by Jennifer Collins
Same sex marriage is a hot topic. The main argument for those that are against it seems to be that it will ruin the sanctity of marriage. I was raised in a Christian home, from a conservative family, but I can see that using “sanctity of marriage” as a reason for not allowing same sex marriage is wrong.
Sanctity is defined as “holiness, saintliness, godliness” (Dictionary.com). Why is using sanctity of anything wrong when making laws? It implies God, it implies church, and it implies religion. We are the United States of America; didn’t we originally come over from England seeking religious freedom? Here is our First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (“Bill of Rights”).
The very first line of the First Amendment states that no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion. So who is Congress or the people of the United States to make a law based on their religious views? You don’t have to like same-sex marriage, you do not have to marry a person of your own sex, but who are you to forbid it? People want to tell you that same-sex marriage isn’t “biblical”… I won’t sit here and argue whether it is or is not. I believe you were born the way you are and Jesus loves you regardless, but that’s just me and my personal beliefs. Here is a hot topic that isn’t biblical, that is not sacred, and that is a common practice here in the United States: divorce. The book of Mark in the New Testament, Chapter 10 verse 9 states, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (BibleGateway.com). The United States holds the number one spot for highest divorce rate. What happened to, “until death do us part?” Is that a thing of the past? Why is it okay for us to adhere to one set of biblical standards but completely ignore another biblical standard? If you are going to quote Leviticus, chapter 18, verse 22, “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable” (BibleGateway.com), allow me to show you other biblical laws that we DO NOT adhere to also from Leviticus.
Drinking alcohol in holy places (10:9)
Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (camel, rabbit, pig) (11:4-7)
Touching the carcass of any of the above (11:8)
Eating - or touching the carcass of – any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12)
Swearing falsely on God’s name (19:12)
Spreading slander (19:16)
Trimming your beard (19:27)
Getting tattoos (19:28)
Working on the Sabbath (23:3) (“76 Things”)
Let’s look at a few on this list (and I took off MANY). ”Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (camel, rabbit, pig)” (11:4-7): that means you aren’t allowed to eat pork, etc., no pork carnitas, no sausage, no bacon. “Touching the carcass of any of the above” (11:8). Did you know that after a pig is slaughtered every part of the pig is used? Whether it is used for chemical testing research, food, make-up, shoes, glue, EVERY part of the pig is used. “Drinking alcohol in holy places” (10:9): two words: Catholic communion. ” Swearing falsely on God’s name” (19:12): who hasn’t said, “I swear to God”? “Spreading slander” (19:16): who has NEVER gossiped? “Getting tattoos” (19:28): I have two tattoos and have never been punished for them other than my mom’s disapproval. “Working on the Sabbath” (23:3): we live in a society where lots of places are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which requires working on Sundays (the Sabbath).
My desire in pointing out all the laws we do not obey is to hopefully make you understand that you cannot pick and choose what of God’s laws you obey. You could choose to go all out with the religious rules, but America was still founded for the purpose of religious freedom. Who are we to say that Christianity is the one true religion and impose it and all of its laws on people who may not share the same beliefs?
United States of America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave: that seems to be our slogan. Are we really free though? In the 1950s and the 1960s, we had the Civil Right Movement. We had Blacks fighting for EQUAL rights as Whites. Why in the land of the FREE are we always fighting for EQUALITY? Springfield, Missouri Pastor, Phil Snider, gave a speech at a Springfield, MO city council meeting; while his speech seemed to be against homosexuality, calling it a sin, his speech took an interesting twist:
I’m sorry, I’ve brought the wrong notes with me this evening. I’ve borrowed my argument from the wrong century. It turns out what I’ve been reading to you this whole time are direct quotes from white preachers from the 1950s and the 1960s all in support of racial segregation. (Sieczkowski)
Same-sex couples are not asking for anything extravagant, just the right to love whom they love and the right to be united in matrimony with them, like any other couple. Who are we to stand in their way? Same-sex couples are not hurting anyone. You don’t want your children to see them? Are the people forbidding Marriage Equality scared of teaching tolerance? Are they afraid their children will learn not to judge one another? Judgment in and of itself is a sin; Matthew 7:1-5 teaches us that judging others is wrong and makes you a hypocrite.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (BibleGateway.com)
Passing laws or rather not passing laws because it does not fit into your religion is not constitutional. I, myself, am a Christian, I was raised in a Southern Baptist church and I am a straight ally. What is a straight ally? A straight ally (at least to me) is someone who is heterosexual but believes in and fights for the equality of homosexuals. Any law that could be passed to give same-sex couples the right to marry will not benefit me, but I fight for and with them because I believe in love and tolerance.
Judging and condemning people based on their sexual orientation is creating more violence, violence we do not need. People are being bullied, condemned, even killed, and for WHAT? For loving someone. Who hasn’t heard of the Westboro Baptist Church and their hate campaign… their website has the word HATE in their URL. The WBC pickets funerals of our fallen soldiers with signs and a message that God hates anyone who does not adhere to the Bible, but their message also goes against the Bible (see Matthew 7:1-5 above). Celebrities such as Russell Brand and the Foo Fighters have even taken on the WBC, the Foo Fighters, protesting their protest by singing a song about tolerance. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, published in 2010, analyzed of 14 years of hate crime data. The report found that homosexuals, or those perceived to be homosexual, are more than twice as likely to be victimized in violent hate crimes as Jews or African Americans, more than four times as likely as Muslims, and 14 times as likely as Latinos (“Report”).
There was time when homosexuals were in the closet, but they are not anymore, and
they are not going back in. They love and accept themselves. Let’s stop the hypocrisy, the judgments, and the hate and embrace the next chapter and grow as a country.
“76 Things Banned in Leviticus.” 25 May 2012. Web. 1 April 2013. <http://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus>.
BibleGateway.com. n.d. Web. 1 April 2013. <http://www.biblegateway.com/>.
“Bill of Rights.” The Charters of Freedom. National Archives, n.d. Web. 1 April 2013. <http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html>.
Dictionary.com. n.d. Web. 1 April 2013. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sanctity?s=t>.
“Report: Gays More Likely to be Victims of Violent Hate Crime.” LGBTQNATION. 22 Nov. 2010. Web. 10 April 2013. <http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2010/11/report-gays-lesbians-more-likely-to-be-victims-of-violent-hate-crime-than-any-other-minority/>.
Sieczkowski, Caven. “Rev. Phil Snider, Missouri Pastor, Responds To Viral Gay Rights Speech (VIDEO).” HuffPost Gay Voices. 22 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 April 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/rev-phil-snider-gay-rights-speech-video-missouri-_n_2001007.html>.