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Monday, November 06, 2006

The Gay Marriage Debate is a Legal Matter,
Not a Religious One

Commentary by Anthony Della Calce, Planet Blacksburg
(Planet Blacksburg is a student-run new media outlet that seeks to provide news, sports, entertainment, technology, opinions, and information about Virginia Tech and Blacksburg.)

"Deciding whether gay marriage should be legal is a hot topic of debate amongst Americans, especially around election time. However, regardless of what various political and religious groups are saying, it is not a religious issue.

Let me say that again. Deciding whether gay marriage should be legal is not a religious issue.

Why?

This country has a little concept called separation of church and state. Simply put, this means the law does not impose its will on religion and religion does not impose its will on the law.

The people of the United States are not governed by the Catholic faith, the Islamic faith, the Jewish faith or any other religious denomination. Rather, we are free to voluntarily follow the tenets of a religion of our choosing.

In fact, the government guarantees us that right via the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Along the same lines, the government is free to make laws without being required to follow religious dogma. Neither the Bible nor any other religious text defines legal doctrine in this country.

No matter what your beliefs are, legally banning gay marriage would be government-sanctioned discrimination.

For example, most Christians believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God because it is stated in the Bible as fact. This is an essential belief in the Christian faith. But, interestingly enough, there is no law in our country requiring all of us to adopt this belief. In actuality, many Americans do not believe in Jesus Christ at all because, among other things, they practice different religions – Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Scientology, etc.

Maybe this seems like an absurd example? After all, why would the government make every American adopt a Christian belief when so many Americans are not Christian? It is clearly not the government’s duty to force a particular religious belief on the entire population. That would be religious discrimination.

And that leads me right back to the debate on the legalization of gay marriage. The same argument applies in this situation..."

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1 Comments:

  • At 6/11/06 5:24 PM, Anonymous MW Savant said…

    Concerning: The Gay Marriage Debate is a Legal Matter, Not a Religious One Commentary by Anthony Della Calce, Planet Blacksburg

    I am inspired by Mr. Della Calce's even-tempered and even-keeled, factual commentary.

    Aside from the fact that tens of thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) Americans are ruthlessly denied simple civil rights, such as the right to marriage equality, it IS made worse by those who choose to hide behind dogma and cloak their "hatred" in the pages of the Bible.

    I am most thankful that he makes it clear that our constitution absolutely permits, encourages and protects the rights of all Americans to individual religious pursuit and affiliation.

    While it should be blatantly clear that not EVERYONE in this nation is a Christian, nor required to be, I am thankful that Mr. Della Calce expressed this reminder with such intelligence and clarity of vision.

    Thank you, sir, for your intellect, candor, courage and compassion. It is only through education in terms of facts and NOT rhetoric and dogmatic slogans, that this nation, on all counts, may have a bright future. I offer you my thanks for being unafraid to plant that seed via your commentary.

    All people want to be treated with dignity. There is no gray area in equality. Della Calce for president!

    Most sincere thanks and regards,

    Mr. MW Savant, CEO

    savvyplanners.com, Northeast

     

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