The news and social landscape of the last few weeks have left me a little shell-shocked with so many people screaming at each other, and I simply can’t support the outrage narrative anymore.
Half of the country is outraged the Supreme Court endorsed gay marriage.
The other half is outraged Christians won’t endorse gay marriage.
The two halves will never see eye to eye, and thus today’s America is characterized by:
- Outrage, not disagreement.
- Yelling and screaming, not discussions.
- Vitriol, not understanding.
From both sides.
But it shouldn’t be.
Under the American Constitution, both perspectives are permissible and should be protected.
Outraged that the Supreme Court endorsed gay marriage? The Supreme Court did nothing more than affirm LBGT’s rights to create a legal contract between two people. Yes, in the eyes of the government, marriage is a legal institution established and maintained by laws. It issues licenses. It sets up tax codes. It frames the legal processes for divorce. It oversees family courts. Judges and other government officials can perform weddings. Nothing new or surprising here.
Outraged that Christians won’t endorse it? The Christians aren’t the only ones; Muslims and Orthodox Jews aren’t on board, either. All of them have the Constitutional right to disapprove thanks to a pesky little part of the First Amendment that prohibits government from making of any law respecting an establishment of religion or impeding the free exercise of religion. Unfortunately, government seems to have forgotten this by allowing its legal system to assess fines on Christian business owners who won’t support gay marriage and by not using its laws to charge and prosecute people who threaten others because of their religious beliefs.
Perpetual outrage is destructive. It’s led us to view every difference of opinion as an assault, and every person who dares speak against our beliefs as an enemy that must be degraded, demonized and destroyed.
Frankly, I’m tired of seeing #LoveWins hashtag wars – from LBGT supporters who view this as endorsement about personal relationships and from Christians who see the hashtag as a promise that Jesus will have victory over a deceived world.
Life and belief are not defined by hashtags.
Feel free to call me a bigot, Sodomite or whatever hateful term of outrage you choose, but understand the U.S. is a nation of law run by and for imperfect people.
Our nation’s laws permit contracts, and they also permit the free exercise of faith. The two can and should exist side-by-side, and they should be equally protected.
#FirstAmendmentWins, just in case you really wanted a hashtag.