Restrain Your Restraint

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I don’t normally get super political in my blog posts, but this is something that I’ve been seeing blowing up on my Facebook and I need to get my thoughts and feelings out there. (But they are right. Nobody is born with a flag across their face.)

There’s a group (whom I believe is based in Michigan) calling for us to restrain the judges. They’re sole purpose is to help America convince the SC judges to vote against marriage equality in the US as a whole. (or, at the very least, not to make any decision at all.) There are many issues with their beliefs, the way they present them, and the way they go about doing what they do. And I want to bring some of them to light for a moment.

Full disclosure: I have no doubt that the people behind this program believe they are doing what’s right. They’ve been taught throughout their lives the views they hold are 100% correct. I can’t fault them for that. I can, however, fault them for 1) not doing their own research in order to get a better understanding of what they’re talking about and 2) doing what they do in a way that is not the most respectful of anyone.

1. Not doing their own research
Check out this screenshot from their website:

There are a number of problems within this list.

1. They want to leave it up to the sovereign vote of the American People? That’s cool, I guess. But do they realize that they will (most likely) lose that vote? As of 2013 (two years ago, mind you) the majority of U.S. peoples (both Christian and otherwise) are in favor of changing laws to promote more equality for LGBT+ peoples. (sauce)

2. State constitutions are great. But there are things that should be kept out of them. When it comes to people’s freedoms across the board, it should be national. It’s not right for people to have to worry about which state they’re in or may get a job in order to know whether or not their marriage will be recognized. Heterosexual couples are recognized as married in every. single. state. Why should homosexual couples not be as well? That’s the definition of a civil right; the definition of, “all men are created equal under God.”

3. There is no “sacred institution of marriage.” Marriage has remained a cultural construct throughout our history that changes as society changes. We also don’t see them complaining about the superficial weddings of celebrities as “usurping the sacred institution of marriage.” Oh, and, in case anyone didn’t know, U.S. peoples (again, both Christian and otherwise) have been decreasingly defining marriage as between one man and one woman. (sauce, again).

4. They state that our first amendment rights are being denied by the SC issuing a ruling on gay marriage. But do they not realize that they are denying people’s first amendment rights in this very campaign? The first amendment guarantees that the government shall give no one religion preferential treatment over another. They are asking for that very thing.

I posted the image with my thoughts a while back (before the billboards even went up) and one of the men behind the campaign told me that I need to study my Bible more, and clearly didn’t learn anything in my Biblical Studies education. Now, this could fall under the next category because any discussion that basically tells someone they’re stupid or don’t know anything (especially without giving facts for one’s own point) isn’t much of a discussion.

Interestingly, though, as the amount of people who think marriage equality should be a thing goes up, the amount of people who believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God and “contains everything a person needs to maintain a meaningful life” (even among young Christians) remains at 96%. (sauce). That means that 96% of Christians think the Bible is pretty much entirely authoritative. Over half of those people also believe that LGBT+ people should be afforded the same rights as heterosexuals, that marriage is not defined as a man and a woman, and the amount is increasing that think homosexuality is a morally acceptable behavior. So do all of these people who still believe the Bible as authoritative need to study it more, or are we, as a society, coming to a better understanding of these ancient words?

2. Disrespect
One thing I have heard from both hetero and homosexuals is that they find the billboard disrespectful. Even those who do not necessarily agree with marriage equality dislike it for it’s portrayal of races in such a way. It’s incredibly disrespectful (of both homosexuals and those of other races) to compare them in such a way in a public manner.
Also, does it bother anyone else that they’re comparing marriage quality to abortion? Whether or not you’re pro-life or pro-choice, that’s a different debate. They’re comparing marriage equality (the idea that every single person has the right to get married to whom they love) to the debate about abortion. That’s not cool guys. There’s a lot of charged emotions within the abortion debate that stand far and against that within marriage equality.

Also, the campaign doesn’t completely understand civil rights and completely disrespects an entire group of people. The legal definition of a civil right is:

A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places.  (Cornell)

“The right to equality in public places.” What’s more equal than equal marriage? What’s more public than the federal sphere? Yes, homosexuality is a behavior, in so much as heterosexuality is a behavior. But when it’s labeled as only a behavior, people are boiled down to nothing more than their sex practices, which devalues them as a human being. It removes the equality they are promised in the public sphere. I’m sorry, but calling homosexuality not a civil right is disrespectful to everyone, because it completely changes the definition of civil right to mean nothing.
Lastly, I need to discuss what the point of laws and voting are, because I think it’s probably one of the most important factors in this discussion that everyone leaves out.
The point of voting, and all laws, is to make the world a better place for the people of tomorrow. There’s not much left we can do for today. It’s happening as it is. We can change tomorrow. We can make tomorrow a better world for people. The best world for the people of tomorrow is the world that they want, not the world that we want. In every law making decision, we must take into account the views of our younger generations, lest we leave them in a world they hate. We’re seeing an overwhelming trend of the younger generations (especially within the church community) who are forgoing the argument against homosexuality. Whether or not they think it is a sin, they’re not fighting it. They believe everyone should be afforded the same rights. These are the laws we need to make sure get passed, not the laws defined by our opinions. The laws defined by the opinions of the people who will have to live with them once we’re gone.
When we fail to remember this, we’re doing them a disservice and disrespecting them more than anyone else.

grace and peace,
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