Same-Sex Marriage-Out with the Religion and In with the Constitution!

As the governor’s race in Iowa begins to heat up, I am increasingly disturbed and dissatisfied with many of the planks of the Republican platform concerning same-sex marriage.  More and more we see this idea that same-sex marriage in Iowa needs to be put up to a popular vote and then annulled or upheld on this vote.  A similar campaign can be seen outside the state as more and more states move closer to provisions for same-sex marriage, this idea that popular vote can dictate who is and is not a citizen of the United States of America and deserving of equal protection under the law.

So what is this doing on the AAS blog? Well, let me tell you.

One main reason that this sticks in the craw of many atheists, myself included, is that this idea of “one man and one woman” as the sole definition of marriage stems from religious beliefs. This is nothing short of attempting to legislate from holy scripture.  Time and again when cornered, enemies of same-sex marriage legislature are backed into the familiar corner of citing scripture and “tradition” over reason and evidence.  Why this is so alarming is that instead of being called on this, they are being supported by right leaning citizens! Instead of crying foul of religion trumping civil rights these people gain support and increased campaign contributions!  And the only reason that any of these people have to deny others their Constitutional rights is that “the Bible says so”.  How are these people still viable candidates in the year 2010?

Now, I have seen some concessions from those on the Religious Right to those that have different sexual preferences than themselves:

“Why not just have a Civil Union that affords all the same rights, but not call it marriage?” Well, for one thing I’d like to point out is a case that I’m sure we’re all familiar with : Brown vs. Board of Education where we found that separate but equal is inherently unequal.  How can we essentially segregate those that choose to marry the same sex from those that are heterosexual?  Also, what if the two people are religious themselves? Are you now going to deny them their religious rights based on upholding your own?  Now, if you are reading this you are probably getting a kick out of this conundrum because I know I am, and this just speaks to the inherent contradictory nature of religious belief.  But I digress, how does the Religious Right justify denying a fellow religious person on grounds of their own religion?

“Marriage is a religious institution, government has no right legislating on the matter.” Oh, but it DOES! For all intents and purposes the role of marriage in government has absolutely nothing to do with religiosity but everything to do with household income, tax status, social services, and census data.  If you want to get married in the Church of Saint Mattress, then that is all fine and dandy! The government doesn’t care where you got married, you are now a family unit.  Now, if for a particular individual marriage is a very religious ceremony held with the utmost respect that is perfectly fine. That is up to you and your church to recognize it as such, but when it comes to equal protection under the law the church is out and the Constitution is IN.  Nowhere in these same-sex laws does it say churches must recognize same sex marriage, they only note that the state must recognize same sex marriages.  This is a key fundamental difference between a law that is inclusive and a religious law that is inherently exclusive.

“We should vote on the matter, we can’t have activist judges making up these laws!” Ah yes, just like we should have put Women’s Suffrage up for vote or the desegregation of high schools and colleges up to vote.  I think we all know that in the 1950’s and 60’s when these issues were at their peak absolutely none of these demographics would have the same status they do today if it were put to a popular vote.  In certain states in the South it’s easy to believe they still wouldn’t today.  This is why we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights; to ensure every citizen has their rights protected equally under the law.  To ignore equal protection under the law is to legitimize legislating racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and bigotry by popular vote. We have enough of these evils in our world, we do not need popular votes enacting them into law.  We must examine issues and see how they measure up to the Constitution and then interpret and create our laws from there. Our judges are correct in ensuring that ALL citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, has the same opportunity to enjoy their rights as anyone else.

“Historically marriage has been between a man and a woman, it’s tradition!!” True, it is a tradition that marriage has been recognized as between a man and a woman, however, that is to ignore that homosexuals have existed throughout all the ages.  These are times when religious superstition pervaded every aspect of society to a point that homosexuals were threatened with death- or worse in some cases.  Thankfully we have made quite a bit of progress in the area and are no longer bound by the mystic dogma’s of superstition, at least when it comes to the secular documents of the United States.  Whom you have a relationship with has nothing to do with how pious or devout or even what kind of morality you hold dear. It is simply a choice to enjoy the same rights as others that have been guaranteed throughout the history of legal union between two people.  We can probably skip the parts about how slavery and misogyny are also tradition as even those on the Religious Right have a hard time defending that one.  Tradition in and of itself is not a justification for perpetuating systematic institutional discrimination.

