The Gazette’s editorial board has great respect for the sanctity of heterosexual relationships and those who believe marriage means one man and one woman. The sacramental marriage is something granted by a religious organization. Any effort to put this responsibility onto the state serves only to undermine religion.
Marriage in a church, a synagogue, a mosque or a temple is a marriage before God that no one can threaten. It is a sacrament in which a couple agrees to live by the tenets of a religion. If government tries to deprive religious leaders and worshippers the ability to define a marriage, war should ensue. In this republic, terms of a sacramental marriage shall forever be defined by individuals and the religious organizations they choose to obey.
We also understand that faith and religion mean nothing if not embraced by individuals who are free to leave them behind. God gave us the liberty to lead lives of orderly discipline or hedonistic depravity. The day religion is something other than a choice is the moment it loses authority and value.
And so, we live in a world in which countless individuals ascribe to no religious faith. Millions of peaceable Americans don’t believe in God, much less the morality God prescribed for humanity in sacred scriptures. Christianity, Judaism and Islam — all Western, Abrahamic religions — worship the same God and believe that he has unlimited power.
God, given his limitless power, could have made a world in which all of humanity worshipped him without question. Instead, he gifted humans with the opportunity to choose. In free societies, governments should respect free will to the extent that it does not cause mayhem and death.
In a world of free will, people of the same sex sometimes fall in love. If they are obedient to religion, in most cases their scriptures and instructors tell them they cannot have sex or live as if they are married. For those who are not religious, nothing meaningful tells them they cannot live as married couples. And so, they live as they choose.
Do same-sex civil unions threaten the sanctity of heterosexual marriages? Vote in poll to the right. Must vote to see results.
Yet, governments tell them they cannot lead lives similar to those of heterosexuals who fall in love. Barbaric governments try to enforce tenets of religion with violence and murder. Religious believers — those who understand that obedience to God is a choice — should be the first to object to any form of government interference in the lives of individuals. Those who believe that homosexual acts are sinful should support the freedom to sin. If we haven’t the right to sin, why would anyone need a church, much less the Catholic rite of confession?
The decision to avoid sin — to obey the word of God — must always be a choice, and never a state mandate. Religion by government mandate ushers the demise of religion.
This means the state should have no opinion on the validity of consensual adult relationships. That is the role of religious institutions, and we encourage them to spread the word.
For these reasons, we encourage legislators to approve same-sex civil unions during this week’s special session. No individual, who has been given freedom by God, should endure disapproval of government authorities regarding a love relationship. It undermines free will, and weakens religion by allocating its authority to the state.
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