Thursday, July 09, 2015

Don't Worry, You've Still Got Your Religious Freedom

Following the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage, religious conservatives are in full-on panic mode. "HOW COULD THIS BEEEEEE?" they cry to the heavens. "Our religious freedom is being trampled upon!"

No, it's not.

Let's lay it out on the table. Before the Supreme Court's decision, it was your religious right to believe that same-sex couples were inferior, that they were sinners. You could preach that their lifestyle would destroy the fabric of America. You could refuse to let them marry in your church.

Now? Well, you can still do all these things.

You can still put all your beliefs into practice. Same way you could before. No one's forcing you to convert. The Supreme Court decision does not mean you have to become gay. It does not mean you have to divorce your wife and marry her brother instead. All it means that gay couples enjoy the protections and benefits of the law just like straight couples.

Now, let's say you're a government worker responsible for handing out marriage licenses. Let's say you're a conservative Christian. You don't believe same-sex couples are valid. If you're forced to give marriage licenses to these couples, are you being forced to do something against your religion?


If you're getting paid to carry out duties decided by the state, you have a choice. A religious Jew will probably not take a job in a pork sausage factory. A committed Buddhist will probably not work in a slaughterhouse. If you're in a job that entails doing things you think your religion frowns upon, you're welcome to leave that job, anytime.

The government is not making you change any part of your personal lifestyle. It's merely telling you that in your role as a government agent, you can't cast your beliefs onto others. You have the liberty to live how you want. The LBGT community has the liberty to live how they want. No one can force you to be in a same-sex relationship. You can't force them not to be. TO EACH HIS OWN.

The Pilgrims, the founders of our nation, fled England because the state-sponsored church sought to control their beliefs. They came here to practice their own brand of faith. Religious freedom gives everyone the right to believe and act in accordance with their beliefs. It doesn't mean your religion trumps others.

The second you stop others from making personal choices, you're no longer practicing freedom, you're destroying it.

This is how freedom works. Freedom does not mean you have the freedom to make other people less free.

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