It is a shame the people who *should* read this won’t.
Recently the topic of religious freedom and expression has become popular again as various laws are being passed. I don’t want to get into the specific laws, but wanted to address the general sentiment behind the issue from my own perspective.
Just briefly about myself – I am in my late 40s, married (to a woman) and have six children. I am not only a practicing Catholic, but am active in my parish as a lector and with the Knights of Columbus. The kids go to Catholic school as well.
And I support gay marriage.
In which state that gay marriage has been legalised has there been any hampering of religious freedoms?
How many people who are so vehemently defending marriage as being only between a man and a woman, citing the sanctity of marriage, are also campaigning against divorce? How many of those same people who are looking to have laws passed defining marriage as between a man and a woman are also trying to have laws passed to abolish the death penalty?
And how many Christian business owners have their shops open seven days a week? Isn’t one of those days supposed to be set aside for worship? If you are going to cite religious belief as a reason to not serve a segment of the population, then you might want to be in compliance with said religion.
Some claim that gay marriage is a threat to their religious liberties. There are laws coming into place that allow business to not serve a patron based on their religious beliefs. This is usually a gay marriage thing, where florists do not feel they should be forced to provide flowers to a gay wedding if they feel that such a thing is against their religion. Here is another situation. What if a Jewish person works in a pizza parlor and refuses to serve pizza with pork sausage? Not the owner, but the waiter.
Some feel that gay marriage will weaken the institution of marriage. I think quickie marriages that end in divorce 3 days later do more to degrade marriage. Perhaps the person who marries and divorces 5 times. Frankly, if the sanctity of marriage is such a big deal to those who oppose gay marriage, then perhaps working to outlaw divorce should be on their agenda.
Then there are those who feel threatened by gay marriage. Threatened their religious freedoms are under fire, threatened they will be forced to accept homosexuals as equals. Their church will have to perform gay weddings. Maybe their children will be gay.
If you are threatened by gay marriage then you need stronger faith.
Every time there is a murder is your faith shaken? That action is directly against God’s law. These are people who have acted in a way that is contrary to what the Bible teaches but at no time does such action warrant an outcry from religious activists. Yes, there are laws against murder, secular laws. Marriage is not only a Church activity, but a secular activity as well.
Show me a gay couple who want a church wedding and I will show you a church willing to give it to them. Let’s take a moment to remember the Episcopal Church recognizes same-sex marriages. Many Lutheran congregations do as well. And there are others. What about their religious freedoms?
Let me tell you a story. Laura and I were married in 1998 during a period of time when I was not attending church. Laura had no religious upbringing. It wasn’t until several years later that we started attending church regularly and became involved in our parish. The thing is, the church did not recognize our marriage. According the the Church, we weren’t married. We actually had to get married again nearly a decade later in order for the Church to recognize our union. And we were glad to do so.
God made us in His image. What are we saying to those who are shunned or ostracized? What does it say about us when we are the ones who are doing it?
Why not allow same-sex marriages? We allow couples to get married outside of the Church so why shouldn’t they be allowed the same legal right? Not a religious right, but legal, as afforded by the government. If we are to determine what laws are allowed through the government based on religion, which religion are we going to follow? And then how does that allow for freedom of religious expression, which is one of the founding tenants of our country?
Religion was used as one of the arguments to bar marriages of mixed race and it wasn’t until the United States Supreme Court made a decision in 1967 that it wasn’t legal to bar those unions. People use “religious freedom” far too liberally to hide behind and to justify their bigotry.
Not in my name.