38 A Mormon in the Cheap Seats: The Real Threat to Religious Liberty

This is from the Prop 8 trial presided over by Judge Walker:

Judge Walker: “I’m asking you to tell me how it would harm opposite-sex marriages.”

Prop 8 Attorney Charles Cooper: “All right.”

Judge Walker: “All right. Let’s play on the same playing field for once.”

Cooper: “Your Honor, my answer is: I don’t know.”

[see http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/tag/david-blankenhorn/]

The problem with McBride’s “Threats to Chick-fil-A are a Threat to Religious Liberty” article in Meridian Magazine is that she doesn’t seem to understand what religious liberty is or why it’s important. Religious liberty means that we, each of us, individually, have the privilege of managing our spiritual lives as we see fit in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. In order for that to be possible, it should be obvious that religious liberty would die a quick and ignominious death if it were used as a justification for individuals to impose their religious views on others.

And that is the problem (and the distinction that appears lost on Erin Ann McBride and the readers of Meridian Magazine).

Imagine for a moment that heterosexual marriage were specifically banned in the constitutions of 31 states, while same-sex marriage were universally accepted.  Now imagine being a heterosexual and petitioning the gay community for the right to marry.  Imagine that the gay community comes back with this logic: “Well, even though it wouldn’t affect our marriages, we can’t allow it, because we don’t believe in heterosexual marriage.”

The exchange from the Prop 8 trial above is instructive.  When asked how opposite-sex marriages would be harmed by marriage equality, the Prop 8 attorney responded: “I don’t know.”

I can help the Prop 8 attorney out. Marriage equality takes away the ability of the heterosexual majority to impose its religious views on the homosexual minority. For those of us that have gotten comfortable with bigotry, marriage equality may feel like harm, but for those of us that care about religious liberty (and understand what it is), it’s cause for celebration.

As for the rest of the half-baked, fear-based, twaddle in the Meridian article, see these old posts:

Same-Sex Marriage: Calling BS on the Religious Freedom Argument

Seven Dumb Arguments Cluttering Up the Same-Sex Marriage Discourse

A friend of mine suggested this post by Rachel Held Evans (It is an even-handed and thoughtful assessment of the Chick-fil-A controversy).

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