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Letter to the Editor: America, the godly nation of God

On the morning after Election Day, Brian Brown, president of an anti-marriage-equality group said, “(We) remain committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it.”  Earlier this year, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy stated, “We are very much in support of … the biblical definition of the family unit.”

It’s nice to see two godly men of God, holding godly opinions on marriage.  And as Americans, they’re certainly entitled to their honestly held beliefs.  I might disagree with their opinions, but I would never try to deny them the right to believe as they choose.  The only problem is that they’re completely wrong.

Like others with their view, Brown and Cathy both labor under a misconception.  They think that America is a godly Christian nation of God.  It isn’t.  America is a wholly secular one.  Ruled over by a wholly secular Constitution.  A Constitution which does not enshrine Christian values in any facet of American life.  A Constitution which guarantees equal treatment to all Americans, not simply straight godly Christians.

Folks like Brown and Cathy have the right to believe that marriage is a godly relationship designed by God.  They do not, however, have the right to insist on denying this socio-legal relationship to others based on religious beliefs.

If a couple is married by a judge they are as legally married as if they had been married by a minister.  It isn’t the ceremony that makes a marriage.  It’s a piece of paper.  A piece of paper that observes that the state, not someone’s god or religion, officially recognizes that union.  Contrary to religious propaganda, homosexuals aren’t looking for some strange kind of special rights.  They’re looking for equal rights.  The same equal rights that straight Christians are entitled to.  The right to get married legally.  The right to that piece of paper.  Brown and Cathy’s attempts to link marriage and religion are both misleading and disingenuous.

The Brown-Cathy Brigade might want to sell everyone on the idea of preserving “traditional” marriage, but I think we need to remember that other traditions have changed over the years.  Traditionally, African-Americans were not entitled to equal rights.  Traditionally, women were not entitled to equal rights.  Traditionally, non-Protestant Christians were not entitled to equal rights.  In every instance, America realized that yes, these, and others like them, are indeed entitled to the same equal rights granted to white Protestant males.  And in each case these rights were granted to these groups by law.  It’s time to grant homosexuals equal rights under law, as well.  Hey, if you don’t like the idea of granting homosexuals the right to marry, the answer is simple.

Don’t marry one.

Gerry Gentile