While I still abide by that sentiment here while drafting this post, I wanted to share some thoughts with those who feel that their faith is being threatened by SCOTUS' ruling this week that made all marriages legal in the United States. First, let's consider what faith IS exactly...
Faith. Our personal belief in the doctrines of a religion and/or a system of religious beliefs.
Faith is yours. It isn't what your parents or family believe, what your neighbor believes, what your co-workers believe, or what your dog believes. It's what you personally believe. Therefore you have the control over your faith, your lack of it, and the many choices of how to interpret the meaning of said religion. That's religious freedom.
When the US was imagined, it was to be a place where people could be free to choose. Choose whatever religion and/or faith may be to each individual.
The SCOTUS majority ruling didn't take away those choices. Instead, it cleared the way for people who have found love and made families to legally have the security they're seeking from a state of union. More importantly, SCOTUS recognized that law cannot dictate love or stand in the way of equality.
Rage Against the Minivan blogger and a professor of psychology Kristen asks in her post on this issue, "Since when was biblical permission required for civil rights?" It isn't.
Back to your faith. How can anyone violate an individual's religious beliefs? I (and I venture many others) don't care about your religion, nor your faith of choice. It's not mine. It's yours. Why would anyone fear what another person believes when it doesn't align with their own faith/religion? How does one couple's marriage impact anyone else's? It doesn't.
Let's consider another religion and an individual's sense of right and wrong and how they seek to make that religion impact all societies. Isn't there a group of individuals who have a chosen way of interpreting the Quran in an effort to justify violence against people who don't follow their religion?
Oh, yes, it goes deeper than that single saucy thought, doesn't it? Some reactions to the marriage ruling contain the same volatility. "How DARE they? How dare they violate religious beliefs that I hold, that the world *should* hold?"
Sounds a bit out of whack now when we put it that way. Like domination of religious freedoms that our founding fathers sought to give us.
Finally, the SCOTUS dissent is seeping in religious debate of law - religion holds absolutely no place in US law. None. Nada. On purpose. The law determines our rights - human, not religious. Our chosen religion can guide us in making choices about our lives and even the way we choose to live them. They are two separate entities as established by our founders, as they should be.
The choice to use faith and/or religion as a way to excuse hurtful words, to express anger, to affect violence is one of a cowardice. The greater choice, the one that says - "okay, I don't believe this is what my faith would allow but that's your choice" - that is the bigger thing here.
It makes us all better people when we accept the world is a vast place full of a variety of choices. It makes the word a little more happy and a little less bitter and violent.
When we say #lovewins, let's stay with that.