ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • The Role of Religion in History & Society

Homosexuality,Religious Freedom, and Why you Should Care

Updated on June 28, 2015

Firstly...

I wish to begin this article by saying that this is not another impassioned debate about whether homosexuality is right or wrong. If your desire was to use spiteful words to argue an endless case,please go elsewhere. There are already PLENTY of articles for that. No,this article is about the repercussions of the new "Love is Love" mindset sweeping our country. Allow me to say that I am a Christian and ,as such, I believe in the Bible. Here's a list of things that does NOT mean: 1. That I hate or even slightly dislike homosexual people or any minority for that matter. 2. That I am a judgmental hypocrite. or 3. That I am an uppity, pretentious "bigot". We all know what the Bible does and doesn't say on the subject so I feel no need to divulge that any further. As I said before, this article is not about that. This article is about religious freedom..or lack thereof..and why I believe the discrepancies between the two groups (homosexuals and Christians) have been drastically overexaggerated. I believe it is this overexaggeration that is causing the rights to religious freedom explicity layed out in the First Amendment to be infringed upon more and more with each passing day. If you want to hear the objective, candid viewpoint on the new LGBT laws from a full-blooded Christian,read on.

I Apologize

I can't continue this article without saying sorry to anyone who has been hurtfully marginalized by the Christian community. The true calling of Christians is to love. That is not to say that Love causes all of our doctrines and convictions to disappear. It simply means that we are to love first and then communicate our values in a respectful,caring manner. As Jesus did. Unfortunately, for most Christians this is not the case and I have seen far too many Christians spewing words of hatred and falling to an embarrassing level of juvenile arguments. I have been horrified by some of the absolutely gross statements made by some Christians against the LGBT community and I sincerely apologize for their foolishness. I know that some claiming to be Christians have caused those who live lives contrary to what we believe to feel discriminated against and "less than" and that is NEVER okay. I'm hoping that this article causes a stirring in both the mindsets of Christians as much as homosexuals in the way we treat those who live and believe differently than us.

The Uncomfortable Conflict

I am a Christian. Not a homophobe. Or a bigot. I think these labels are used somewhat ignorantly by many people on both sides of the struggle so let's use Dictionary,com for the real definitions, shall we? Phobia: "an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something"- seeing as how I don't run away screaming whenever I see a homosexual couple, I highly doubt this qualifies as an accurate description of my disposition towards them. Also, I have no problem with LGBT people- I know quite a few and I'm sure they would agree that I do not display any "aversion" to their presence in my life. Now let's get to the other word that's so often used to describe our ideals. Bigot: "a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions." This one I actually find rather laughable. As I conceded earlier, SOME Christians have displayed a hateful attitude toward the LGBT community and that is a terrible tragedy. However, many of us Christians do not share this same spiteful view. Just as the LGBT community does not appreciate being unfairly labeled or judged based on their lifestyle, we, as Christians, do not appreciate it either. To be completely honest, it seems rather hypocritical that a group of people who are so against stereotyping an entire community based on a few extremists seems rather quick to do that exact thing to others.

The Heart of the Matter

My main purpose for writing this article is simple: the government siding with the LGBT community has caused a lot of backlash for the Religious community. I not only see this as a huge problem, but also as a rather unnecessary one. Many Christians in the wedding business,especially pastors, have/will be sued for upholding his or her belief system. Now this has been viewed as a hate crime against a group of people and I strongly challenge you not to do so. This is not a declaration of intolerance. Rather it is our way of carrying out what we believe. I have no problem with LGBT people getting married. That is your choice and there are plenty of pastors who are more than willing to officiate that type of wedding. That's why I don't see the necessity in prosecuting those pastors who believe differently and have made the personal choice to not officiate those weddings. I don't understand what's so unreasonable about us to respectfully follow our beliefs. Logically, it sounds a lot easier to me to just find one of the many who will do it instead of going through the long process of suing someone for their last penny. I would honestly have no problem if a LGBT organization denied me service because they felt it violated their values. I would simply go somewhere that did provide the service-not send them to prison. I think the heart of the matter is more based on undue spite between the two groups rather than an ongoing desire for ALL Christians everywhere to compromise our beliefs. Why does it matter so much? Why can't we support the LGBT community without deferring to it? What makes one group's ideals more important than another's? And who gets to decide that? Why can't we just respect your wishes and you respect ours? We're all adults here. As a Christian, I often feel like we are now the ones being marginalized and made to feel "less than." We're not asking for you to agree with us or our way of life. We simply want tolerance. The EXACT same thing you want. Our disagreement is not meant as a threat in any way. I wholeheartedly believe that we all can and should live peacefully beside one another. We're all human. We're all made of the same stuff. We can all show love and respect without having to change our worldviews. It's up to you. And me. What will your decision be?

Do you think the penalization of one group in order to elevate another is Constitutional?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Imani Jane profile image
      Author

      Imani Jane 2 years ago

      I believe what she's saying is not that homosexuals marrying infringes on the Christian faith. People or religious institutions being sued or "punished" for not participating in those marriages in what would be considered infringing on the Christian faith.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Elizabeth 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Cat- does Muslims having the right to marry infringe on the christian faith? Of course not. How could gay people being married infringe on the faith then?

    • catsong54 profile image

      catsong54 2 years ago from Pocono Mountains, PA

      I understand that our homosexual brothers and sisters want the right to be married and to receive all the rights included in this. I have not read enough to know if this infringes on Christian faith. The government should have no ruling on what goes on in the practice of one's faith and thus the church. Will they insist that Muslims marry gays? I doubt it. I believe if they try to prosecute a pastor for not marrying a gay couple it will be an infringement on religious rights.

