I hear about Kim Davis claiming “religious” reasons for denying people their civil rights.
THIS VERY SAME THING HAPPENED 50 YEARS AGO WHEN BLACKS AND WHITES WERE GIVEN THE LEGAL RIGHT TO MARRY EACH OTHER. There was huge pushback, and clerks who refused to give them licenses. They defended this as their religious objection to the law.
Their religious objections are well-known to me, because some people believed the same in the church where I grew up: Basically, they are based on a misreading of a passage in the Old Testament.
God told the Jews not to marry people in the surrounding nations. This was because the surrounding nations held religious beliefs which the Israelites opposed fiercely, and God did not want them bringing these beliefs into Israel, where–time and time again–it led to the Israelites worshipping other gods. The surrounding nations, by the way, were often related to the Israelites, so hardly a different race.
This verse was about mixing religion, NOT race, but many base their religious opposition to racial mixing on this verse.
Many people/clerks were against issuing marriage licenses to interracial couples for this reason. Would we defend these clerks now?
IT IS NOT DENYING US RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TO GIVE CIVIL RIGHTS TO ANOTHER GROUP WHICH IS NOT US.
IT IS, HOWEVER, DENYING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TO DENY ANOTHER GROUP THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS BECAUSE YOU HAVE DIFFERENT BELIEFS.
A great many people, Christian and non-Christian, do not believe there is anything sinful about homosexuals wanting to marry. Whether this is because of religious beliefs or lack of, that is still religious freedom.
Trying to take away this right again, is denying religious freedom to those who believe gay marriage is not a sin.
It is against my beliefs for someone to leave his or her spouse in poverty, ignore his children by that spouse, and marry someone else. But if I were a county clerk, I would still issue that person a marriage license, if they have no legal reason not to marry.
I hear people railing against the Supreme Court for realizing that there is NO REASON for homosexuals to be denied the right to marry the ones they love, too. There is nothing perverted about wanting to set up a lifelong household with the one you love! If you don’t want to marry someone your own sex, then this doesn’t affect you.
I hear people saying their religious rights are being eroded. Er…Your rights have not been touched! Giving more rights to other groups, DOES NOT take yours away. Does it take away from the love you have for one child, to love your other children? No, your love is multiplied. Rights work the same way.
I hear people comparing Kim Davis to someone refusing to send Jews to death camps.
My husband–a CONSERVATIVE, by the way, both religiously and politically–has been okay for years with homosexuals being allowed to marry legally. He said, If you can’t tell the difference between giving a gay couple a marriage license and sending Jews to death camps, that’s a problem.
Then I read in the latest newsletter for my archdiocese, a statement accusing the Supreme Court of eroding religious freedom and “inventing” a civil right where none existed. Of violating God’s laws. This or another recent newsletter also railed against cities extending anti-discrimination rights to transgendered people, which my city rejected recently. (Also see here.)
NO! NO! NO!
Meanwhile, there is something far more pressing for the Church to deal with: large numbers of Middle Eastern refugees.
My religion is being turned, yet again, into a bludgeon for those who disagree.
This is supposed to be a land of religious freedom, NOT a theocracy.
Then the response is, I have to deal with people who rail against Christianity and think it’s a religion of hate, so they hate ME, too. I have dealt with many such people, both in real life and online, who have turned into bullies against the group of people they accuse of being bullies.
This is NOT what Christianity is about. This is:
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.–Isaiah 1:17
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.–James 1:26-27
The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.–Deut. 14:29