Trump, marriage and the war on gays

Shared by a friend on Facebook

I recently read a post by The Friendly Atheist that talked about the plan that the National Organization for Marriage announced they had constructed a proposal for Trump which would undo marriage equality and “un-marry” all gay couples who have been married in the US. The group outlined a plan to actually work with Trump to nominate conservative Supreme Court justices who will overturn the recent decision allowing gay marriage and for Trump to rescind Obama’s executive orders on transgender bathroom access; they also want the US to put pressure on other countries to follow suit. While it should be obvious from this alone, it is worth noting that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists NOM as an anti-gay hate group.

What this group fails to offer is any non-religious based objections to gay marriage, and as such, those objections have no more legal bearing than any other religious code. The US is a secular nation and any religious ceremony aside, marriage is a secular institution. It is a legal arrangement providing for familial status, inheritance rights, insurance and tax incentives and so on and should therefore be accessible to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. The supreme court decision did not say a minister or religious institution has to marry a gay couple, simply that no state may make a law which prevents a gay couple from marrying; this decision was based on the 13th amendment which protects citizens of the United States from overreaching state and local laws which infringe upon their rights. It is interesting to note that conservative groups fighting for so-called “States Rights” in this instance have fought against individual states trying to implement new gun control measures stating they violate the very same constitutional amendment. They don’t get to have it both ways.

I have spoken to a few people who personally hold the belief that gays should not marry, all of those who were willing to discuss it said they believe marriage was created by god to be a sacred union between one man and one woman and believe homosexuality is a sin. While the Bible does say homosexuality is a sin, we would do well to remember that this same book also says it is a sin to shave your sideburns or to wear clothing made from blended cloth, this same book says the punishment for picking up sticks on the sabbath is stoning and that slavery is ok.  Two thousand year old legends do not make good blueprints for modern law.

Borrowed from Facebook

Since Christians wish to claim the Bible as the ultimate guide to nuptials, let us examine the Biblical concept of marriage. Wives are the property of their husbands and are commanded to be obedient to them, brides are to be stoned if they are found to be non-virgins, divorce is forbidden except in cases of adultery, and adultery is punishable by death, rapists are to marry their victims and slave’s wives and belong to their masters not their husbands. Does NOM want to implement all of the Biblical rules on marriage or just cherry pick the ones that suit them?

With gay marriage legal, Christians such as Kim Davis do not have a Biblical leg to stand on when they refuse to carry out the duties of their job, which in her case was issuing marriage licenses in Kentucky. The Bible does not advocate civil disobedience, quite the contrary, it admonishes Christians to obey their rulers and reminds them that “The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1). In the time of Jesus, Roman soldiers could command a citizen or subject to carry their gear up to a mile, Jesus, in his famous Sermon on the Mount, taught “If a soldier demands that you to carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles” (Matthew 5:41). Christians are not told to just obey the law, but go above and beyond what they are asked to do. Jesus said  “love each other” (John 13:34). I ask, did Melissa and Aaron Klein show Christian love when they refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding? Did they honor god when they refused to pay court ordered damages of $135,000 to the couple even though they raised over half a million dollars through crowdfunding?  Did Memories Pizza show Christian love when they stated they would refuse to cater a gay wedding reception? If ancient Jews could carry the very implements of their occupation for twice the required distance, you would think modern Christians could simply do the job for which they are paid.

As long as Christianity continues to interpret ancient mythology as literal history it will continue to teach a doctrine of hate and tolerate acts of bigotry in the name of god.

(Bible verses, New Living Translation)

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