Tied up in the culture war is a basic concept that is constantly ignored. Freedom. Do people have the RIGHT to be homosexual? To be what they’re clearly born to be? To they have the right to make a choice, if they should happen to be inclined that way? If you actually believe in freedom, if you actually believe people have the right to make their own choices regardless of what a small subsection of religious folks think about it, then there’s no sticking point here.
You can’t claim to be for “freedom” if you think it’s any of your business what consenting adults do behind closed doors. Or with their own bodies, when you get right down to it.
Religious freedom determines what YOU do. You can choose to go to the church that suits you. You can call God by the name that suits you. You can read the religious text that suits you. You can follow whatever holy days you wish to adopt, depending on the religion or sect you claim. You can teach your children this belief system.
What you DON’T get to do is force others to abide by it, or act as though you have more right to swing your religion around than anyone else does. Christians in the U.S. have no more right to say that gays can’t get married than Muslims do telling women they have to wear burqas, or Jews do telling people they can’t eat pork.
There are sects that don’t allow celebration of holidays. There are sects that require very specific acts of restitution if crimes are committed against fellows or the godhood itself. No one requires people not of that faith to abide by these tenets. And this is a good thing. This is true religious freedom.
And now they’ve decided that they somehow get to decide what “their” money is spent on. If they pay into insurance pools, THEY get to decide what kind of medical care other people get to pay for with it. As if that money still belongs to them once they’ve paid it out.
Seriously, people. Do you NOT consider that a sub-text of the whole “pursuit of happiness” angle didn’t mean the “pursuit of a good time?” Ben Franklin was a known lecher. Thomas was shtupping his slaves. Men of power have always had mistresses. Some of the religious have objected, but the fact is that throughout most of history, the powerful and wealthy have done whatever the hell they wanted regardless of what anyone else would have done. And particularly men of wealth and power, who were given the ability to simply TAKE what they wanted, be it land, or a woman’s virtue.
Women deserve the same sexual agency as men have always had. If that means that we have to change the definition of marriage, than so be it. It’s not the first time THAT has happened. Despite all arguments to the contrary. Look up Betty Bowers explains traditional marriage.
A religion may be a fine thing to have. It didn’t suit me in the end. I’m pretty much dedicated to thinking for myself and absorbing someone else’s view of the universe and subsequent deal doesn’t suit me. I figure I’ll know the score soon enough, or know nothing at all. Either way I’m satisfied. And, no, I don’t believe in the divine judgement. If other people can’t see the utter falsehood inherent in their claim of omniscience for this jealous, mercurial, and often just plain CRUEL deity, then there’s not much I can do to convince them. But the OT “God” was a dick. Jesus coming along and saying “Hey, he promises to stop being so much of a dick” was followed by several centuries–damn near two thousand years, of the Church being quite dickish enough all on its own, thank you very much.
Another person’s religion doesn’t harm me in the least. As long as they know where to stop swinging it. I don’t barge into their churches and denounce their holy books. They need to stay the hell out of my secular government. And keep their long noses out of my sex life… such as it is. Is that too much to ask?