Shanna Anderson believes there is room for religion AND equal rights.
There is no doubt I’m going to get slack from both sides of the debate so I’ll begin by making it clear – I support marriage equality AND religious freedom. Yeah, you can believe in both.
First, I’ll acknowledge that the Bible does address same-sex relations. “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men, working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense for their error which was meet” (Roman 1:27).
But, it also addresses other sins that most everyone is guilty of at some point (do you cook meat for dinner or do any kind of work on Sundays?).
“The Lord told Moses these rules for the people: 2 “You are guilty of sin against the Lord when you do any of these things: when you lie about what happened to something you were taking care of for someone else; when you lie about a deposit you received; when you steal something; when you cheat someone; 3 when you find something that was lost and lie about having it; when you fail to keep a promise; or when you do any other bad things like these” (Leviticus 6:1-3).
Yes, when you break a promise, or – touch dead meat (Leviticus 5) – and it being accidental doesn’t dismiss the sin.
17 “If you sin and break any of the commands that the Lord said must not be done, you are guilty. Even if you did not know about it, you are still responsible for your sin. 18 You must bring a ram that has nothing wrong with it (or the same amount in silver) to the priest. The priest will offer the ram, and God will forgive you for the sin you did without knowing it. 19 You are guilty, and you must pay the guilt offering to the Lord” (Leviticus 5 17-19).
The above passage brings me to my next point, we don’t bring offerings of live animals for our sins, great or small, anymore so how can anyone say, “God’s okay with this change, but not this one.”? Further, God forgives sins, but Proverbs lists what he truly “hates” and homosexuality isn’t listed there and isn’t specified in The 10 Commandments. “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19). You could say homosexuality falls under adultery in The 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17), which it is according to Catholicism. But if you want to go there – your lawn ornaments are “carved images”. If you have an off-day at work, you’re stealing. If you’re jealous of anything the Smiths have you’re covetous.
On the other hand, religious freedom is our constitutional right. We have no more justification to take that away from an individual than we do to dictate whether two consenting adults can legally join in marriage. Churches refuse marriage ceremonies every day – sometimes simply because a couple refuses premarital counseling. It’s their right, just as it’s now Sally and Sue’s right to be recognized as a legally married couple.
A private business that the business owner built himself, has the right to deny service if he feels performing the service infringes on his religious beliefs. Just as I wouldn’t eat at Chick-fil-A – no one is forcing me to, or suing me for choosing not to eat there because I don’t agree with their philosophies. Why in hell would you want to patronize someone who disagrees with your love for your soon to be spouse, any way?
If we’re going to pick and choose pieces of the Bible to recognize, I wish we could ALL choose the following passages, without condition. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have. . .” (Hebrews 13:1-25). “Undefiled” and “sexually immoral” can be interpreted differently, but notice it specifies “God will judge”. So, let God judge – let us focus on continuing brotherly love.