Hyperbolic silliness

I recently saw a link posted on App.net to an article entitled, "Dear Churches in America: Prepare to Be Treated Like 1st Century Christians in Rome."

Sorry, you've lost me with the title.

Also, whoever wrote that title is an ignorant fool.

The impetus for this article appears to be yesterday's arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage. Apparently, in the eyes of the author—or the eyes of the person who wrote the title—permitting same-sex marriage is equivalent to throwing Christians to the lions.

They're wrong.

Permitting people who don't share your beliefs to marry is not the equivalent of being persecuted, torn limb from limb, or devoured by wild beasts.

In fairness, the article doesn't go on to claim that it is, which means that the title is just clickbait, which is despicable all by itself. But it does go on to portray Christians as victims here, which is silly.

Here's the thing: We live in a secular republic. Its laws will not, should not, always fall in line with what any particular church or religion teaches.

That's important, so I'll say it again: We live in a secular republic. Its laws will not, should not, always fall in line with what any particular church or religion teaches.

Got that?

Anyone who truly cares about religious liberty should welcome that.

We're not a Christian nation, no matter how much some people would like to think we are. We're a nation of Christians, and Jews, and Muslims, and Sikhs, and Buddhists, and atheists, and Wiccans, and every other possible form of religion or non-religion.

Also: Assuming that the Supreme Court acts to legalize SSM in all fifty states, this does not constitute oppression of Christians. The Catholic Church will not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages. The Baptists won't have to invite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the church picnic. The LDS Church won't have to let the San Francisco Gay Men's Choir perform at the Tabernacle in Temple Square.

It just means that people who love each other will be able to enjoy the benefits of marriage, regardless of whom they love.

It's been said that never in human history has it been accepted, and that's probably true. But then again, slavery was accepted for most of human history, as well as subjugation of women, and now they're not. In South Africa, the Reformed Church supported apartheid, and now they don't. Things change.

(So, yes: I support the legalization in the U.S. of same-sex marriage. And I'm an Orthodox Christian. And if my bishop wants to excommunicate me for that, so be it.)

If you want to know why some people hate Christians, it's because some Christians expect people who do not share their beliefs to abide by the teachings of their religion anyway, which is unreasonable. And often, they're kind of nasty and unfeeling about it, which is then reciprocated, which generates more antipathy, etc.

I've said for some time now that religious groups opposed to same-sex marriage are doing it wrong. If they really care about religious liberty, that should have been their focus. They should have been working on legislation that guaranteed freedom of religion would not be impacted by any potential legalization of same-sex marriage. Instead, they've been focused on things like California's Proposition 8 and other things that amount to "You people stop that right now," and they've squandered an opportunity.

And now that they've squandered that opportunity, they're playing the victim.

Oh, please.