With the Supreme Court rulings that are happening today, a lot of attention is being given by the media to the one group who is assumed to be against it: religious people. There is always a picture being painted of the religious using their faith as a weapon to bully the LGBT community with. An editorial in the New York Sun entitled “Prejudice or Religion?” gives an interesting perspective, coming to the defense of the religious in some cases.
It is clear that this issue is surrounded with a lack of exploring new or opposite perspectives, like most political issues people are passionate about. I think that is why I enjoyed reading the editorial so much; even though it had made points that I don’t agree with, it made me look at the whole situation through a different perspective. Even though I’m Christian, I didn’t think about how this cause could be seen as alienating the religious groups who are following their religious doctrine.
“It will be no triumph if due process and equal protection are extended to same-sex couples at the expense of those who regard as sacred the laws brought down from Sinai and the religious rulings that have been made by the sages.”
How easy is it for us to be so focused on one oppressed group that we don’t even think about how what we say might affect another? When comments are made about how the Bible is wrong and insinuate that those who follow it are prejudiced, isn’t that doing what the LGBT movement is protesting? I myself am part of a population of people of faith who believe in equality for people regardless of sexual orientation. We are out there, we exist! In short, we need to respect each others beliefs and experiences, be open to conversations instead of debates. If we want equality and tolerance we need to show that towards all people, even those who we might not agree with, and not isolate entire groups of people who we feel embody these opinions.
While watching the events of today unfold, I am going to encourage myself and others to be sure to continue to work towards equality and respect for all people, including the religious. Demonizing entire religions for their teachings, like demonizing groups of people for their sexual orientation, is not what equality is all about.
Let’s not pass the torch of oppression from one group to another.