Faith In Equality



Beware of the tolerance paradox!

Australians have voted to legalise same sex marriage. In a national survey, 61.6% of voters voted yes to a change in the law, 38.4% were opposed.

Almost 40% of those who voted were against a change in the law. This morning I watched an interview on Sky News with lady who had campaigned against gay marriage. She said she was opposed because she was a Christian.

The bible is homophobic, Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them”.

Not many modern Christians want to put gay people to death, so they’ve taken a more secular view on homosexuality for a while now. In fact they’ve taken a more secular view on a lot of things in the bible. For instance, Numbers 15:32-36 in the King James Version is pretty strict when it comes to the penalty for Violating the Sabbath, “Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” So, as the Lord commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died”. I don’t know any Christians that are in favour of the death penalty for not observing the Sabbath.

The thing I didn’t understand during the Sky News interview with the Christian lady was how she said that allowing gay people to marry restricted her religious freedom.

That brings us to the tolerance paradox. That’s when tolerance of a religious dogma restricts other people’s freedom. A ban on gay marriage restricts the freedom of gay couples. It prevents them from enjoying the benefits in law that come with a marriage license. These are things that can safeguard their families and protect them. Some of the protections of marriage which are denied to gay couples who are not allowed to marry included: hospital visitations, child custody, adoption, parenting rights, medical decision-making power, automatic inheritance, divorce protections, spousal and child support, access to family insurance policies, exemption from property tax on death of a spouse, domestic violence protections, and more. How exactly are Christians rights and freedoms affected if gay people are allowed to marry? In our secular society you are free to believe in and worship any god you like. That freedom exists because we have secular, not religious values and your freedom to follow a faith and worship is not affected at all by the right of couple to get married if that’s what they want to do.

What really would affect the freedom of all of us would be if we were all forced to conform to rules set down in a book that was written thousands of years ago by people who thought the world was flat and didn’t know where the sun went at night.

Especially if you planned on gathering some sticks on Sunday!

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