Commentary

Will our prisons overflow with Christians?

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“If the truth about marriage can be displaced by social and political pressure operating through the law,” they declare, “other truths can be set aside as well.”  Marriage equality may lead “to the coercion and persecution of those who refuse to acknowledge the state’s redefinition of marriage… ”.  Their speech is already being “policed” they say, and their “dissent” is being “assiduously suppressed.”

The situation is “difficult and dangerous” they declare.  “The same exaltation of false freedom used to justify abortion… is now at work in the revolution of same-sex marriage.”

Variants of this notion of “false freedom” permeate the manifesto. Acceptance of marriage equality is the result, they claim, of a “deceptive pseudo-freedom that degrades our ­humanity.  Genuine freedom,” they conclude, “is found in ­obedience to God’s order.”

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The notion that freedom is obedience to their particular notion of God’s order is not only a howler, but reveals their theocratic world view and sheds light on their preposterous claim that Christianity is “unanimous” with regard to marriage. 

Christian denominations, notably United Church of Christ, Alliance of Baptists, and increasingly others (not to mention other religious traditions) recognize and celebrate same-sex marriages all the time.

The conservative Catholics and evangelicals behind this latest and similar manifesto do not speak for all of Christianity—and much to their consternation; they also do not speak for all citizens in our democratic, pluralist society.

Whether or not any of the leaders of the Cristian Right or of their followers actually engage in civil disobedience and/or other acts of resistance, what is being created is a volatile, fear-driven political climate.

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