13 February
by John Vomastic

A Step Back for Civilization

President Bush and many others in this country are pushing for a constitutional amendment that would place restrictions on how marriage is defined. This would be the first amendment to the Constitution that would actually take away rights of American citizens. This is a step backward. Hard to believe this is America.

Those most vehemently in favor of a constitutional amendment are those with fundamental religious beliefs. They will quote chapter and verse of the Bible regarding homosexuality. But, these books were written thousands of years ago and are in many respects a reflection of the culture at that time.

The Apostle Paul was outspoken in his opposition to homosexuality. But Paul also wrote in the book of Ephesians: “Slaves obey your masters; be eager to give them your very best. Serve them as you would Christ. Don’t work hard only when your master is watching and then…” Paul also goes on to say, “Slave owners must treat your slaves right, just as I have told them to treat you. Don’t keep threatening them…” At the time, these were words exhorting compassion, but today slavery is condemned throughout the world. Mankind has gone forward.

Paul also writes regarding marriage that “Wives must submit to your husband...and husbands show the same kind of love…” Again these are words urging compassion and understanding, for wives had no rights as husbands had complete control at that time.

The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were groundbreaking documents at the time but are also reflective of the existing culture. They did not say, “all PEOPLE are created equal.” Women did not have the right to vote or own property and black men were also excluded. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves until his death. America has taken several steps forward since then.

I would not be opposed if marriage were defined as the union between two heterosexual individuals and a civil union as the commitment between two individuals of the same sex, as long as both are afforded equal rights under the law.

If you belong to a church that only allows membership for heterosexual couples that is fine with me. It’s your church. You can even excommunicate members who choose to divorce if you like. If you have similar beliefs to those of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) who feel that ‘till death do us part’ is too limiting and would rather unite for all eternity, that’s great.

One more thought for those who favor a constitutional amendment. When you hold your rallies, do not wave the American flag. You can not claim the high moral ground. America and the flag stand for freedom, justice and equality. That’s not what the proposed constitutional amendment is about.

Let’s all, as Americans, go forward.

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