catholic priest publishes a video about how fellow Catholics need to defend their religious liberty in whatever way they can or that the law of god is greater than the law of man, I cannot help but wonder if they actually believe what they’re saying, because there a lot of other things in the Bible that God apparently approves of that aren’t so acceptable anymore. There’s the obvious opposition to wearing clothing with mixed fabrics or eating shellfish, but there’s also the approval of the stoning of adulterers, selling ones daughters as sex slaves, raping one’s father while he remains unconscious, and polygamy. Oh yes, remember polygamy? It was the most common form of marriage in the Bible, yet the most common argument against same-sex marriage is that marriage was meant to be between only one man and one woman. It may be a nice sentiment, but it’s not exactly how things actually happened in the Bible and in actual history, such as the civilizations of ancient Rome and Greece. Of course everyone loves to pick and choose what they believe is important in the Bible and just hope no one else has actually read it so they don’t have to come up with a defense or engage in an educated discussion.

In addition, the Catholic and Christian religions are in no way endangered or negatively effected by same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples now have the legal right to marry civilly. No one is suddenly demanding to have their big gay wedding in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. No one is insisting that the Catholic church welcome gay couples with open arms. It is quite the opposite. Christian business owners want to legally reserve the right to turn away customers of minority sexualities because it is their personal religious belief. Anti-gay clerks want to challenge the recent supreme court ruling by refusing to give same-sex couples marriage certificates. It is very clear who is the oppressor versus the oppressed, yet religious zealots love to paint themselves as the victims in order to continue to get away with their obvious prejudices and efforts to legalize discrimination.

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65 thoughts on “To Unrelenting Opponents of the Same-sex Marriage Ruling

  1. Right on. Once again, thank you for enlightening us on the topics of same-sex marriage and religion. Especially in light of the Supreme Court ruling last week, this post is much needed. Good job.

  2. Thanks for posting. My favorite parts: “…the most common argument against same-sex marriage is that marriage was meant to be between only one man and one woman. It may be a nice sentiment, but it’s not exactly how things actually happened in the Bible and in actual history, such as the civilizations of ancient Rome and Greece. Of course everyone loves to pick and choose what they believe is important in the Bible and just hope no one else has actually read it so they don’t have to come up with a defense or engage in an educated discussion.”
    Well-said!

    Best to you,

    Sally

  3. Pingback: To Unrelenting Opponents of the Same-sex Marriage Ruling | llapsed

  4. Just wanted to note that there are many Catholics and other Christians who support marriage equality, even though most of the officialdom of our faiths may not. I happen to be Catholic and a supporter of marriage equality and have seen polls that the majority of US Catholics are also marriage equality supporters. I’m very pleased with the recent Supreme Court ruling and hope that the few pockets who are balking will begin issuing marriage licenses to all couples immediately.

  5. Pingback: To Unrelenting Opponents of the Same-sex Marriage Ruling | Mindfire Cantata

  6. Love this piece, well written and argued.

    Frankly, I always thought gay folk were better off without organized religion and traditional marriage.

    But because our country is so messed up, there are legal and tax reasons to want to marry.

    Hmmm….
    I’m a sacred whore, can I have a few husbands and wifes?

    What of my spiritual liberty?

  7. Very, very erudite and well-written ~ though I may not completely agree ~ thank you for such a clear, straightforward and poignant presentation of this perspective. No one can come away from reading your article without either being emboldened in their opinion or, at least, challenged to ask themselves very sensible, soul-searching questions. Thank you also for visiting my blog! Always a pleasure, especially from a fellow writer and blogger. On this issue, I presented my own perspective in an analytical-critical manner directed toward conservative religious adherents (thinking mostly of Christians, but not necessarily limited to…) http://noblethemes.me/2015/06/28/scotus-recasts-marriage-sends-us-to-our-knees-and-gives-us-hope/
    If you’re interested, I’d love to have your feedback! Cheers! And thanks again for popping in!

  8. Pingback: All Too Familiar … Cakes and All! | noblethemes

  9. A well-written argument, though I notice a few comments that echo what I’m about to say: I’m Catholic, but I believe in marriage equality (and did so before our uber-cool new pope made it fashionable), so my only real knock on your argument is that it contains some generalizations in the /other/ direction. There are religious people of all faiths on both sides of the argument. But it’s a murky issue that’s hard to discuss without generalizing about somebody. I do think one of the things that makes “marriage” such a sticky issue is that there isn’t *necessarily* a religious context to it, but there is definitely a legal context to it. Whatever any particular religion has to say on the matter, the practical fact is that there have to be laws to govern things like property rights and child care, matters that arise from the sexual relations of citizens, whether marital or not (long-term unmarried partners of all sexes; misfortunate one-night stands; etc). If it weren’t for these matters, I’d say government should get out of the marriage business altogether. And it still could, and simply normalize all sexual relations of all kinds. So a one night stand resulting in issue of children = 20 years married with children. Any two people in a relationship of care for one another have equal opportunity at employment-provided health care, and equal rights to partner pensions and other benefits. That still wouldn’t please anti-gay “defense of marriage” types, and it still wouldn’t make it easy for the govt to deal with the kinds of legal questions that arise from sexual relationships, but at least SCOTUS could say, “Look, you can call it whatever you want, we just want to make sure that the best candidate gets the kids and the dog in the divorce, no matter what the religions involved.”

