My Facts > Your Facts

OK, before I get started on this little rant, I want to make a few things very clear on my beliefs.

1. My religious beliefs are based on the teachings of the man named Jesus Christ as they are stated in the New Testament of the Judeo-Christian Holy Bible

2. I do not take most church doctrine to heart as the only way most organized religions can succeed is by appealing to a mass market. This not only puts them in the same league as multi-million dollar advertising agencies, or the movie industry, but it can also take away from faith being a very personal institution. (These are not the only reasons, but a good surmise for my purpose here.)

3. I am an old leftie. When the constitution says freedom of religion, and that no law shall be made to promote or deny any religion, it means just that. There are no work arounds in this to promote a Christian agenda. Like it or not, many of the founding fathers were NOT Christian (including big names like Thomas Jefferson).

4. Marriage is a religious institution.

5. I am not gay and am happily married to my lovely wife.

Though the voting is over in California, Proposition 8 is still sending massive waves through the nation. I still regularly check out groups and opinions of people over the subject. On both sides of the gay marriage division. While reading, I came across one such post:

Many criminal & civil laws in the United States are grounded in Judeo-Christian beliefs.
You can’t murder, you can’t lie under oath, you can’t steal, etc. To argue that a ban against gay marriage is unconstitutional because of the first amendment sets up a precedent that all laws grounded in religion should be struck down.

You have to look at the first amendment in the context of the time it was written. The framers were trying to avoid setting up a national church like they have in England with the Anglican church. Gay marriage is not just condemned by christianity, it’s condemned by Judaism & Islam as well, and many other world religions, therefore, by banning gay marriage, congress is not making any law that respects any ONE religion.

Comments like these are not uncommon in the opinions of those adverse to gay marriage, but this particular post summarizes everything that I think is wrong with their reasoning.

1. Semantics
I would like to start, with the end of this post. The argument that because it is supported by MANY religions, then the constitution can support it. I’m sorry, but your play on words, does not mean you get to play with my rights. Let’s work this out one step at a time. (a) Is there any religion that denies gay marriage? Yes, there are several. (b) Can you name one of them? Yes. (c) Does this one religion deny gay marriage? Yes.

Guess what? That means denying gay marriage does support the beliefs of any ONE religion.

Besides, there are many religions who also believe in homosexual lifestyles. Funny thing, I think then this person would be spouting out “freedom of religion” if congress passed a law ONLY allowing gay marriage using the same argument that since many religions support it, it makes it OK by the constitution.

2. Context
Do you have any idea how many times I’ve made people who believe in the literal Bible mad by placing scripture in context of when it was written? While I may not know this person’s exact belief in the Bible, I can not help but believe it is a very literal belief as well since to say that the Christian belief is anti-gay means to take scripture at face value.

Long story short, the context at which many of the anti-gay scripture of the Holy Bible was written, was in response to pagan religions that used homosexual prostitution or homosexual orgies as a form of worship. Take the holiday of Saturnalia for example. Google it. At the time of the Old and New Testements, there was no monogamous  homosexual lifestyles as we have today. So how can the Bible condemn that which didn’t exist? Granted, this may not apply to ALL scripture considered anti-gay, but I do have arguments for all of them, and most are contextual.

So then why is it now OK for someone to place a writing in context to argue against a document that the same person refused to place in context?

3. My facts are greater than your facts.

Many criminal & civil laws in the United States are grounded in Judeo-Christian beliefs.”

What this post leaves out, is that many religious beliefs, including Judeo-Christian, are based on a religiously neutral concept called the Social Contract (once again, google it). The very basic idea behind the Social Contract, is the idea that even without outside impression, you realize that something is good or bad. For example, let’s say you were born and grew up on an island where there has never been a religion or belief structure of any kind. Most likely, you would come to the idea that murdering is wrong. Granted, that without any belief structure to support the idea that murder is wrong, there could be people who do it thinking there will be no repercussions, but keep in mind people do it even though it is ilegal in many places.

Now the reason you will come to the conclusion that murder is wrong, is due to the basic belief that because you do not want it to happen to you, you will not do it to someone else. Essentially this source ideal, is the basis for the Social Contract. We have a silent understanding that to keep you from doing something bad to me, I will not do something bad to you. Since the beginning of time, this has been an understood concept, and without religion. As such, many religions like to exemplify the basic rules of the Social Contract, as well they should, as it is a basic structure for social interaction. This is especially helpful for religious believers to interact with the outside world. However, for it to work, it means the outside (non religious believer) world has to also except the Social Contract to interact successfully with the believers. Non-religious people interact with the religious all the time by accepting the Social Contract, and they do not accept the believer’s religious doctrine. This means that it is possible to come up with laws that are not based in religious belief, yet reflect many religious concepts.

Yet in our example post, it seems like the poster does not accept the concept of the Social Contract and only their “fact” of laws come from religious doctrine is true.

Really it just boils down to the fact I am sick and tired of the arguments made by people who say one thing, yet do another.

So what is my stance on Proposition 8?

Simple, like I said before, marriage is a religious institution, and the constitution says that no law will be made to promote or deny any one religion. As far as I’m concerned, I don’ think the government had any right to tell me I must licsence my “normal” marriage.

I think that a religion should be able to marry two people and the government have NOTHING to do with it. If those two same people want to have all the pros and cons the government currently grants married people, they can also enter into a governmental social union. As well, two people who are NOT married may also enter into a social union if they so choose.

I see no reason why government issues have to be tied to marriage, nor should they be.

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