Those are just a few of the points brought up by those that hide behind religiosity as their last refuge for bigotry and discrimination.  You’ll note that nowhere is there an appeal to “push some kind of atheist agenda” on anyone, but rather an idea of including every person in our state and country in the protections of our Constitution.  I implore anyone that reads this to talk to their friends about this issue and any other that uses religion as replacement for reason.   These questions need to be asked of our political leaders and community members so that they too can see the fallacies within their own reasoning when they hide behind religion.

Only by dropping the handicap of religion and freeing our mind to reason and debate these very important issues can we truly be a more free and just society.

Jason K.

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37 comments on “Same-Sex Marriage-Out with the Religion and In with the Constitution!

  1. Mike says:

    Well Jason, where does it end? Do we do away with all laws and allow chaos to reign? Do we allow pedophiles to do as they please? If not, why not? Do we allow multiple wifes or husbands in marriage? If not, why not? I understand your hatred for God (really I don’t), that you have chosen to believe the lie of the “anti” theory evolution and that we are here to just do anything and everything we please.

    Your world would be a wonderful utopia of no religion, no God, no rules. just like the days of Sodom and Gomorrah where people could live as they pleased, fulfilling their pleasures, even against the will of others. You can’t say that that wouldn’t happen, because you don’t rules remember – anything goes remember.

    Your problem is that you do want rules that protect you, but you don’t care about rules that protect everyone. Your world is built upon childish selfishness.

    In a civilized world there will always be rules against the things that destroy society. Rules are for the benefit of everyone – even though criminals don’t like them. Homosexuality is just one of the many SINS that destroy societies. It destroyed Rome and it will destroy the U.S. if allowed to become “normal.”
    Homosexuality is just as depraved a behavior as is pedafilia, adultery, multiple wives. ALL are based upon a lack of self-control. ALL are based upon sexual desire and NOT love. NONE of these helps society, other than to help destroy society when accepted.

    So Jason, are you a bigot? Are you discriminatory?

  2. jastiger says:

    I don’t see how a long and winding post on how we should extend rights to ALL citizens makes me a bigot.

    As far as your other points, no where do I say we should let chaos rule. Things like more than two people in a relationship are shady because a contract between two people is a lot different than a contract between three or more people. It’s a huge legal can of worms. Now, if people are mature enough to have such a relationship and can manage themselves as adults and treat each other with the same respect you or I would show our spouse, why can’t we let them marry? There are instances of group homes that function just fine. I really don’t see how this is “chaos”. It’s a group of mature consenting adults agreeing to share resources and responsibility.

    You say that in a civilized world there are rules to protect society, couldn’t it be argued that religion is what is detrimental to society? All we need to show is ONE instance of religion causing a negative effect for a group of people and can’t we put that in the category of “bad” and make rules against it? No? Well then I guess we had better rethink our definition of “destructive to society” shouldn’t we?

    Your irrational fear of homosexuality is exactly the kind of negative influence that we do NOT need in our public discource. You are making all sorts of arguments against it from religious sources, and you know that we should not/cannot legislate laws that apply to EVERYONE from religious scripture that only a few believe in. That is the definition of state enforced religion and we cannot allow such evils to be propegated in our society.

    Please, do give me examples of how homosexuality brought down a civilization.

    • Mike says:

      I didn’t say that you were a bigot, I simply asserted that you would be, should your idea of ethics prevent certain groups from doing what they choose to do (i.e. pedaphiles). So, if it is the case that you have no problem with pedaphiles, as long as they are mature enough to manage themselves as adults – then you would not a bigot, you would be consistent.

      Based upon your standard (or lack thereof), of course there would be chaos. Everyone is free to do whatever they choose, and no one has the right to say they are wrong. It would be a free for all. It wouldn’t be wrong for someone to choose to rape you, because there are no rules. You should be happy that they did, so that they could enjoy their freedoms. What a wonderful world you would live in.

      • Anastasia says:

        Mike, if persons engaging in consensual sexual activity are mature enough to manage themselves as adults (which we define as age 18 by law) then it is no longer pedophilia. Rape isn’t consensual by any stretch of the imagination.

