I’m very concerned where things are going in this country. I’m very concerned that certain religious groups are trying to make everyone in the country follow their view of what is right by enacting or supporting laws that are in line with their morality code.
What if vegetarians were in charge? There would be laws that nobody could eat meat. Everyone would eat only vegetables, and no animals would be raised in farms for consumption. Sure, they might allow cows to be raised for their milk, and chickens to be raised for their eggs, because they aren’t vegans. They would point out that a meat-based diet is proven to be bad for you, so they are really doing you a favor by not allowing you to eat meat.
Or what if recovering alcoholics were in charge? There would be no alcohol for anyone to drink. Making alcohol would be illegal. The entire idea of having a glass of wine every day for your health would disappear. I wonder what would happen to the Catholics and Episcopalians. No Communion wine! They would argue that they have to have wine for religious reasons, and the recovering alcoholics would get the AA to hire attorneys to say that drinking any bit of alcohol leads to more drinking, so it can’t be allowed. Bars would cease to exist. Distilleries would cease to exist. And there would be no drunk-driving accidents, and there would be no underage drinking, because there would be no drinking at all. Well, no legal drinking, because we see how well Prohibition worked, but hopefully you get my point.
What if gluten-intolerant people, those with celiac disease, were in charge? Everything would be safe for them to eat. Gluten would be removed from the menu of all restaurants. No grocery store would be allowed to sell anything that had gluten in it. Wheat farmers would stop growing wheat. Bakers would have to relearn their craft.
All of these things would be done with the idea that it would be better if everybody followed a certain group’s rules. That group has certain rules that it has to, or has chosen to, live by. There are certain things they can’t have, and they realize that they can’t have them for their own good. And because they are in power, they want to make sure that everybody else can’t have those things either. You don’t need meat, or alcohol, or gluten. You can survive without them. But is it the right of another group to decide for you what you should eat or drink based on their belief system? Even if they think they are doing it for your own good?
I’m embarrassed and frightened that American Christian lawmakers and voters are using their belief system as a reason to deny others their rights. Even if they think their rights are wrong. Or rather, they are doing it because they think their rights are wrong.
How is this different from Sharia law? How is this different from a Muslim-lead country saying that every woman has to cover herself from head to toe in a huge swath of fabric and every man has to have a beard? They are doing it for their own good, right?
Let’s try another tack. I personally am against abortion. I think that abortion is murder, no matter how you want to define it. But, I do not feel I have the right to force my view on another person by enacting laws against abortion. I feel that every child should be a wanted child. I feel that nobody should have to be pregnant against their will, and nobody should have to raise a child they aren’t ready for, whether emotionally or financially. So even though I’m anti abortion personally, I’m pro-choice legally. What I think is a better way is to encourage better contraception options. Prevent unwanted pregnancies before they start. Have better sex-education. Empower young girls to say no and mean it if that is what they want. Empower them to have sex in a safe way if they want. Teach boys to be respectful of a woman’s choice and to not guilt trip or force her into having sex.
So for Christian lawmakers and voters to not allow consenting adults to get married just because they are of the same sex is illogical to me. Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality. He said a lot showing love to each other, and a lot about not judging other people. There is nothing “un-Christian” about gay marriage if you really think about it. But the problem is that many Christian lawmakers and voters don’t want to think about it.
They don’t want to think at all. And that is the problem. They let their parents or their husbands or their ministers or their friends do the thinking. This isn’t what God wants. God gave us brains to use. God doesn’t want us to be mindless.
The more I thought about it, I realized that I had to be pro-gay-rights because I am Christian. It isn’t our right to tell other people how to live their lives. Jesus didn’t do that. So much for the “What Would Jesus Do?” armbands from a decade ago. What did Jesus do? He wasn’t a jerk, wandering around and telling everybody that they were a sinner. He was there for people when they came to him for healing. He taught them that God loves them and forgives them and wants them to do the same for everybody else. He submitted to his Father’s will, ultimately and completely, and wants us to do the same.
That’s it. There is nothing else.