    • I didn’t mean to imply any generalization. I was talking about anti-gay Christians/Catholics. I know there are other religions that take a similar stance as a whole, but they do not get nearly as much publicity.

      • I know. I’m a skeptical old academic though. Unless you reference a reliable source in support of statements like “many Catholics,” I’m likely to think it’s a generalization. And you’re right, progressive people of faith don’t get nearly as much publicity, so when we do get an opportunity to stand and be counted on the side of justice, we try to do so. Personally, I don’t believe there’s too much love in the world, so I support all steps toward that condition. 😉

    • I am a practicing and observant catholic. I respect the teachings of the church but to not agree with them all, and I am pro-choice and pro all marriage choice and family arrangements. Many catholics I know are this way. The church I attended in Los Angeles gave communion to gay people and divorced people and the church knew they were gay, because it was common knowledge, but he didn’t flaunt his gay relationship in church as he respected the church’s view on that too but he is an observant gay catholic and unapologetically so. But progressive catholics (which often includes the sisterhood, brotherhood and the clergy) are often silenced by the backward ones and if we speak out it may appear that we are speaking out against our church and that is not the way at all. We even had one priest tell us during Easter that should we choose to go to confession to NOT talk about: any thoughts or actions about infidelity, or viewing porn or anything like that, he wasn’t interested, he said that was a problem between you and yourself not God.

  10. You couldn’t be more right with your post. For some reason Christians (there are other religions as well) feel that marriage equality threatens them. I’m not sure what that threat is, but I am of the opinion that they are imagining things in an attempt to justify a continuation of their institutional discrimination. The ruling does not obligate them to perform same-sex marriages in their churches although I think they should. Wasn’t Jesus forgiving and quite inclusive in who he associated with and loved, yet they choose to interpret the bible to fit their own agendas. The bottom line is that there is no justification for discriminating against same-sex couples and as a matter of fact this issue should never have been an issue in the first place…can anyone say EQUALITY, isn’t it mandated by the constitution. Wonderful post my friend,

    • Just been reading through the comments and I cannot help but get the sense that lines have been drawn. I am a christian, from Zimbabwe of all countries and I this already puts me on bad footing cause of prejudices we all carry. I think people should be given freedom to choose who they want to marry and from the way I see it in the Bible God gave Adam and Eve that choice. However, choices have consequences. Secondly, you are advocating for churches to be forced to marry same-sex couples which I disagree with, you cannot force an individual to act against their beliefs, that is just moral cruelty. In short I think same-sex marriage should be legalised and christians not forced if they do not want to partake

  11. Thank you for writing this. I wrote something similar but not from the point of a view of a member of LGBTQ or an LGBTQ activist: http://everydayvoices15.com/2015/07/05/scotus-handed-a-huge-leap-forward-for-progressives/
    I don’t feel that same-sex couples getting married invalidates or makes less sacred the traditional marriage. In fact most of these people ranting and raving about same-sex marriage, who are presumably in traditional marriages do not treat their marriages with very much respect, and I don’t just mean infidelity, I mean the whole range of unacceptable behavior that couples do to each other in ‘traditional’ Christian marriages. Also, the Christian right is making the institution of marriage seem like this holy thing ordained by God, which if you look at the origins of marriage, it wasn’t like that at all. Marriage served a specific purpose in society, which was for the rich and powerful to consolidate power, for the middle and lower classes, so that women would have economic means of survival and in return for that they provide offspring to the man. Nothing romantic or spiritual about it. I love your blog.

  12. We have a secular government. There are other systems that are based on theological systems.
    People who don’t want to live here and abide by the rule of the laws of the United States are not only free to practice their religion, they are also free to leave.

  13. It was great (and surprising) to see the same-sex ruling in the US. Here in Australia all the polls tell us that the majority of people are in favour, but we have an extremely conservative government that doesn’t want to accept the will of the people. Amazing the amount of energy spent on something most people have already decided. But it will come, sooner rather than later.

  14. well written and insightful, i would like to have a further discussion on this to understand your side and as well maybe dispel some misconceptions about the Bible eg marriage thing (it is one man one woman, but God did not bring instant judgement to those who did not comply cause He is a kind and merciful God). Some times the Bible honestly reports on incidents which God has clearly stated his views on and people rebelled on.

  15. sorry to say this but US is closer to Iran in religious freedom in two fields; statistics of belief in religion and executions which are different than other countries with similar so called freedom of speech etc.
    I don’t understand why anyone would seek to marry seeing statistics of divorce however it is puzzling why anyone should find it offensive.

  16. It would be nice to enter into a conversation with you about your understanding of God’s Word (the Bible) and the Christian faith as seen in the confluence of streams of Christianity. God bless you, Catherine!

    Gary

  17. Well said and written. I do no longer live in America but I grew up in a Christian family and now as a Pagan living Goth can you imagine what my family thinks???? Certain ones no longer want contact to me. I enjoyed your article very nice.

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