We are a country that is founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs and values. The majority of Americans are still Christian and have spoken on their desire to have marriage remain a union between one man and one woman. Is this not government by and for the people?
Quite a large number of Christians like to proclaim that America was somehow "founded" on their "Judeo-Christian" beliefs, values, principles, or something similar. The assertion is repeated often here in comments on this site and whenever I ask the Christian commenting to explain where exactly these "Christian" beliefs or values are expressed anywhere in the Constitution — the founding document of American law and government — I am inevitably greeted with silence.
Maybe they never intended to return and engage in anything like a serious conversation, but I have to wonder how many read my question and don't respond because they are simply unable to do so yet don't want to admit it. The fact is, there is nothing in the Constitution embodying or instituting anything especially Christian. America's law and government are as much "Christian" as they are "white" or "Protestant," but when that uncomfortable truth is pointed out, many Christians would prefer to turn away and go on about their theocratic propaganda as if nothing had happened.
Somewhere along the way in our country we have come to believe that we have to change all of our laws and social institutions every time a small group of people wants it that way. Where will we draw the line?
First blacks wanted to be free from slavery and we didn't draw the line then, so they later had the gall to demand equal treatment under the law. It wasn't enough for them to not be owned by white people, but they wanted to be able to sit next to white people in public, and even work the same jobs making the same money as white people. The nerve! We should have stuck more closely to God's separation of the races, right?
Women were eventually allowed to vote and we didn't draw the line then, so they later also demanded equal treatment under the law. It wasn't enough for them to be allowed to leave the kitchen to vote, they wanted to be able to leave the kitchen permanently and pursue careers as equals alongside men. What gall! We should have stuck to God's established order in which women submit to men's leadership, right?
Now gays want to be treated as full political and social equals, too! Well, I guess it's time for Christians to finally "draw the line," right?
The sanctity of marriage is one of the most important of those values that must be upheld. It has well been known since the dawn of man that family is a cornerstone of society. This is even reflected in the natural order of nature, where we also have the family as a cornerstone of the animal kingdom. This seems to be an inevitable truth to me.
Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Let others who are seeking to do things a different way than has always been since the beginning of time create their own society and social institutions to suit their lifestyle. Our society and our country are fine the way they have always been, and the foundations of such should remain unchanged.
So, A. Altmyer doesn't like changing the definition of marriage? Let’s look at just a few of the most significant changes in marriage in the West over just the past centuries:
- Legalization of divorce
- Criminalization of marital rape (and recognition that the concept even exists)
- Legalization of contraception
- Legalization of interracial marriage
- Recognition of women’s right to own property in a marriage
- Elimination of dowries
- Elimination of parents’ right to choose or reject their children’s mates
- Elimination of childhood marriages and betrothals
- Elimination of polygamy
- Existence of large numbers of unmarried people
- Women not taking the last names of their husbands
- Changing emphasis from money and property to love and personal fulfillment
Why was it acceptable in the past to make so many reforms in the nature of marriage that ultimately benefitted heterosexuals and women, but not acceptable now to make one reform that benefits gays? Is there any reason to think that all of these other reforms were somehow more “minor” or “superficial” than legalizing gay marriage? No — making women equal in marriage rather than property, eliminating polygamy, and allowing people to marry for love are all at least as significant as allowing gay couples to marry, especially since gay marriage is not unheard-of in human history.
Clearly, marriage today is not the same as it at "the beginning of time" or "the dawn of man." Clearly, marriage has changed significantly in ways that A. Altmyer doesn't mind, which means that there is something in particular about this change that Altmyer and other Christians oppose. How can we not conclude that making one change that would benefit one group, while accepting all the other changes, is a sign and specific and deliberate bigotry against that group?
In this case, it isn't just "bigotry" by faith-based bigotry because the only arguments that Altmyer and like-minded Christians can offer are religious in nature. What this means is that these Christians don't just want to structure society in bigoted ways, but they want this injustice to be based on their religion as well. Then again, is there any form of theocracy that isn't the institutionalization of injustice?