is a religious rite, not an institution that should
be regulated by government. The traditional American
family is in free-fall, and denying equal rights to
gays won't change that.
with you that religion is a matter which lies solely
between man & his god, that he owes account to
none other for his faith or worship, that the
legitimate powers of government reach actions only,
and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign
reverence that act of the whole American people
which declared that their legislature should make no
law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building
a wall of separation between church and state.
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the
Baptist Association in 1802.
sentence is the bedrock piece of thinking in
on what best the relationship should be between
government — any government — and any religion.
that view be distilled further? It can be — to one word:
repeatedly reaffirmed his opinion that there should
be no relationship between the two in subsequent
letters written over a number of years. Did he often speak in one way and behave in
we all know the answer to that.
let’s fast-forward a couple hundred years, to this
week, when the Republican-controlled United States
Senate took up the issue of a constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriages.
by the way, in case you’re just stupid, know this:
That amendment has about as much chance of
passing as does a Fourth of July snow falling on
Mule Shoe, Texas.
(Since this column was written, Congress did, in
fact, vote down the amendment. Editor.)
Bush administration has orchestrated this one in a
desperate effort to get the war, George Tenet, and
John Edwards off the front pages.
No more. No
is pure theatrics. It
is pure politics.
what about the issue?
Here’s what about it:
The government shouldn’t be in the marriage
business to begin with.
is a religious event, a religious rite and, as such,
should be left strictly to the belief system of
government should get out of it, and stay out.
Marriage should be left to the churches.
about it. Why
on Earth should the government meddle in marriage?
What business is it of the government?
Let me think. None.
have come to tolerate and accept the government
poking its nose into this private religious matter,
but that doesn’t make it right.
And we have long used government to
discriminate against our own citizens in matters of
that doesn’t make it right.
citizen in this state, in this country, should have
exactly, precisely the same set of rights,
privileges, responsibilities and opportunities under
the law. We
don’t have that now.
We won’t have it until we get the
government out of marriage — and out of other
private, individual religious affairs.
please, spare me the drivel about "preserving
the family." If
you think same-sex marriages will somehow hasten the
decline of the family unit in America, I’ve got a
news flash for you: The
"family" is in free-fall in this country
right now, and has been for decades.
That simply cannot get any worse than it
already is. In fact, heterosexuals might want to
think about inviting the same-sexers in.
At least it would give them somebody else to
blame it on.
do not believe it is for the interest of religion to
invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises,
its discipline, or its doctrines, nor of the
religious societies that the general government
should be invested with the power of effecting any
uniformity of time or matter among them,”
Jefferson said to Samuel Miller in a letter dated
January 23, 1808.
makes two of us.
I don’t believe it either.
-- July 26, 2004