        Just stop bringing in random things that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. You haven’t shown a single way that two consenting adults entering into a legal contract (marriage) would cause chaos or any other problems.

        • Mike says:

          So what about under the age of 18? Is that acceptable?

          The problem is that you don’t want to admit that your code of ethics comes from God. You do have a code of ethics that you just don’t want to admit you have. That is being dishonest.

          • Kris says:

            First, you seem to have a hard time grasping the concept of consenting adult. Adult, in this legal context, is 18 or over. Sex laws regarding exclusively the under-18 population is an important topic but unrelated to this post and thread.

            Second, please demonstrate how Jason’s code of ethics comes from your god. It seems surprising, since he thinks homosexual marriages should be legal, but your god seems to think that homosexuality is an abomination. I don’t see how that is the same ethical code.

            • Mike says:

              Kris,

              the problem is that ALL of you fail to admit the error of your code of ethics. According to the world that Jason is advocating, there are no rules. Hence, there is no such thing as “consenting” anything. There is no right or wrong. And if there is right or wrong, then from where did it come?

              • Kris says:

                Let me just stop this thread right here. I have read through many of your comments on this site and it would appear to me that you don’t have a real grasp on how arguments work. Your strategy appears to be to just fire off emotionally charged arguments without regard to accuracy or consistency. When someone responds with a counter-argument, you seem to either change the subject instantly or ignore it and reword the same argument.

                You obviously have a lot of emotion invested in your belief system. Unfortunately for you, logic trumps emotion. Covering your ears and shouting haphazard, contrived arguments may work for you and your congregation, but it will not work in the scientific world.

                Until you begin to give thoughtful, reasonable arguments for the positions you hold, you cannot expect anyone here to accept your claims. We are critical thinkers who care about truth too much to let it be bastardized by the willfully ignorant.

  3. Jay says:

    Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa for a year — I’d like to see a concrete example of how it has caused harm in Iowa in this past year.

    • Mike says:

      Life every society that has fallen into the same line of thinking that anything goes, it takes time for that society to completely fall under the weight of its debauchery. As I pointed out before, The Roman Empire fell because of this very thing. the United States too will fall one day. All one needs to do is look at San Franisco and you will see what Iowa will become.

      • Jay says:

        San Francisco? I thought gay marriage wasn’t legal in California? And we can throw out Rome as well since, like Mark points out, they converted to Christianity and outlawed gay marriage as a result.
        Let’s just substitute San Francisco in your last sentence with places that actually perform and sanction gay marriages.

        All one needs to do is look at Norway and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at Canada and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at Sweden and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at Belgium and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at Spain and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at Portugal and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at New Hampshire and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at Vermont and you will see what Iowa will become.

        All one needs to do is look at Connecticut and you will see what Iowa will become.

        I’m having a hard time seeing any negative consequences resulting from the legalization of gay marriage — especially since I asked for concrete examples from Iowa, and you didn’t give any. Have there been any? If so, help me find them.

        • Mike says:

          Excuse me, when did Rome convert to Christianity? Did I miss something? We are not talking about the Catholic church, which is not Christian in origin. It was invented by men.
          I think you and mark need to re-read your history.

          I understand why you are having a hard time, since you have no morals.

          • Kris says:

            > Excuse me, when did Rome convert to Christianity? Did I miss something? We are not talking about the Catholic church, which is not Christian in origin. It was invented by men.

            Which religion Rome converted to is irrelevant, since you said that the Roman empire fell because homosexuality was legal. What is relevant is the fact that homosexuality was illegal in Rome by 390 AD, whereas historians consider the fall to be around 476 AD. You did not argue that Roman Catholicism caused the fall of the Roman Empire; you said homosexuality caused it. Regardless, correlation does not imply causation (the fact that homosexuality was outlawed before Rome fell does not imply that it *caused* Rome to fall).

            > I understand why you are having a hard time, since you have no morals.