    • Imani Jane profile image
      Author

      Imani Jane 2 years ago

      Sir, you're right that there is no profession of Christian Faith in the documents created during the founding of this country. What I meant was that a majority of the American citizens at that time were Christians, including some of the founding fathers. http://www.forbes.com/sites/billflax/2012/09/25/wa... Regardless, that argument is a tangent and is not paramount to the more important topic at hand. All I'm saying is that there should be a separation of church and state. Whatever form that comes in, so be it. I specifically said in my article that I didn't want the comments to end up being a monotonous, endless debate on details. Clearly you think the Church should stay away from the State and I want the state to stay away from the Church so I feel as though at the end of the day, we don't disagree.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Elizabeth 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I'm not sure why my second comment disappeared, but the claim that this country was created as a Christian nation is simply not true. It was quite the opposite, actually. Secondly, if churches want the right to legally discriminate against other people, they should have to pay taxes and so receiving tax money that is paid by all Americans - not just the Christians.

    • Imani Jane profile image
      Author

      Imani Jane 2 years ago

      I completely agree. Whichever side of the argument someone is on, a full separation of Church and State is the solution.

    • Jane Err profile image

      Jane Err 2 years ago from Texas

      I agree JMcFarland.....if a church chooses to discriminate or to involve itself in politics, then that church should pay taxes and/or lose tax money. I am in no means discriminatory towards the church but I do wish they would bow out of politics and leave their political opinions at home. As soon as any preacher preaches politics from the pulpit, then he/she should get a visit from the tax man/woman. Freedom to believe is a right....that right is about religious beliefs and they do not belong in our government for any reason. No government entity should force any religious belief on the public.

      I wish every government around the world would recuse itself from religiosity and allow religion, all religions to worship freely. Fat chance that will ever happen but think what a peaceful world it would be without the mayhem brought on by religious differences.

    • Imani Jane profile image
      Author

      Imani Jane 2 years ago

      I did not say anything about homosexual marriages being invalid. I respectfully disagree with you when you say that Christians are privileged. I concede that we may have been before (our country was founded as a Christian nation) but in today's society, we are anything but. We face ridicule at almost every turn. Regardless, I was referring to the legal right to practice religion. That is not negated by the new laws. And neither does it void the new laws. What you say about public service sounds fair. However, the problem still lies with the "pending or potential lawsuits against religious institutions". Multiple cases have already arisen attacking clergy and churches. That's where my discrepancy lies. The utter decline in the separation of church and state is what I'm speaking against. On that point, we agree.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Elizabeth 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I'm sorry, but the rights of Christians are not being infringed upon in this country. What is happening, however, is that Christian privilege that has taken root in this country for several decades is gradually being reduced to equal rights. It seems that many Christians are so accustomed to having their privilege that they view it as a right, and therefore they see marriage equality as an infringement on their rights, when it's really anything but. Allowing gay people the freedom to marry in all fifty states due to the SCOTUS ruling this week does not impact Christian rights in the least bit. My marriage (which is legal) to my wife does not impact you at all. Your marriage (if you're married) does not affect mine. I do not agree with any pending or potential lawsuits brought against religious institutions by gay couples demanding that they marry them. I would take a stand against that - as a gay person myself. But here's what you have to understand that your article seems to miss: If someone has a job in public service, their job is to serve the public according to the law. If they do not want to perform that job because they don't like it, then they need to find a job that allows religious exemption and discrimination - like in a church or religious institution. By taking a job in public service, you agree to serve the public. Clerks do not have the right to refuse to serve someone of a different race or religion when it comes to marriage, and now by law they are not allowed to discriminate against homosexuals based on their own personal religious views either. If they cannot comply with the law, they need to get a job elsewhere. No one is forcing anyone to be gay. But we are equal under the law, and my marriage is every bit as valid and legal as anyone else's - and that's the way it should be.

    • Imani Jane profile image
      Author

      Imani Jane 2 years ago

      I agree. That's the point I trying to get across-that EVERYONE should have the same rights and respect, including homosexuals and Christians . I firmly believe in separation of church and state. My problem is that the state is now trying to impose itself on the Church.

    • Jane Err profile image

      Jane Err 2 years ago from Texas

      We are a nation founded on freedom of and or from religion. I am in favor of every person to worship as he/she pleases. Separation og Church and State is such a valuable freedom. What it means is that we do not have any one religion running our country. Homosexuality is a religious bias. It has no place in our government. It is a social issue and it should NOT be decided by a government entity due to the religious bias.

      People have to choose for themselves what kind of life they want. It isn't up to me to decide for them. Marriage ia a commitment and nothing more. If God did indeed sanction marriage as a man and a woman then those people who adhere to that religion should follow the tenets of their religion AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T INTERFERE WITH ANOTHER'S CHOICE.

      Should a church be forced to perform a marriage ceremony when such a marriage would be considered a sin? No....because there are other churches and other choices. Should a business be forced to serve people they find undesirable? No....because there are other choices.

      Because we live in a free society, we have many choices. Freedom means.....freedom to choose. I, personally, don't have a problem with two people who are committed to one another having a marriage ceremony and dedicating their lives to each other. It is clearly none of my business.

      I believe that laws should protect individual rights. I also believe that how a person treats another person is all that is needed to expose what kind of human being they are. IF someone refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, the baker has every right to deny the request. But it sure says a lot about the baker.

      People rarely chooses to be straight or gay....most are born that way and what is normal for them is normal.

    working