Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rational and Reasonable

As many predicted, including dismayed Supreme Court Justice Scalia,  marriage equality is being contested in many states across the nation.  One court after another is beginning to rule in favor of marriage equality.  If you are interested in learning more check out this site:
Cases are currently pending in Alaska, Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, North Carolina, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Other cases have had initial rulings and are in various stages of legal wrangling.
Why are opponents of Marriage Equality loosing these battles?  Because there is no rational, reasonable argument against marriage equality that can hold up in court.  There is no evidence of social harm or personal harm caused by same sex marriage.  In fact, plaintiffs are proving just the opposite - that there is great personal harm in denying marriage equality.
Long believed myths about gay and lesbian people don't hold water in court.  These myths are believed less and less by society at large.  As these myths unravel, all institutions clinging to the myths will be pressured to begin making rational, reasonable decisions.  It's been interesting to watch as the myths are less believed, those desperate to fight marriage equality are beginning to tell more exaggerated stories in an effort to be convincing.  Instead, they are destroying their own credibility.
Over the next decade I expect to see churches carefully examining the full context of the scriptures they have held as evidence to deny acceptance of marriage equality.  Anyone who has actually read the Bible knows it cannot be followed literally.  It has to be viewed in a larger context.  As a result, churches will examine themselves in a full context as well - seeking understanding of their most important purpose and mission.  The change will be incremental and gradual but it will come in most mainstream Christian churches.
Of course, sadly, there will remain a minority group that will continue to attempt to spread a Ugandan style of "kill the gays" rhetoric or Russian "don't speak of gay" policing.  That is the fruit of intolerance and lack of equality.  On this issue, the choice is clear and there is no place in the middle.  The days of accepting oppression are over.  It can't be covered in a pretty package called religious freedom.  Religious freedom does not oppress.  If you believe oppression is an important part of your religious practice, you don't believe in religious freedom.  That argument might work to rally like minded people behind anti-gay rhetoric but it isn't an argument that will work in court.
You have the right to speak about and practice your religious beliefs for yourself.  Likewise, people have the right to speak out against what you say.  You do not have the right to legislate your religious beliefs simply because you decided that's how God wants it.  If that is really how God wants it, there will be a rational and reasonable explanation that will hold up in any objective court.  God's rather perfect that way.

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