Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prop. 8 challengers highlight religion's role in campaign

The LA Times, reporting from San Francisco, writes that challengers of California's ban on same-sex marriage tried to show that religion has promoted discrimination against gays.
Lawyers trying to overturn Proposition 8 presented testimony of a gay man who said his evangelical parents forced him into Christian therapy to change his sexuality, and the legal team later produced documents that showed close ties between leaders of the Catholic and Mormon churches and the Proposition 8 campaign. Uh huh. And how is this relevant?
Linking religious institutions and motivations to Prop 8's passage is intended to somehow 'delegitimate' the referendum by exposing it as an unconstitutional breach of "church and state." Since when is the religious affilliations or motivations of voters cause for dismissal. Should religious voters simply not vote according to their conscience? Maybe religious Americans should stay home on election days, pray and let the irreligious pull the levers at the booths.
It may be a tired comparison but one still can't help wondering if these same secularists would have challenged the mixing of religion and politics to promote civil rights or abolish slavery or incite fervor against King George.

Martin Luther King's reliance on St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas in his Letter From a Birmingham Jail, the writings of Unitarian and evangelical abolitionists laced with Scripture passages, the prolific sermons from Congregationalist, Baptist, and Methodist thundering from Sunday pulpits during the 1770s (yes, we have an abundance of these sermons nicely catalogued) all testify, along with hymns, prayer meetings, town meetings held in church assembly halls, days of fasting, etc.,- that the

  • birth of our nation,
  • its rebirth during the Civil War, and
  • its making good on the promises of the Declaration of Independence in the Civil Rights Act of 1964

are all interwoven with religious individuals, institutions, ideas and motivations. This is true for every major movement for American social change. Same sex marriage advocates need to stop witch-hunting and simply try to persuade the American people that marriage is really not much more than a form of enhanced companionship which the state should honor. This is a major redefinition of marriage which, tragically, ignores the inextricable linkage of children to marriage, but, at least, that is what the weary debate is truly about.

1 comment:

  1. Those who desire same-sex marriage must be motivated by many complex processes that relate to the natural law that God has instilled into our being human--which is the desire to love and be loved.
    By the age of 6 months a child will be attracted and desire an inanimate object that is portrayed as being safe and will reject an object that is portrayed as being aggressive.
    I do not know if you are open to this information Al and how it applies to adult relationships and our faith.
    When I was returned by God to our beautiful faith Easter of '05 after 40 years away it was not because of evangelization. I was brought home because God showed me the miracle and mystery of His Love. I saw everything in a new way, including my work which is now my vocation doing His work in my counseling practice. Everything I had learned and continue to learn about interpersonal neurobiology reveals that we are made to love and that we thrive where there is love and we begin to die without love.
    We have light and dark in our faith and we must continue to be aware of the darkness that hurts our faith and those we want to convert.
    I do believe that we have much hardness in our hearts that results in protests against our faith and then results in the desire for same-sex marriage. I do believe that this is the fruit that we have cultivated from our objections to their lifestyle rather than our loving them.
    Those who are most sensitive in this life are the canaries in the coal mine and they exhibit the early warning symptoms of distress when the environment is toxic. I know this to be true because I have been blessed to have worked with them for 30 years in a mutual journey of exploration into the nature of their suffering and through God's Love we have been taught that all suffering begins at the moment of conception when we are born into that genetic history of human violence. It is at that point that the human being reacts with attraction to love or aversion to lack of love.
    This will be my last comment because it seems that what I have written previously has been either ignored, rejected or not understood. My first two years being home in our faith I was where you are right now and totally in agreement with you. I had to be there to learn another lesson about love. When I began to experience a hardness and absence of love in the message of truth on Catholic radio I began to experience a great disappointment and sadness because there is a resistance to acknowledge that it is there.
    I have experienced this hardness in the secular and in the religious and it is impenetrable especially in the format of talk radio or television. It is based on power and protecting the vulnerable self that God created from potential harm. It defends itself with knowledge rather than opening itself to pain and this wall is impenetrable.
    I do not know if you will even read this, or, if you do, be open to this. However, because of our beautiful faith God has given me and all of us I now can freely express what comes to me without fear because I know who I am through Him.
    God Bless you and your wonderful co-facilitators in this mysterious journey of finding His Love in our darkness.