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Stop Shoving Your Religion!

You can have your religious views, but don’t legislate them. You should not expect others who do not hold your religious views to live by them.

The above mantra is anti-democratic, anti-American, and anti-Christian.

First, why can’t a person legislate their religious views? The answer is typicaly “separate of church and state.” Now let’s put aside the disagreement of this Supreme Court ruling for it has little bearing on whether religious people can legislate their views. In fact, in most cases, the freedom of religion could be taken away and religious people could still legislate their views. Why? Because most often they are not legislating their religion but their values.

For example, image the following scenario. A Christian, whose religion states that salvation is receive through God’s Son – Jesus Christ, walks into a voting booth and votes for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman. Then a Muslim, whose religion states that damnation is certain for those who say God has a Son and salvation is dependent on Jesus Christ, also votes for the same amendment. Then an Atheist votes for the amendment. How can people with contradictory religious and no religion vote the same way? Because they are not voting a religion, they are voting their values. Values are informed by family, culture, education, belief in God or not, and more. There is nothing any more in violation of church-and-state for a religious person to vote their values than for an Atheist to do so. This is why in part simply being religious does not warrant getting ones voting privileges revoked.

Second, the purpose of a democracy is for all people, even the religious, to have their say in the laws and policies of their governments. It is anti-democratic and anti-American to claim they are doing something wrong when they participate in their civic duty. If people who make this claim don’t like the idea of their fellow citizens having a say in government, they are free to move to a country with a dictatorship. Then they won’t have to worry about religious people having a voice or vote because no one will.

Third, it’s cherry picking. Back to the same-sex marriage example. If it is wrong for one to vote their religious values, what about people whose religion informs them to vote for same-sex marriage? Are these people shoving their religion? No, not as long as a persons religion informs them to vote liberal positions.

Fourth, it’s self-serving. The real thrust of the statement is not for religious people to do the right thing, but to do someone else’s right thing – for religious people to vote against their view and for someone else’s.

Fifth, legislating views and living by them are two different things. Some non-religious people may feel that it is bad for society to legalize illicit drugs. They are not dictating to others how to live. If some people want to talk the risks in using illicit drugs they can. But just because people want something legal doesn’t mean everyone needs to agree and make it legal. In many cases, to do so would be profoundly immoral (rape, incest, infanticide, etc.).

Sixth, it is anti-Christian. People who’s Lord said the greatest commandment is love have an obligation to uphold what is right according to their faith and oppose what is wrong. To approve of what the Christian faith calls sin is unloving to God and others as well.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:6

Seventh, if one believes others show vote against their values, then they should show the way and do it themselves. But they won’t. This is hypocrisy.

If one has confidence in their view then argue for it with legitimate arguments, not fallacious ones like “don’t vote your religion.”

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Stop Shoving Your Views!

To those who only support straight marriage, “You’re shoving your views down other people’s throats!”

To those who support same-sex marriage, “You’re shoving your views down other people’s throats!”

The claim ‘shoving‘ is implying something wrong is being done. Something is wrong and the ‘shoving‘ is it.

Let’s use America as an example. America has a system of government and the way it works is the position with the most power wins. This power might be money, votes, lobbyist, arguments, etc..

When those for straight marriage play by the rules of the system and win, they are accused of doing something wrong (shoving). When those for same-sex marriage (SSM) play by the rules of the system and win, they are accused of doing something wrong (shoving). So both are playing by the rules, celebrating when winning and complaining when losing. The problem is not ‘shoving‘ but being a good sport when losing.

But you say, “My side past a constitutional amendment by the will of the people. Their side won by one activist judge.” Did they cheat? That may be your opinion but legally they did not – it is the American system of government. In America, there are three branches of government: legislative, judicial, and executive. SSM advocates are playing by the rules when, after losing at the legislative level (constitutional amendment), they appeal to another branch of government to advance their position.

Now some might say, “OK then – I don’t like the system.” Fine, then try and change it for the better. But until you achieve that (and I wish you luck), people have to work within the system we do have, not a future system they don’t.

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LGBT Hindrance – Analogies

Argument: Marriage is about creating children.
Rebuttal: Should senior citizen couples be able to marry even though they can’t have kids?

The first sentence above is an argument. The second sentence is an analogy. Analogies are often used to help understand arguments. They are different situations that are easy to understand and relate in some way to an argument.

Some LGBT supporters, while using analogies like the one above in favor of their position, reject all analogies against their position. They claim analogies against LGBT arguments are all disanalogies. Disanalogies occur when the related point to an argument is so different that it does not legitimately compare.

Consider the following analogy: homosexuality is natural because it occurs in animals. This analogy implies that what is natural is good. I have a friend whose dog mounted his neighbors dog right on the sidewalk! This is natural for dogs – should it be for humans? The neighbors dog became pregnant and when the first pup popped out she ate it! This is natural for dogs – should it be for humans? Now if one is going to compare the natural behavior of humans with animals, it is invalid to cherry pick only what supports ones point and ignore everything that doesn’t. The comparison here between human morality and animal behavior is a disanalogy.

Valid analogies must relate in some way to the point of an argument. The opening analogy is strong because it analogizes the same point as the argument – marriage requires procreation. The closer an analogy is to the point of an argument, the stronger it is.

Argument: People should be able to marry who they love.
Rebuttal: Should people be able to marry their sibling?

In response, the charge is usually made that gay and incestuous relationships are completely different, therefore the comparison is a disanalogy. Now of course they are different – it’s required to be – it’s an analogy. If they were the same it would not be an analogy. But they are not completely different. Just as it is valid to analogize same-sex marriages with heterosexual senior citizen marriages, it is valid to analogize any type of marriages because they do have similarities.

Consider the follow analogy:

Gay and straight marriages involve two people in a romantic relationship for life.

This analogy is not saying gay and straight marriages are identical. It’s only claiming to have three things in common – two people, romantic relationship, for life.

Gay, straight, and animal marriages involve two people in a romantic relationship for life.

Some animals have life-long mates but none marry. This is a disanalogy.

Gay, straight, and incestuous marriages involve two people in a romantic relationship for life.

This analogy isn’t saying gay marriage is morally the same as incestuous marriage anymore than incestuous marriage is morally the same as straight marriage. It is only comparing three aspects of marriage, which indeed do apply to all three – a valid analogy.

Some claim that non-affirming people of gay relationships are ignorant. Some may be but LGBT supporters who reject all analogies against there position are ignorant as well. Analogies are extremely helpful in understanding arguments and to reject valid analogies hinders their understanding of their own arguments and others.

Explaining Christianity with Simplicity