            When Jay said he was having a “hard time” seeing any negative consequences, he was being facetious. There are no inherent “negative consequences” of same-sex marriage. You perceive there to be “negative consequences” because your belief system says so. (I’m assuming, of course, based on your posting record. Perhaps you do have a logically-consistent, rational justification for preventing same-sex marriage that is not dependent on your apparently very specific flavor of Christianity, but you certainly haven’t yet shared one.)

            Also, accusing Jay of having no morals, and citing it as the reason he doesn’t hold the same views you do, is a strong indication of a desperate debater.

            • Jay says:

              Facetious or not, I genuinely have not seen any negative consequences. Mike keeps saying that there are some. I honestly would like to see some modern examples, preferably from Iowa, since that’s where I live. I have not seen any so far, so I cannot accept the claim that there are any. The burden of proof is on Mike, since he makes the claim that there are negative consequences.

              Easy way to win this argument without insults is to offer concrete modern examples of negative consequences in Iowa. Or New Hampshire, or Sweden or any of those other places I mentioned.

            • Mike says:

              Please study your history. Roman Catholicism didnt’ exist until around 606AD. So how could it be responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire? And I did not say that homosexuality alone was responsible, I said that immorality was responsible.

              And no, I am by no means being desperate when I point out the FACT that you have no morals.

    • Anastasia says:

      The only consequence I can think of isn’t negative. Rather it’s quite positive – bringing couples to Iowa to get married! Who would have guessed that Iowa would be a destination wedding location?

  4. Mark says:

    So I’m curious, do you have any real evidence that the Roman Empire fell because of homosexuality? The Roman Empire fell hundreds of years after it converted to Christianity, maybe that was it! Do you have any evidence that San Francisco is a bad place? I think these ideas are just in your head.

    It’s very revealing about your argument when all you do is hypothesis about the future instead of providing real evidence.

    • Mike says:

      Again, please read your history. The Roman Empire did not convert to Christianity. Homosexuality was only one of the reasons why that empire fell, but every reason is aligned directly to immorality and its acceptance.

      • Mark says:

        And I understand why you are having a hard time when you are the only person on Earth who is a “true” Christian. I think most of us here are talking about Christianity as it is defined by the vast majority of people.

        I do have morals, just not yours thankfully.

        Oh and you have yet to provide any evidence to back up your main point, that homosexuality is immoral and that it has been the downfall of anyone.

        You are arguing that because Rome did not convert to Christianity they supported gay marriage and that was the reason for their downfall. The Catholic church bans gay marriage just like you would like to do, your argument is completely senseless.

        • Mike says:

          Mark, Mark, Mark,

          As I have said repeatedly, PLEASE read your history. HISTORY tells us that immorality is what destroyed the Roman Empire, not me. HISTORY tells us that the Roman Empires lack of morals is what caused their downfall. That included homosexuality, adultery, pedaphilia, etc. It’s not something that happens immediately, but over time, as a society loosens its moral base and allows any lifestyle, they will destroy themselves.

          I never said that I was the only Christian. There are many others. All I have said, is that there is only ONE true church, ONE right doctrine, ONE right way to salvation, and the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations aren’t it. They are all apostates.

          Anyone can find and follow the one right way. It’s a matter of choice.

          I am truly sorry that your morals are not the right morals.

  5. jastiger says:

    I fail to see how allowing gay marriage is legalizing rape or pedophilia. Care to expand?

    • Mike says:

      Once you allow one immoral act to become accepted as normal behavior, then it only opens the door to others, and eventually anything goes.

      • jastiger says:

        If that is the case then why isn’t gay marriage acceptable everywhere? Its been around forever. Masturbation? Anything you don’t like? That argument makes no sense.

        • Mike says:

          Jason,

          It is true, SIN has been around for centuries. It will continue to be around until the universe ends. It’s a matter of choice. One can choose to commit adultery, become a homosexual, murderer, thief, use drugs, drink alcohol, or any number of other sins. OR one can choose to make society a better place and not do any of those things.

          The fact that homosexual marriage is not law in every state or in every country shows that there are still some in the world with a sense of right and wrong. It’s just logical that homosexuality is wrong, because it does nothing to further race. It can’t. it’s against nature itself, not to mention immoral.

          Of course it doesn’t make sense to a person who establishes his own set of rules.

