We’re reaching a crossroads in the way our country treats its LGBT citizens. The dominos are starting to fall–Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and more now allow gay marriage.
Does this change in law violate your religion? No, and I’ll explain why that cannot be the case.
First Amendment to our Constitution opens with: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In plain words, this means that we are protected from a state religion–and religion has protection from the state.
Although the word “marriage” is significant in many religions, the word has been used by the state to define a set of privileges granted to a married couple. The rights of the people MUST be protected, and the rights of your church, synagogue, temple, mosque or other house of worship must ALSO be protected.
The state must enforce rights equally, regardless of orientation, but your house of worship will NEVER be forced to marry or recognize two same-sex people.
It’s that simple.
It is therefore anti-American to define a legal term (marriage) from the viewpoint of a religious creed and insist that definition apply to every citizen. By fact, this would define a state religion.
We’ve received more hate mail regarding gay marriage than any other subject in our 12-year publishing history–almost all of it from self-described American “Christians” who either disregard this concept or don’t understand it.
However, gay marriage is not anti-Christian, nor does defending it from a constitutional standpoint contradict the intent of the Christian framers of our Constitution. The core of Christianity is built on the concept of liberation, as is the foundation of our country. This concept of liberation so antagonized the oppressive Roman government that the soldiers of that state crucified Christ by driving nails into his body to hang him until he died of blood loss and asphyxiation.
The history of liberators is defined by sacrifice. From the battlefields of the Revolution and the Civil War to the murder of civil-rights activists, the yoke of bondage is never lifted by the oppressor. It must be thrown off by the oppressed.
As the framers could not anticipate women’s suffrage, they could not anticipate LGBT rights. However, the wisdom of the framers of our Constitution enabled our Constitution to be a living document, subject to evolution. In doing so, they not only created the planet’s longest-lived Constitution, they created a nation that has liberated more people and thereby built more wealth than any other.
Liberators such as Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tell us with their deeds, speeches and writings with absolute certainty that our nation’s sustainability demands that we continuously and righteously expand civil and human rights for all citizens of all faiths.
It is our birthright and our obligation to continue lifting the yoke of bondage from our fellow citizens–and we will do so. This is why gay marriage will happen.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”