Church & State
Penned 3 years ago.
It was 75°F in San Diego, CA and the scattered clouds.
It's Going Down by Midlake was playing.
So now that the historic battle over Marriage Equality has ended, my social networks have been abuzz with people declaring why this is the best outcome in the history of judicial rulings and those who are declaring that this is the worst outcome in the history of judicial rulings.
It's all very amusing.
One of the most interesting "articles" I have seen dealt with the fact that some christians had begun seperating the legality of Same Sex Marriage with the directives given in their respective faiths, and more importantly how this shouldn't be possible, or at the very least how it signals another level of the degredation of The Faith.
The concept that one cannot hold the legality of a thing seperate from our understanding of it from a religious point of view is the meat of the problem, and honestly not a very insightful view to hold.
I am what you would call "super religious". I am deeply embedded in my faith, and try to live my life according to its dogma, tradition and theology. Additionaly the faith I hold is the oldest expression of Christianity on the planet, so I am firmly in favor of marriage not being redefined, in the context of The Church.
And that is really the main rub here. There are two components to Marriage in this country, a religious component, which is entirely voluntary, and a secular, legal component that is not.
The moment this became an issue of the Rule of Law religious opponents of Same Sex Unions lost. As they should have. We live in a country that is founded on the principle that all who live under its rule are equal. You cannot afford one group a right and deny it to another. Period.
Of course I realize that when this country was founded by our overly deified founders, they meant something very different by that most famous of lines, "All Men are Created Equal". They of course meant "All White Males Who Own Significant Tracts of Land are Created Equal". Do yourself a favor and look it up.
Just as the definition of marriage itself has evolved (B), our understanding of those famous words have evolved. We now know them to mean "All Men, Women and Children, Regardless of Color, Creed or Faith are Created Equal".
With this being the case, the outcome was inevitable. This is not a religious issue. The question isn't whether or not an LGBT couple can force a Church to wed them, but if they have the same rights afforded to them by the law, as the rest of us. And as has been made clear I think, the answer is a resounding yes.
Had this been an issue of a religious nature, I would have a very different outlook on things. Religious institutions have the right to make these decisions on their own, guided by their teachings and beliefs.
Some churches will, and many have, affirm that they support these unions and invite religiously minded LGBT couples into their flocks.
Still others will, and have, affirm the more traditional position that marriage is between a male and female. That is how our country works, if this is surprising to anyone, you should pay better attention.
And this my friends, is why the seperation of Church and State is so vitaly important.
It isn't there merely to stop the propogation of religious ideas into our government, thereby converting it from a democracy to a theocracy.
The protections are also there to stop the State from dictating doctrine to the Church.
Religious Freedom does not trump Personal Liberty, and vice versa. They are distinct, often times complimentary, aspects of our lives in America. Each one should be respected regardless of your personal opinions or bias.
I hope you enjoyed reading Church & State
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