I’m on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) mailing list and received this interesting letter from them today, titled, “Is it just religion”?  I’ll post the majority of it below, but want to use this blog post to answer the question (even though I wasn’t the one who asked it).

Interestingly, Brian Brown posits his remarks as his Christmas message:

Just a few days from now we celebrate the most amazing thing that ever happened in human history: God became man. A baby was born, and suddenly God was with us. “Just religion?” is the way the world–that world which we human are now busily attempting to remake in our own image–dulls our childlike sense of wonder, our ability to see and feel and react to the truth about who we are. We are children of the King who freely chose to love us, who taught us what love means: to be willing to die if necessary, and to get up every day to do the work that God has placed before us.

I’m not sure if he means to be anti-semitic, or if he is just being ultra-christiancentric, but if you read the Holy Bible, God was “with us” way, way way, before the birth of a baby who is recorded no where in History, except the Bible, and the Jewish historian Josephus, who isn’t known as being a very factual historian. But more to my point, if anything the Christmas story, is a story all about non-tradtional families and how Love changes everything. Mary, is an unwed teen mother who, based on the story is with child from a miracle, and Joseph, accepts her, even though it is against the teachings of his religion, and they form a family. Any way you look at it, if this story were judged based on the religious norms of the times, it would be seen as counter to everything “religious” people hold dear to them. Especially the part of the virgin birth. No one would believe that! Few did even then. It wasn’t until the story was written down some 100 years after the birth, that it became the known and accepted story. And, even if it is a story you believe it, it is just that a story. It may or may not be true, we have no way to be sure. If we hold it to be true, it is by Faith, that we consider it as truthful, not by facts.

But bigots like Brian Brown use their Religion as a weapon and hold it up as if it were proof that non-traditional families are not acceptable families in one breath, and then use the example of a non-traditional family in the next. Just religion is the way Brian Brown sees things because he believes the Constitution doesn’t allow Religion to be repressed. The Constitution, the basis of the laws governing us, holds some preferential treatment (special rights) for the religious, according to him:

Yes, we are blessed to live in a country whose Constitution was framed by great men who understood that limiting government’s power to repress religion was necessary to protect faith and faith communities. “Free exercise” is the fundamental value our Constitution gives us, because religion is so important to human life.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that the Founding Fathers believed that “religion was important to human life.” Brian Brown ought to know that to bear false witness is a sin. The Founding Fathers were painfully aware however, that when any one group tries to force their religious beliefs on others, it is harmful to all. So, the Freedom of Religion is protected, and it includes the Freedom from Religion as well. So, Brian Brown is both a bigot and a sinning liar as he is someone bearing false witness.

Here is where Brian Brown’s argument falls apart however, and why it is expected that Prop 8 will be repealed in California. Civil marriage- the legal recognition of a couple by the state for purposes meaningful to the government at both the state and federal levels- has absolutely nothing to do with Religion. A straight couple can go and get a marriage license and be married by a justice or other secular  person, and it has nothing to do with Religion at all. Same-sex couples simply seek this same right. If a church or denomination doesn’t want to marry gay people, no one is going to make them. That religious entity is free to act in whatever way they feel is right for them. In fact, if “the religious” want to believe that gay couples are going to hell, they have a right to hold those beliefs. They just don’t have a right, based on the Constitution that Brian Brown mentions to force their religious views onto others.

But Bigot, lying Brian sees marriage as being about procreation:

And no, to answer the question, of course the idea that to make a marriage you need a husband and wife is not a purely religious idea. Human being across the centuries with different religious commitments have been able to grasp the unique nature and importance of marriage, perceiving its deep roots in the reality that when men and women give themselves to each other physically, something else momentous happens: new life.

He confuses Sex with Marriage. For lying bigot Brian Brown, because a man has a penis and a woman has a vagina, they can get married. Even if they are infertile, they can marry. Even if they never have sex, they can marry.  for him, and those who are with him, the battle to stop civil marriage is all about the plumbing, and some ideal myth of boy marries girl, marries and makes babies. Let me repeat that: The battle against Civil Marriage by Same-Sex partners is all about protecting a myth that doesn’t match the reality of the world in which we live.

But bigot Brian Brown is also a liar because if he really was trying to protect the Institution of Marriage, he and those who support him, would support Civil Unions or legal domestic partnerships, because these are not marriages. That could be a Win/Win. The religious bigots get to protect their Institution of Marriage, and same-sex couples get legal protections. Brian Brown doesn’t see that as a Win/Win, or more accurately, I don’t think he is out for a Win/Win. He is out to stop Same-Sex couples from having any legal protections at all. His position is anti-gay through and through. That isn’t expressed in this Christmas message that uses the non-traditional virgin birth of a child as supposed support for his position, but it is the overt message of all the work NOM does.

Religion is a choice. People choose to accept and follow a Faith tradition. That Faith tradition instructs the followers, how they should conduct their own lives. This is especially true of Christianity, where Salvation is understood as a Gift from God through the Resurrection of Christ (has nothing to do wit the Birth of Jesus) for the individual. In fact, Salvation and Faith have nothing to do with Marriage or the state of being married. Brian Brown needs to read his Bible a bit more and spend less time worrying about what Same-sex couples are doing.

To anyone who is offended by such strong words as “Liar,” or “Bigot,” I apologize. My Faith reminds me to be brutally honest and call out those who use Religion for their own gain.

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