  6. jastiger says:

    Well if drugs and alcohol are sinful and destructive, why are they naturally occuring in nature that god supposedly created? What about masturbation? I mean, there isn’t really any kind of duress that says “you will masturbate” other than human nature. Same with homosexuality. If two cavemen were engaged in a same sex relationship, how is that immoral if that relationship is key to their survival against the elements and predators? How does one man having sex with a woman that is not his wife somehow unweave the fabric of your morality? This has no moral bearing in and of itself.

    When you attempt to make the claim that homosexuality is inherently immoral and inherently destructive, you have to show how this is actually the case. I find it hard to believe that Rome fell to the barbarians of Eurasia due to one man having sex with another. Is it not more plausible to look at the bigger picture and see the entire scope of politics, economy, and corruption? Homosexuality has nothing to do with these things, else the empire would never have thrived as it did since homosexuality has been around before Rome (and Christianity for that matter).

    So we get it Mike, we understand that you think homosexuality is inherently harmful, but that is just one guy saying it. You have to show us exactly how it is harmful rather than just wishing it was.

  7. Mike says:

    Jason says; “If two cavemen were engaged in a same sex relationship, how is that immoral if that relationship is key to their survival against the elements and predators?”

    Please explain to us how homosexuality helps in the “survival” of anyone? You say it is “KEY,” please provide us the proof that homosexual sex provides the tools for survival.

    As for homosexuality causing the Roman Empire to fall. I said, if you will just read – that homosexuality was only one of many immoral tools that brought them down. Such immorality works its way into every facet of society, until it can no longer maintain itself. It’s not immediate, but over time (you should like that one) when all morals are thrown out the window for nothing but pleasing self – it becomes easier for other nations to take over.

  8. jastiger says:

    I did not say the homosexual act of sex was crucial, I said the relationship between two men could be key to their survival as in they could depent no each other for food, security, entertainment, whatever.

    • Mike says:

      So then if there is no sexual act – then there is NO homosexuality and your argument fails.

      • Jay says:

        I agree with you here Mike, the caveman part wasn’t a very good argument. Thankfully his entire argument didn’t hinge on that one point.

  9. Jay says:

    Mike, out of curiosity, would it be immoral for a Christian to marry Catholic? For a Christian to marry a Jew? A Muslim? An Atheist?

    • Mike says:

      Are you being serious, or facetious?

      • Jay says:

        Serious. I would like your opinion.

        • Mike says:

          Well Jay, this is an apples and oranges comparison that you are trying to make, but I’ll bite.
          No it would not be immoral for a Christian to marry a Catholic, Jew, Muslim, or Atheist. It wouldn’t be the wisest thing to do, but there is nothing immoral about it.

          • Jay says:

            Hey, thanks — I’m not trying to make a comparison, I just wanted your opinion. Some churches refuse to perform those marriages yet they are still legal. I’m glad to see that you don’t see them as immoral (I don’t have a moral problem with them either).

            • Mike says:

              Jay,

              the fact is, when the Bible is properly interpreted, harmonized, and logically deduced, there are many things that it does not teach, that MEN have instead designed their own brand of religion and then blame God or the Bible for saying it. When the fact is that God never had anything to do with it in the first place. God get’s blamed for many things that are not true. Just like insurance companies not willing to cover certain things by saying, “Acts of God are not covered.” There is no such thing! It would be more true to say, “Acts of sin are not covered,” because it was sins introduction into the world by Adam and Eve that caused floods, earthquakes, tornados, etc. etc., not God.

  10. Mark R. says:

    Just dropping in a discussion, but I admire the attempts of Jay, Jastiger, and others to use logic arguments, while getting some unbased convictions in return (though the argumentation errors are amusing to read).

    I live in the Netherlands, first nation with same-sex marriage in 2001, and in those nine years, there have been no problems with it. It’s not a slippery slope for allowing (totally unrelated) things like pedophilia. And morality is such a subjective thing, I think we are more moral for treating people equal and with respect, irrespective of their sexual orientation, than those opposing same-sex marriage.

    But those arguments have been made already, just wanted to add an example of a society that functions even with gay marriage. I would just like to ask: Mike, how come you feel this way? What experience did YOU have that you’re so convinced that homosexuality is all the bad things you say it is?

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