Michael Regan, son of Ronald Regan, posted an opinion on March 29, 2013 at 6:23 p.m. The title of the article is “It’s time for churches to get into the fight.” The time is noteworthy because Google has a 48 hour attention span. The time is now 8:15 a.m. on March 31, 2013. We’re newsworthy!
Michael’s premise is that churches should be in the streets protesting against this assault against morality and the attempt to change America’s culture. The article was published by the Manchester News Journal, a Gannett company. You can read the full text of the article at http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20130331/OPINION/303310012.
For those that get most of their news and information off the web, tapeunit.com provides a forum for religions and spirituality. Most churches are not involved in doing street demonstrations, with the Westboro Baptist Church as a notable exception. As a member of the Spiritualist churches, we have stated our belief that same-sex marriage will not undermine our culture and destroy our religion.
Same-sex marriage is an expression of commitment between two people to love and respect each other for a long time. Our expectation of how long a marriage will last is no different for same-sex or heterosexual marriages. “Until death do us part” is not worth the jail time, and we allow for divorces in all cases.
The First Amendment to the Constitution provides two relevant points with regard to same-sex marriage. The first point is freedom of speech, which has been interpreted by the courts to include symbolic expressions beyond simple verbal statements.
The second point that applies is the separation of church and state. Same-sex marriage is clearly a religious issue. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has been less than diligent in actually providing a clearly defined wall between government and religious issues.
The ultimate example of a Christian church expressing their views in the street has been the Westboro Baptist Church. In a somewhat convoluted twist of logic and biblical scripture selection, this church has stated that members of the military are getting killed because the policy that allows soldiers to be gay has resulted in punishment from God that got them killed. Soldiers are dying because wars cause deaths to soldiers.
The Westboro Baptist Church is enjoying freedom of expression at the expense of grieving widows and widowers. If their freedom of expression is being protected, the same-sex couples that want to express their commitment through a legal and legitimate marriage ceremony deserve equal protection under the Constitution.
The Fourteenth Amendment was used as part of the justification for overturning the state bans on interracial marriage. This amendment is used to prevent states from passing laws that circumvent the Constitution, and it offers equal protection of all classes of citizens under the law.
Interracial marriage was once thought to offer up a similar disintegration of society as now claimed for same-sex marriages. Our culture is much more resilient than those with narrow social vision can imagine.
The argument by members of SCOTUS that we don’t know how children of same-sex couples will turn out is inaccurate. There are hundreds of thousands of productive members of society that were reared by same-sex parents.
These adults and children of same-sex parents are much better served by a loving family than a child of heterosexual parents that are alcoholics, abusive and otherwise unloving of their children.
Hiding behind the idea expressed that “same-sex marriage is newer than cell phones and the internet” is a diversion. Same-sex marriage may be new, but same-sex families have been in existence for generations.
The bottom line is that SCOTUS needs to take the same approach to same-sex marriage as it did for interracial marriages. All individuals that are willing to make a sincere commitment to a relationship through the act of marriage should be allowed to do so.
Spiritualist churches are already in the fight for equality and equal treatment of everyone. It is time for other churches that believe in equal rights and equal protection under the law to say so. Marriage is an expression of love. It is time for churches to show the love, which was a key commandment of Jesus. God loves everyone already.