A little background before I explain the title of this post.
I am an Eagle Scout, I earned that award and the citizenship merit badges 36+ years ago in a scout troop where the scoutmaster was a judge in Maryland's highest court. I believe the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and the following amendments are the overarching law of this land. Since I turned 18 I have generally voted for Republican or Independent or Libertarian candidates. For the last 4 years I have served as a Republican Election Judge. About two and
a half years ago I started attending local Libertarian meetings and was even elected the vice-chair of the local chapter. That was after the IL GOP gave us a RINO instead of a real candidate to run for Governor. But by IL law, since I still voted in the primaries as a Republican I was still able to be a Republican Election Judge.
Last night I attended my first county Republican meeting. This morning I looked up the RNC's platform on values. I believe that the 2008 platform is not consistent within itself nor, more importantly, with the US Constitution. You can find it here: http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm
Note the fine statements on "Ensuring Equal Treatment" and "Safeguarding Religious Liberties". The Eagle Scout in me applauds the explicit mention of the Boy Scouts and the protected freedom of association.
However... My personal religious beliefs do not extend life to before birth. My personal religious beliefs do not fear same sex marriage. What is it about some people that their beliefs in their religious values are so fragile that they do not believe that their marriages will survive if some men married each other?
I say get government completely out of religion based licensing. But if we can't do that, let us realize that there are and have been two halves to the marriage process. The civil part, where you get licensed, where Federal, State and sometimes local laws recognize a specific legal relationship between 2 people that is the civil side of marriage, a very specific form of contract that affects responsibilities for children, inheritance and fiscal responsibilities. You might actually call it a specific form of a LLC. (Limited Liability Corp)
And then there is the religious side of marriage. Some people do not involve the religious side in their marriage. They choose to be married by a Judge or other recognized authority. Most other people choose a marriage by a religious person, minister, priest, rabbi, druid, wiccan priestess, whatever. Now if your religious group chooses not to perform gay marriages that's just fine by me.
Just as its also fine by me if your religious group chooses to sponsor education and advertising initiatives to convince people to make a choice other than abortion. Teach abstinence, teach adoption. Teach all you want. Teach voters to choose representatives that will remove government funding for abortion procedures. I'm especially fine with that. Personally I think abortion is a bad choice. But unless its going to be my child, its not my choice, nor my responsibility to pay for it.
So, RNC, if you want to win back the political power that goes with seating more elected officials show that you know and love the US Constitution, and the preexisting enumerated and unenumerated rights that predated it. Have your personal, individual beliefs. I certainly have mine. But don't try to make them into law. You wouldn't want Sharia Law to become the law of this land. Why should your religion's rules become the law instead?
Please note: I am not calling for the removal of 'In God we trust". Because I do. But the voice of the Spirit of the Divine does not seem to be whispering the same messages in my ears as others say they are hearing.
Atheists may be asking what about us? Sorry. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion. If you want that go help reestablish the Soviet Union somewhere else.
One last thought that I wish to capture here and share. A friend told me that when I took the podium last night my style could best be described as Khrushchev. Short of taking my shoe off. I can only say this - I would rather be passionately misunderstood than quench the fire in my soul that the Spirit has lite.