August 5, 2012
I will give them one thing, at least they didn’t hide behind the smokescreen of understanding with the requirement to seek forgiveness of one’s sins. They went right to the policy of zero tolerance as God’s word.
There isn’t enough space here to point out the various Biblical passages regarding intolerance, racial hatred, human sacrifice, stoning, treatment of women as chattel that clearly refute the Bible as the ultimate guide to good government. If one is going to quote the Bible as absolute authority, you cannot quote the good stuff and “interpret” the conflicting ones.
But the passage that is most frightening is the following;
“We have been tolerant too long. Someone has said that tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. Did you realize that Jesus himself was intolerant? He did not tolerate sin, and neither should we”
They do not attribute the quote to anyone but I have a few suggestions, Hitler, Stalin, Governor George Wallace.
In reality the “quote” is one of those convenient urban myths, attributed to many, designed to “prove” a point. Like most myths it fails once it is examined.
The Bible has been the tyrant’s tool to manipulate mankind since first written (and re-written and edited and adapted and changed and interpreted). Relying on such a document as a basis for the conduct and laws of our society is dangerous. It is precisely the approach most feared by the Founding Fathers of this great nation.
There was a time when certain religious leaders referred to the Bible when opposing organ transplants. Organ transplants were an abomination before God? Said so right in the Bible!
The Bible wouldn’t pass the first standard of admissibility in any court in the land as being “evidence”, why would we use it to provide a basis for law?
My brother and his partner have been together for 18 years. They have a loving relationship, great family, treat others as they want to be treated, and feel that this was God’s plan for them.
They are denied rights and benefits available to me through the secular laws of this country by virtue of the imposition of religious beliefs. There was a time in this country where people were denied rights by virtue of the color of their skin, sex, and ethnicity. We changed the law to correct those issues and we need to do the same regarding the inequities in the law limiting access to the benefits of marriage.
I think the writers have a point, we should not be tolerant. We should never tolerate the imposition of a belief on any other person by the use of governmental authority.
Yet this is precisely what we are doing by denying the legality of Same Sex Marriages.
If a church refuses to recognize Same Sex Marriage it is entirely acceptable as a “private” institution. If the IRS, the City of Fort Myers, the State of Florida, or a public Hospital, refuses to recognize Same Sex Marriage as of equal legal standing, that is wrong. Morally, ethically, and legally wrong.
Religions are not the exclusive standards of morality. A tolerant, understanding, empathetic, and moral society is. The morality arising from the fair, equitable, and consistent treatment of all under the law
Religious majorities change. The fastest growing religion in the US is not of the Judeo-Christian tradition according to the Pew Forum of Religion and Public Life (www.pewforum.org). I am sure the writers would fear what “passages” might be used then to set the standards of behavior.
This is not about religious beliefs. Everyone in the country is free to believe, or deny, the validity of any and all religious sects. It is about fairness.
If even one person in this country is denied a right and privilege available to their fellow citizens, then this country has not lived up to the hopes of those who crafted this great democracy.
If you do not believe in Same Sex Marriage, marry someone of a different sex. I fully support your right to your religious beliefs, as long as you agree that everyone has a right to their own relationship with God, and to hold any beliefs.
This country’s greatness is our willingness to “tolerate” differing opinions, to defend that right, and to ensure everyone’s opportunity, under the law, to freely express them, without fear of being “condemned for doing so”.
Tolerance is in fact the first virtue of an enlightened society.