My general rule on topics related to religion or politics is to keep silent. I don’t see the point in adding fire to an already raging flame. This, however, had been eating at me for some time. After I posted it on Facebook, I had many comment and share how much it had touched them or expressed things in a way that made sense. I’m posting it here in the hopes it can offer others the same solice:
So, I’m confused.
I keep seeing posts about how people have somehow lost their freedoms. Explain to me please how anyone has lost anything. I’m a school teacher, and every morning we say the pledge (to include the words “under God” even tough many of our students have other faiths). We take a moment of silence each and every morning to allow students of any faith to say a prayer if they so choose. We never discourage students from expressing themselves from sharing their experiences no matter what religion they happen to be.
People are still able to get married. No one has been forced to divorce, change their religion, or stop attending church. No one is being forced to participate in gay weddings (and no, baking a cake is not participation). Absolutely nothing has changed, except people who are gay can get married. No one is forcing you to go to their wedding. So tell me again how Christians are being persecuted and how we’re destroying Freedom? Because I really don’t understand the outrage.
I’m all for the freedom to express yourself, in fact I encourage it, but I find posts of this nature offensive and counter-productive because they simply aren’t true. No one has lost any bit of freedom. No one is forcing a church to change its stance on marriage. If you want to continue in the belief it’s wrong for same-sex people to get married, no one is stopping you. Need proof? We allowed mixed-race marriages ages ago. People still disapprove. Making it legal didn’t stop people’s opinions.
Consider this: if you’re using your religious beliefs to restrict others, you’re doing it wrong. Using your faith to express yourself is Religious Freedom. Using your faith to limit the freedoms of others is Religious Persecution. This is the very reason for Separation of Church and State, not to limit religious freedoms, but to guarantee them. If we allow one faith to dictate law, where does it stop? How long before we limit out freedoms based on one person’s interpretation of the Bible? It’s a slippery slope, and one our forefathers knew to avoid. So before you condemn the world for recent decisions, consider what we’ve really lost.
Absolutely nothing has changed.
I’m not condoning or condemning gay marriage. I’m simply stating a fact. It has absolutely no bearing on your faith and you’re wasting time obsessing over it. Churches are not being forced to change their beliefs or traditions. The whole point of religious freedom is just that. To be free to worship as your congregation chooses.
The Supreme Court decision specifically bans states from discrimination with state-issued marriage certificates. It does not say a church must change its practices. I think trying to force a church to perform a gay wedding crosses the same line with religion in government. The Separation of Church and State goes both ways. Discrimination in any institution sends the wrong message, but I do not feel religious institutions should be forced to change their long-standing traditions.
In time, I think time will temper people’s opinions, but until then I hope we can all move forward together rather than divided as many seem to be.
The world has far bigger problems.