Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Gays, God and Wedding cakes

I'm getting really tired of it...

Tired of fiction being held up as reality.  Tired of the assertion that the Almighty gives a crap about whose flag is flying overhead and most of all tired of bigotry hiding behind a facade of religion.  

Remember that Colorado baker last year who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple?  In the end the state's supreme court brought reason to the ridiculous by ruling that his actions were not an expression of free speech or religious freedom but rather an act of outright discrimination.

In short, he may not have to stick a rainbow flag in front of his shop and march in the parade but if he wants to conduct commerce he's got to sell to everybody.

This is where cold secular reason must prevail against theology if we wish to continue as a civilized society.  

Thoughtful consideration must weigh all points of view without the undue influence of any one belief system.  This is the very core of the separation of church and state. 

Whether you realize it or not, most of what we call civilization vanishes without secular commerce.  It provides the foundation for all those rights and privileges we've come to expect extending even to the expression of religious beliefs. 

Progressive idealists may chafe at the thought of commerce being so central to everyone getting along but until the world trades only on ideas instead of goods it's the best we can do. 

Face it, no matter what your political leanings, without commerce nothing happens.  It goes further than the stone canyons of Wall Street extending to halls of congress.  

I can tell you from experience just how much DOESN'T happen without commerce...

That means the primary function of government is really to protect the mechanisms of commerce above all else.  Don't let the speeches on C-Span fool you.  Everyone in those hallowed chambers is seeking to tilt the scales in their favor. 

So if you decide that your religious ideals should somehow impede the natural flow expect the state to get involved. Without exception, regulation of commerce falls under the secular and exclusive purview of the state.

How you choose to exercise your faith, however, does not so long as you stay off its turf.  Contrary to what you may have heard, the state has no interest in the value of your eternal soul. 

It's a reciprocal relationship by the way.   The state stays out of your religion and you keep your religion out of the state's business.

There's even support in the Bible if that's your ultimate authority.  In it we find examples where commerce and religion make no bedfellows  such as the well known tale of Jesus kicking the moneychangers off of the temple's steps.

Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade. 

That pretty much sums it up right there I think... 

The money in your pocket may say, "In God we trust" but rather than some admonition of piety for the nation, a little research finds that phrase came about during the civil war as little more than propaganda device for the Union.  Just as a championship football team may proclaim that "god was on their side" apparently the same went for the Union cause. 

Really now, who wouldn't want god on their side if there was at all the possibility?

The Founding Fathers knew all too well the dangers of concentrating too much power in any one entity, especially god, conspicuously avoiding anything that would even suggest the mix of church and state. 

That the country was founded as the very antithesis of monarchical or theocratic rule bears that out.  Pious or not European monarchy frequently claimed divine lineage to justify the affluence and the atrocities of a station provided by nothing more than a fortunate birth. 

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, just to name a few, would have none of it...

" The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

 John Adams

"Believing 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 his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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 & State"

Thomas Jefferson

The founding fathers and apparently even god seem to understand the need to separate religion and state (commerce) but somehow people who want to justify discrimination and intolerance don't.

Let's get real here.  God doesn't have 32000 convenient ATM's or free checking so why involve him in the business of your...business?

What these zealots fail to see is that elevating religious belief to public policy invites the same jeopardy as printing, "In the President we Trust" on a greenback.

Take the more recent case of the court clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, who as of this writing still refuses to issue marriage licenses if she has to issue them to same-sex couples.  She bases her position on religious grounds even after the Supreme Court has already decided that it lacks any legal foundation.

" One couple, David Ermold and David Moore, tried to engage the county clerk, Kim Davis, in a debate before the cameras, but as she had before, she turned them away, saying repeatedly that she would not issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight.

“Under whose authority?” Mr. Ermold asked.

“Under God’s authority,” Ms. Davis replied." *

It's unlikely that God gives much thought to the Rowan County, Kentucky court house.  By extension, I'm fairly certain that should Davis relent it's doubtful the place will be descended upon by plagues of Locust or vengeful lightning bolts.

What God may notice, however, is the denial of 50 years of civil rights law.  If its not clear to you just substitute the word "black" for "same-sex."

No one is challenging Kim Davis' right to her beliefs even if obsolete or prejudiced.  However, when those beliefs interfere with her job as a clerk in a public court house there is only one solution.  She needs to go...

For one simple reason.  She obviously doesn't understand the context of the job she's doing.  A Marriage License is nothing more than a statement of intention to co-mingle assets and the power of attorney.  That's it.  That's all.  No proclamations from the divine or admonitions from scripture.  About as exciting as renewing your license plates.  If ol' Kim wants to execute her interpretation of scripture she's free to do so.  Where it matters...church.

Faith in your chosen deity should have no bearing on your public policy views.   Save perhaps for those tenets that eschew discrimination, intolerance and ignorance.  

Even an Atheist can get behind that!

To do any less does a disservice to your faith and an injustice to your fellow man.